These So-Called "Dancer Fails" Make Us Love Them Even More

If you're anything like us, your Instagram feed is chock-full of gorgeous dance photos and videos. But you know what makes us fall in love with an artist even more? When they take a break from curating perfect posts and get real about their missteps. These performers' ability to move past mistakes, and even laugh them off, is one reason why they're so successful.

Every time you fall out of a pirouette, just remember: The stars—and literally every. single. dancer.—have been there, too. (Even Misty Copeland.)


American Ballet Theatre's James Whiteside

For every ballet competition winner, there are always many more dancers that walk away empty-handed. Whiteside didn't let this early setback deter him—and look how he turned out.

New York City Ballet's Sara Mearns

Cross-training is meant to be hard, and Mearns isn't afraid to admit it. Though she often posts videos of herself once she masters an exercise, we love how this glimpse praises process over perfection. She wrote, "I always show the final product but the amount of fails it takes to get there is EPIC!!"

Broadway dancer Samantha Sturm

Sturm got candid about what really happens at dance photo shoots. In order to achieve the flawless leaping photo below, she estimates that she did "7 millionty jumps that day," including this in-between moment above. But even this outtake is effervescent.

Houston Ballet's Luzemberg Santana and Mónica Gómez

Don't even get us started on rehearsal bloopers. If dancers had a dollar for every time we slipped, tripped or wiped out, we might be wealthy. When Santana and Gómez attempted this tricky leap-throw-catch maneuver, things went south. Don't worry: No dancers were harmed in the making of this video.


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These Pros Prove That It's Possible to Start Training Later

These days, it feels like in order to master the technical feats required of professional dancers, you can't get enough of a head start on your training. Younger and younger Insta-protégés knocking out quadruple pirouettes or showing off their extreme flexibility give the impression that spending those formative childhood years immersed in dance gives you a leg up in an increasingly competitive field. Right?

Not necessarily. Some of today's top dance professionals who began in their late teens or early 20s prove that stereotype wrong. Though the exception rather than the rule, these artists show that the path to success can start later.

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