Photo by Elle Macy, courtesy Pacific Northwest Ballet

#GetReadyWithMe: Go Behind the Scenes in Three Professional Dancers' Dressing Rooms

Ask any professional dancer about their dressing room, and they'll likely refer to it as a home away from home. Stocked with all the essentials and adorned with good-luck charms and photos, dressing rooms are where so many pre- and postshow memories are made. We had three pros—a ballerina, a Broadway dancer, and a dancer on a cruise ship—walk us through the rituals and personalizations that make these spaces their own.


Shelby Patterson—Dancer, Royal Caribbean's "Spectrum of the Seas"

Courtesy Patterson

"When I start getting ready, the first thing I do is put on some music, because that always gets the good vibes going—I share the dressing room with four other girls, and we always have a little dance party before the show. After that, I do my makeup, and then it's on to hair. We wear wigs in the show, so the prep is pretty simple. I do two long braids and wrap them around my head and pin them in place. Then, I preset all my costumes and props, and finally give myself a good warm-up so I'm ready to dance full-out. I always put my wig on last because I get a headache if I have it on for too long!"

"I keep most of my makeup stored in my makeup bag. I have my brushes out so they're easy to see, and have my favorite palettes laid out, ready to use."

Angelica Generosa—Soloist, Pacific Northwest Ballet

Elle Macy, courtesy PNB

"I keep some photos of my friends and cards from my loved ones around to remind me that they're always here with me. I've been wearing my Tiffany & Co. crown necklace, which was a 'merde' gift from one of my closest friends, principal dancer Noelani Pantastico, for when I first debuted as Aurora this season. It's been my little lucky charm."

"I share this dressing room with three other soloist women of PNB—I love being with them. I sit next to one of my closest friends, Elle Macy. We've known each other since we were teenagers. It's super-calm and chill, and we share many laughs before and after shows."

Rachel Schur—Annie/Roxie understudy, "Chicago" on Broadway

Courtesy Schur

"I share a room with other dancers and the Mama Morton in the show. It's important to be respectful of everyone's space and prep routines before a show because everyone's different. We do a great job at that. Sometimes it's a rainy day and we want some quiet to center ourselves, and other times it's a two-show day and we need some fun music to get us going. Understanding the energy of the room is super-important."

"I love music. I have a Bluetooth speaker and play different genres to pump myself up. It's fun to get everyone involved. We play throwbacks, today's hits, and everything in between. It can turn into a mini dance party sometimes, which is a great way to get your energy up!"

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Photo by Brooke Fera

Enter the World of the Knicks City Dancers with 2 of Their Newest Rookies

Auditions rarely fail to deliver on suspense. But this? This was the nail-biter to end all nail-biters. Hayoung Roh and Chelsea McCloskey, both professional dancers based in NYC, had made it through what felt like endless rounds of cuts, both on Zoom and in person. Out of the nearly 500 dancers (from 30 states and nine countries) who'd answered the Knicks City Dancers' open call for video submissions, just 20 remained—McCloskey and Roh among them. "We were separated into six holding rooms, where we kept trying to figure out the math," Roh recalls. "How many girls are there in total? Who was called back?"

Finally, the women returned to the audition room to dance one last time—or so they were told. Instead, KCD head coach Alyssa Quezada dropped her bombshell: All 20 women had made the final cut. They would be 2021–22 Knicks City Dancers: the latest and greatest edition of one of the most prestigious NBA dance teams. "It was the biggest celebration and the coolest moment of my dance career so far," says McCloskey now. And that was just the oh-so-perfectly-dramatic beginning.

Chelsea McCloskey stands on her left leg while kicking her right leg up with her arms crossed, a smile on her face. She is auditioning for KCD. Chelsea McCloskey Photo by Tess Mayer


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