Bag a Free New Yumiko for Christmas!


It’s that time of the year again, when we revisit what happened in the ballet world during 2013: the good, the bad, and the bold. In terms of recurring dance headlines, we heard about guest principals cropping up everywhere, sometimes in places we would never have guessed. This led to a recent piece in the NY Times, where code-share principals like Natalia Osipova were appropriately nicknamed by dance writer Roslyn Sulcas as the “jeté set”.

It’s also the time where we usually team up with the awesome crew at Yumiko to bring you a leotard promo for Christmas, so we’re giving away two pairs of gorgeous new female style, the Erica:

Yumiko Erica

The Erica

Lucky winners will receive made to order pieces in the size they wear.

To enter, all you have to do is tell us:

If you could watch any “jeté set” (see above) principal dancer in the world as a guest with your local ballet company, who would it be? And WHY?

Use the comment form below or email us ( theballetbag [at] ) by 20 December, 2013.

Entries from all over the globe are welcome. Be creative & good luck!

Update: 7 January 2014 – Promo winners are:

Renata, who emailed us from the US:

If I could watch any “jeté set” principal dancer in the world as a guest with my local ballet company, I would LOVE to watch Alina Cojocaru. The reason why I would choose to watch Alina, is because she is so beautiful, she dances so gracefully and she makes you feel the piece. I really enjoy watching her in videos, and I get goose bumps, now, I could not imagine what would happen if I watched her live, I feel like I would cry. She is such an inspiration to me. I admire Alina so much in her movements, as well as her dance career. She has been part of all my dream companies, I would say the best ones. Her dance career is truly amazing, dancing with The Royal Ballet, The Hamburg Ballet and now The English National Ballet is what most dancers would dream of.

Cybelle, from Teresina in Brazil, who commented:

If I could watch any ‘jeté set’ principal dancer in the world performing with my local ballet company it would have to be Marcelo Gomes!! It happens that, although I’m from Brazil and he is the most amazing Brazilian dancer, I never had the chance to see him, only on the TV. Also, I think he would teach us so much and it would be so great for us here, in the northwest of Brazil (Teresina/PI), away from Rio and São Paulo, and where ballet, that is already hard, is even harder. And maybe he could bring me my Yumiko leotard… Ok, I’m gonna wake up now! =)

Congratulations Renata & Cybelle! We’ll be in touch by email soon.

If your entry was not picked this time, don’t worry. Keep checking for further Yumiko promotions soon!

We started The Ballet Bag in April 2009 with the mission to prove that ballet is not stuffy, old fashioned and inaccessible; that it is quite the opposite: relevant, fresh and topical. With the aim to Give Ballet a New Spin we try to show it under a different light. When writing our capsule biographies, ballet fact cards, review roundups and commentary on social media, we cross it over with other art forms and cultural references (pop culture, cinema, rock music – ie. other things we love!).


  • December 22, 2013


    My “jeté set” would probably have to be Wendy Whelan. She is such a beautiful artist and is inspiring because she has danced for such a long time and has a lot of experience; and is also a nice person outside of ballet! But, of course, I’d also love to have Lesley Rausch or Teresa Reichlan! They inspire me because they are both very tall, just like I am, and it shows me that I can become a professional dancer if I keep working! Thanks so much for doing this contest; I’d love to win!!

  • December 22, 2013


    I too would want to see Svetlana Zakharova and I’d be happy to see her in anything. I think she’s simply amazing and she’s one of the best dancers I’ve ever seen. I know I could never become as good as her, her’s is God given talent. But watching her gives me something to aspire to and hope for as I practice.

  • December 22, 2013

    Cassie Wang

    I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see Svetlana Zakharova perform! Who wouldn’t want to?? She’s amazing and beautiful and her quality makes every role she performs outstanding!

  • December 22, 2013

    Katherine Acosta

    If I could watch any principal dancer preform with my local ballet company ( sarasota ballet ) it would be Alina Cojocaru because I believe that she is the most beautiful dancer i have seen and I can totally see her doing the sugar plum fairy in our production called the John Ringing circus nutcracker and it would be an honor for me to see her rehearse and perform with us .

