By Hallie Rumsey-Lasersohn, professional dancer and teacher
Working as a professional dancer is not your typical job. It takes many years of training and dedication to get to that magical moment when you get up on stage and share your art with the world. Not a lot of people know what a normal workday looks like for a ballerina. I am going to give you a glimpse into a typical day in my life as a professional dancer.
Every day starts with coffee, a filling breakfast, and more coffee. I have been loving oatmeal with fruit and peanut butter in the morning. It keeps me full for a long time and tastes delicious. After breakfast I do my hair in a bun, pick out a leotard and tights, and head to the studio.
Once I arrive at the studio I spend about an hour warming up. I do a combination of stretching and conditioning exercises to help prepare my body for the day ahead. I take my time and listen to my body, giving special attention to any sore or tight muscles I might have from the day before.
Time for company class! We always start the day with a ballet class to warm up, prevent injuries and continue to work on our technique. We start at the barre and slowly work our way up to bigger exercises, ending with big jumps across the floor.
After class, I have a fifteen-minute break before rehearsals start. I drink water, have a snack, and put on whatever shoes I need for my next rehearsal.
Rehearsals vary from day to day. This could mean learning a new piece, working on a specific part, or doing a full run-through of a ballet.
Time for lunch. I eat whatever I am in the mood for that day. Sometimes it’s leftovers, other times it’s a big salad or a Pb+J with yogurt and a piece of fruit. I always make sure to get some protein in to help with muscle recovery.
More rehearsals! It takes a lot of preparation to put a show together.
When rehearsals are over I head home, take a shower, do some gentle stretching, and have a snack.
If we have a show that night I will eat dinner then head to the theater to get ready. It takes me about an hour to do my hair and makeup. I take another short warm-up class, put on my costume, and then it's curtain up for the performance. If we don’t have a show that night I am either teaching, reading, or watching Netflix.
If the dance studio is my favorite place in the world, my bed is a close second. Sleep is so important for athletes' minds and bodies. I put on a podcast or book on tape and get my rest before doing it all again the next day!
Modern Motion Dance School