Photos courtesy of Isabella Boylston | @isabellaboylston

Isabella wears the reversible HUMANITY Sweater a collab w/ @koketit (SHOP HERE)


Perhaps no introduction is needed... to the prolific and exceptional ballerina talent: Isabella Boylston. We had the absolute honor of talking to Isabella about being the principal ballerina at American Ballet Theatre, her extensive ballet training, dancing at The White House and her Ballerina Book Club.  Aside from her incredible dancing career we have long admired Isabella as a style icon and how she blends fashion, style curation and key messages with dance on her social platform with such elegance, play and charisma. Isabella is captured at her NYC dance studio in a few of her favorite ELEVEN SIX knitwear pieces from our latest Pre-spring collection.


Can you share your path to becoming a professional ballerina?

I’m originally from Sun Valley, Idaho. I grew up skiing and my mom signed me up for some dance classes at the local rec center. I loved the expressiveness and musicality of dancing and the thrill of working hard and improving day by day. My dad is a drummer and I think the first thing that connected me to dancing was music. It still does. I eventually attend a boarding school for ballet for high school and before my senior year in high school I was scouted by the director of the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company (an elite junior company that feeds directly into ABT) and was offered a contract. At 18, I moved to New York City to pursue my dream of becoming a professional ballerina and have been dancing with ABT ever since.


Isabella wears the CARLA Cardi (SHOP HERE)




 Can you share some career highlights? 

 A major highlight was being invited to perform with the Paris Opera as a guest star. It’s quite rare that they invite guest artists, so it was a huge honor. Another moment I’m very proud of is when I was able to bring ballet back to my hometown for the first time, which was the start of me producing and curating my own dance performances

What does a typical week of training look like for you when working towards  and then on a show? 

I rehearse for up to 9 hours a day. I try to get enough sleep and eat well and balance work with time to rest as much as possible. My pre-show food is a plate of spaghetti. I eat pasta 3-4 hours before the show to give myself enough fuel to get through a really grueling ballet. 


Isabella wears the reversible HUMANITY Sweater a collab w/ @koketit (SHOP HERE)


The initial pandemic shutdown on live performances must have been difficult for you and your fellow co-dancers. How did you navigate this period and what does it feel to be back on the stage? 

 It was very difficult. On the one hand, I think I was really burned out from working so relentlessly for the past 15 years. But it was really hard for me to be away from all my friends and I missed the intense camaraderie that is a part of being in a ballet company. My anxiety went through the roof. One way I was able to connect with others was via social media. My best friend, James Whiteside and I started teaching classes for charity on IG live. Tens of thousands of people all over the world tuned in and it was a gift to be able to come together through dance.

You recently danced at The White House over the holidays. Can you tell us about this experience ? 

 James and I were invited to come and perform in the East Room and help unveil the First Lady’s magnificent Christmas decorations. We got to dance through the rooms and watched the President take off in his chopper which was pretty cool. It was a day we’ll never forget!  



Any exciting things on the pipeline coming up for you! 

I’m headed to Cuba at the end of the month. I’ve performed there twice already and it’s an amazing place with a deep appreciation for dance. In June, I’ll be back performing at Lincoln Center with ABT. 

We love how you generously share snapshots of your dancing combined with style, fashion and important messages such as “Stop Asian hate”. Is this something that came naturally to you? 

Posting regularly on social media is almost like another full-time job. I love the hustle and I love connecting with my audience, but one of my New Year’s resolutions is to find more effective ways to unplug.  

Do you have a favorite movie, series or book that you watched/read recently?  

I just finished succession season 3 and it was incredible. I’m currently watching Emily in Paris. I recently read Laura Groff’s Matrix and it is a beautiful book. I highly recommend it. I have a book club, Ballerina Book Club that anyone is welcome to join by subscribing to the free newsletter. 


What does the ELEVEN SIX brand mean to you? 

I love the meeting of quality, softness, comfort and uniqueness. I don’t wear anything that’s itchy or uncomfortable because I need to be able to move freely at all times. I especially love that you know where each piece is coming from and feels like something that could be passed down through generations. 

Can you share some of your favorite pieces you own in your collection? 

A favorite is definitely the diamond pattern Carla cardigan which reminds me of my favorite costume from the ballet Harlequinade, and super soft Humanity sweater from the Koketit collab collection. I especially love that it’s reversible!


Isabella wears the CORINNE Sweater a past artist collaboration with @corinne.robbins