Ballet Stars

The Washington Ballet's Nardia Boodoo Mixes Bold Patterns and Bright Color Palettes In and Out of the Studio

Nardia Boodoo. xmbphotography by Mena Brunette.

Nardia Boodoo has the perfect remedy for the winter blues—a colorful wardrobe. The Washington Ballet company member favors a dressy athleisure style that's as comfortable as it is vibrant. "I love to play with bright sweaters because it's just fun when it gets cold and gloomy out," Boodoo says. In addition to her multicolored style staples, Boodoo counts high-waisted skinny jeans as another part of her off-duty uniform. "I love to pair my Madewell jeans with a long-sleeve crop, a jacket and my Reebok Classics," she says.


In class, Boodoo plays with bold prints and soft colors. "It gets so monotonous in the studio, so it's nice to break it up with a patterned leotard," she says. "I've recently gotten into RubiaWear warm-ups and Uniqlo vests, too," she adds, noting that she prefers to wear these ahead of class while she hits the Pilates reformer or treadmill.

The Details—Street

xmbphotography by Mena Brunette

Tory Sport by Tory Burch turtleneck sweater: "I love Tory Sport because I can wear it to the studio, and if there's happy hour or something after work, I can just put on a cute heel and it still works."

Tory Sport skirt: "I like keeping my look simple, and having one piece, like this patterned skirt, that's a statement."

The Details—Studio

xmbphotography by Mena Brunette

LeaMarie leotard: "I love that it has a unique, bold print but with a classic cut."

Abigail Mentzer Designs skirt: Boodoo likes to accessorize her statement leotards with a neutral skirt that shows off her leg lines.

Zarely tights: "I'm a Discount Dance Supply ambassador, so they sent me these tights to try," Boodoo says. "They aren't slippery in my shoe and have slight compression."

Freed of London pointe shoes: "They're customized, so they show off my arch really nicely," Boodoo says of her "Neptune"-maker shoes. "I'm kind of old-school when it comes to padding because I just like lamb's wool."

The Conversation
Ballet Training
Via Burst

I'm a ballet dancer of 13 years, but I only got serious about it a few years ago, and very recently realized that I might want to pursue ballet professionally. I've contemplated auditioning for several prestigious pre-professional programs. But now I'm a junior in high school, so I'm worried it's too late. Should I still go for it, or am I better off staying at my current studio and going to college? —Lexi

Keep reading... Show less
The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
Tetsuya Kumakawa, via YouTube

Tetsuya Kumakawa, a former principal with The Royal Ballet and the founder and artistic director of K-Ballet in Tokyo, could make an audience gasp with his wildly powerful and inventive allegro. A boyish, dare-devil dancer, Kumakawa was a natural fit for roles like Franz in Coppélia. Watching him in this clip of Franz's Act I variation, it seems Kumakawa must have some sort of gravity-defying DNA.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB

Your teacher at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Marcia Dale Weary, recently passed away. What impact did she have on you?

I feel deeply indebted to her. She shaped my life's course, and I know that were it not for her, I would not be living out my dream today. She led by example through her remarkable commitment to her work, as well as her genuine kindness and generosity.

You were a trainee with San Francisco Ballet. What was that experience like?

It was an exposure to different schools of thought. We were mostly in the full-lengths, and watching run-throughs of Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote was revolutionary for me. But I was young and far away from home. That transition was hard. My body started changing. It wanted to be fleshy. Biology is cruel in that way. I desperately wanted to fit in, but it wasn't meant to be.

Keep reading... Show less