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10 Inspirational Quotes from Famous Dancers

Baryshnikov, as pictured on the cover of Dance Magazine (January 1992) New York, New York

Need that extra push? Here are 10 quotes from famous dance figures to give you extra inspiration.


1. "Dancers are the athletes of God."—Albert Einstein

2. "Do it big; do it right; and do it with style." —Fred Astaire

3. "The truest expression of a people is in its dance and its music. Bodies never lie." —Agnes de Mille

4. "When the music changes, so does the dance." —African proverb

5. "Dance is the hidden language of the soul." —Martha Graham

6. "Dancers come and go in the twinkling of an eye, but the dance lives on." —Michael Jackson

7. "If you look at a dancer in silence, his or her body will be the music. If you turn the music on, that body will become an extension of what you're hearing." —Judith Jamison

8. "The problem is not making up the steps, but deciding which ones to keep." —Mikhail Baryshnikov

9. "Do a loony-goony dance, 'cross the kitchen floor, put something silly in the world that ain't been there before." —Shel Silverstein, A Light in the Attic

10. "You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive."—Merce Cunningham

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Courtesy Meg Brooker

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All photos by Ryan Heffington

"Annnnnnnd—we're back!"

Ryan Heffington is kneeling in front of his iPhone, looking directly into the camera, smiling behind his bushy mustache. He's in his house in the desert near Joshua Tree, California, phone propped on the floor so it stays steady, his bright shorty shorts, tank top and multiple necklaces in full view. Music is already playing—imagine you're at a club—and soon he's swaying and bouncing from side to side, the beat infusing his bones.

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