Darrion Gallegos, Anissa Lee and Cassandra Trenary Share their Style Must-Haves

August 17, 2021

When it comes to in-studio dancewear, the pros know that the right look, piece or material can mean the difference between a day feeling confident and comfortable or just plain out of sorts. With so much time spent honing their craft in dance clothes, choosing those items takes equal parts strategy, creativity and a healthy dose of fun. Here, pros Darrion Gallegos, Anissa Lee and Cassandra Trenary share how they build their dance wardrobes and what clothes give them the confidence they need to shine in class and rehearsal.

Darrion Gallegos, Los Angeles–based commercial dancer, choreographer and creative director

Gallegos dances onstage with Ariana Grande and other backup dancers. They are wearing pink and black costumes.
Gallegos with Ariana Grande

Courtesy Gallegos

On his favorite footwear:
“Nike sneakers always. It could be an Air Force or a Nike Dunk. I always have a different selection on deck. Nike really does cater to athletes. If I’m in heels, I love Burju heels. Heels are so hard on your feet, so when you’re in an eight-hour rehearsal, you need some good supportive heels. I love anything from a 3.5- to 4.25-inch-high heel. It makes me feel so confident.”

On his fashion inspiration:
“Prince and my grandma! Also, my travels. I’ve gained so much inspiration throughout traveling and getting to experience different places and cultures. I also love going to thrift stores in small towns. One time I found some high-waist bell-bottom Levi’s from the ’80s at a random market.”

On expressing himself through fashion:
“What’s great about fashion these days is that we’re seeing a lot more diversity in gender expression. I’ve always loved dipping into feminine styles and mixing it with masculine styles. For example, I love a fitted top with a baggy pant. Or a crop top with a baggy pant. Or a fitted bottom with a baggy shirt. Clothing to me doesn’t really have an identity. Fashion for me is so much about expression. Getting dressed is like enveloping myself in art. It’s what makes me feel good. If you’re confident you can wear anything.”

Anissa Lee, Syncopated Ladies company member and costume designer

Anissa Lee tap dances, wearing a black and white dress with matching shoes and jacket.
Anissa Lee

Photo by Lee Gumbs Photography. Courtesy of SILLAR Management

Her favorite brands:
“My go-to for anything is Nike. I also love Ethika. They have really cool prints for all their spandex items like leggings, biker shorts and sports bras. Another brand I love is Ivy Park. The clothes are so stylish, sleek and edgy but get the job done at the same time—great for auditions! If I’m in rehearsal mode, I often go to my Unilove unitard collection. The fabric is so durable and they come in so many different colors.”

On what she’s drawn to:
“I love formfitting clothes. I’m a girl with curves, and I love to embrace that part of myself. I also love really bright colors. I’m darker, so they really pop on me. I love tie-dye and different prints. Texture is great and adds something extra to an outfit. I also love mesh in the seams of leggings, different mesh panels.”

The importance of quality:
“When getting ready to buy something, I check that it’s sweat-wicking and durable. Is it going to last a long time? I want to make sure I don’t sweat through it, especially with bright colors. Once you get two hours into rehearsal, nobody wants to see crotch sweat. I also check for the likelihood of abrasion. I have really muscular thighs, so in between the leggings it will start to wear. I don’t want to pay a lot of money for something that will have a hole after three months of wear.”

Cassandra Trenary, American Ballet Theatre principal

u200bCassandra Trenary dances surrounded by tall greenery and flowers. She is wearing a blue biker short set.
Cassandra Trenary

Jacob Thoman, Courtesy Trenary

On her go-to dancewear:
“Lately it’s been a lot of leggings, biker shorts, thrifted T-shirts and fun sets like crop tops and legging. I acquired a couple of fun looks, like a leopard set from designer Sylvie Rood and an aqua short and top from Multiplicity. My favorite legging of all time is the All Access legging from Bandier, and another brand I’m obsessed with is called Girlfriend Collective. Ragdoll LA makes really fun, comfy sweats in lovely shades. When ABT is in season, my technique-class look tends to be more classical: a leotard and tights that put me in the right mindset to do the rep. I’ll opt for a spaghetti-strapped, capped-sleeve or halter leo—something that feels like second skin but erring on the side of baggy if I’m not being partnered.”

On her style inspiration:
“Isabella Boylston recently said to me while I was wearing my baggy tee and biker shorts that I was giving her Princess Diana vibes. I love it! Princess Diana is iconic. Otherwise, I really focus on whatever makes me feel chic. I do gravitate towards how dancers dressed in the past, like ’40s vibes—layering and street clothes as dancewear, lots of accessories and scarves—and then the leos and tights, Jane Fonda vibes from in the ’80s. I love seeing images of ABT in the ’80s and feel inspired to bring back those looks. I also draw inspiration from my fellow dancers. I’m lucky to have a lot of gorgeous inspiring humans in my life who aren’t afraid of expressing themselves through fashion!”