My Favorite Costume
The Joffrey Ballet’s April Daly as Desdemona and Fabrice Calmels as Othello in Lar Lubovitch’s Othello (Herbert Migdoll)
The Joffrey Ballet
“All of Desdemona’s costumes in Lar Lubovitch’s Othello are amazing. They’re flowy and romantic. We use the same Othello costumes that have been worn by Julie Kent at American Ballet Theatre and Yuan Yuan Tan at San Francisco Ballet, and it’s cool to step into something that has been worn by such beautiful dancers.
“Also, it’s not the most stunning costume in the world, but I love my costume for Jerome Robbins’ In the Night. It’s so elegant and formal. I remember when I first put it on—I was like, ‘Wow, I feel like a professional ballerina.’ ”
Keelan Whitmore in Alonzo King’s Scheherazade (Quinn B. Wharton)
Alonzo King LINES Ballet
“My favorite costume is the red skirt from Alonzo King’s Scheherazade. The way it responds to my movement gives my dancing even more texture, and it’s comfortable to wear while performing this demanding role. It’s not often that men wear skirts in our culture anymore. The extra material empowers me.”
Amanda Balen in Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” video (courtesy Amanda Balen)
Dancer with Lady Gaga
“One of my favorite costumes is a face mask I wore for Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ music video and for her 2011 Grammy Awards performance. It’s like an extension of my face: There are two points that go up above my left and right eyebrows, as well as two enhanced cheekbones. Everything is sharp-edged and extreme. I love it because of what it represents: a new race, born free of judgment and hatred. The whole idea behind ‘Born This Way’ is to empower people and to promote self-love and self-acceptance.”
(courtesy MSG Entertainment)
Radio City Rockette
“My absolute favorite costume is for the ‘Let Christmas Shine’ number. It’s encrusted with thousands of Swarovski crystals, so when I wear it, I feel so glamorous. To be a Rockette is to be confident, strong and beautiful. This costume really symbolizes our strength as women.”
Peta Murgatroyd and Donald Driver on “Dancing with the Stars” (ABC/Adam Taylor)
“Dancing with the Stars”
“Last season on ‘DWTS,’ I partnered with Donald Driver, and my red Argentine tango dress was totally my favorite. The Argentine tango is an extremely sexy, sensual dance, so I wanted to go for a daring dress. One whole side of my body was exposed with a big black flower on my shoulder, and the other was covered with red stones.”
Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancers Lesley Rausch as Titania and Batkhurel Bold as her cavalier in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Angela Sterling)
Principal at Pacific Northwest Ballet
“My all-time favorite costume is the Titania costume from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The skirt has a nice, silky flow, but it’s fitted at the top. It shows off the lines of my body well, and it’s super comfortable because it’s lightweight and a little stretchy—always good attributes for a costume!
“I love this costume partially because Midsummer was the first ballet I was ever involved in as a student at PNB. I remember watching Patricia Barker dance the role of Titania, wearing this costume, and thinking how beautiful she looked and how I would love to do that part someday. Fortunately, that dream has come true. I think I actually wear the same one [Barker] did!”
Heather Ogden in The Sleeping Beauty (Jubal Battisti)
Principal at The National Ballet of Canada
“Aurora’s first-act costume in our production of The Sleeping Beauty has such a beautiful tutu. I love the way it slopes down and the peachy-pink color with the gold detail is totally up my alley—it has that young, beautiful, sweet feel to it. It’s what little girls think of when they imagine a ballerina.
“The first time I was cast to do the role, I didn’t get to do my premiere because I was injured. I remember thinking, ‘But that costume! I won’t get to wear that costume!’ It was always a bonus, even from the beginning.”
Sidra Bell in STELLA (Bruce Zinger)
Artistic director of Sidra Bell Dance New York
“I like really ornate, highly designed costumes—not always expensive, but always stylized in their aesthetic. For the last piece I made, STELLA, I worked with a designer named Erin Schultz. It was my favorite costume-building process because we started from scratch, mixing patterns. I work with a lot of fantasy ideas, and this costume really heightened that because it was unisex and the patterns were so extreme. It felt old-world but futuristic at the same time.”
Well, this brings class videos to a whole new level! Choreographer Phil Wright and dancer Ashley Liai have been together eight-plus years, but she was still in total shock when he proposed to her mid-dance at Millennium Dance Complex earlier this week. Why? Well, the whole thing was unbelievably perfect.
In the dance industry, dancers don't always have a say in what they wear on their bodies. This can get tricky if you're asked to wear something that compromises your own personal values. So what should you do if you find yourself in this sticky situation? We sat down for a Q&A with "Dancing with the Stars" alumn Ashly Costa to answer that very question. Here's what she had to say about the options dancers have surrounding questionable costumes.
The groundwork for Erin Carpenter's company, Nude Barre, began when she was a teenager. At 16, she earned a spot in the residency program at The Kennedy Center in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem. "We were required to wear nude—as in, our actual skin tone—tights and shoes," she remembers. Carpenter brought her "sun tan" tights and a pair of pink ballet shoes with her, because that was all she could find. But she wasn't allowed in class because her dancewear didn't match her skin. "I was so embarrassed," she says. "I looked unprepared. I just didn't have the right nudes." Her teacher explained that the dancers dyed their tights and pancaked their shoes.
There are dancers and then there are DANCERS! Whitney Jensen, soloist at Norwegian National Ballet, is the latter. The former Boston Ballet principal can do it all. From contemporary to the classics this prima has the technical talent most bunheads dream about. Need proof? Look no further.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's dance inducing hit, "Despacito," is so catchy it should probably come with a disclaimer that warns people of an uncontrollable itch to tap your feet or bob your head. Some might even feel inclined to go all out and break it down. Niana Guerrero is a prime example of "Despacito's" uncanny ability to unleash the red dressed emoji dancer within. 💃🏽 💃🏽