This story originally appeared in the October/November 2015 issue of Pointe.
Royal Danish Ballet principal Gudrun Bojesen isn't afraid of a DIY project. To keep her legs and ankles extra toasty, Bojesen cut out the sleeves of an old down parka and sewed them to the inside of her legwarmers. “The calves are the most important part for a Bournonville dancer to keep warm," says Bojesen, referencing the 19th-century choreographer's petit allégro–heavy repertoire. “It really works! I can't dance without them."
With all that jumping, she makes sure to take care of her feet, too. In addition to rolling them out with a golf ball, she stands on Yamuna Foot Savers (rubbery half-spheres) to help work out tension in her arches and metatarsals. And her pointe shoe ribbons are actually lingerie elastics from Paris, which help relieve pressure on her Achilles tendons. “They give every time you have movement," says Bojesen. “A lot of Paris Opéra dancers wear them, but the trend is starting to spread."
Photo by Kyle Froman for Pointe
Counterclockwise from top left: Dance bag bought in California (“It's from Redondo Beach," she says in a light Danish accent. “I love saying that!"); ski pants (“To keep my legs heated before class, after class, between rehearsals"); instant cold pack; autographed postcards (“In case I meet some fans—you never know who is going to be outside the door on tour"); ballet slippers; Freed pointe shoes (“Two pairs, at least"); Hot Stuff glue (for pointe shoes); tennis ball; golf ball; Yamuna Foot Savers; homemade down legwarmers; water bottle; tissues; Vaseline; rosin (“Good to have on tour"); hairbrush; black bag (for foot supplies); toe pads; money; foot cushion; toe spacer (“It's from Iceland. It attaches to my second toe so it doesn't move around"); toe tape; makeup bag.