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!"