Ask any aspiring ballerina who her favorite dancer is, and there’s a really, really good chance she’ll gush about the wonders of Sylvie Guillem. That grace! That strength! That hair! Those feet!
The French-born ballerina performed with Paris Opera Ballet and the Royal Ballet in London, and has guested all over the world. She may have retired in 2015 (at age 50!), but Guillem’s legacy reigns. Here are five times Guillem inspired us to be better, dance bigger, and dream brighter.
1. Every time she danced Giselle, one of the pieces for which she was best-known.
2. When she served up serious sass dancing Don Quixote.
3. When she was ultimate #swangoals.
4. When she proved she was so deeply grateful for her fans and the people in the audience.
Before she retired from her 30-year career, Guillem told The Telegraph how she was feeling before those final performances: “I never had this opportunity to say out loud an enormous thank you to the audience,” she said. “I needed the audience, and you were always there, warm and passionate. It was a pleasure to dance for you, and when I stop at the end of the year I will really miss.”
5. When she confessed to the New York Times that she had no idea what was coming next.
When the Times asked what Guillem planned to do after her retirement in 2015, Guillem admitted that she wasn’t sure. “I think it’s going to be a big shock,” she said. “I don’t know who I am going to be without this… So — let’s just face it.” Love that!
Now go be great!