At six feet tall, the Alonzo King LINES Ballet dancer—and recent Princess Grace Award winner—lives up to her company’s name. Because her long legs build muscle easily, she takes a relaxed approach to cross-training, only doing what she needs to strengthen weaknesses and prevent injuries—and she always lets her body get a little softer during the off-season.
Go-to cross-training routines: Daily Pilates, plus yoga and Gyrotonic a few times a month. “I’ve recently gotten into TRX suspension training, which uses two cords you can attach to anything and then hang from. For example, I love doing a plank with my feet suspended in the cords, and pulling in my knees to do curls. It kills your core and arms.”
Rehearsal refocusing trick: Handstands against the wall. “I stay for a minute. When the blood goes to your head, there’s this renewal of circulation and energy. I feel more present afterward. Everybody in the company does it.”
Biggest struggle: Tours. “I somehow gain five pounds every time. I try to stay active by renting a bike, or using the hotel’s pool, or doubling up on my core work. But when it’s freezing cold somewhere, all you want to do is hibernate and eat cheese.”
Pre-show prep: “Sometimes I go to the steam room to stretch or give myself a massage while my muscles turn into Jell-O. But it makes me sleepy, so I need to have time for a nap afterward.”
Meal plan: “I start off with a huge breakfast: oatmeal with almonds, bananas, blueberries and honey. After class I always have an orange (I’m from Florida). Then, we only have short breaks, so I snack on yogurt, veggies, nuts and fruit, or split up a big sandwich throughout the day.”
Finding balance: “I make a point never to live with dancers, and to get out of the studio. I go tango and salsa dancing at night. I like tinkering around with drum sets. And I’ve recently gotten into spray painting, doing street art.”
The Workout 23 November 2013