I’m ecstatic to being continuing with my Getting to Know blog series! It’s been such a joy with each blog to learn more and chat with some of the Dance world’s top companies. This time it’s all about Abiligal Mentzer Designs! These designs are known for being adorable, whimsical Balanchine style ballet skirts in a wide variety of prints and colors. Abiligal was so generous with all of her responses and I’m so happy to share them with you!
1. How did you get involved in the dance world?
My parents both played French Horn and I would dance around the apt endlessly so they put me in classes when I was 3 years old. I started at a little school in Washington Heights. When I was 8 I auditioned for SAB and got in. My first year there I was lucky enough to be a part of the Nutcracker Movie with Macaulay Culkin. You can see my little face as an angel in act 2. I was with SAB for 10 years before attending Miami City Ballet Student Professional Division and in 2002 I started my career at the Pennsylvania Ballet under the Direction of Roy Kaiser. I made it to Soloist rank and performed in so many beautiful ballets in my 11 seasons there. In 2013 I joined the Phantom of the Opera North American Tour as Corps de Ballet / Meg Giry Cover. While on tour, I met some of my dearest friends and my husband of 2 years this August.
2. When and why was Abigail Mentzer Designs created?
In about 2007, while dancing with PA Ballet, my friend and Principle dancer Martha Chamberlain invited me into her design studio to sew. It was there that the Classic Slinky Ballet Skirt was born. I made a few for my friends and very quickly all the dancers wanted one and then all the ladies at Miami City Ballet wanted one and it continued to spread from company to company.
3. What are your most skirt colors/fabrics?
My AM Skirt is made from “Slinky” fabric. Slinky is a 4 way stretch fabric that has a weighty feel which gives the skirts their bouncy, flouncy nature, if you will. The Slinky fabric comes in a full spectrum of colors but it can also be difficult to acquire.
4. What are your favorite fabrics to use?
I love to use Slinky fabric but I also love Stretch Mesh and I’m attempting to dabble in Chiffon as well but I’m better with stretch.
5. Are there any new products/styles/prints coming out that you want us to keep an eye out for?
I just found this fabulous leopard print Slinky fabric that I can’t wait to turn into skirts. I’m also making a stretch mesh version of my skirt so dancers can see their bodies and self correct while still having some coverage and style.
Check her out!
These skirts are some of my favorites because of how they really show off those long leg lines that, lets be honest, ALL dancers are striving for. Being 5 foot 4inches, I definitely appreciate any help I can get! If you want to get any of the Abiligal Mentzer Designs products, click the links in bold or in any of the pictures above. She now selling AM Skirts exclusively on Instagram and has tons of colors to choose from. Please DM her to inquire about purchasing a skirt, you will be so glad that you!
Every Ballerina Needs to Take a Bow