Are Ballerinas Dog or Cat People? Instagram and the New York City Ballet

“A ballet may contain a story, but the visual spectacle, not the story is the essential element.” George Balanchine believed that dance should remain the star of a production—a reason the father of the New York City Ballet de-emphasized plot. While the choreographer’s legacy might leave something to be desired for those in search of plot, his company’s offstage life has plenty of fun to follow.

Some of New York City Ballet’s top dancers are quite active on social media. Beyond Twitter, and in keeping with the beauty of a visual art form, they are Instagram shutterbugs.

While artists like Justin Timberlake are using the photo network to make major career announcements (Mashable), dancers Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck are announcing real-life milestones—the two NYCB dancers recently got engaged and posted celebratory photos.


While out of town with NYCB in Saratoga Springs, principal dancer Ana Sophia Scheller highlighted fellow dancer Joaquin De Luz’s MacGyver-like techniques of cooling an ailing knee.


Beyond romancing Peck, Robert Fairchild found time to show Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan a thing or two about training animals.


In fact, Justin Peck spends time playing with puppies backstage at the David H. Koch Theater.


Even Ashley Bouder is a dog person.


Darling Megan Fairchild proves that ballerinas eat more than lettuce while still maintaining their figures.


In case these youngsters make you think dancers are only dog people, the masterful Wendy Whelan proves cat lovers also stand en pointe.


Of course, dancers do have to dance, as Christian Tworzyanski reminds us with a nod to Hollywood’s The Red Shoes.


As does Sara Mearns with photos of action-filled rehearsals.


George Balanchine once said, “See the music, hear the dance.” Perhaps Balanchine’s successor, Peter Martins, can add, “See the music, hear the dance, Instagram the dogs.”