Dancers' Body Book
by Allegra Kent
Ballet dancers have the strongest, most beautiful, probably the most envied bodies in the world. How do they stay slender and willowy while maintaining the extraordinary energy it takes to perform night after night? Can a nondancer or an amateur attain a dancer's figure and a dancer's vitality? And keep it?
Here, in The Dancers' Body Book, the legendary ballerina Allegra Kent discloses the health, weight-watching, and relaxation secrets of some of the world's greatest ballet dancers -- from Suzanne Farrell and Fernando Bujones to Darci Kistler and Madame Alexandra Danilova. Combining them with two well-balanced diets -- one to lose weight by and one to live by -- and an exercise regimen that can be tailored to the individual, she provides a fabulous fitness program for everyone who longs to be slimmer, healthier, and more energetic.
Fourteen varied menus incorporate delicious recipes from the dancers themselves (such as Jacques D'Amboise's Wonderful Dinner Salad and Dierdre Carberry's Almond Meringue Kisses), along with calorie guides and advice on how to create additional menus using your own favorite dishes. Helpful discussions on sports and exercise systems -- ranging from jogging and swimming to the sophisticated "Pilates" workout -- are also included, and in a special chapter entitled "A Healthy Outlook," the dancers talk candidly on such issues as smoking, anorexia, vitamins, doctors, massage, junk foods, fad diets, and injuries.
Dancers take meticulous care of all their equipment because training and performance depend on it. Of course, the most essential piece of equipment, the body, needs the most care of all, and that is what this book is about: how to take care of the world's greatest machine.
Allegra Kent joined the New York City Ballet at the age of fifteen and was a principal dancer with the company for thirty years, during which time she created a number of starring roles in ballets by Balanchine and Robbins. The mother of two daughters and a son, she is also the author of Allegra Kent's Water Beauty Book.
- HarperCollins, June 2009
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