  • December 21, 2013

    Imogen Mansfield

    Hello :)

    If I could have to chance to see my favorite professional ballet dancer from the ‘jete set’ perform, I would without a doubt choose Maria Kochetkova! She has inspired me so much and for such a long time. I am a very short dancer just like her, but her words of wisdom help me to be positive about who I am and stay focused on what the ballet is really about – expressing yourself and showing the audience what you can do. She says “ballet is not a modelling business”, and I think that what she says is so inspiring to young dancers like me. This past September I have started full time training as a ballet dancer, and I have found it so physically and mentally challenging. However a video interview I found on the internet helped me through! Maria said “Difficulties are there to make you stronger not push you away from what you love”. I wrote this on a poster I have of her next to bed, and I read it every morning before a full day of dancing to inspire me. I spend hours watching whatever footage I can find of her on YouTube, but it would not be the same as seeing her perform live! It is a dream of mine to meet her, and to thank her for inspiring me to work my hardest everyday. I hope that i will get that chance in the future!

    Thank you for reading, I hope you consider me for the prize! I would do anything for a pink and white Erica Yumiko! ;)

    Imogen :)

  • December 21, 2013


    If I could have any “jeté set” I would have Teresa Reichlen from new york city ballet! She inspires me so much! I am a very tall dancer (5’10″) and she shows me that I CAN become a professional if I stick to it! Your height should not calculate you ability to dance and perform and she has truly shown me it can happen! Thank you for doing this amazing prize!

  • December 21, 2013


    I would love to see Maria Kochetkova! She has wonderful technique, incorporating her Vaganova education and American style. She has proven that determination can get you very far, even though you may not have perfect body for ballet, you may be perfect in ballet. I think that I might learn from her a lot, not only in the way of technique, but mostly in the way of thinking.

  • December 21, 2013

    Susanne Keck

    I would love to see Alina Cojocaru in Duesseldorf. I think she is one of the few female dancers who have a real “ballerina” quality – excellent technique, beautiful style, fine acting and a personality that combines humility and determination. I also admire her for doing charity work. Plus, we were born the same year and my second first name is Alina. Spooky, isn’t it?

  • December 21, 2013


    I would absolutely love to see Osipova live. Being a smaller dancer, I would love to experience the power and command she brings to the stage and hopefully learn from it!

  • December 21, 2013

    Preterre Savannah

    Si je devais choisir mon “jeté set” ça serait Masayoshi Onuki du Béjart ballet Lausanne! J’ai pu le voir en spectacle dans la salle avec les spectateurs mais les jours suivant j’étais dans les coulisses, et tous les détails “humains” apparaisses, les tremblements, les clignements des yeux. Comment il se prépare avant de rentrer sur scène. C’est avec un grand calme que chaque soir il rentre sur scène pour se donner au public, et dans la vie quotidienne ce n’est pas le même, mais quand il rentre sur scène, il n’est plus lui, mais il est son personnage, les yeux neutre, pas exité par le traque, les pieds surs, et l’énergie qu’il faut. C’est un model pour moi. Et je ne me lasserais jamais de le voir danser, même 5 soirs d’affilés depuis les coulisses.

  • December 21, 2013


    I would love to see Daniil Simkin! He has amazing tricks and beautiful technique, and seems like an interesting and clever person from following his blog, etc.

  • December 21, 2013


    I would die to see Evgenia Obraztsova!!! She is able to bring many characters to live!!! Her interpretation of Juliet really exhibits the innocence of Juliet’s first love at sight and her courage to love with no limits. Evgenia’s Juliet shows how Juliet is starting to mature while also showing traits of an adolescent girl. Besides her acting, she used her feet, lined and port de bras so well that it really emphasizes the feminity of each character she dances.

  • December 21, 2013

    Pao M.

    I would love to see Svetlana Zakharova! I admire her lovely quality and her beautiful, graceful arms!

