Bag Some Gaynors for Christmas


With Alexei Ratmansky’s lush new Sleeping Beauty for ABT, a compelling homage to the works of Virginia Woolf brought by Wayne McGregor to the Royal Ballet, a new Mariinsky DVD release with Vishneva/Skhlyarov (always something we celebrate!), ballet documentaries like Ballet 422, and the BBC’s excellent Nureyev: Dance to Freedom plus a Golden Globe nominated TV series (Flesh and Bone), there were too many favourite dance moments for us and for the dance media to pick in 2015.

Gillian Murphy as Princess Aurora in Ratmansky's The Sleeping Beauty. Photo: © Gene Schiavone.

Gillian Murphy as Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty. Photo: © Gene Schiavone.

So it’s over to you:

What was your favourite dance moment of 2015?

Use the comment form below or email us (theballetbag [at] Your answers will be automatically added to our Christmas giveaway, as we are teaming up with the Gaynor Minden crew to give away two pairs of pointe shoes.

Gillian Murphy

Gaynor Minden artist Gillian Murphy – Photo: © Eduardo Patino, courtesy of Gaynor Minden

This promo closes on 7 January 2016. The two lucky winners will be able to place a custom order for their Gaynor Minden ballet shoes.

Entries from all over the globe are welcome.

Good luck and Merry Xmas!

Update: 11 February 2016 – Promo winners are:

Melody, who commented:

“My favourite moment was seeing Michaela DePrince dance the role of Clara, in the Dutch National Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker. Not only is she extraordinarily talented, the sheer happiness radiated off of her, making her a perfect Clara. It is inspiring to know that more and more girls of colour are dancing lead roles nowadays. My children will grow up believing that, they too can dance the role of Clara, even if they’re not white.”

Laura, who emailed us:

“I really enjoyed Wayne McGregor’s Raven girl and the World Ballet Day live streams. But I have to say, my favorite was our own Finnish national ballet’s world premiere of Kenneth Greve’s Little mermaid. The costumes and sets were out of this world and there even were 3D effects in use. It really was a pleasure to see.”

Congratulations Melody and Laura! We’ll be in touch by email soon.

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


  • January 2, 2016


    Taking class again and being at the barre…felt like being back home!

  • January 2, 2016


    My favorite dance moment of the year was accepting a dance teaching position in a new state where I can start my life fresh. The feeling of making your dreams happen on your own is truly empowering.

  • January 2, 2016

    kat xat

    Seeing Svetlana Zakharova perform in Greece. She was flying, to say the least…

  • January 1, 2016

    Juliana Rodriguez

    My favourite dance moment was when I got back to ballet classes after so many time out of dance… It’s never too late to dream :)

  • January 1, 2016


    I was the lucky recipient of last year’s GM contest, and just wanted to say another ‘Thank You!’. What a fantastic gift it was, and the shoes are still in excellent shape! GM and Ballet Bag are very generous. Good luck to all!

  • January 1, 2016

    Madison Alexis

    My favorite dance moment of 2015 was learning the Aurora Variation and dancing it in my first pair of Gaynor Minden’s.They are amazing.I am now a #gaynorgirl for sure!

  • January 1, 2016

    Bridget farris

    They are the best. That’s all u wear.

  • January 1, 2016

    Tahis Serna

    im a kindergarden teacher and also I practice ballet. For christmas festival I decided that my 3 year old students would be performing “nutcracker” instead of the typical modern dancing. i thought them how to “plié”, ” saute” ,” arabesque”, etc. AUDIENCE WAS ASTONISHED, so did I . They were actually doing ballet, they enjoyed dancing And I am the happiest person because they are so young and I encourage them to dance.

  • January 1, 2016

    Teresa Cruz

    My favourite dance moment of 2015 was in the end of the year prensentation when I dance 4 dances!
    I have never danced that much on the past prensentations. I did two ballet dances, one of them in pointe shoes (it was the first time I did pointe shoes in a show!), a contemporary one and a jazz one that was amazing! The choreography was super cool and the vibe with my dance class friends was awesome! We were all so excited.

