Ballet dancers have a tough life: Big competition, short careers, no money except for the few, and all that pain. Once they get onstage, however, you know they are magical fairy creatures untouched by the woes of the real world. That's why getting grittier glimpses of their backstage routines — even the fictional Black Swan
kind — is so fascinating for us lay people. But how about a softer, cuddlier look at the dance life? Oh, thank you Instagram.
For more than a year now, the dancers of American Ballet Theatre
have been posting photos of their dogs with the hashtag #dogsofabt. It's basically a fantasy created by our inner 9-year-old girl.
It seems pups have been allowed in rehearsal and on tour since the early days. Two years ago, ABT's artistic administrator told the Wall Street Journal
why they let dogs hang out there. "Because it's a very stressful work environment, there's so much competition — it's friendly competition — it's very exhausting, emotionally and physically. The dogs provide such a great relief.
"I danced with the company in the '80s when [Mikhail] Baryshnikov was our director," she said. "There were golden retrievers, Dalmatians. They were all big dogs, and we toured with them. It was quite a scene."
Someone, please provide those photos next!