The Workout: Céline Cassone

The Ballets Jazz de Montréal dancer lifts weights but avoids stretching.
Published in the April/May 2013 issue.

Photo by Gregory Bartadon

Céline Cassone eats up space onstage. To achieve that fierce energy, she works out a different set of muscles every day.

Pre-class routine: 45 minutes of cardio, then 45 minutes of weight training. “I switch between the elliptical, the treadmill and the cross-country machines.” She’ll often do cardio intervals: one minute intense, one minute slow, then two minutes intense, one minute slow, etc. “Afterward, I strength-train a different body part each day with free weights. And I always do ab exercises, like crunches on the Pilates ball.”
Why she avoids stretching: “When I was younger, I’d stretch like crazy. But my body was too loose; I got injured often. Then I read studies that showed stretching too much could cause tears. Now I stretch for just 10 minutes after dancing, and never before.”
Ignoring the trends: “I tried yoga, but it’s too painful on my hips. And I don’t have the patience for Pilates classes.”
Touring tool: If a hotel doesn’t have a fitness center, Cassone brings a jump rope. “Only five minutes, because it’s not so good for my knees. But at least that way I can warm up for class.”
Meal plan: “I eat protein every morning. During the rehearsal day I have a protein shake with juice and a banana. At night I eat vegetables, with meat or fish. Then on the weekend, I eat what I want! It’s important to let go sometimes.”