  • January 1, 2016


    My favourite dance moment of 2015 was watching Sergei Polunin’s Take Me To Church piece of artistry! It is super inspiring and around the time it was released, I was able to go back to dance classes after sustaining an injury! Happy New Year!

  • January 1, 2016


    My favorite dance moment of 2015 was simply the fact that I got to perform waaaaayyyyy more than usual. Including being accepted to festivals! I also got to train 6 fabulous women to be dance fitness teachers!

  • January 1, 2016


    My favourite moment was when my balletteacher told me I could start pointeclass. I had just started balletclasses again after 27 years and loved it. Pointeclass was something I dreamed about.

  • January 1, 2016

    Alice Aymerich

    My favourite dance moment of 2015 was when i saw Sergei Polunin and Natalia Osispova dancing Giselle at La Scala last april, such an inspiring performance, i left the theater deeply moved and inspired.

  • January 1, 2016


    My favourite moment was watching Carlos Acosta’s final performance with the Royal Ballet. The dancing of his choreography was flawless, and seeing how emotional everyone was to see him leave just shows how the family we form in dance is just as strong- sometimes even stronger- than the family that we are born into. Also, his speech to the younger company members about being open to making mistakes spoke strongly to me as I’m sure it did with many other dancers as we are constantly striving for perfection but how can we get better without knowing what’s wrong? Such an inspiring moment.

  • January 1, 2016

    Christie Barnes

    I think my favourite dance moment was finishing my dance degree, choreographing and directing my own piece to be performed as the final module. I got to mix my love of scientific principles with contemporary dance which for me was exciting!
    I also loved seeing English National Ballet ‘lest We Forget’ at Saddlers with my uncle and partner, my uncles treat for me this year!
    Oh god and Move It 2015!! How could I forget!?

  • January 1, 2016


    In 2015 I had my first school performance as a dance teacher and my little ones danced onstage for the first time. My favorite moment was when costumes arrived at the studio for them to try… oh the anticipation, the smiles, the twirls… my heart melted!

  • January 1, 2016

    Irene Sn

    Favourite ballet moment when performing swan lake for the first time last year

  • January 1, 2016

    Kira Charlotte

    My favourite ballet moment from 2015 was having to perform ballet wearing my now worn out Gaynor minden’s in all my auditions and receiving offers from Laines, Bird college and Morea performing Arts. I made the decision to move to Cheltenham and study under Katie Morea and with instruction from former royal ballet Corean Collins which supported me in my audition for 2015 Panto. I am just completing 72 shows at Cheltenhams Everyman theatre as a senior dancer. For all this I am very proud of myself as I am in the first term of my dance studies and who knows where a new pair of Gaynor Minden’s could take… The journey has just started….

  • January 1, 2016

    Emma Campbell

    My favourite dance moment of 2015 was watching my 10yr old daughter dance in the 10th anniversary show of Billy Elliot the Musical. Made her want to work harder to achieve her dancing dreams. X

  • January 1, 2016

    Fran Kirchholtes

    Truly, what a year!
    For me the best ballet moment was seeing Wayne McGregor’s new Woolf Works and enjoying Max Richter’s phenomenal score.
    Sitting next to a girl from the corps, the two of us just looked at each other after the first act – tears in our eyes. It was one of the most beautiful things I have witnessed in my entire life (followed by Shechter’s Untouchable and my first Stage Management contract).

  • January 1, 2016

    Gigi Mae Naan

    My favourite ballet moment has to be attending an international ballet summer school in 2015. I have only been dancing for four years at a local ballet school so was really up against it with girls and boys from vocational schools and professional companies. At the end of the week scholarships were given out for the following year and as I sat there thinking it won’t be me, my name was called out for the most improved student. Hard work and determination pays off.

    This made my year and has boosted my confidence and changed me as a dancer that someone believed in me.

  • January 1, 2016

    Yanira Flores

    Tengo un gran sueño el cual es seruna bailarina profesional y demostrar todo mi esfuerzo en el esenario

  • January 1, 2016

    Juliette Coleman

    My favourite dance moment of 2015 was seeing Giselle with the Australian Ballet. It was so ethereal and touching. It was the moment I knew I wanted to be a professional dancer. A spark inside of me just lit up. Words can’t explain it.

