CULTURE & ARTS

5 Famous Ballet Companies Let You Spy On Them For #WorldBalletDay

Take a peek into the rehearsals and performances of ballet companies around the world.

Today is World Ballet Day, a day of recognition that began just last year as an effort to celebrate the intricacies of professional dance around the globe.

This year, five major ballet companies -- The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada and San Francisco Ballet -- are letting fans take a peek into the lives of famous dancers. Together, they are hosting a live stream on YouTube that's documenting rehearsals, performances and behind-the-scenes bits, giving fans the ultimate backstage pass to a realm filled with equal parts art and athleticism.

In honor of World Ballet Day, the HuffPost Culture team would like to reinvigorate one of our past campaigns, titled #WhyIDance. Around this time last year, we asked professional and amateur dancers alike to explain the reasons why they take the stage nearly every day, contorting their bodies into physical expressions of music and emotion. We received responses from icons like Misty Copeland, Duncan Lyle and Connie Shiau, as well as some of our dance-obsessed Twitter followers and an entire children's dance class in Hawaii. 

"I dance because it is my passion," Ommi Pipit-Suksun from Ballet San Jose explained. "Dance enables me to find different facets of my inner self, yet allows me to lose myself at the same time. Overcoming challenges and the feeling of self-fulfillment is why I love to dance."

In honor of the second annual World Ballet Day, we're asking readers to bring back the #WhyIDance hashtag, and let the social media world know why you love to move. Go ahead, let out your love for toe shoes and George Balanchine -- it's a dance holiday, after all.

For more on the beauty of ballet, check out our brief visual history of ballet in the 20th century.

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