Artist or Athlete?

Adam Cooper in Swan Lake from the movie Billy Elliot

Ballet has long been one of my passions. I grew up taking lessons. I idolized all of the greats over the years. I swooned over the well muscled men in their tights, that leave less to the imagination than football pants, jumping higher than any NBA player ever dared to dream. There is no more perfect physical specimen than a male ballet dancer.

When I was little it was Rudolph Nureyev that captured my imagination with his grace and strength. Here he is dancing with the great Dame Margot Fontegyn.


Currently some of my favourites include Adam Cooper and Chi Cao.


Adam Cooper in Swan Lake

Chi Cao reherses Don Quixote

But the one dancer who sparked the most fantasies for me was, is and always will be the incomparable Mikhail Baryshnikov. It’s hard not to be in awe of his presence even when he’s just practicing his jumping.


Here he is dancing in Giselle and showing us what all that practice does.



Even when he performs another genre of dance, Baryshnikov’s strength, presence and pure sex appeal cannot be equaled.

It’s impossible to watch these men perform and not see the raw masculine athleticism along side the amazing artistry. The discipline and dedication a professional ballet dancer must have is something to be admired. They are athletes in every sense of the word.