Ballet Stars

Inside Cody Beaton's Dressing Room: Her Patriots Game Day Regime and More

Courtesy Richmond Ballet.

A dancer's dressing room is often her "home away from home." In our August/September issue, we went backstage with three ballerinas, including Richmond Ballet dancer Cody Beaton. Below, she shows us how she personalizes her space and walks us through her pre-performance routine.

The setup: Richmond Ballet dancer Cody Beaton shares her dressing room with all the other women in the company, but she always stakes out the same spot. She lays a towel down on the counter to stay organized. "Otherwise everything spreads out."


A Santa Claus towel adds a festive touch during "Nutcracker" season. Photo courtesy Richmond Ballet.

Game-day regime: Beaton, a New England Patriots fan, always wears her Tom Brady earrings on game days—and puts them in a safe place when she's performing. "We were doing Nutcracker and I had to take them off. But I wanted to make sure the Patriots had good luck." The Santa Claus decal decorating her mirror did the trick.

Photo Courtesy Richmond Ballet.

Mirror decor: Beaton lines her mirror with homemade cards and handwritten notes. "A dancer made these for everyone and they're all different," she says of the ones in the photo above. Another gift, a vintage-looking tin with ballerinas on it, now holds her hairpins and hairnets.

Health kit: Beaton takes vitamin B-12 supplements on performance days. "I feel like it helps with energy and stamina," she says. She has Biofreeze handy in case her body starts aching, and Airborne tablets for keeping her immune system up. And she's never, ever without a toothbrush and toothpaste. "I'm a little fanatical about brushing before I go onstage."

Photo Courtesy Richmond Ballet.

Good-luck charm: An angel statuette given to her by fellow dancer Valerie Tellmann-Henning before her debut in Mozartiana. "Now I keep it in my makeup case and put it out during show runs. It says 'You shine like a thousand stars.' "

Pre-performance routine: Beaton gets to the theater an hour before class. Afterwards, she does her hair and makeup and then a 15-minute Pilates/barre warm-up. "It's the exact same barre every time. It's timed really well, so it gets me sweating and warm and ready to go do anything."

Pointe shoes stay toasty above the lights. Photo courtesy Richmond Ballet.

Pre-show music: "Since we're all in the same dressing room, whoever has the most challenging role gets to choose what music we listen to," says Beaton.

Post-performance routine: Beaton's hair and headpiece is undone by the time she reaches the dressing room. She uses wipes to quickly remove makeup, moisturizes her lips with rose-tinted Vaseline and heads out the door. "In this company, the girls are always quicker than the boys," she says. "We carpool, because the theater only has a few parking passes, and we're always waiting for them!"

The Conversation
Ballet Stars
Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB

Your teacher at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Marcia Dale Weary, recently passed away. What impact did she have on you?

I feel deeply indebted to her. She shaped my life's course, and I know that were it not for her, I would not be living out my dream today. She led by example through her remarkable commitment to her work, as well as her genuine kindness and generosity.

You were a trainee with San Francisco Ballet. What was that experience like?

It was an exposure to different schools of thought. We were mostly in the full-lengths, and watching run-throughs of Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote was revolutionary for me. But I was young and far away from home. That transition was hard. My body started changing. It wanted to be fleshy. Biology is cruel in that way. I desperately wanted to fit in, but it wasn't meant to be.

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Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

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"She is a supreme dance actress with an innate ability to bring the audience into her world," says NBoC artistic director Karen Kain. "Nan has always brought such a calm confidence into the studio and has been a role model for so many dancers I will miss her generosity both inside the studio and out." We spoke with Yu as she prepared for her final week of performances. She opened up about her initial culture shock upon moving to Toronto, her thoughts on artistry and why she chose Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow as her final role.

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