12 Quickfire Questions With March/April Cover Star Emily Kikta

March 1, 2024

To get to know our March/April digital cover star a little bit better, we asked her 12 quickfire questions. Read on for New York City Ballet soloist Emily Kikta’s go-to snack, current music obsession, pre-show routine, and more.

What is your favorite step or part of class?

I like to turn. So, turns.

What is your least favorite step or part of class?

I hate saut de basques. I hate them.

Do you have a favorite spot at the barre or in center?

On the wall, at the end. I really like to stand close to the piano.

What are your pointe shoe specs?

They are Freed classic with extra glue and a Classic Pro insole. They’re cut down a little bit, but other than that they’re normal. And they’re Treble-Clef maker.

Ballet slippers: leather or canvas?


Emily Kikta, costumed in a black leotard, pink tights and pointe shoes, does a huge first arabesque onstage during a performance, facing stage right.
Emily Kikta in George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments. Photo by Erin Baiano, courtesy NYCB.

Coffee or tea, and how do you take it?

Both. And just with milk in both.

What is your go-to snack?

I really like chicken salad. People make fun of me because I always have chicken salad with me.

What is your pre-performance routine?

I do makeup, then my hair, and then I do a round of all of my exercises in my dressing room, because I like to stay up there as long as I can. Then I go down and do a five-minute barre, I put my pointe shoes on, and do it.

What do you eat before a show?

If it’s a long ballet and it’s the end of the night, I do something I inherited from Lauren King, a former NYCB soloist, where you eat a large baked sweet potato, because it keeps you full the whole night. If it’s something quicker, I have a bar or applesauce pre-show, because it’s sugary and satisfying.

What or who are you listing to right now?

I’ve been listening to a lot of Phoebe Bridgers and boygenius because it feels very wintry.

What are you watching right now?

I’ve been trying to watch all the Oscar-nominated movies. I also just saw Saltburn and May December, both wild in different ways.

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading the fourth book in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels.