Photo Courtesy Cirio

Inside Lia Cirio's Dressing Room: Why She's Never Without Her Elephant Collection

A dancer's dressing room is often her "home away from home." In our August/September issue, we went backstage with three ballerinas, including Boston Ballet principal Lia Cirio. Below, she shows us how she personalizes her space and walks us through her pre-performance routine.

Cirio snaps a selfie at her dressing room spot.

The setup: Boston Ballet principal Lia Cirio shares her dressing room with fellow dancers Misa Kuranaga and Kathleen Breen Combes. "We all personalize our spaces," she says. "It's about making it comfortable." Cirio keeps her spot as organized as possible. "But after a full-length, it's a disaster area! Makeup, hairpins, curls everywhere—it's a mess."

Photo courtesy Cirio.

"Merde" gifts galore: Her brother, American Ballet Theatre principal Jeffrey Cirio, gave her an oversized My Little Pony before her debut in Theme and Variations. "It's pretty silly, but it puts a smile on my face," she says. The tiny ballerina box (just left of the My Little Pony) has special meaning—it was given to her by stager Florence Clerc before her debut as Nikiya in La Bayadère. "I had just been promoted to principal, and it was my first full-length," says Cirio.

Photo courtesy Cirio.

The good witch/bad witch magnets, a gift from Breen Combes, was a "merde" gift for Swan Lake ("You know, white swan, black swan?").

Photo courtesy Cirio.

Hair and makeup must-haves: TRESemmé No. 4 aerosol hairspray. "My hair is really frizzy, and it's the only thing that keeps it slick. I also only use big hairpins—the smaller ones don't work." Her favorite lipstick is MAC's Lady Danger. "It's great for Balanchine ballets." Laying a towel down helps keep her makeup and toiletries organized.

Photo courtesy Cirio.

Favorite scents: "I'm a stickler for smelling good," says Cirio. She alternates between Chanel Chance perfume (above) in spring and Le Labo's Thé Noir in winter.

Photo courtesy Cirio.

Good-luck charms: "Elephants are really good luck for me—most of these are from friends or family members over the years."

Photo courtesy Cirio.

Pre-show routine: "I don't like to be rushed," she says. Cirio usually does her hair and makeup an hour and a half before curtain so that she has time to warm up. Before she goes onstage, she says a little prayer, then checks her ribbons "incessantly" to make sure they're secure.

Pre-show music: Cirio listens to Top 40 hits to get pumped. And she can't live without her Bragi wireless headphones. "There's no cord, it's just Bluetooth, so I can do a barre and they don't fall out of my ears. They're awesome!"

Post-show routine: "I'm not one for sitting around," she says. "I'll take a shower if it's a full-length, but normally I just get out of makeup and leave the theater."

Latest Posts

Whitney Ingram

Revisiting Julie Kent's Dance Bag, 20 Years Later

Julie Kent was our very first Show & Tell when Pointe magazine launched in spring of 2000. Then a principal with American Ballet Theatre, Kent carried a second bag entirely dedicated to her pointe shoes. Twenty years later, she is now the artistic director of The Washington Ballet, and no longer needs to tote her pointe shoes. "For 40 years they were like a part of my body," says Kent. "And now they're not part of the landscape until my daughter's old enough to go on pointe." Nevertheless, Kent's current role keeps her in the studio. She always carries practice clothes and ballet slippers for teaching and rehearsals.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Courtesy Jordan Richardson Fry

Ballet West's Jordan Richardson Fry Has a Side Business Baking Extravagant Wedding Cakes

Check out Fry's famous Beehive Cake recipe here.

Ballet West corps dancer Jordan Richardson Fry has always had an affinity for baking. But it wasn't until joining Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in 2009 that she turned to the kitchen as a way to alleviate the daily stresses of a dance career. Today, Fry runs Ballerina Baker, a Salt Lake City–based luxury cake company. The catalyst for turning her passion into a business? Her fellow dancers' weddings.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Tulsa Ballet in Ma Cong's Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music. Kate Luber Photography, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Updated: Mark Your Calendars for These Online Ballet Performances

Updated on 4/8/2020

As COVID-19 has forced ballet companies around the world to cancel performances—and even the remainder of their seasons—many are keeping their audiences engaged by streaming or posting pre-recorded performances onto their websites or social media channels. To help keep you inspired during these challenging times, we've put together a list of upcoming streaming events and digital performances.

Keep reading SHOW LESS