Style & Beauty

Never Not Fabulous: Peek Inside James Whiteside's Offstage Life

Photo by Andrew Werner

James Whiteside sometimes seems larger than life. He knows how to effortlessly command any room he's in, whether he's playing a noble prince onstage or appearing in fashion campaigns for designers like Marc Jacobs and Thom Browne. During a rare day off, Whiteside gave us a glimpse into a quieter side of his personality—which is perhaps most endearing of all.


His Style

James Whiteside shows off his developpe front from his couch in his apartment

Whiteside in his Manhattan apartment

Andrew Werner

The piece of clothing he collects the most: "T-shirts. When they start to wear out as my real clothes, I transition them into dancewear, so it's fun to cycle through. I found this vintage Reba McEntire shirt from a 1988 tour at an amazing shop in the East Village."

Fashion philosophy: "I want to be comfortable. I like traditional, American clothing—T-shirts, jeans, leather jackets, cowboy boots, Chucks. I like to keep it simple with a James Dean sort of vibe."

Perks of stardom: "My shoes, I actually snagged off the set for the Valentine's Day Macy's shoot that I did with my boyfriend, Dan."

Frugal finds: "The couch is something a friend was getting rid of, the trunk was $1 at a flea market and everything on the walls, people have given me."

How He Fuels the Fierceness

Daily indulgence: "I eat dessert like every night. I'll get a pint of ice cream, or there's a 16 Handles around the corner from my apartment. My order is usually the peanut butter ice cream, and then I put in peanut butter cups, plus Reese's Pieces and Cap'n Crunch cereal."

Pre-show ritual: "Isabella Boylston and I always have lunch at Fiorello's. We get pasta with a side of pizza and really carbo-load."

Post-show ritual: "I go back to Fiorello's and have a Manhattan and maybe some chicken parmigiana."

Coffee order: "Just a small, black coffee."

What His Downtime Looks Like

James Whiteside on his toes in his apartment lobby

Andrew Werner

What he's reading: "Jane Eyre, because ABT is staging it this spring. I read every day. I recently loved The Dispossessed and Oathbringer."

Ideal day off: "My favorite thing to do is wake up slow, have coffee, go to my bagel shop, read, play video games. Maybe I'll meet up with some friends for lunch or see a movie. I usually work on my days off though, and I'll schedule a photo shoot or meetings. I can't do this forever, and I really want to solidify my place in the dance legacy. I want to get better all the time, and I like to make things and choreograph. I think in the future perhaps, you'll see more of that side of me."

The Conversation
Dance Training
Todd Rosenberg, Courtesy Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Alexandra Wells can always tell when a dancer hasn't read her summer intensive information packet. Sometimes, says Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's director of artist training, there's a quick fix for the lack of preparation. "You can go and buy a long-sleeve shirt after you burn your shoulder really badly in that first floorwork class," she says. But not bringing enough of your special-order pointe shoes? "That's really dire."

Between reading the fine print, shopping for necessities and ramping up physically, getting ready for a summer intensive takes more than just dancing a lot. We broke down a step-by-step timeline:

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Advice for Dancers
Photo by Ali Müftüoğulları, Courtesy Unsplash

Whenever I'm cast in a solo role, I'm consumed with thoughts of everything that could go wrong. Please help.

—Isabella, Philadelphia, PA

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