Dancers Trending

What These 9 Stars Would Be Doing If They Weren't Dancers

It can be hard to imagine life without—or just after—dance. Perhaps that's why we find it so fascinating to hear what our favorite dancers think they'd be doing if they weren't performing for a living.

We've been asking stars about the alternate career they'd like to try in our "Spotlight" Q&A series, and their answers—from the unexpected to the predictable—do not disappoint:


Martha Graham Dance Company's PeiJu Chien-Pott: Fashion Designer or Graphic Designer

PeiJu Chien-Pott in a Graham contraction while sitting on the ground, her legs extended up in the air with bent knees. She wears a tan leotard and her black hair is down and flowing behind her.

Yi-Chun Wu

"I enjoy compositing beautiful images and letting my creativity bloom."

The Washington Ballet's Ashley Murphy: Physical Therapist

Murphy as Myrtha in Giselle. She is in arabesque, with the rest of the willis in formation behind her, gesturing towards her with a subtle port de bras.

Theo Kossenas

"My goal is to become a physical therapist so that I can help other dancers feel and dance their very best."

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Jamar Roberts: Graphic Designer or Animator

A photo from a photoshoot of Roberts jumping in the air, his legs crossed and his arms reaching towards the ground. He wears metallic shorts and looks toward his right hand.

Andrew Eccles

"I also enjoy drawing and fashion, and designed the costumes for Members Don't Get Weary."

Health & Body
Getty Images

The Australian Ballet's artistic health team has become a reference worldwide, and not just because they got David Hallberg back onstage after his two-year struggle with injuries. Their results speak for themselves: While foot stress fractures and hip arthroscopies are common elsewhere in the ballet world, The Australian Ballet hasn't had any in over a decade.

Dr. Sue Mayes, the company's principal physiotherapist since 1997 and director of the team, has developed a research-based approach that is now being emulated by other companies. In The Australian Ballet's state-of-the-art Melbourne health and fitness facility, she shared some of her best tips.

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UA Dance Ensemble members Candice Barth and Gregory Taylor in Jessica Lang's "Among the Stars." Photo by Ed Flores, courtesy University of Arizona

If you think becoming a trainee or apprentice is the only path to gaining experience in a dance company environment, think again.

The University of Arizona, located in the heart of Tucson, acclimates dancers to the pace and rigor of company life while offering all the academic opportunities of a globally-ranked university. If you're looking to get a head-start on your professional dance career—or to just have a college experience that balances company-level training and repertory with rigorous academics—the University of Arizona's undergraduate and graduate programs have myriad opportunites to offer:

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Dancers Trending
Alice Sheppard/Kinetic Light in DESCENT, which our readers chose as last year's "Most Moving Performance." Photo by Jay Newman, courtesy Kinetic Light

Yes, we realize it's only August. But we can't help but to already be musing about all the incredible dance happenings of 2019.

We're getting ready for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we want to hear from you about the shows you can't stop thinking about, the dance videos that blew your mind and the artists you discovered this year who everyone should know about.

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Dance in Pop Culture
Via @lizzo on Twitter

On August 20, pop goddess Lizzo tweeted, "Someone do a ballet routine to truth hurts pls," referring to the anthem that's been top on everyone's playlists this summer. Lizzo might not know it yet, but ballet dancers are not known for shying away from a challenge. In the past two days, the internet has exploded which responses, with dancers like Houston Ballet's Harper Watters and American Ballet Theatre's Erica Lall tagging the singer in submissions.

Below are a few of our favorites so far, but we're guessing that this is just the beginning. Ballet world, consider yourselves officially challenged! (Use #LizzoBalletChallenge so we know what you're up to.)

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