To some, Veronika Part might seem like a pack rat. Does she really need to lug around five balls that are all about the same shape and size?
“Yes! Each is different: Some are softer and some are harder,” she protests. “I use them to do exercises that help my body feel even.” Part suffered a labral tear—an injury to the cartilage surrounding a ball-and-socket joint—in her hip last year and chose not to have surgery. So now, on show days, she goes through a special two-hour workout in order to prepare her body to dance. (And that’s on top of using the Pilates Reformer, taking company class, rehearsing and giving herself an additional preperformance warm-up.)
Her injury also explains the various foreign ointments: Perskindol from Amsterdam to get the blood circulating, Voltaren (also from Amsterdam) for pain relief and PR Freeze Spray from England to quickly cool and relax the muscles—“great when your calves are so tight you feel like you can’t keep going, but you have to do 32 fouettés to the left.”
Which items can Part not bear to part with? “It’s all necessary!” she exclaims. “I’m a freak. When I’m performing, everything has to be right, and I have to have everything with me. If not, I’m like no, no, no!”
Rehearsal tutu, Freed of London pointe shoes, tan ballet slippers, five balls, two wooden spot massagers, pointe shoe kit, Thera-Band, shoe scraper, Arnica, Solarcaine, Voltaren, PR Freeze Spray, Perskindol, Bengay, Advil, legwarmers, Russian Orthodox icon.