Ten things the National Ballet’s brand-new principal dancer, Jurgita Dronina, can’t live without
1 | My pointe shoes
I wear them six or seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. (or midnight, if I’m in a show). They’re custom-made by the New York company Gaynor Minden. They fit like a second skin.
2 | My subway literature
I’m dancing the role of Hermione in The Winter’s Tale, so that’s what I’ve been reading on the way to work. I like to have the text in my head when I’m rehearsing—it helps me convey the story to the audience.
3 | My healthy powders
I drink a vanilla protein shake and a green juice every morning. The latter is a blend of barley grass, wheat grass and alfalfa. It tastes awful, but I’m convinced it keeps me from getting sick.
4 | My acupressure mat
It’s a fabric pad studded with hard plastic spikes, and it’s a lifesaver. I stand on it whenever I get a foot cramp. I bought mine in Sweden, but I think it’s an eastern European thing—my Russian grandma used to sleep on one.
5 | My diamond rings
My husband, Serguei, and I have been married for 10 years. Each of my four diamond rings commemorates a milestone in our relationship: our first holiday in Paris, our engagement, our wedding and the birth of our son, Damian. I never take them off.
6 | My sauna pants
I like to sweat. Chacott’s plastic pants trap my body heat and keep me loose and limber. Sometimes, when I’m standing at the barre, it looks like there’s a little swimming pool beneath me.
7 | My toe protectors
They’re small silicone caps that I order from Sweden. I had to rehearse without them last year, when I was performing in Italy and the airline lost my luggage. My big toe turned blue and the nail cracked. Luckily, my suitcase arrived in time for the show.
8 | My unsmudgeable mascara
A lot of ballerinas wear fake eyelashes. I tried that at first, but I sweat so much that they fell off. Now I wear Dior’s Backstage mascara. It doesn’t budge.
9 | My mane tamer
Redken hairspray is the only thing that controls my hair, which is extremely frizzy. When I don’t use it, I look like a crazy person.
10 | My gym stuff
I exercise with Ben Clarfield at Reach Personal Training every day, so I’m always carting around my Nike sneakers and workout clothes. My gym sessions boost my performance and keep me injury-free.