#RelationshipGoals: 3 Breathtaking Romantic Duets

Hee Seo and Cory Stearns in Romeo and Juliet. Photo by John Grigiatis, courtesy of American Ballet Theatre

What: Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet—balcony scene pas de deux

Who: Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev

Why: Despite a 19-year age gap between them, Fonteyn and Nureyev created one of the most magical partnerships in ballet history. The couple's natural chemistry shines through in the sweeping lifts and passionate embraces in MacMillan's exquisite ballet.

Hee Seo and Alexandre Hammoudi in Romeo and Juliet. Photo by Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy of American Ballet Theatre.

What: Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain pas de deux

Who: Wendy Whelan and Craig Hall

Why: This haunting duet, originally created for Whelan and her longtime New York City Ballet partner Jock Soto, is contemporary ballet at its best. Dressed in a pink leotard, Whelan bends effortlessly, softly gesturing and intertwining with the strong and attentive Hall.

Wendy Whelan and Craig Hall in After the Rain pas de deux. Photo by Paul Kolnik, courtesy of New York City Ballet

What: Jerome Robbins' Afternoon of a Faun

Who: Tanaquil Le Clercq and Jacques d'Amboise

Why: A remake of the Nijinksy classic, this work depicts a chance encounter between two young dancers in a studio and explores the ideas of attraction and narcissism. The two dancers can't help stealing glances in the mirror as they dance a sensual pas de deux.

Sterling Hyltin and Robert Fairchild in Afternoon of a Faun. Photo by Paul Kolnik, courtesy of New York City Ballet

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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Teachers Trending
Courtesy Lovely Leaps

After the birth of her daughter in 2018, engineer Lisa McCabe had reservations about returning to the workforce full-time. And while she wanted to stay home with the new baby, she wasn't ready to stop contributing financially to her family (after all, she'd had a successful career designing cables for government drones). So, when she got a call that September from an area preschool to lead its dance program, she saw an opportunity.

The invitation to teach wasn't completely out of the blue. McCabe had grown up dancing in Southern California and had a great reputation from serving as her church's dance teacher and team coach the previous three years (stopping only to take a break as a new mother). She agreed to teach ballet and jazz at the preschool on Fridays and from there created an age-appropriate class based on her own training in the Cecchetti and RAD methods. It was a success: In three months, class enrollment went from six to 24 students, and just one year later, McCabe's blossoming Lovely Leaps brand had contracts with eight preschools and three additional teachers.

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