Jin Zhang, Erica Lall and Betsy McBride in Swan Lake. Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy American Ballet Theatre

This ABT Corps de Ballet Dancer Performed in 73 Shows Over 11 Weeks

Erica Lall, a member of American Ballet Theatre's corps de ballet, accomplished an impressive feat this spring: she danced in every single one of ABT's spring Metropolitan Opera House season performances. That's 64 shows—actually, as Lall notes, "it would technically be 69 shows at the Met," since she performed in all of the ABTKids performances as well.


On top of the Met season, she traveled with the company to Wolf Trap in Virginia, adding another three shows to her tally, and then on to Vail Dance Festival for one more performance, bringing her total up to 73 shows. Lall shows no signs of stopping. She has several more summer gigs lined up before ABT heads back into rehearsals for the fall season.

We caught up with Lall just after she returned from Vail to chat about her season highlights, staying healthy through so many shows, and what's up next for her this summer.

Lall and Arron Scott in In the Upper Room.

Marty Sohl, Courtesy American Ballet Theatre

Her Highlights from the Met Season

Among the many roles she performed, Lall enjoyed cutting her acting teeth playing young schoolgirl Adele in Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre and Red Riding Hood in Alexei Ratmansky's The Sleeping Beauty. "It was a lot of fun to get to portray Adele as a character," she says, and just like Adele she's "very peppy in real life, and just always wanting to have fun."

Another highlight was performing the "Little Swans" pas de quatre in Swan Lake. "I've been kind of learning it for two years now, and I finally got the opportunity to perform it this season," she says. The experience was made even more special by her fellow cygnets: soloists Skylar Brandt, Luciana Paris and Cassandra Trenary. "I've looked up to them for years, so it was an honor to be next to them and performing with them," she says.

And, Twyla Tharp's marathon of a ballet In the Upper Room she describes as "one of the highlights of my career thus far."

Lall (far right) with (from far left) Luciana Paris, Skylar Brandt and Cassandra Trenary, in costume for Swan Lake.

Courtesy Lall

How She Stays Healthy

Lall credits a few tricks for maintaining her energy and strength throughout the season: Gyrotonics, Epsom salt baths ("every night after the show I would take one, no matter how late it was"), "snacking and eating three full meals a day," drinking Sqwinchers before shows "for added electrolytes," and a banana before the ballets she knew might cause muscle cramps.

ABT's Star Game

Every year during Met season, ABT dancers play what they've dubbed the "Star Game," according to the company's Instagram page. Tallies are kept on each female corps dancer to determine who has danced the greatest number of shows, and acts, during the Met season.

Lall took the crown this year with the most shows, Virginia Lensi danced in the most acts, and Betsy McBride was the runner-up.

While Lall's not sure where the tradition originated, she says that corps dancer Alexandra Basmagy "usually does the Star Chart, but she's pregnant this year." Scout Forsythe, another corps member, took on the task this time.

What's Up Next

Alongside some of her ABT colleagues, Lall is currently in rehearsals for the Hamptons Dance Project's debut performances next week. Then she's off with ABT principal James Whiteside to Paraguay and Buenos Aires where they'll be performing the pas de deux from Le Corsaire and the choreography from Whiteside's Wallflower music video in IX Gala Internacional de Ballet at the end of the month.

After that, she finally gets a vacation: "I'm going to Jamaica with my family."

Advice for Fellow Corps de Ballet Dancers

Lall tells fellow corps members who face similarly challenging seasons to have confidence in themselves: "This is what we've trained our entire lives for, and our body is capable of doing it."

While Lall wasn't initially scheduled to dance in every Met show ("we get our casting two weeks before the performance week"), she had a feeling in her gut at the beginning of the season that she wasn't going to have a single show off. Looking back at her achievement, she reflects, "It's really just great to be in every show, honestly. It's very hard but...you feel very accomplished once the season is over and you've made it."

