Getty Images

These Ballet Pros Took Their Halloween Costumes To the Next Level

We might be biased, but we think that ballet dancers are unusually good at Halloween. After all, they wear costumes for a living, are familiar with elaborate hair and makeup techniques and own leotards in most colors of the rainbow (the perfect base for any costume).

We perused Instagram to find our favorite dancer looks from Halloween 2019. Though it was certainly hard to narrow down the pool, we've rounded up 12 of our favorite posts below. So pull out what's left of your Halloween candy, and enjoy!


Miami City Ballet's Alexander Peters, Eric Trope and Cameron Catazaro 

Some might think that Titanic's Rose and Jack would make a classic two-person costume, but not Miami City Ballet's Alexander Peters, Eric Trope and Cameron Catazaro. The plank of wood that Kate Winslet heroically clings to is a crucial part of their story. Trope does an admiral job as the plank, alongside Peters as Rose and Catazaro as the tragic Jack.

American Ballet Theatre Soloist Cassandra Trenary

Hands down, our favorite type of Halloween costume is when dancers dress up as other dancers, and in this category American Ballet Theatre's Cassandra Trenary seems to take the cake. In 2016, she wowed fans by taking company class as Ethan Steifel. Last year, she was Twyla Tharp. This year? Former Kirov Ballet prima and ABT ballet mistress Irina Kolpakova. Trenary has Kolpakova down to her body language and hand gestures; scroll through the above posts to see how Kolpakova herself reacts.

English National Ballet Lead Principal Jeffrey Cirio

Say you have to practice your Don Quixote variation, but your giant blow-up panda costume is getting in your way... That doesn't seem to stop English National Ballet's Jeffrey Cirio, who somehow makes one of nature's less graceful creatures look balletic. And it's clear that pandas are more dangerous than they look; Cirio seems to frighten his colleagues with his oversize presence during grand allegro.

New York City Ballet Soloists Harrison Coll and Indiana Woodward

This year, New York City Ballet soloists (and couple) Harrison Coll and Indiana Woodward played on their first names for a wacky, meta two-person costume. Coll, dressed as a Ford truck, becomes actor Harrison Ford (known for playing Indiana Jones onscreen), while Woodward is dressed as Indiana Jones, complete with hat and whip.

American Ballet Theatre Corps Dancer Erica Lall

American Ballet Theatre's Erica Lall might win the award for most detailed and thought-out costume. With her purple velvet jacket and ruffled button-down, she bears a shocking resemblance to Prince. Plus, that guitar! Scroll to Lall's final post to see her put her dance training to good use. But the question remains: Can she sing?

Pacific Northwest Ballet's Elle Macy, Maddi Rayn, Angelica Generosa, Elizabeth Murphy and Nancy Casciano

These five Pacific Northwest Ballet women—Elle Macy, Maddi Rayn, Angelica Generosa, Elizabeth Murphy and Nancy Casciano—went all out as the "Bad Boys of Ballet." We love that the holiday gave them the chance to try their hands at these famous male roles. Click on each dancer's tag to glimpse solo shots of them in action; Rayn, as The Prodigal Son, was even joined by Dylan Wald as The Siren. We also can't get over Generosa's caption on her Flames of Paris shot: "Rehearsing for YAGP next year."

English National Ballet First Soloist Precious Adams

English National Ballet first soloist (and Pointe's current cover star) Precious Adams outdid herself with this subtle look. Adams dressed as Eva Rodriquez, Zoe Saldana's contrarian character from everyone's favorite ballet movie: Center Stage. The scarf as a skirt look is definitely bold, but we think that Adams pulls it off admirably.

Miami City Ballet's Kathryn Morgan and Petra Love

Miami City Ballet's Kathryn Morgan and Petra Love prove that dancing for a Balanchine company doesn't mean that Petipa classics are out of reach. They showed up to class as La Bayadère's infamous rivals: Gamzatti and Nikiya.

The Royal Ballet First Soloist Beatriz Stix-Brunell

The Royal Ballet's Beatriz Stix-Brunell brought a dose of American Halloween spirit to London. She took dressing as Batman seriously; not only did the superhero make her way to class, she also checked in with the company's administrative staff and got in a Gyrotonic session.

American Ballet Theatre's Gillian Murphy and Ethan Stiefel 

We're not sure there are words for this Murphy-Stiefel family costume, but we just couldn't leave it out. We do hope that baby Ax enjoyed his first Halloween!

Houston Ballet First Soloist Oliver Halkowich 

Houston Ballet first soloist Oliver Halkowich took The Magnetic Fields song "A Chicken With Its Head Cut Off" pretty literally for his costume. It's a touch gruesome, but we do like that it comes with its own dance! Halkowich might want to think of turning it into a full length performance art piece.

American Ballet Theatre Principal James Whiteside

Talk about coming with its own dance! American Ballet Theatre principal James Whiteside rose to the occasion per usual, dressing like a demon in all black from head to heels.

Latest Posts


The author, Lucy Van Cleef, dancing Balanchine's Serenade at Los Angeles Ballet. Reed Hutchinson, Courtesy Los Angeles Ballet

My 12-Year Journey to a Bachelor’s Degree While Dancing Professionally

If you'd have told me in 2009 that it would take 12 years to earn my bachelor's degree, I never would have believed you. Back then, I was a dancer in my early 20s and in my second year with Los Angeles Ballet. I was used to the straightforward demands of the professional ballet world. I knew that hard work and willpower were the currency you paid in the studio, and that the thrill of live performance made all that investment worth it. What I didn't know then is how life's twists and turns aren't always so straightforward. In hindsight, I can see how my winding road to higher education has strengthened me—and my relationship with the ballet world—more than I ever could have imagined.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Michael Cousmano, AKA Madame Olga. Courtesy When I'm Her

New Documentary "When I’m Her" Shows How Madame Olga’s Positive Affirmations Can Transform Ballet

Michael "Mikey" Cusumano was a rising star at American Ballet Theatre in the 1990s, joining the company at 15 years old and dancing principal roles by age 16. But the high pressure of ballet proved detrimental to his emotional and mental well-being. "I couldn't find the joy in ballet anymore," says Cusumano.

After 10 years as a professional ballet dancer, Cusumano transitioned to Broadway, where his alter ego, a sparkly-turban–wearing Russian ballet instructor named Madame Olga, was able to fully emerge. In Madame Olga, Cusumano became the ballet teacher he wished he had growing up. While Olga's classes feature the same technical rigor as any other intermediate-advanced ballet class, they also incorporate her signature humor and positive affirmations. It's common for Madame Olga's students to vocalize those affirmations while dancing (for example, saying "love" out loud while doing an adagio combination).

Keep reading SHOW LESS
New York City Ballet principal and Dance Against Cancer Co-Founder Daniel Ulbricht in New York City's Columbus Circle. Travis Magee, Courtesy DAC.

Dance Against Cancer Is Back With a Starry Outdoor Gala—and It Will Also Be Livestreamed

The annual Dance Against Cancer gala is back in full force this year, bringing major dance stars together on Monday, June 21, to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Held in Lincoln Center's outdoor Damrosch Park, it will be New York City's largest in-person ticketed event since the onset of the pandemic. And for the first time, this year's gala will also be livestreamed by Nel Shelby Productions for international audiences. The evening's finale—a tribute to first responders, medical professionals, educators, mentors and other heroes who have lost their lives to cancer or are battling it—stars special guest Kevin Boseman, a former dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Martha Graham Dance Company, a cancer survivor, and the brother of the late actor Chadwick Boseman.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks