Acrobatics runs in the family
Born in Perth, Australia, on June 22, 1995, Samantha and Teagan Rybka started acrobatics at just 3 years old, and dancing at 6. Their mother was an acrobat herself, and the twins credit her for their passion. "Our mum is camera shy but she’ll do a handstand for you!" they captioned an Instagram video of the three of them doing handstands. "We’ll be forever grateful for our mum being an acrobat and putting us into acro too!"
Even their grandmother had dreams of being a dancer. "Mum grew up in quite a poor family, and when she was little, her mother did everything she could to make sure her daughters could do dancing. She’d wanted to do it but couldn’t, so she gave them that opportunity," they wrote in their book, "Twinning It."
While it may seem that flexibility runs in the family, the Rybka twins want fans to understand that it actually takes a lot of hard work. "We definitely weren’t born flexible," Teagan said in a video for Squared. "We definitely had to work to get that flexibility we have now." Samantha also revealed that both sisters were only able to master their middle splits in high school. "Middle took so long for us," Teagan said. "We did splits and stretching every single day," Samantha added.
Australia’s Got Talent launched their careers
We first saw the Rybka twins on our screens when they appeared on Season 7 of "Australia’s Got Talent" in 2013. The sisters stunned the audience and panel of judges, which included Dawn French and Geri Halliwell-Horner, with their mind-bending contortionist act.
"From the beginning to the end, so synchronized. It was literally a mirror image," Timomatic said of their audition. "It must be a twin thing," Kyle Sandilands said. "That was the sickest duo I’ve ever seen, ever." Unsurprisingly, the girls received a "yes" from all four judges.
The duo made it all the way to the semi-finals, with French marveling at their flexibility. "The Rybka twins. Half-human, half snake. I mean that in a nice way," she said. While they didn’t win the competition, it thrust them into the limelight and inspired them to start the very YouTube channel that catapulted them to success. "Our audition was broadcast on TV all around the world and then on YouTube where it has collected 18 million views!" Teagan told The Sun. "It helped people find us and discover what we can do. We then kept showing our talent on social media and eventually our own YouTube channel."
They had no idea they would blow up on social media
While competing on "Australia’s Got Talent," the Rybka twins were encouraged by producers to start an Instagram page to promote their art. "We just started posting pictures of us doing acrobatics, warm-ups, and photos of wherever we traveled," Teagan told news.com.au. "We were getting about 11 likes at one stage but then it got in the thousands and that’s when we were like ‘Oh my God, what the heck is going on?’"
The girls started posting regularly, and at the time of publishing this article, their Instagram page had 1.1 million followers. "The numbers just grew and grew and they continue to grow and it’s crazy to think that so many people follow us and enjoy our videos," Samantha said. To date, their YouTube channel has over 7.8 million subscribers, where they post videos showing off their dance and acrobatic talents, acrobatic tutorials, fashion, makeup, and food challenges, Q&As, comedy skits, and even the odd music video.
"Being on YouTube has given us a lot of exciting opportunities to travel to many different places and meet so many interesting people including the cast of the cult TV show, Dance Moms," Teagan told The Sun. Samantha added: "We couldn’t be more amazed or appreciative of every single one of our subscribers. We are so thankful and absolutely love to know that what we are doing is making people smile and be happy."
The Rybka twins have a rigorous training schedule
As you can imagine, the Rybka twins put in a lot of hard work to be successful. "We have a set six hours per day where we go to train at a studio for dancing and acrobatics, but we also put in more hours at home, trying new tricks and perfecting old ones," Samantha told The Sun. "We have also worked towards being contortionists meaning we were constantly pushing our boundaries every day."
In their video for Squared, the Rybka twins dispelled the myth that acrobatics comes easy to them. "Acro is hard. We may make it look easier now but that’s only because we’ve worked to perfect the tricks and make them look easy," Samantha said. "We would just bring out a mattress outside and we’d constantly just keep trying."
In 2019, they started incorporating the gym into their workout routine. "We now go to the gym every morning — it’s cool to see what other people do and how they train because we have never been to the gym," Samantha told the New Zealand Herald. "One day we do cardio, the next day is resistance or circuit training — we just mix it up and it really helps with our dancing, keeping our bodies nice and toned and strong." While they stick to their rigorous schedule, they also make sure they see their friends at least once a week. "We really do appreciate those days where we get to have downtime and relax for a bit," Teagan told Squared.
They only promote products they believe in
In today’s social media age, the influence of online personalities has reached unprecedented levels. Sometimes an endorsement from your favorite influencer is all you need to purchase a product. However, a lot of influencers tend to promote products they haven’t tried themselves and don’t actually believe in –- all for financial gain. But not the Rybka twins.
Understanding the influence they have on their followers, they only promote products or brands they’ve used themselves. "We have to believe in the product to then share it, that’s why we always get them to send the product to test it out and see what we think. We really have to be all for the product — it’s never ‘yeah that’s paying good money let’s just do that,’" Samantha told the New Zealand Herald.
The twins don’t take their position as influencers lightly. "We love being good role models as well — when you post online there comes a responsibility so it’s really important for us to be authentic," Samantha said. Their authenticity is perhaps why they’ve amassed such a loyal following. Watching one of their YouTube videos is almost like having a catch-up with a friend, so it’s easy to see how fans trust them.
They sell their own merch
In November 2020, the Rybka twins announced the launch of their official merch line. "We hope you love it as much as we do," they wrote on Facebook. "We actually can’t believe this day has finally come!"
The latest drop features a range of oversized hoodies in pastel colors like sky blue, lilac, cotton candy, and sunshine. The motivational phrase "You already have what it takes" is repeated several times on the back. The hoodies are clearly bestsellers, as the twins took to Instagram to announce a restock. Accessories include flower claw clips, a key ring with their faces on it, and crew socks branded with "The Rybka Twins."
