Ballerinas flood NYC’s Plaza Hotel to transcend a Guinness World Record on their tiptoes

April 19, 2024

Hundreds of ballerinas set a new world record on Wednesday, April 17, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, for the most ballet dancers en pointe, or standing on their tiptoes, simultaneously, reports Gothamist.

The final tally of dancers was 353—breaking the previous world record of 306 dancers en pointe. That was set in 2019 on the TV show “LIVE with Kelly and Ryan,” and cohost Kelly Ripa was among the dancers.

On Wednesday, The Terrace Room and ballroom of the iconic hotel were a sea of white tutus as hundreds of dancers waited enthusiastically for their chance.

Sophia Roehl, 15, said she was “excited” to take part in the milestone event. “I feel like I’m part of something that’s bigger than me,” said Roehl, a dancer at Joffrey Ballet School in Manhattan.

The event was organized by the nonprofit Youth America Grand Prix, which organizes dance competitions, to coincide with the organization’s 25th anniversary.

“The big why of why we’re doing it is to really let the world know that dance is a healing force,” said Sergey Gordeev, director of external affairs at YAGP. “Dance is a power that brings us connection at a time when we’re so disconnected.”

Guinness World Records adjudicator Tina Shi was there to officially observe the attempt. While the dancers were on the main floor, she watched from the balcony, where she called out the start through a booming microphone and could be heard throughout the hotel.

Shi said the dancers all had to stand up on their tiptoes at the same time for 60 seconds to break the record. They had to wear professional ballet shoes and could not touch or lean onto each other.

For one minute, the girls stood poised on their toes, beaming with excitement as members of the press snapped pictures.

The room erupted with cheers when Shi announced that the 353 dancers had broken the record.

Most of the dancers, who generally ranged in age from 9 to 19, were already in the city for the YAGP competition finals this week.

Leah Owen, 16, a dancer at South Coast Conservatory in California, said she was excited to be part of the celebration. Her 14-year-old sister also participated.

“I’ll remember this for a really long time,” Owen said. “It means a lot because everyone’s coming together to do this.”

Research contact: @Gothamist