Our August cover star James Whiteside isn't just a principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre (as if that isn't accomplishment enough!). He's also a pop star named JbDubs, who makes clever, danceable music and sheds his princely onstage persona for a flamboyant, raunchy one. Needless to say, his music videos feature some incredible dancing—from hip hop to jazz to ballet—and some hilarious characters.

We rounded up the best of them—you can thank us later.


For Ballet Dancers Getting Down & Dirty

An homage to Britney Spears and to Whiteside's unapologetic "take me or leave me" attitude, "NYC Piece of Me" is classic JbDubs at his finest. Featuring American Ballet Theatre dancers Cassandra Trenary, Calvin Royal III and Courtney Lavine and English National Ballet dancer Jeffrey Cirio, the video shows that ballet dancers can get way outside their comfort zones, and look good doing it.

For "Single Ladies"-esque Heels Work

"I Hate My Job" is the JbDubs oldie but goodie we keep coming back to. Filmed back when Whiteside was dancing at Boston Ballet, the video features a "Single Ladies"–inspired heels trio including then-colleagues Bradley Schlagheck and Lawrence Rines. As always, the lyrics are as inventive as the video, with lines like: "So I'm a regulation hottie you a Star Wars yeti / If I am Wilhelmina then you are Ugly Betty."

For Six Times the JbDubs

"Pantywaister" stars JbDubs alongside...JbDubs. Whiteside dances with six of his alter-egos in this video (see if you recognize any of them from the ballet stage!) about reclaiming the derogatory names he's been called.

For Drag Queens and Foulmouthed Lyrics

In case you forgot that Whiteside has yet another personality as drag queen Ühu Betch, "Dirty Mouth" features the other members of his drag family The Dairy Queens, Milk and Skim Burley. We're not sure who those ladies in pig masks are, though we have some guesses based on their 180-degree extensions.

For Gorgeous Choreo in A Horror Movie Set

"The Vault" features a steamy, bloody duet for a rather scary JbDubs and an unassuming Garen Scribner. But the dancing is anything but horrifying—in fact, the intimate choreography is some of the most striking of JbDubs' videos.

For Ridiculous Outfits (And A Little Ballet!)

Dubbed "a super pretentious fashion and movement film," "The Fanny Bounce" is basically one big ridiculous fashion show, featuring designs from Reid & Harriet as well as more farcical pieces like a Bart Simpson crop top.

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Courtesy Nichols

I Am a Black Dancer Who Was Dressed Up in Blackface to Perform in La Bayadère

On Instagram this week, Misty Copeland reposted a picture of two Russian ballerinas covered head to toe in black, exposing the Bolshoi's practice of using blackface in the classical ballet La Bayadère. The post has already received over 60,000 likes and 2,000 comments, starting a long overdue conversation.

Comments have been pouring in from every angle imaginable: from history lessons on black face, to people outside of the ballet world expressing disbelief that this happens in 2019, to castigations of Copeland for exposing these young girls to the line of fire for what is ultimately the Bolshoi's costuming choice, to the accusations that the girls—no matter their cultural competence—should have known better.

I am a black dancer, and in 2003, when I was 11 years old, I was dressed up in blackface to perform in the Mariinsky Ballet's production of La Bayadère.

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Here's the First Trailer for the "In the Heights" Movie

Lights up on Washington Heights—because the trailer for the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical In the Heights has arrived. It's our first look into Lin-Manuel Miranda's latest venture into film—because LMM isn't stopping at three Tony awards, a Grammy award, and an Emmy.

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Fabrice Calmels as Othello in Lar Lubovitch's Othello. Cheryl Mann, Courtesy Larisa Elizondo.

Fabrice Calmels Leaves the Joffrey Ballet After Nearly 19 Years

Joffrey Ballet dancer Fabrice Calmels announced Monday that he'll take his final bow with the company after a performance of Nutcracker on December 29.

Born in France, Calmels trained at the Paris Opéra Ballet School before moving to the United States to study at the Rock School, Boston Ballet School and School of American Ballet. In addition to the long list of roles he's danced at the Joffrey, Calmels has worked as a model, and in 2014 won the Guinness World Record as the world's tallest ballet dancer.

We caught up with Calmels to hear about why he's leaving after nearly 19 years, and what his future after the Joffrey will hold.

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