Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo's Albert Pretto. Items from left: Victoria's Secret bag, practice skirt ("I got this at a boutique in SoHo"), Deuserband resistance band, AlbyPretty biketard, hand-knit legwarmers, AlbyPretty t-shirt and skirt, Ballet Maniacs bag ("It has pockets on the side for pointe shoes and it's big enough for practice tutus"). Photo by Quinn Wharton for Pointe.

Inside Trocks Dancer and Self-Proclaimed "Bag Lady" Alberto Pretto's Dance Bag

Alberto Pretto, a dancer with the all-male comedy troupe Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, keeps his two dance bags stuffed with extra practice clothes, tutus and props. "I'm a total bag lady," he says. While rehearsing as his Trocks alter ego, Nina Immobilashvili, it's crucial for Pretto to get into the character's mind-set by wearing the right-length tutu for Giselle or practicing with his Esmeralda tambourine. "It's important with partnering to feel the same way that you would in a costume," he says. Switching his clothes during the day also leaves Pretto feeling refreshed, and it gives him a chance to model his newest creations for his dancewear line, AlbyPretty. "Sometimes it's good to bring a little color into the studio."

Pro Pointe Shoe Hacks From The Trocks' Alberto Pretto youtu.be


The Trocks are primarily a touring company, and Pretto carries around mementos from past travels. His Swan Lake–printed towel comes from fans in Japan. "They shower us with gifts," he says. And he got his Marie Antoinette–themed notebook in Versailles. "I always note choreography down. In class if I love a combination, I'll write it down, too, to remember the steps."

Quinn Wharton for Pointe

The Goods

Clockwise from top left: Bloch Inc. booties, Clif bar, iPhone, Bunheads' Spun Silver Lamb's Wool, wallet, Gaynor Minden custom pointe shoes, tambourine, Swan Lake towel, Gaynor Minden Dancers' Dots, spray bottle ("I spray water onto the box of new shoes to soften them"), AlbyPretty Svetlana Zakharova T-shirt, bag of ribbons and elastics, Deuserband resistance band, hand-knit legwarmers ("An English National Ballet prima gave them to me as a gift when I was a dancer there"), Pillows For Pointes rock rosin, AlbyPretty biketard, foam roller ("This is my best friend on tour"), AlbyPretty pull-on skirt, makeup bag ("Everything's travel-sized for touring"), notebook, Voltaren ("This is another of my best friends!"), exercise ball, Sansha Pro 1C ballet slippers, sewing pouch, Bunheads' Ouch Pouch.

See Alberto Pretto with Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo at NYC's Joyce Theater through December 30.

Latest Posts


Getty Images

The History of Pointe Shoes: The Landmark Moments That Made Ballet's Signature Shoe What It Is Today

Pointe shoes, with their ability to elevate a dancer both literally and metaphorically to a superhuman realm, are the ultimate symbol of a ballerina's ethereality and hard work. For students, receiving a first pair of pointe shoes is a rite of passage. The shoes carry an almost mystical allure: They're an endless source of lore and ritual, with tips, tricks and stories passed down over generations.

The history of pointe shoes reveals how a delicately darned slipper introduced in the 1820s has transformed into a technical tool that offers dancers the utmost freedom onstage today.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

How Coming Back to Ballet After Years Away Has Saved Me During the Pandemic Shutdown

I was 4 years old when I took my first ballet lesson. My mom had dressed me in a pink leotard with matching tights, skirt and slippers. She drove me on a Saturday morning to a ballet academy in downtown Caguas, the town in Puerto Rico where I grew up. I don't remember much from the first lesson, but I do recall the reverence. My teacher Mónica asked the class if someone wanted to volunteer to lead. She was surprised I—the new girl—was the one to raise my hand.

I made up most of the steps, mimicking the ballerinas I had seen on TV and videos. At one point, Mónica stepped in and asked me to lead the class in a bow. I followed her directions and curtseyed in front of the mirror with one leg behind me and a gentle nod. I looked up to find myself in awe of what I had just done.

This was the same feeling I had when, after years away from dance, I finished my first YouTube ballet class at home in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
La'Toya Princess Jackson, Courtesy MoBBallet

Join Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet for Its 2020 Virtual Symposium

Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet, founded in 2015 by writer and activist Theresa Ruth Howard to preserve and promote the stories of Black ballet dancers, is offering three weekends of interactive education and conversation this month through its 2020 Virtual Symposium. The conference, titled "Education, Communication, Restoration," encourages participants to engage in candid discussions concerning racial inequality and social justice in ballet. While it is a space that centers on Blackness, all are welcome. Held August 14, 15, 21, 22 and 28, MoBBallet's second annual symposium will allow dancers to receive mentorship and openly speak about their personal experiences in a safe and empowering environment.

The first event, For Us By Us (FUBU) Town Hall, is a free community discussion on August 14 from 3:30–4:30 pm EDT via Zoom, followed by a forum for ballet leadership. The town hall format encourages active engagement (participants can raise their hands and respond in real time), but the registration invoice also contains a form for submitting questions in advance. The following discussions, forums and presentations include topics like company life as a Black dancer, developing personal activism, issues of equity and colorism in ballet companies, and more. Tickets range from free to $12 for each 60- to 80-minute event.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks