Any roles you’re particularly excited for?
Juliet. At this point in my career, it’s my favorite role I’ve ever danced. The
experience of getting onstage…there’s no way of preparing for it other than
getting out there and living the part as it’s happening. There aren’t very
many dancing scenes for her; there’s two big pas de deux, but the bulk of it
is acting. It was kind of a shock how much I enjoyed it. Acting turned out to
be a strength of mine that I don’t think I knew about.
What will be in your new book, Ballerina Body?
It’s an inside look at all that it takes to get a dancer’s body. Most people,
when they think “ballerina body,” have this perception that it’s unhealthy
and eating-disordered and too thin. We in the dance world know that’s not
the case. I feel like I’ve created my own ballerina body that works for me,
and everyone can create their own version of that, their own best self. So it’s
sharing different recipes that I cook, cross-training that I do, plus some of my
mantras and experiences. Dancers have such strong minds and discipline. So
many people can benefit from the tools we have to create a healthy lifestyle.
Are you working on any other projects right now?
I’m launching my own dancewear line called Egal this summer. I created it
from my experience as a dancer who doesn’t have a stick figure, who needs
support in her dancewear. I’ve been working on it for seven years, so it’s
extremely exciting to finally have it be coming out.
How do you balance outside opportunities with your work at ABT?
I feel like it’s easier when you’re busy to just keep going. But my roles always
come first. I only work with brands willing to work around my schedule. But
I’ll sacrifice the time with friends, the dinners and hanging out. Right now,
I have this amazing platform and I want to take advantage of it and do as
much as I can with the time I have.
Has fame changed things for you?
It’s a bit shocking every time I go out onstage and the audience responds in
a way that they didn’t four years ago. It’s like, Wow, I can’t believe all these
people are so excited. But that’s amazing. I think every ballet audience
should be that way.
Has that impacted your relationship to other ABT dancers?
Not to my knowledge! This career is too much work to bring that stuff
into the studio with you. And there’s no way to avoid being humbled
every single day when you walk into the studio and are surrounded by so
Here and right: Juliet
surprised Copeland as
her favorite role.