Style Counsel: Neile Martin

Occupation: Dancer, MamLuft&Co. Dance. Her Style: Tee time.
Occupation: Dancer, MamLuft&Co. Dance. Her Style: Tee time.

Photograph by Annette Navarro

You started ballet lessons at 3 years old and now you’re a member of MamLuft. What drew you to modern dance? I love the freedom and the movement. I have scoliosis, and ballet is very line driven. Modern dance allowed my back to be part of how I moved. I’m also kind of a mess, as a mover, and modern embraces that.

Dancers have a reputation for dialing into a particular style. Where do you think that comes from? For me it’s a mixture of comfort and laziness. We spend a lot of our lives in some version of pajamas. If I finish rehearsal at 10:30 p.m. and I’m going to meet someone for a drink, I’m not going to change into street clothes. After five hours in a leotard, you don’t want to put on tight jeans.

So comfort is key, on stage and off. When I go out in OTR, the people I see just look so uncomfortable. They’re walking from bar to bar in heels and skirts that make it hard to move. A well fitting T-shirt and a nice pair of trousers or jeans and Doc Martens are just right.

Who knew they’d become such a classic? I wear a pair of black Doc Martens until they can’t be saved, then get a new pair. My feet hurt all the time from dancing and the last thing I want to do is put on something that makes them feel worse.

What kind of T-shirt makes the cut in your wardrobe? I want something that fits my shoulders well, hangs loose, is a little bit worn looking, and always soft. Sloane, where I work, has great ones, as does Continuum, which just opened on Vine Street. I love the deconstructed T-shirts too. They’re proof that T-shirts can be very sexy.


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