Sergei Polunin Performs His Gravity-Defying Viral Dance On ‘Ellen’

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Sergei Polunin was the youngest soloist of the British Royal Ballet ever in 2010. Today, however, he’s known throughout more than just the ballet community: he’s known all throughout the world.

He grew up in the Ukraine, where he started studying gymnastics at the age of 4. After that, he continued to study dance, attended the Kyiv Choreographic Institute, and went on to join the Royal Ballet. He took all the typical steps to become a professional dancer, but Sergei is no typical dancer.

When you look at his body, you see that his skin is covered in tattoos. In the dance world, that’s entirely unheard of. But Sergei, frankly, doesn’t give a damn. He says that life is about risks, and that he has no rules to follow.

While growing up in the Ukraine, his father worked in Portugal to support his family, and was rarely around. He’d show up for a day and be off again for the rest of the year. Sergei learned from a young age to not depend on others sticking around, and to depend on himself for happiness and success. While his outlook is derived from a sad story, it’s what gives him the drive to be as successful as he is, and to be as much of himself as humanly possible.

He blew up when he danced for Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” video in 2015. He thought that would be his last dance, but listen to what he tells Ellen.

The way he flies through the air is truly incredible — so full of grace and elegance, but so powerful.

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