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Dara Holmes, Joffrey Ballet

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Dara Holmes and Edson Barbosa in Myles Thatcher's Body of Your Dreams

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Wanyue Qiao, American Ballet Theatre

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Wanyue Qiao as an Odalisque in Konstantin Sergeyev's Le Corsaire

Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT

Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson, Houston Ballet

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Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson (far right) with Saul Newport and Austen Acevedo in Oliver Halkowich's Following

Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy Houston Ballet

Leah McFadden, Colorado Ballet

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Leah McFadden as Amour in Colorado Ballet's production of Don Quixote

Mike Watson, Courtesy Colorado Ballet

Maria Coelho, Tulsa Ballet

Maria Coelho and Sasha Chernjavsky in Andy Blankenbuehler's Remember Our Song

Kate Lubar, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet

Alexander Reneff-Olson, San Francisco Ballet

A ballerina in a black feathered tutu stands triumphantly in sous-sus, holding the hand of a male dancer in a dark cloak with feathers underneath who raises his left hand in the air.

Alexander Reneff-Olson (right) as Von Rothbart with San Francisco Ballet principal Yuan Yuan Tan in Swan Lake

Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB

India Bradley, New York City Ballet

Wearing a blue dance dress with rhinestone embellishments and a sparkly tiara, India Bradley finishes a move with her arms out to the side and hands slightly flexed.

India Bradley practices backstage before a performance of Balanchine's Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2.

Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB

Bella Ureta, Cincinnati Ballet

Wearing a white dress with pink corset, Bella Ureta does a first arabesque on pointe in front of an onstage stone wall.

Bella Ureta performs the Act I Pas de Trois in Kirk Peterson's Swan Lake

Hiromi Platt, Courtesy Cincinnati Ballet

Alejándro Gonzales, Oklahoma City Ballet

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Alejandro González in Michael Pink's Dracula at Oklahoma City Ballet.

Kate Luber, Courtesy Oklahoma City Ballet

Nina Fernandes, Miami City Ballet

Wearing a long white tutu and crown, Nina Fernandes does a saut de chat in front of a wintery backdrop as snow falls from the top of the stage.

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Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Miami City Ballet

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Pacific Northwest Ballet's Angelica Generosa Shares Her Classic, Comfy Style In and Out of the Studio

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She's also quite fond of designer handbags. "They're my go-to accessory, and they're also my weakness when shopping," she says, naming Chloé, Chanel and Dior as some of her favorite brands. "I really appreciate the craftsmanship it takes to produce one—they're so beautiful and each has its own story, in a way."

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Angelica Generosa, wearing a blue blazer, white blouse and gray jeans, is photographed from underneath as she walks and looks to the right.

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BCBG blazer: "It has some shoulder pads and a really cool pattern," says Generosa. "It reminds me of my mom and '80s fashion."

Zara blouse: She incorporate neutrals, like this white satin button-up, to balance bright pops of colors.

Angelica Generosa looks off to her right in front of a glass-windowed building. She wears a blue blazer, white blouse, gray jeans and carries a small green handbag.

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Madewell jeans: Comfort is a major factor for Generosa, who gets her fashion inspiration from her mom, friends and people she comes across day to day.

Chloé bag: "I tend to have smaller purses because I'm quite small. Bigger bags overwhelm me sometimes—unless it's my dance bag, of course!"

The Details: Studio

Angleica Generosa, wearing a blue tank leotard, black wool leggings and pink pointe shoes, balances in a lunge on pointe with her left leg in front, facing a wall of windows.

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Label Dancewear leotard: "This was designed by my good friend Elizabeth Murphy, a principal dancer here at PNB. Her leotards always fit me really well."

Mirella leggings: "I get cold easily," says Generosa, who wears leggings and vests to stay warm throughout the day.

Angelica Generosa, wearing a blue tank leotard, black wool tights and pink pointe shoes, jumps and crosses her right foot over her left shin while lifting her arms up to the right.

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Freed of London pointe shoes: "When sewing them, I crisscross my elastics and use an elasticized ribbon from Body Wrappers," which helps alleviate Achilles tendon issues, she says. She then trims the satin off of the tip of the shoe. "Then I bend the shank a bit to loosen it up and cut a bit off where my arch is."

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This New "Nutcracker" Competition Wants Your Dance Studio to be Part of a Virtual Collaboration

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"Nutcracker is a tradition that is ingrained in our hearts," says UBC co-founder Lissette Salgado-Lucas, a former dancer with Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. "We danced it for so long as professionals, we can't wait to pass it along to dancers through this competition."

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