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"
"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
"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!"