Ballet Stars

Carousel's Brittany Pollack Takes Us Inside Her Broadway Dressing Room (And Her Dance Bag)

Kyle Froman for Pointe.

Doing the same show eight times a week isn't easy. But New York City Ballet soloist Brittany Pollack, currently playing the dance-heavy role of Louise in Carousel on Broadway, keeps her dance bag stocked with ways to get through. She always takes one chewable B-12 vitamin before the show and one during intermission for an added burst of energy. "They taste like Starbursts," she says. She also carries a banana and Luna bar for a pre-performance snack, and applies Love's Baby Soft body spray throughout the show to feel refreshed. "I've worn this since I was a little girl," she says. "My mom still wears it too."

Pollack's Carousel dressing room has become a home away from home. While she totes essentials to and from the theater each day in her large patterned bag, her dressing room is filled with mementos and photos of her young nephews, dog Duncan and castmates. Pollack also keeps her script on display. "I remember getting it on the first day and being so excited to see my name in print."

Kyle Froman for Pointe.

The Goods

On counter, clockwise from top left: GNC Vitamin B-12 Berry Blast Soft Chews, Klean Kanteen, tennis ball ("For rolling out my calves and hips"), Sparkling Ice Orange Mango Water ("It's my favorite!"), PUMA slip-on sneakers ("They're great for walking around the theater between scenes during the show"), Omorovicza lotion ("This brand sponsors NYCB. I love the way it smells!"), hand sani-tizer, Freed custom pointe shoes ("I don't wear pointe shoes for this show, but I try to put them on every day to stay in ballet shape"), Bunheads Stitch Kit, Ouch Pouches, Luna Protein Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar, banana, Ice Breakers Mints, Love's Baby Soft Cologne Mist, Vera Bradley bag ("I've been using these bags for forever. I love that it has a ton of pockets and can be thrown in the wash"). On upper shelf: Uniqlo warm-up pants ("I can't live without these. They're fleece-lined and super-warm").

Ballet Careers
Lenai Alexis Wilkerson. Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Michelle Tabnick Public Relations.

This is one of a series of stories on recent graduates' on-campus experiences—and the connections they made that jump-started their dance careers. Lenai Alexis Wilkerson graduated from University of Southern California with a BFA in dance (dance performance concentration) and a political science minor in 2019.

As Lenai Alexis Wilkerson looked at colleges, she wanted a school that would prepare her for two totally different professions: dancing and law. "I knew, pretty much when I was 16, that I wanted to go to law school," she says. "So I wanted the opportunity to have a dual college experience, where I could have a conservatory training style within a university and I could focus equally on my academics." When she auditioned for the inaugural class of University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, she knew it was the right fit.

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Sponsored by Ballet Arizona
Tzu Chia Huang, Courtesy Ballet Arizona

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Without proper training, these demands can take a toll on both the mind and the body. But students can start preparing for them early—with the right summer intensive program.

The School of Ballet Arizona's summer intensive takes a well-rounded approach to training—not just focusing on technique and facility but nurturing overall dancer growth. "You cannot make a dancer just by screaming at them like they used to," says master ballet teacher Roberto Muñoz, who guests at the program every summer. "You have to take care of the person as well."

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Courtesy School of Pennsylvania Ballet

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