From world-renowned ballet and contemporary companies to unknown independent artists, Instagram has provided a platform for dance to be showcased to the world, and is a well-spring of inspiration for dancers of all ages. Here are 15 profiles that are must-follows for any budding dancer.
Misty Copeland is ballet’s “it girl”! Her story of determination in the face of adversity and raw talent have made her a role model for all young dancers; not to mention her perfect pirouettes, incredible extensions, and her beautiful artistry!
Pilobolus Dance Company has been at the forefront of contemporary dance since the 1970’s. Their choreography is athletic and gymnastic! Always imitated, but never replicated, they are innovators in contact choreography.
Since their founding in 1959, NDT has been one of the premier contemporary dance companies in the world, known for their experimentalism and emotionally driven choreography. This company is a must-follow for any serious contemporary dancer.
If you’re looking for a daily dose of dance to get you pumped, look no further than Millenium Dance Complex. The studio showcases some of the best in hip hop, jazz funk, and heels artistry in the country.
One of the break-out stars of the Millennium Dance Complex is MTV star and hip-hop impresario Tricia Miranda. Miranda is a former backup dancer for Beyoncé, Gwen Stefani, Taylor Swift, and Prince who’s choreography for Millennium Dance Complex has gotten millions of YouTube views and inspired hip-hop dancers worldwide.
Founded in Tel Aviv by Martha Graham in the 1960’s, Batsheva Dance Company’s current director Ohad Naharin is the founder of the Gaga style of contemporary dance. Described as “a new way of gaining knowledge and self-awareness through your body,” this technique and vocabulary are essential learning for professional contemporary dancers.
Naharin describes his technique and his “Gaga people” this way, “We become more aware of our form. We connect to the sense of the endlessness of possibilities. We explore multi-dimensional movement; we enjoy the burning sensation in our muscles, we are ready to snap, we are aware of our explosive power and sometimes we use it. We change our movement habits by finding new ones. We go beyond our familiar limits. We can be calm and alert at once.”
Choreographer Akram Khan is one of the many new, well-known choreographers to combine contemporary dance with traditional influences, including classical Indian dance. Dancers interested in combining their world-dance experience with contemporary dance should take note. Khan recently gave an old ballet new life, setting a brand new version of Giselle for the British National Ballet.
Do you love yoga? Do you love contemporary dance? Then you MUST follow Tamara Levinson-Campos (AKA Cuchira). She is the founder of Yogance, a style that incorporates both yoga and contemporary dance into some of the most integrated, lively, and joyful movement on the internet.
Constance Stamatiou Lopéz is a dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, model, and mom who balances her artistic, professional, and family lives on the platform of a point shoe. Lopéz was featured alongside other Ailey dancers in Glamour Magazine’s “54 Amazing Women and What it Means to be an American Woman in 2016”.
Based out of NYC, Parsons Dance was founded by dancer David Parsons and Tony-Award Winning lighting designer Howell Binkley. The company is known for its athletic ensemble work and infuses many different genres into its contemporary dance vision, including styles like hip-hop and Latin dance.
Heart throb Roberto Bolle is a principal dancer with American Ballet Theater and La Scala who brings the romance into romantic ballets. All I can say is, just look at that technique!
Emma Portner’s unique blend of styles crosses genres and boundaries from hip-hop and pop-and-lock, to contemporary. Her choreography is raw emotion captured in small, precise movements and moments of vulnerability.
Só Bailarinos serves up daily ballet inspo for the ballet junkie, with link-backs to some of the best ballet dancers in the world and clips of recent and vintage ballet performances.
Odna’s futuristic vision incorporates elaborate costumes and make-up into her work, and bends genre and gender. Odna’s choreography deals with big issues like feminism, race, and environmentalism; as well as smaller ones like how people relate to one another.
Jennifer Burton is a mother, dancer, dance educator, and writer with a BFA in Dance from the University of Texas at El Paso. After a 10 year career in arts journalism, she returned to her first love, dance. She has danced under the direction of Myron Nadel, Lisa Smith, Andrea Vazquez Aguirre, and Leanne Rinelli. She recently had the honor of participating in the Florence Summer Dance Festival under the direction of Lilliana Candotti and Monica Baroni. Burton hopes to enter the Master of Arts in Teaching-Dance program at NMSU this fall.
A big thanks and shout-out to my dance friends @lalauda, @jermeyj_, @9rayray2, @gem_dancer11, @rebekahann_m, and @danceskyydance for sharing their suggestions!
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Broadway Dance Dreams