Ballet Stars

Complexions' Resident Fashionista Candy Tong Sports Swimwear in the Studio and Heels on the Street

Quinn Wharton

Candy Tong is Complexions Contemporary Ballet's resident fashionista. "I'm known in this company for bringing too big of a suitcase," she says. Tong shares her style tips (and life on the road with Complexions) on her vlog, Candy Coated, and notes that her style is always changing. "I like to switch up my look depending on my mood or where I'm going to be or what city I'm in."


No matter the outfit, Tong has plenty of shoes to choose from. "Back home in California, I have a closet in my room and one in my garage just for my shoes," she says. "I love anything with a heel because it makes me feel like a girl boss."

In the studio, Tong rarely wears warm-ups, but she doesn't let leotards limit her. "I like to wear swimwear because those designs are usually cooler," Tong says. She completes her look with hair and makeup. "I feel like it transforms you," she says. "I can't live without my Anastasia Beverly Hills eyebrow pencil, and I love the Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow for a nice glow on the high points of my face."

The Details — Street

Quinn Wharton

Zara top: "I love outfits that can go from day to night, like this bralette and mesh-top combo."

Aqua jacket: "I love the suede and faux detailing—I think it's the perfect transition from winter to spring and even early summer."

Zara pants: "I really enjoy pants with a fun pattern or bright color."

Jeffrey Campbell shoes: "This is my favorite shoe designer," Tong says.

Gucci Dionysus handbag: "I love that the crystal-embellished tiger head is flashy but not too flashy."

The Details — Studio

Quinn Wharton

Custom leotard: Tong's leo was created by Complexions costume designer Christine Darch. "I love a halter neckline," says Tong, "and the high cut with mesh at the hipbone makes my legs look longer."

Freed of London pointe shoes: "I get my shoes triple-shanked with extra glue," Tong says, adding that she does a lot of prep work to get her shoes just right. "I three-quarter my shank, Jet-glue everything, and take out the paper on the inside sole and add patterned duct tape instead because it holds up better. I also darn my shoes and pancake them with the cheapest foundation I can find to match my skin color."

News
The Joffrey Ballet's Amanda Assucena and Greig Matthews in Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre. Cheryl Mann, Courtesy Joffrey Ballet.

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

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

Keep reading... Show less
News
Herman Cornejo in Don Quixote. Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT.

American Ballet Theatre's fall season at Lincoln Center's Koch Theater offers a chance to see the company in shorter works and mixed-repertoire programs. This year's October 16–27 run honors principal Herman Cornejo, who's celebrating his 20th anniversary with the company. Cornejo will be featured in a special celebratory program as well as a new work by Twyla Tharp (her 17th for the company), set to Johannes Brahms' String Quartet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 111. The October 26 program will include Cornejo in a pas de deux with his sister, former ABT dancer Erica Cornejo.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Careers
Gray Davis with wife, ABT soloist Cassandra Trenary, after his graduation from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Courtesy Trenary.

When Gray Davis retired from American Ballet Theatre in July of 2018, he moved home to South Carolina, unsure of what would come next. Last month, just over a year later, Davis graduated from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Today, he's working as a deputy for the Abbeville County Sheriff's Office.

Though Davis danced in ABT's corps for 11 years and is married to soloist Cassandra Trenary, to many he's best known for saving the life of a man who was pushed onto the subway tracks in New York City in 2017. The heroic effort earned him the New York State Liberty Medal, the highest civilian honor bestowed by a member of the New York State Senate. We caught up with Davis to hear about how the split second decision he made in the subway affected the course of his life, what it's been like starting a second career and what he sees as the similarities between ballet and law enforcement.

Keep reading... Show less