6 Ballet Instagrams Worth Following

Who: American Ballet Theatre
principal James Whiteside
Followers: 96.6K
What you'll see: a lot of muscles and humor, with a healthy dose of cat photos
What may surprise you: Whiteside moonlights as the drag queen Ühu Betch and pop singer JbDubs.

Who: Royal Ballet principal Lauren Cuthbertson
Followers: 43K
What you'll see: beauty in the little things—nature, architecture, costume close-ups and tasty treats
We can't get enough of: Cuthbertson's natural eye for design

Who: Houston Ballet demi-
soloist Harper Watters
Followers: 47.2K
What you'll see: physics-defying dance shots, hilarious preshow video montages and Beyoncé tributes
What may surprise you: Watters can dance just as well in pink high heels as he can in ballet shoes.

Who: Sarah Hay, star of "Flesh and Bone"
Followers: 53.6K
What you'll see: gorgeous self-portraits
Fun fact: Hay recently landed a role on the comedic Showtime series "I'm Dying Up Here."

Who: San Francisco Ballet and American Ballet Theatre principal Maria Kochetkova
Followers: 157K
What you'll see: variety—from landscapes to production photos to fun with friends
We can't get enough of: Kochetkova's zany wardrobe, both in the studio and on the street

Who: American Ballet Theatre
principal Misty Copeland
Followers: 1.2 million
What you'll see: her many endorsement deals, photo shoots, red-carpet appearances and press features
For some Insta-inspiration: Peruse Copeland's motivational quotes and shout-outs to aspiring young dancers.

Layeelah Muhammad, courtesy DAYPC

This summer's outcry to fully see and celebrate Black lives was a wake-up call to dance organizations.

And while many dance education programs are newly inspired to incorporate social justice into their curriculums, four in the San Francisco Bay area have been elevating marginalized youth and focusing on social change for decades.

GIRLFLY, Grrrl Brigade, The Alphabet Rockers and Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company fuse dance with education around race, gender, climate change and more, empowering young artists to become leaders in their communities. Here's how they do it.

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Teacher Voices
Getty Images

I often teach ballet over Zoom in the evenings, shortly after sunset. Without the natural light coming from my living room window, I drag a table lamp next to my portable barre so that the computer's camera can see me clearly enough. I prop the laptop on a chair taken from the kitchen and then spend the next few hours running back and forth between the computer screen of Zoom tiles and my makeshift dance floor.

Much of this setup is the result of my attempts to recreate the most important aspects of an in-person dance studio: I have a barre, a floor and as much space as I can reasonably give myself within a small apartment. I do not, however, have a mirror, and neither do most of my students.

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Allie Burke, courtesy Lo Cascio

If you'd hear it on the radio, you won't hear it in Anthony Lo Cascio's tap classes.

"If I play a song that my kids know, I'm kind of disappointed in myself," he says. "I either want to be on the cutting edge or playing the classics."

He finds that most of today's trendy tracks lack the depth needed for tap, and that there's a disconnect between kids and popular music. "They have trouble finding the beat compared to older genres," he says.

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