Alonzo King LINES Ballet Dancer Adji Cissoko on Her Pink Obsession

Adji Cissoko. Photo by Kyle Froman for Pointe.

When asked to describe her style, Adji Cissoko's answer is short and sweet. “I would say 'pink casual,' " she laughs. “I'm like the pink girl of the company. Everyone gives me pink things." When she shops for herself, she likes browsing thrift shops in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, or buying funky, colorful pieces from stores like Zara or Desigual. “I definitely find more when I'm not really looking for anything," she says. She brings the same sense of fun into the studio, often recycling old clothes—like a favorite pink button-down—into dancewear. As a taller dancer, she looks for pants with extra length, from brands like Lululemon. “They have warm-up pants that are long enough and fit well," she says, “and the material is great because when you plié they're not going to rip." The one time pink is off the table? “I used to wear pink tights for more classical rep and black tights if I was doing contemporary stuff," she says, “but now that my rep is always in the contemporary area, I feel like I never wear pink tights anymore."


Kyle Froman


The Details—Street

Romper: “This was a present from one of my friends. She was actually shopping for herself, but then she saw this and she knows I love pink."
Sneakers: “I used to wear nicer shoes, but my feet would get crampy—I feel like they work hard enough all day on pointe, so I need to give them a break."
Owl necklace: “I got this in Chinatown, and it has a clock inside. It isn't even working, but I just love the idea."


Kyle Froman

The Details—Studio

Leotard: “This was made for me by Krista Dowson, who I used to dance with at the National Ballet of Canada. I have three or four leotards that she custom designed."
KD pants: “This store is owned by a former LINES dancer and has a super-nice dancewear line. It's really soft and comfortable."
Freed of London Studios pointe shoes: “I usually do barre on flat and have my shoes on underneath my socks, and then I wear pointe shoes for center."

Health & Body
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I have very tapered Morton's toes (longer second toes). My big toe joints are about a half centimeter shorter than my second and third toe joints, so I have a terrible time finding stability on demi-pointe. My weight lands on that second toe joint, which is pretty narrow and uncomfortable under that pressure. How can I find a more stable relevé? —Larissa

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Sponsored by The Rock School
From left: Sarah Lapointe, Derek Dunn and Jeanette Kakareka. Courtesy The Rock School

For more than five decades, The Rock School for Dance Education has been launching young dancers into professional ballet careers around the globe. Boasting distinguished alumni such as Beckanne Sisk, Michaela DePrince and Taylor Stanley, the Philadelphia-based institution has garnered a well-deserved reputation for pairing rigorous training with a tight-knit, welcoming community. Their summer intensives are no different, with a wealth of prestigious faculty members, many of whom are Rock School alums currently dancing at companies around the world.

What inspires busy pros to keep returning to their alma mater? We talked to three of The Rock School's buzziest alums about why they make it a priority to come back and teach:

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The National Ballet of Canada's Harrison James and Emma Hawes in Orpheus Alive. Karolina Kuras, Courtesy NBoC.

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've rounded up some highlights.

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Courtesy Apolla

Ballet dancers today are asked to do more with their bodies than ever before. The physical demands of a ballet career can take an immense toll on a dancer's joints and muscles—subjecting them to pain, inflammation and an increased risk of injury. Considering all that is required of today's dancers, having a top-notch recovery regime is paramount.

Enter Apolla Performance Wear, which is meeting ballet's physical demands with a line of compression footwear that is speeding up the recovery process for professional dancers by reducing inflammation and stabilizing the joints.

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