There's a Misty Copeland quote that's so relatable it's become a popular Instagram meme among dancers. "The hardest thing to hear as a ballet dancer is, 'Oh, that's so cute!'" it reads. "And I'm like, 'If you only know what it took to look cute.'" It makes sense why it resonates with so many ballet dancers: They spend hours on end training, rehearsing, and perfecting a role, but the audience only gets to see the final product.
Fortunately, in the past few years, Instagram has given dancers a platform to share behind-the-scenes glimpses into what their daily life is really like. Exposure through social media is incredibly important, because it allows dancers like Copeland the opportunity to develop a brand and following, and because it makes ballet more accessible to those who can't afford to pay to see a live performance. Plus, photos and videos of dancers are just cool.
On Instagram, you can see videos of, say, what it really looks like when American Ballet Theatre rehearses massive corps de ballet segments, or what prima ballerinas really do in their dressing rooms. And more importantly, you can learn to appreciate all the hard work that goes into "looking cute."
Ahead are the ballet dancers you should follow on Instagram for everyday inspiration in your feed.