Quinn Wharton

Inside The Joffrey Ballet's Jeraldine Mendoza’s Dance Bag (Plus, Why Her Pup Loves Spending Time in the Studio)

The Joffrey Ballet's Jeraldine Mendoza is a minimalist. This is evident from her well-organized sewing kit to her slim Goyard wallet, which she bought in Paris while on tour with the company last summer. "I never carry cash; all that's in there is my ID and my credit cards," she says. She keeps her wallet, phone and keys in her red Kenzo bucket bag, and her pointe shoes and other dancewear and accessories in her Baggu duffel. "I like things in order," she says. "Knowing where everything is is a priority for me."


One of Mendoza's most coveted items is her DIY roller, which she made six years ago from a piece of PVC pipe covered in cork. "It's super-hard, but it's really good for you," she says. "A lot of the company members use it." Mendoza's Boston terrier, Kahlua, may not fit in her dance bag, but she's still a frequent guest at The Joffrey's studios. "I know it sounds crazy, but I think she loves classical music," says Mendoza. "As soon as the music starts playing for class, she falls straight asleep for the full hour and a half."

The Goods

Quinn Wharton

Clockwise from center: TriggerPoint massage ball, Bunheads' Ouch Pouch toe pads, hair tie, Goyard wallet, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups ("These are my favorite things in my bag. There's always a bowl of candy outside the office, and I always take the Reese's"), bobby pin container, Altoids, Beats by Dr. Dre earbud carrying case, Raf Simons for Adidas slide sandals ("If I'm not in pointe shoes, I'm in these slides"), iPhone, keys, Sansha Pro ballet slippers, Kenzo bag, Joffrey ID, homemade roller, subway card, Capezio custom pointe shoes ("Every year I experiment with other shoes, but I always go back to these Capezios. I go through at least three new pairs a week"), sewing kit ("It holds my darning yarn, different kinds of needles, Jet glue, dental floss and pancake makeup"), Secret deodorant, Sony Handycam ("I use it to tape myself in rehearsal. I like using it more than my cell phone").

Latest Posts


Vikki Sloviter

Sydney Dolan Takes Center Stage at Pennsylvania Ballet

This is Pointe's Summer 2020 cover story. You can subscribe to the magazine here, or click here to purchase this issue.

Just days before the world shuttered under the strain of the coronavirus pandemic, and the curtain came down indefinitely on dance companies everywhere, Pennsylvania Ballet soloist Sydney Dolan debuted Gamzatti in La Bayadère with captivating ease. Her jumps soared, her technique was sound, and her cheeky smile paired with exquisite port de bras was beguiling. Though she didn't know the company would soon cancel the remainder of its season, her beautiful performance acted as a kind of send-off into the unknown.

Dolan's career could be described in one word: charmed. At just 19 years old, she's flown through the ranks at PAB, debuted a long list of roles, won a Princess Grace Award and been named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch." Yet it's her challenges that have shaped not only her training but her outlook, giving her a solid foundation for becoming one of Pennsylvania Ballet's rising stars.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
VAM/Siggul, Courtesy YAGP

YAGP Has Announced the Winners of the 2020 Pas De Deux Virtual Competition

Last weekend, Youth America Grand Prix took to the internet, hosting its first virtual pas de deux competition. Over the course of three days, YAGP streamed videos from its regional events' highest-ranked competitors for a panel of esteemed judges. And, drum roll please... YAGP has just announced the winners, spanning three categories: Senior Classical, Junior Classical and Contemporary.

You can watch the full virtual awards ceremony, hosted by YAGP director of external affairs Sergey Gordeev, below, or scroll down for the list of winners. And if you're missing the thrill of competition, don't fear: Gordeev announced that registration for the 2021 season will open on July 10, with both in-person and virtual options available.

Congratulations to all!

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy ABT

Defining and Refining Musicality: How to Tune In and Develop Your Artistic Voice

Ask a hundred people what musicality is, and you're likely to get a hundred different answers. "Musicality is where an artist's personality shines brightest," says Smuin Contemporary Ballet member Ben Needham-Wood. For American Ballet Theatre soloist Skylar Brandt, "it's what distinguishes one dancer from another. It helps me express myself more vividly and emotionally."

Teachers encourage it, directors seek it out and dancers who possess it bring choreography to life in compelling ways. But what exactly is musicality, and how can dancers get more of it?

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks