insta files friday: the most awesome ballet dancers

we want to be them when we grow up

by blair cannon

It might be a little too late for us to make a career switch to the ballet (that usually happens around 7 years old), but we can still dream, can't we? And these 10 Instagram accounts of ballerinas (and ballerinos?) from all over the world are awesome sources of daydream material. Whether it's a dance class pic worthy of Degas, an arabesque shot against a cityscape, or a snap of a costume sent from heaven, ballerinas know how to Instagram (and how to work a filter—black and white much?). Check out the gallery for our pics of the best dancer accounts and then follow them all for a peek behind the velvet curtain. And find out what it's really like to have everyone's childhood dream job. 


Little girls everywhere want to be Isabella Boylston when they grow up—after all, she’s a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater in NYC. Whether she’s breaking a sweat in dance class (just kidding, she always looks flawless) or casually sporting Valentino at theater galas, her life is basically the dream.


Whoever said ballet was a strict life of all work and no play obviously didn’t know Maria Kochetkova. The San Francisco Ballet principal dancer takes advantage of the job’s travel perks by Instagramming beautiful cityscapes and hitting up art museums in spots like Buenos Aires, London, and Rome, to name a few.


California born beauty Lauren Lovette is a soloist at the NYC Ballet by day, and Instagram superstar by night (or maybe it’s the other way around?). She’s got an account that’s full of gorgeous pointe pics, but also plenty of pro selifes, and lots of flowers. We may not be buying ballet slippers any time soon, but we’re learning the dancer aesthetic from her one post at a time.


A G-Star Raw campaign, features in mags like Glamour, and impeccably hipsterly Instagram photos might make Keenan Kampa seem like a New York variety model-slash-girl-about-town at first glance. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll soon discover that this ballerina chick is actually the first American to join the Mariinksy Ballet in St. Petersburg, a rad illustrator, and an Instagram paragon. Is there anything she can’t do?


Misty Copeland is a ballet superstar making waves as a soloist at the American Ballet Theater, but she somehow still has time to post updates about her life in the form of stunning onstage shots with a few red carpet looks in the mix. She’s also got a gig as the lead in Swan Lake coming up (NBD) which is going to totally turn around the all-white stereotype of the ballet, which is pretty badass.


David Hallberg is not your ordinary ballet dancer-slash-Instagrammer. In addition to being the first American to join the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, he’s also an Instagram pro who regrams the work of E.E. Cummings, William Klein, and Diane Arbus on the regular.


Director of the Paris Opera Ballet and founder of L.A. Dance Project, Benjamin Millepied is the king of snapping artistic photos of both his cities, on and off the stage. Despite being in the public spotlight after he very controversially left Isabella Boylston for Black Swan co-star Natalie Portman (yikes!) we’re gonna keep following him on Instagram anyway because his photos are just that good.


Striking Russian ballerina Diana Vishneva isn’t just one of the best in the business; she’s also one of the most photogenic people ever. The dancer, who spreads herself between America and Russia, has an Instagram that’s dedicated to onstage pics of herself in immaculate costumes and incredible sets that are the stuff of dreams.


If we didn’t know any better, we might think that Shiori Kase is just a girl who Instagrams awesome food porn and her adorable puppy, but the Tokyo-born ballerina is actually first soloist at the English National Ballet and the winner of several prestigious dance awards. She’s humble though, and keeps her super pretty ballet pics to a minimum, sometimes adding a caption like “Hahahaha” to them, which we think is super cute.


Principal dancer at the Boston Ballet Dusty Button pretty much never stops dancing. Almost every single pic she posts is of a split or an arabesque that hurts just to look at. Take the insanely beautiful photo above, for example, that she posted with a #tilttuesday. Ya, same, Dusty. Same.