Dressing-room playlist: Isabella Boylston

The American Ballet Theatre soloist shares the songs that get her through the arduous Met season

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Isabella Boylston

Isabella Boylston Photograph: Gene Schiavone


“When I was a kid growing up in Idaho, my dad was a full-time drummer in a country-and-bluegrass band. He was always playing music in the car and in the house, and he gave us a musical education. Listening to music throughout the day, not just in the ballet studio, is essential to surviving the eight-week Met season marathon.”Isabella Boylston

Be sure to see the beautiful Bolyston dance! Her confirmed roles are:

Don Quixote (Kitri): May 17 at 2pm
Theme and Variations: May 22
La Bayadère (Gamzatti): May 27 and 29
Manon (Lescaut's Mistress): June 4 at 2pm, June 6
Giselle: June 18 at 2pm
Swan Lake: June 26

1. “Doin' It Right” by Daft Punk

“I heard this song in a shop in Paris, and then it took me a year to hear it again. It's simple and repetitive, but uplifting. It's a good song to help elevate my energy on the way to class in the morning.”

2. “Do It Again” by Robyn and Röyksopp

Robyn is what I want to hear on the dance floor. Or when I'm putting on makeup before the show. Her songs have awesome beats, but with a touch of melancholy, and her hooks are so good.

3. “Wolf” by First Aid Kit

Maybe I'm partial to Swedish bands, being half Swedish myself, but I have a real appreciation for people who actually write their own music. I love their poetic lyrics and beautiful harmonies.”

4. “Juicy” by the Notorious B.I.G.

“I love listening to ’90s hip-hop when I'm warming up. I can relate to when he says, ‘It was all a dream…’”

5. “Drunk in Love” by Beyoncé

“Sometimes I play music on speakers for my row in the dressing room. Beyoncé is a favorite. During the Met season, you definitely bond with the women around you in the dressing room. There’s a lot of stress on everyone, but we support each other.”

6. “Team” by Lorde

“I like when she says, ‘I'm kinda over being told to put my hands up in the air / So there.’”

7. “Whatchu Want from Me” by Homeboy Sandman

“He is a true hip-hop artist; his lyrics are amazingly clever and catchy.”

8. “Take Me Home, Country Road” by Toots and the Maytals

“I get a lot of massages, and ABT's massage therapist, Olinda Cedeno, always plays great music. She got me into reggae.”

9. “Little Red Corvette” by Prince

“Prince will always be cool.”

10. “Going to California” by Led Zeppelin

“When I was younger, rock & roll went over my head. But now I think this is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. It's a good song for when I need to find some solitude in the theater.”

11. “I Hate My Job” by JbDubs

“My list wouldn't be complete without a track from Jb. I love my job, but if I worked in an office I would probably hate it.”



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