In the beginning, there was planking. Remember planking? It was a brilliant little meme, really—annoying as it eventually was to have your Facebook and Instagram feeds cluttered with shots of people lying face-down wherever they could get away with it.
Well, there's a new, and particularly dancer-friendly, awkward-pose meme in town: the "perfect split." A Chinese college student apparently ignited the trend after posting the photo at right of her splitting it out in her dorm room. And the craze took off from there. Now the internets are awash with pics of people showing off their 180s in unlikely locations.
Here's my question: Haven't dancers been taking these types of photos for years? I mean, had Facebook been a thing when I was 15—many, many moons ago—my profile picture probably would've been a photo of me doing my homework in a split. Or watching TV in a split. Or doing a split at the beach. You get the idea. It's pretty standard stuff in dancer-land, and has been for a while.
But I guess I won't dump on a trend that produces images like this:
Because this photo, my friends, encapsulates everything that is wonderful about the world.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Isabella Boylston in "The Bright Stream" (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy American Ballet Theatre)
Beloved by ballet fans for her lucid technique and onstage effervescence, by her Instagram followers for the deftly curated photos and videos she shares of her glamorous life, and by fangirl Jennifer Garner for all of the above, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston is one of the rare ballet stars who's achieved mainstream fame. A native of Sun Valley, ID, Boylston trained at the Academy of Colorado Ballet and the Harid Conservatory before joining the ABT Studio Company in 2005. She entered the main company as an apprentice in 2006, and attained principal status in 2014. In addition to her successes with ABT, where she dances nearly every major ballerina role, Boylston has served as artistic director of the annual Ballet Sun Valley Festival, which brings high-level performances and classes to her hometown. And speaking of famous Jennifers: Boylston recently appeared as Jennifer Lawrence's dance double in the film Red Sparrow. Catch her onstage with ABT as Manon, Odette/Odile, and Princess Aurora during the company's Metropolitan Opera House season this summer in NYC. —Margaret Fuhrer