Katherine Skelton is a petite, beautiful and brilliant ballerina.
I love too that she's a carb-lovin' girl and not a coffee snob ...
"Yes, shock horror, I'm just an instant coffee girl," she quips.
Kat is one of the stunning swans in the Royal New Zealand Ballet's show Black Swan, White Swan. This boasts modern choreography and the original Tchaikovsky score. The show tours nationally until July 6. It's live in Tauranga today and tomorrow.
Kat is one of the RNZB's longest serving ballerinas. She trained at the Dance Education Centre in Tauranga (and the New Zealand School of Dance as a student).
I caught up with Kat to ask her what a day in the life of a ballerina is like.
Firstly, wearing a tutu fulltime requires "long hours". Kat works out almost 10 hours a day generally.
She fuels her body first by eating two eggs (fried or scrambled) on Marmite-smeared toast. Or she'll just have Weet-Bix with milk and sugar. She washes this down with "just instant coffee". She has regular milk and a sugar in that.
Her movement starts at the studio early by 8.30am. She warms up by stretching. She uses a foam roller on her muscles and does core-activation exercises (like planks).
She snacks on a muesli bar about 9am — about half way through her warm-up.
She'll then do Pilates and put on her pointe shoes "so that my feet get ready to go".
"Then I'll do things like the splits so I'm warmed up flexibility-wise," she says.
The next 75 minutes are in a ballet class. Then there's six hours committed to rehearsing.
This is interupted in the middle by lunch. She eats usually eight pieces of sushi, "or a meat pie with tomato sauce if I'm out of town".
She'll snack on fruit and a breakfast-style pre-packaged drink too by mid-afternoon.
Later in the day, she'll have a Powerade.
Water is drunk throughout the day.
She finishes training by 6pm, but her "body work" isn't over yet ...
She'll head home for dinner and have usually a stir-fry with rice or noodles. Or she'll have
"a meat and three veg meal with some carbs".
She explains that she needs lot of carbs and food throughout the day to fuel her body and energy levels.
"I've got no reserves," she explains, adding that she's 44kg. So, she's a light, petite dancer who burns off any fuel intake!
Night time sees her soak in a hot bath to relax her muscles. She then uses a foam roller for 10 minutes and stretches out. "This helps me to get rid of any niggles."
Her biggest recovery tool, however, is sleep. "I have to get eight hours if I want to be at peak condition. But I function best with nine hours."
— Rachel Grunwell is a wellness expert & author of the book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness (featuring 30 wellness experts & 30 recipes). Order the book via inspiredhealth.co.nz or get it in all good book stores. Follow Rachel on Instagram (rachelgrunwell) or InspiredHealthNZ's Facebook (InspiredHealthNZ).