Brooke Linford

Kristie Kahns

The Joffrey Ballet's Brooke Linford Is All About Bright Colors—No Matter What Season She’s D​ressing For

There isn't a color or pattern too bold for The Joffrey Ballet's Brooke Linford. "I think it brings life and energy into my day-to-day activities," the company artist says of her style. And playing with color isn't only limited to her studio and off-duty looks—Linford has even experimented with dyeing her long blonde waves bubblegum pink. While she takes her styling cues from Pinterest and Instagram, Linford also looks to her husband, fellow Joffrey dancer Graham Maverick, for ideas. "He wears so much color that it started to inspire my wardrobe," she says.


Linford admits that she has an ever-growing collection of dresses. "It's my addiction," she says. "No matter what season I'm shopping for, I always end up buying a floral summer dress—it's the outfit I feel most like myself in." Consignment stores and brands like Zara, Topshop, Reformation and Free People are her favorite places to buy clothes.

In the studio, Linford's look is just as fun, thanks to a collection of custom-patterned leotards made for her by Joffrey dancer Temur Suluashvili. "On our tour to Los Angeles a couple of years ago, I went to the fashion district and picked out some funky four-way-stretch spandex that Temur then made into leotards," Linford says. "I like to wear them with either a solid-color skirt or black tights to make the pattern really pop."

The Details—Street

Woman with long blonde hair wearing green sneakers, a floral dress and carrying a large yellow purse walks with purpose on the Chicago streets pass a CTA station.

Brooke Linford

Kristie Kahns

Zara floral dress: "My favorite thing to shop for is a floral dress," Linford says. "I love the rich woodland colors in the print of this one."

Puma tennis shoes: "I always like to wear comfortable, supportive shoes so my feet can chill out when I'm not dancing."

Brooke Linford in a floral dress leans against an industrial pole outside. She has her hand on her head brushing back her hair.

Brooke Linford

Kristie Kahns

Yellow handbag: "I like pops of yellow to bring some sunshine to my wardrobe. I chose this at a thrift store for the color."

The Details—Studio

Brooke Linford wears a green, mockneck leotard and a sheer blue/green skirt, pink tights and pointe shoes. She holds a ballet barre in a bright, window filled studio and leans away in a low arabesque.

Brooke Linford

Kristie Kahns

Yumiko leotard: "I've been very into green lately," Linford says of her mock-neck leo. "I also like to wear unitards and 'shorty-tards' because it's a whole look in one piece."

Brooke Linford in green leotard, pointe shoes, tights and blue skirt leans against a ballet barre.

Brooke Linford

Kristie Kahns

Designed by Alice skirt: "I love the fish-scale print because it makes me feel like a mermaid," she says. "I usually wear warm-up shorts or pants for barre and take them off for center so I can see what my body is up to."

Freed Classic Pro pointe shoes: "I always three-quarter the shank and add glue before I wear them because I go through shoes pretty quickly," she says, adding, "I just wear a toe pad in my shoe."

Latest Posts


Left to right: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Daphne Lee, Amanda Smith, Lindsey Donnell and Alexandra Hutchinson in a scene from Dancing Through Harlem. Derek Brockington, Courtesy Dance Theatre of Harlem

Dancers Share Their Key Takeaways After a Year of Dancing on Film

Creating dances specifically for film has become one of the most effective ways that ballet companies have connected with audiences and kept dancers employed during the pandemic. Around the world, dance organizations are finding opportunities through digital seasons, whether conceiving cinematic, site-specific pieces or filming works within a traditional theater. And while there is a consistent sentiment that nothing will ever substitute the thrill of a live show, dancers are embracing this new way of performing.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

#TBT: Mikhail Baryshnikov in "Fancy Free" (1981)

In Jerome Robbins's 1944 ballet Fancy Free, three sailors on leave spend the day at a bar, attempting to woo two young women by out-dancing and out-charming one another. In this clip from 1981, Mikhail Baryshnikov, who was then both the artistic director of American Ballet Theatre and a leading performer with the company, pulls out all the stops to win the ladies' affections.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Bethany Kirby, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet

An Infectious-Disease Physician on What Vaccines Mean for Ballet

As the coronavirus pandemic grinds into its second year, the toll on ballet companies—and dancers—has been steep. How long before dancers can rehearse and perform as they once did?

Like most things, the return to normal for ballet seems to hinge on vaccinations. Just over 22 percent of people in the U.S. are now vaccinated, a way from the estimated 70 to 85 percent experts believe can bring back something similar to pre-pandemic life.

But what would it mean for 100 percent of a ballet company to be vaccinated? Tulsa Ballet artistic director Marcello Angelini is about to find out—and hopes it brings the return of big ballets on the big stage.

"I don't think companies like ours can survive doing work for eight dancers in masks," Angelini says. "If we want to work, dance, and be in front of an audience consistently and with the large works that pay the bills, immunization is the only road that leads there."

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks