Ballet Stars

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

Quinn Wharton

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").

popular

When the news broke that Prince George, currently third in line for the British throne, would be continuing ballet classes as part of his school curriculum this year, we were as excited as anyone. (Okay, maybe more excited.)

This was not, it seems, a sentiment shared by "Good Morning America" host Lara Spencer.

Keep reading... Show less
News
A still from Dancing Dreams. Courtesy OVID

If you're seeking an extra dash of inspiration to start the new season on the right—dare we say—foot, look no further than dance documentaries.

Starting August 23, OVID, a streaming service dedicated to docs and art-house films, is adding eight notable dance documentaries to its library. The best part? There's a free seven-day trial. (After that, subscriptions are $6.99 per month or $69.99 annually.)

From the glamour of Russian ballet stars to young dancers training in Cuba to a portrait of powerhouse couple Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder, here's what's coming to a couch near you:

Keep reading... Show less
Just for fun
Via @lizzo on Twitter

On August 20, pop goddess Lizzo tweeted, "Someone do a ballet routine to truth hurts pls," referring to the anthem that's been top on everyone's playlists this summer. Lizzo might not know it yet, but ballet dancers are not known for shying away from a challenge. In the past two days, the internet has exploded with responses, with dancers like Houston Ballet's Harper Watters and American Ballet Theatre's Erica Lall tagging the singer in submissions.

Below are a few of our favorites so far, but we're guessing that this is just the beginning. Ballet world, consider yourselves officially challenged! (Use #LizzoBalletChallenge so we know what you're up to.)

Keep reading... Show less