  • January 1, 2016

    Hannah R Ruby

    I had so many amazing ballet moments this year, but I think one of my favorites was being able to dance sugar plum fairy in our school’s nutcracker and just looking onto the stage and set in awe of what I love!!

  • January 1, 2016

    Louise Schwendeman

    My Moment for 2015 followed my first “in person” fitting in NYC where my mind was totally blown by a completely different style and size than I thought was correct for me. I got to my next class a couple of days later and found immediate improvement in the way my toes were working inside the shoes. They looked better too.

  • January 1, 2016

    Briese Phelan-Boyd

    Visiting the Australian Ballet School as part of their International Training Programme and watching the graduating students in variation class. As a thirteen year old I found this very inspiring.

  • January 1, 2016


    Nureyev: Dance to Freedom

  • January 1, 2016


    My favourite moment of 2015 is Paloma Herrera’s last dance. It was so beatiful, i have no words to describe it.

  • January 1, 2016

    Willow Chiari

    My favorite dance moment of 2015 was going to college and finding a studio! I found a studio to join where because I’m in their company, all of my classes are free. Which is crucial for me being a poor college freshman with absolutely no money. What’s more important is the atmosphere of the studio, the director is lovely and I’m so comfortable, content, and absolutely happy! I never want to give up dance so it means everything to me that I could bring my love with me to college!

  • January 1, 2016


    My favorite moment was starting a ballet Facebook page with Principle ballerina, Joy Womack, Kremlin ballet our page is dedicated to finding adult students to attend an All Russian ballet teachers workshop in NYC & LA
    FB page Balletconnyc

  • January 1, 2016


    So many great dance moments this year but for me it was finally being able to dance in my favorite ballet La Bayadere!

  • January 1, 2016

    Kelby Hunt

    It is so hard to pick just one moment out of the many that I have from 2015. I left my studio in Australia to come to boarding school in the US for a year and so starting in a new environment was both a challenge and a great experience. I think the top moment for me would be getting selected to create the Student Choreography in our fall performance. It was the first time seeing anything I have choreographed on stage and the feeling that I got watching my peers that I had been working with for weeks and weeks is indescribable. I will never forget the mixture of emotions that I felt standing sidestage as they danced: nervousness, joy, pride, happiness, thankfulness for the opportunity, it was such an inspiring and motivating experience that I will never ever forget!

  • January 1, 2016

    Jenna W

    Getting to dance the role of Alice in my studios Alice in Wonderland :) When I was 3 I watched my sister as a baby flamingoe dance in it and it was the main reason I started :) watching the RNZB’s Don Quioxote was equally as awesome :)

  • January 1, 2016

    Megan Young

    My favorite ballet moment of the year was Alessandra Ferri’s return to the stage for Wayne McGregor’s “Woolf Works.” She is such an amazing dancer and an inspiration. She, along with others, is helping to change the rules about retirement for ballerinas.

  • January 1, 2016

    Katie Cortez

    In 2015, my stand out favorite ballet moment was admiring my two daughters/dancers share the stage as the floppy and soldier dolls in two wonderful performances of the Valley Dance Theatre’s version of The Nutcracker.

  • January 1, 2016


    My favorite ballet moment of 2015 was when I finally got promoted to demi-pointe!

  • January 1, 2016


    My favourite moment was expanding our small 1800sq ft studio to 3 large studios (1 is 2500 sq ft, 2 are just over 1000) and a dancewear store. My second was watching my 2.5 yr old daughter take her first class with someone other than myself teaching

  • January 1, 2016

    Tracy Doree

    My favourite ballet moment this year was watching all the live streams on World Ballet Day. So humbling and heartwarming to see passionate dancers across the globe sharing their joy of dance.

  • January 1, 2016

    Stephen Tcho

    What was your favourite dance moment of 2015? It would have to be Sylvie Guillem’s farewell performance in NYC. She moves like no one else.

