12 Stunning Outtakes from Our 2016 Cover Shoots

As you might imagine, one of the most difficult aspects of our job as Pointe editors is choosing just one image to grace the cover of each issue. We have the privilege of shooting such amazing dancers that it can feel like an impossible task to find the right image. Please enjoy a selection of some of our favorite outtakes from our six 2016 cover shoots, featuring fabulous ballerinas (and one danseur!) from around the world.

All photos by Nathan Sayers for Pointe magazine.

February/March 2016’s cover was the phenomenal Francesca Hayward, then a Royal Ballet soloist. She’s since been promoted to principal dancer. Hayward at once displays the charm and delicacy of a quintessential English dancer, while maintaining the power necessary for a 21st century ballerina.

April/May 2016 featured the marvelous Mayara Pineiro. After taking a leap of faith and defecting from her home country of Cuba, Pineiro has skyrocketed through the ranks at Pennsylvania Ballet. She was a soloist when we wrote about her, and she was promoted to principal dancer this year. The self-assurance required to make such a life-altering decision comes through in her rock-solid dancing.

June/July 2016 celebrated American Ballet Theatre soloist Cassandra Trenary. About to tackle the role of a lifetime—Princess Aurora in Alexei Ratmansky’s reconstruction of The Sleeping Beauty—Trenary didn’t seem fazed. She’s frank, with girl-next-door vibes, but that only enhances the classical clarity of her lines and her commanding presence.

August/September 2016 was like a final blast of summer. Hannah O’Neill, the pristine Paris Opéra Ballet premiére, lit up our cover—which featured an unusual yellow background. It was the perfect color to complement O’Neill’s golden glow and easy elegance.

October/November saw the dashing Derek Dunn on our cover, shortly before he jumped from demi-soloist to soloist. He also jumped at our shoot: One perfect grand pas de chat and brisé after another. Usually, it takes many (many) attempts to get a good jump shot, but Dunn delivered his signature pristine lines for every image.

December/January featured the stunning Stella Abrera. Ballet fans have long considered Abrera a principal dancer and now that she has the official title, she’s never looked better. It was our honor to put such a paragon of grace and determination on the cover of our biggest issue of the year.

For more news on all things ballet, don’t miss a single issue.