Ballet Stars

Ballet’s “It” Couple: Behind the Scenes With Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild

Walking to work in the morning with Peck's maltipoo, Cali, and Fairchild's toy Australian shepherd, Griz. Kyle Froman.

Growing up together, first as students at the School of American Ballet and then as young dancers on the rise at New York City Ballet, Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild dated off and on. With their lives on the same track for nearly a decade, it's no wonder they felt a special bond. Their relationship became serious several years ago. “I feel so lucky to have Tiler in the same industry," says Fairchild. “We understand the struggles and the achievements that come along with this career, and it's so meaningful to share those moments with someone who truly gets it." The couple, who live in a one-bedroom apartment five blocks from the theater, married in June at the end of NYCB's spring season. A few weeks before, Pointe followed them through a typical day.


Photography by Kyle Froman

Peck and Fairchild having egg sandwiches for breakfast before leaving for the theater. The dogs always get healthy treats. "They're called Greenies," says Fairchild. "The dogs are obsessed with them."

Peck with Cali before class.

"You have to be strong, but letting your partner lead is where the freedom comes from," says Peck, pictured here in rehearsal for Richard Tanner's Sonatas and Interludes with Amar Ramasar.

Fairchild rehearsing Year of the Rabbit. "I think it's normal to have pre-performance jitters," he says. "I've always told myself the show is going to go on matter what I do, so I might as well enjoy it."

Warming up backstage before a show. "You never hear her shoes when she dances," says Fairchild. "She bangs them against he wall harder than I can."

"We always wish each other luck before going on," says Fairchild. "And I never go onstage without having an Altoid."

Peck running through choreographer Justin Peck's Year of the Rabbit.

Ballet Stars
Lauren Lovette. Quinn Wharton.

New York City Ballet principal Lauren Lovette tries hard to focus on wellness despite her busy schedule. Her Hydro Flask water bottle—a gift from colleague Indiana Woodward—is emblazoned with the words "Be Here Now," a daily reminder to stay present. Lovette also keeps two doTERRA essential oils in her bag, and starts each day with Citrus Bliss. "I put it on my wrist at barre, and smell it," she says. "It just keeps me in a positive mood." Another scent, Balance, is reserved for days when she's feeling particularly frazzled.

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Sponsored by The Rock School
From left: Sarah Lapointe, Derek Dunn and Jeanette Kakareka. Courtesy The Rock School

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Ballet Careers
Roderick Phifer in Trey McIntyre's The Boogeyman . Bill Hebert, Courtesy BalletX.

This is one of a series of stories on recent graduates' on-campus experiences—and the connections they made that jump-started their dance careers. Roderick Phifer graduated from University of the Arts with a BFA in dance in 2017.

While walking out of a technique class during the first semester of his senior year at Philadelphia's University of the Arts, Roderick Phifer was approached with an unexpected offer. BalletX needed a guest artist for an upcoming performance, and after seeing Phifer perform in one of his senior shows, a UArts alumnus dancing with the company had offered up his name. Phifer ran straight from his technique class to a company class with BalletX, and the troupe's artistic leadership quickly gave him the green light to perform. "It was so last-minute, that, I kid you not, I had three rehearsals," he says. He performed with BalletX as a guest artist that fall, auditioned for an open company position in the spring and had a contract by the end of his senior year.

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Courtesy Apolla

Ballet dancers today are asked to do more with their bodies than ever before. The physical demands of a ballet career can take an immense toll on a dancer's joints and muscles—subjecting them to pain, inflammation and an increased risk of injury. Considering all that is required of today's dancers, having a top-notch recovery regime is paramount.

Enter Apolla Performance Wear, which is meeting ballet's physical demands with a line of compression footwear that is speeding up the recovery process for professional dancers by reducing inflammation and stabilizing the joints.

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