  • January 1, 2016

    Annika Bounkeua

    My favourite dance moment of 2015 would have to be the absolutely stunning live streamed performance of Aurelie Dupont’s final performance of Manon as Etoile of the Paris Opera Ballet alongside Roberto Bolle. Her performance was incredible, portraying Manon with such a sensual passion and as a heartbroken women in the breathtaking final pas de deux. Aurelie is such an inspiring artist, with such wisdom and a wealth of knowledge in pure classicism. Her contribution to the dance world will last forever and what an incredible person and artist she is. In Aurelie’s words “Dance is so artistic, if you do not see the dancer’s fragility, if it’s not weird, it isn’t interesting.—For me, I wanted to be an actress. I wanted to dance love stories, and I wanted to cry and I wanted to laugh onstage.” Her dancing will be missed but she will forever be a great part of the dance world.

  • January 1, 2016

    Melody Raymann

    My favourite moment was seeing Michaela DePrince dance the role of Clara, in the Dutch National Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker. Not only is she extraordinarily talented, the sheer happiness radiated off of her, making her a perfect Clara. It is inspiring to know that more and more girls of colour are dancing lead roles nowadays. My children will grow up believing that, they too can dance the role of Clara, even if they’re not white.

  • January 1, 2016

    Lucy Braga

    My favourite moment in 2015 was watching the Royal Ballet’s Nutcracker with my children for the first time and seeing the looks on my children’s faces when the Tree “grew” was just magical! Unfortunately I had to leave in the interval for a rehearsal and I had to miss the second half! So sad about that. But I would love to #win some Gaynor Mindens! My daughter’s favourite ballerina Alina Cojocaru I believe wears them, so this would be so wonderful! Happy New Year to all at the Ballet Bag! Lucy xx

  • December 28, 2015

    Kimberly T

    Stella Abrera’s transcendent premiere in Giselle at the Met was absolutely my favorite dance moment of 2015. That.. and her long-deserved promotion to principal at ABT!

  • December 27, 2015

    Emma Franklin

    My favourite dance moment of 2015 was watching Sergei Polunin’s incredible routine to Hozier’s Take Me To Church. I thought it was breathtakingly haunting but beautiful and showcased that male ballerinas are just as awe inspiring as the female ones!

  • December 26, 2015

    Christina Knobloch

    Dancing in an amateur production of Swan Lake in the summer. It was not only my ballet moment of the year but probably of my life!

  • December 26, 2015

    Alejandra Barreda

    My favorite moment has to be when I performed as the principal for the end of the year revue at my dance school. We did a ballet for ‘Las Bodas de Jose Alonso’ typically danced by flamenco dancers. Everyone loved it and I was so happy with how it turned out! It was my first spanish inspired ballet.

  • December 24, 2015

    Monica Wang

    I was watching the live broadcast of Royal Ballet’s Nutcracker when it struck me how beautiful and uniform the corps looked while encompassing dancers of various ethnicities, with just the magic of nice wigs and beautiful costumes. A lovely sight.

  • December 24, 2015

    Taryn Sarto

    I got the role of Ballerina Doll in my dance company’s Nutcracker!

  • December 23, 2015

    Melissa Mahady Wilton

    My favourite ballet moment of the year was watching one of my young students persevere through injury and self-doubt to find her authentic voice and confidence as a dancer: getting into the summer intensive of her dreams at Gelsey Kirkland; being offered a place in their professional program; dancing a luminous performance in her first pas de deux that moved the audience to tears; delicately regal in her first Sugar Plum. What made these moments most meaningful is that this student is also my daughter. ❤️ And the magic all happened (and was made possible) wearing Gaynor Minden pointe shoes!

  • December 23, 2015

    Gianna Metzer

    My favorite ballet moment of the year was actually getting the job of a life time. I did not study ballet. I just go to a regular local (but in my opinion very good) ballet school. I’ve worked at the theater as an extra for a few years now and finally I got a real job. It’s in the actor’s ensemble but we do a play which is based on the movie “Le Bal”. This means: we only dance. No language. I play various characters, have my own moment to bow and enjoy the applause and I even get to do a little ballet.
    This made my year. And I am so grateful that I am able to do what I love. I feel truly blessed and I am happy that I can share my magical ballet/ dance moment of the year.

    In addition to that: I am Flesh and Bone addicted!!!!

    Merry Christmas to all of you!