The sisters are also selling a branded pirouette board, which is "engineered to help you improve your turns and balance by reducing friction," according to the product description. "It’s a tool we’ve used a lot which has contributed to the dancers we are today. We thought the best thing to do was to make our own and get them out to anyone interested in taking their dance, ice skating, cheerleading or ballet to the next level," they wrote on their website. The lightweight boards come in pink or blue and arrive in a velvet carrier bag, so you can keep them protected on the go.
The Rybka twins launched a fashion collection with Shein
They bend. They dance. And apparently, they can design clothes too. In 2023, the social media darlings unveiled the Shein x Rybka Twins collection, a limited-edition 35-piece collection featuring partywear, loungewear, and activewear. "We’re so excited about this collection. From hot-girl walks, to training, to a girls’ night out, there’s something for every mood," said Teagan in a statement (via the Daily Mail).
The twins gave fans a taste of their collection when they attended the Next Gen Runway at Australian Fashion Week in matching pinstripes sets, featuring corset tops and flared trousers. The official launch came at a star-studded event at Sydney’s Hyde Hacienda Bar and Lounge, where they modeled some of the looks in a fashion show. "Love Island" star Millie Fuller, influencer Lily May Mac, and Ugandan-Australian actor and designer Suzan Mutesi were some of the big names in attendance, all rocking looks from the collection.
"It’s so fun to be able to express our personalities through fashion in this way. We already love styling our looks together, and now to have a collection that we actually created is something super special for us," Samantha said in a statement. It’s important to note that fast-fashion giant Shein has faced a lot of backlash in recent years due to its reported unethical labor practices and negative environmental impact.
A tumor almost ended Teagan’s career
When they were 15 years old, the Rybka twins were practicing no-handed somersaults in the garden when Teagan noticed a pain in her leg. She ignored it, but after finally getting it seen by a doctor, she received devastating news. The doctor told her she had a lesion on her leg and she would have to stop dancing forever. Refusing to give up on her passion, Teagan sought a second opinion from a sports injury specialist, who told her that she would just need to rest for some time so that the tumor could shrink.
However, the pain increased, and another X-ray showed that the tumor had actually doubled in size. She was diagnosed with an aneurysmal bone cyst and had to undergo surgery to remove it, as well as part of her bone. While Teagan was told it would take 12 months for her to fully recover, she didn’t let that get her down. "Teagan made sure she didn’t lose her flexibility. She made sure she kept doing pushups and anything she could do [that wouldn’t put weight on it]," her sister said in a video. "She’d do a handstand because she knew how to control it without landing on her feet." She even used the moon boot she had to wear to her advantage. Because it was heavy, it allowed her to strengthen her développés, a ballet move that involves raising your leg in the air.
The Rybka twins also competed in America’s Got Talent
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We’ve seen some controversial auditions on "America’s Got Talent," but we wouldn’t have expected the Rybka twins to be one of them. In 2023, 10 years after they appeared on "Australia’s Got Talent," the Rybka twins auditioned for "America’s Got Talent," and the audience was not happy with Howie Mandell’s comments.
The twins sported two-piece yellow sets with black bedazzled gloves, and performed an acrobatic dance routine set to a mashup of The Pussycat Dolls’ "Sway" and Gloria Gaynor’s "I Will Survive." Host Terry Crews was visibly amazed as he watched from the side of the stage. Judges Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara, and Simon Cowell voted "yes," while Howie Mandell was the only judge to vote "no." The audience booed Mandell as he slammed their music choice for being outdated, saying, "That would not go viral on TikTok. Pick different music and pick different moves and make it for a younger audience. You’re 27." Cowell, usually the toughest critic to please, disagreed, saying, "I loved this audition. I really, really did. And I’ll tell you why. Because you’re fun, you’re likable, great energy, great showmanship. I just find you two interesting."
The twins moved on to the next round but were unfortunately eliminated during the deliberations. It’s clear Mandell has never taken a look at the Rybka twins’ TikTok channel, because all of their videos go viral — including the video of their audition, which received 2.3 million views.
The Rybka twins are as in sync in real life as they are on stage. "Even though we can do things on our own, we are better, and happier, together — being a team is all we’ve ever known. We feel so lucky to have each other," reads an excerpt from their book, "Twinning It." The sisters revealed they shared a bedroom until they were 21 years old. When their older brother moved out, they finally got their own space. "This change was so exciting for both of us, but so weird at the same time. Sleeping on our own after that many years in the one room took a lot of getting used to," they wrote. "Now that we’re used to it, we love having our own room. One of the nicest things about not sharing anymore is that we each get to design our own space."
The Rybka twins admitted that the first –– and only –– time in their lives that they’ve been apart was while they were both pursuing their Bachelor’s in Education at university. One of their degree requirements was the completion of a practical teaching assessment, which they were required to do alone.
The Rybka twins published a book together called Twinning It
You can add "authors" to the list of the Rybka twins’ titles. In 2019, the sisters published their first book, "Twinning It: Dance, Acro, Friendship, YouTube & Living Life to the Fullest."
"We just can’t believe we’ve got a book. We never thought we would," Samantha said in an exclusive interview with It Girl. "Basically our book is a bit about our life and what we don’t share on social media, so people can get like, a little bit of an insight into behind-the-scenes, a bit more about our family," Teagan said.
"We’d like to dedicate this book to the three Fs: our family, friends, and fans. We wouldn’t be where we are today without your love and support on this crazy roller coaster of a ride called life," reads one of the opening pages of the book. According to the book’s product listing, it will help readers "learn to navigate social media, feel confident in the skin you’re in, and realize that the highs and lows are all just part of growing up."