  • December 21, 2013

    Molly klug

    I would love to see Vishneva again. She was absolutely breathtaking. She is a true artist.

  • December 21, 2013

    Emily Sydow

    I would choose Natalie Ospiva because her charisma is infectious. She is a beautiful dancer whose lines are as expressive as they are technically correct. I love her because she has danced with every one of my dream companies, and then had the balls to walk away from the traditional path they each offered. She’s a bit of a pioneer for me. I’ve also seen several youtube videos and interviews of her and she seems so lovely. I can’t wait to get a chance to see her dance live.

  • December 21, 2013


    If Evgenia Obraztsova ever came to Massachusetts to dance in a local company, everyday she were to perform I would go and see her simply because of her utter perfection. With an impressively delicate upper body contrasting with sharp and exquisite feet, she masks her dancing with grace from head to toe. My favorite variation of her being Satanella, if I even so much as watch the video of her rehearsing the piece once I find myself sitting on the chair for hours re watching the clip. I’m not sure how true this is, but I have heard she is a dancer with the Bolshoi AND Marinsky ballet. All I can say is that what she has accomplished in her lifetime is amazing. This being said, whenever I dance I attempt to use her as a role model. In the end, doing this motivates me while I dance, as when I think of her I can see what hard work can lead to. Whenever I feel as if I want to give up, thinking of her quickly changes my mind. Although I obviously do not know for sure, it is quite possible she was in the same situation once or twice as well. Without a doubt she persevered, and look where she ended up. What makes Evgenia Obraztsova an incredible dancer is not because of her technique (although it is top notch) it is because of her elegance, passion, stage presence, and pure beauty. When performing, she effortlessly illuminates the stage, casting a light so bright nearly all the audience focuses solely on her. Following in her families legacy of ballet dancers, she obviously made her family proud, and I hope to do the same. She will forever be one of the greatest ballerinas of all time, and watching her perform would not only be a joy yet an honor. I would say watching her gives me goose bumps, yet this is far from true. Watching her dance gives me a feeling like no other: a feeling which is indescribable yet can be felt by watching something composed of the finest talent and beauty.

  • December 21, 2013


    How does one choose from a field of such superb talent? Luckily some of my picks such as Semionova, Osipova, Vasiliev, & Vishneva perform with ABT. So I am going to go with Svetlana Zakharova. If there was ever a woman that God built to be a ballerina it was her. Everything about her is perfection. If I could go back in time I’d love to see Maya Plisetskaya as the Dying Swan <3

  • December 21, 2013


    I was already lucky enough to see Zakharova, Semionova and Vishneva. My dream that will never happen would be to see Sylvie Guillem performing “In the Middle Somewhat Elevated”. Because no other ballerina was ever capable to “melt” together with the music and still keep an incredibly high level of technique the way she did!

  • December 20, 2013


    I would love to see Diana Vishneva!

  • December 20, 2013

    Eme S.

    I would love to see Svetlana Zakharova perform in Seattle, Washington in Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Giselle. When I watch videos of her performing as Giselle, I can feel the way she feels. She grasps my attention with her acting and she really tells her story as she dances. Her technique and presence on stage are miraculous and she always keeps her audience watching her closely. Svetlana’s beauty is absolutely captivating. She is my life long inspiration and to see her dance live as Giselle would make my ballet life complete! I feel like Svetlana Zakharova is the most inspiring ballet dancer out there (for me personally) because of her dedication and her work ethic. Someday I hope to be as great as a dancer as she is now.

  • December 20, 2013

    Ophelia Bryan

    If I could have any “jété set” principal perform with my local company (Boulder Ballet) it would be Natalia Osipova or Ashley Boulder. It would be a delight to see Osipova perform. I love her feisty and fiery style. I am always inspired by how she completely throws herself into her roles and is so emotional in her dancing. Ashley Boulder is also someone I would love to see perform with my company because being a jumper myself, it would be a dream come true to see her power and talent up close. I would love to see these powerhouse dancers up close and with the tiny local talent.