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We might be biased, but we think that ballet dancers are unusually good at Halloween. After all, they wear costumes for a living, are familiar with elaborate hair and makeup techniques and own leotards in most colors of the rainbow (the perfect base for any costume).

We perused Instagram to find our favorite dancer looks from Halloween 2019. Though it was certainly hard to narrow down the pool, we've rounded up 12 of our favorite posts below. So pull out what's left of your Halloween candy, and enjoy!

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Murphy wearing one of her designs. Photo by Lindsay Thomas, Courtesy PNB.

On any given day, Pacific Northwest Ballet's rehearsal studios are filled with ballerinas decked out in a rainbow of colorful, innovative leotards—many designed and hand-sewn by principal dancer Elizabeth Murphy.

Murphy didn't grow up sewing. In fact, she didn't even know how to run a sewing machine until she was 18. She didn't want to sit still long enough.

The Chelmsford, Massachusetts, native started dance lessons as a child in her hometown, and by her early teens decided to pursue a dance career. She moved to Pennsylvania to train at The Rock School for Dance Education. While still a student, she danced supplementary roles at Pennsylvania Ballet. Murphy then landed a position with Ballet West II before entering its main company in 2007.

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Christmas came early this year for Elizabeth Murphy. Last Friday, the Pacific Northwest Ballet dancer made her debut as the Sugar Plum Fairy in the company premiere of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. But the excitement didn't stop there. Just before the curtain rose, she was promoted to principal. For Pointe‘s bi-weekly newsletter, we caught up with Murphy during rehearsals for the holiday classic.

Murphy in costume as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Photo by Lindsay Thomas, Courtesy PNB.

What is it like to learn such an iconic role?

The whole first day of rehearsal I had butterflies. Growing up, I watched every single Nutcracker performance I could, and I loved seeing Julie Diana do the role at Pennsylvania Ballet. When I started to learn Sugar Plum, I even remembered how she did a certain arm, and I wanted to do that, too.

What do you hope to bring to the role?

I always think it's nice to see dancers be themselves. That was something I learned from Violette Verdy when she worked with us on Jewels. She would give us so many things to think about, but at the end of the day, she'd say, "Just be yourself." It was really freeing to hear that.

Do you have a favorite moment in this version?

For sentimental reasons, I love the part with the angels. There's something so sweet about the little girls onstage, and I was an angel when I was younger.

This production has all new costumes. What are they like?

Ian Falconer, who did "Olivia the Pig," designed them. They have this fantastical feel, very vivid colors and a lot of sparkles. I don't think I've ever seen a purple Sugar Plum costume, but it makes a lot of sense to me!

 

For more news on all things ballet, don’t miss a single issue.

Two years ago, Elizabeth Murphy was in the corps of Pacific Northwest Ballet (check out Dance Magazine’s feature of Murphy in August 2013) and sewing leotards for her friends as a hobby. Today, Murphy’s dance career has taken leaps and bounds—both onstage in principal roles and into the soloist ranks—and now she is jetéing into the world of commercial design. This summer, Murphy released her first line of leotards on Etsy.com. She partnered with Patrick Fraser Films to give us a behind-the-scenes look at her life as a leotard designer.

 

“There are certain lines of a dancer’s body that you want to emphasize,” Murphy says in the clip, her voice narrating slow motion shots of her powerful legs and graceful port de bras. “A good leotard is one that has the perfect fit.” We could not agree more, and who better to make dancewear than someone who practically lives in Lycra? That dusty pink leo is as radiant as Murphy’s dancing, and we can’t wait to see what else she has in store.

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