Our series Before 9 explores the early morning routines of inspiring women, in their own words. Follow along for the hacks, habits, and tidbits that set them up for success during the rest of the day.
- As a principal dancer with NYC's prestigious American Ballet Theatre, Isabella Boylston knows a thing or two about discipline—it's the foundation of her work as an athlete and, ultimately, her day-to-day.
- That all begins with her morning routine, where she leans on some of her most treasured rituals to help gear her up for hours of rehearsals.
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How is it that, in the age of social media and general oversharing, ballerinas seem to remain so enigmatic? If we had to guess, our collective fascination stems from a sense of awe: There are few art forms, after all, that require so much grace, talent, and discipline in equally crucial doses.
So we were surprised to learn that even as a principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre—one of the most celebrated companies in the world—Isabella Boylston's morning routine is surprisingly low-key. "Mornings are about waking up, setting goals for myself, and getting my body warmed up and ready to go for rehearsals," she says.
In fact, it's kind of a great equalizer; a reminder that even if we're not professional athletes, we can all engage in small habits and acts of self-care that gear us up for success—no matter what we're working towards. Get inspired by Boylston's go-to morning rituals below.
My morning routine really starts the night before.
"I think having a productive morning has a lot to do with getting enough sleep. I prioritize going to bed at a reasonable hour and it’s helped a lot."
Let's be clear about one thing—I am not a morning person.
"I love sleeping. But coffee helps."
So does breakfast.
"My favorite is an egg and cheese sandwich with hot sauce and an avocado with olive oil, salt and pepper on the side. If I have pasta left over from the night before, I also love eating that with a fried egg on top."