Boren in Balanchine's Allegro Brillante. Photo by Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT.

ABT Corps Dancer Kathryn Boren's Weekend Cross-Training Routine

This story originally appeared in the December 2015/January 2016 issue of Pointe.

When Kathryn Boren joined the corps of American Ballet Theatre last spring, after two years with Boston Ballet, it meant adjusting her cross-training schedule, too. To accommodate ABT's longer rehearsal days, she moved most of her workouts to her day off, Sunday. “I don't want to tire myself out too much during the week," Boren says. “I keep it simple, so I can push on the weekends." Here are the ins and outs of her routine.

Sunrise strengthener: After brushing her teeth, Boren does a grueling plank series with her feet lifted and pressed against a wall. She alternates a 30-second hold with 30 seconds of mountain climbers—driving one knee toward the elbow and switching legs—until she's reached two minutes. “That's the only thing I really do at home before I leave for work."

Uphill battle: Boren's Sundays at the gym typically start with 45 minutes on the elliptical. She gets her heart pumping with intervals, adjusting the incline and resistance every few minutes. Throughout the session, she'll work at steep incline levels of 10 to 13 and resistance levels of 5 to 9.


Savvy suspension: About two years ago, Boren added TRX suspension training to her routine. “It really helps with coordination and targets every area of my body," she says. One of her preferred exercises with the straps is a single-leg burpee—a combo of a plank, lunge and jump. “It's so challenging."

Ultimate control: On the weekends and at the end of rehearsal days, Boren often tests her balance with barre exercises on a BOSU ball. Her favorites include relevés both in parallel and turned out, ronds de jamb en l'air, petits battements and balances in passé, développé or arabesque with eyes closed.

Biggest challenge: “I'm so long that it's easy for me to lose my center and not really know where my body is placed," says Boren. She takes yoga once or twice a week to build stability and strength in her core and lower body.

Performance-season survival tip: “Keep eating." Boren stocks her bag with snacks like apples, bananas, carrot sticks and pretzels. “If I go too long without some kind of nourishment, my body feels it immediately and I just want to sleep." That's not an option for Boren, since she's often rehearsing multiple ballets at once.

Latest Posts


Left to right: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Daphne Lee, Amanda Smith, Lindsey Donnell and Alexandra Hutchinson in a scene from Dancing Through Harlem. Derek Brockington, Courtesy Dance Theatre of Harlem

Dancers Share Their Key Takeaways After a Year of Dancing on Film

Creating dances specifically for film has become one of the most effective ways that ballet companies have connected with audiences and kept dancers employed during the pandemic. Around the world, dance organizations are finding opportunities through digital seasons, whether conceiving cinematic, site-specific pieces or filming works within a traditional theater. And while there is a consistent sentiment that nothing will ever substitute the thrill of a live show, dancers are embracing this new way of performing.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

#TBT: Mikhail Baryshnikov in "Fancy Free" (1981)

In Jerome Robbins's 1944 ballet Fancy Free, three sailors on leave spend the day at a bar, attempting to woo two young women by out-dancing and out-charming one another. In this clip from 1981, Mikhail Baryshnikov, who was then both the artistic director of American Ballet Theatre and a leading performer with the company, pulls out all the stops to win the ladies' affections.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Bethany Kirby, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet

An Infectious-Disease Physician on What Vaccines Mean for Ballet

As the coronavirus pandemic grinds into its second year, the toll on ballet companies—and dancers—has been steep. How long before dancers can rehearse and perform as they once did?

Like most things, the return to normal for ballet seems to hinge on vaccinations. Just over 22 percent of people in the U.S. are now vaccinated, a way from the estimated 70 to 85 percent experts believe can bring back something similar to pre-pandemic life.

But what would it mean for 100 percent of a ballet company to be vaccinated? Tulsa Ballet artistic director Marcello Angelini is about to find out—and hopes it brings the return of big ballets on the big stage.

"I don't think companies like ours can survive doing work for eight dancers in masks," Angelini says. "If we want to work, dance, and be in front of an audience consistently and with the large works that pay the bills, immunization is the only road that leads there."

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks