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Think ballet is too froo-froo? The amazing James Whiteside will turn your head.

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Billy Elliot). But James B. Whiteside is using his platform to show the true complexity, challenges and satisfaction he has experienced professional ballet dancer.

He currently works as a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre.“The art form is so delicate and beautiful, and people are afraid of it,” the 37-year-old dancer said. “I don’t think people understand the rigor involved in classical ballet.

Our job is to make it look effortless, but the reality is, it’s damn hard.”He started practicing dance at age 9 and became a professional at age 17.

He now rehearses about 7 hours a day, getting only 5-minute breaks at the top of ever hour (and no lunch break). He has always been out as a performer, but that doesn’t mean his career hasn’t had its challenges.His 2021 memoir — Center Center: A Funny, Sexy, Sad Almost-Memoir of a Boy in Ballet — offers an unflinchingly honest yet fantastical look into his experiences with dance, drag, sex, partying and pain.

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