Eat Like A Prima Ballerina

Isabella Boylston began ballet dancing at three years old, and hasn’t stopped since. She is currently the youngest principle ballerina in the American Ballet Theatre, and is performing lead roles in Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Romeo & Juliet this summer. More importantly though, she shares our love of pasta, and thinks the new potato is coconut creamer. Obsessed yet? We plugged Boylston for beauty routines, favorite foods and her love for traveling to Japan…

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

Ideally the day would start with eggs and a good cup of coffee. I love american cheese with eggs, but because regular American Cheese isn’t great for you, I found an organic version that’s the perfect replacement. For lunch, a great sandwich will do, and for dinner, pasta with some veggies and a nice glass of wine.

How do you practice beauty from the inside out?

When I was a kid, my parents continually emphasized that what’s on the inside of a person is much more important than what’s on the outside. I still believe this is true. The way people look changes as you get to know them. Beauty is confidence and kindness.

What are your morning and nightly beauty routines?

My morning routine is very basic. I rinse my face with water only, brush my teeth, and apply tinted moisturizer with spf. If I have time, I’ll put on some makeup for rehearsals, but most days I don’t wear makeup. At night, I wash my face with a natural face wash from Jordan Samuel skin, apply serum, and sometimes an oil if I’m extra dry. I wash my hair about every other day.

Are there specific foods you eat before and after a performance? 

My favorite pre-show food is pasta. If I’m on the road, I’ll order some spaghetti from room service. After a show I’ll eat anything – a burger, steak, fish, or more pasta!

Do you have any pre-show rituals? 

My biggest pre-show ritual is listening to music and drinking coffee. I always get really nervous before a big show, so it helps me stay in a positive state of mind. Sometimes I take a hot shower at the last minute before I go onstage to get my blood going – and I give my rings to my dresser, Tomoko, for safekeeping.

What are your favorite work outs to do at home? 

To be honest, I don’t do a ton of workouts at home, because I’m usually recovering from shows or rehearsals. But I always make sure to roll out my muscles with a foam roller and take hot bubble baths with Epsom salts.

What foods make you feel your best? Your worst?  

Pasta, fruits and veggies make me feel really great. Processed foods that come in bags and boxes usually tend to make me feel gross.

What are some of your favorite go-to beauty products? 

So many! Bobbi Brown rose lipstick, Makeup Forever liquid liner, MAC eyeshadow in twinks, YSL lipstick in neon pink, RMS beauty luminizer and also concealer. I love R & Co dry shampoo paste. For a natural deodorant, I love Lavanilla. For my skincare, I use Jordan Samuel every day. I also love Tata Harper.

What is always in your handbag? 

Lipstick and a book or my iPad mini. Also hairpins for throwing my hair up into a bun if I’m runnning late for rehearsal.

What are some of the best travel destinations your ballet has taken you to? What won’t you travel without? 

There have been so many amazing tours! I always love going to Japan. In 2010, we toured to Cuba which was incredible. Probably the most culturally different place we went so far was Oman. We are going to Paris again this fall and I can’t wait. I usually travel with my monogrammed Louis Vuitton suitcase, which was a gift from my husband when I was promoted to principal dancer. I always need a good book, preferably fantasy or sci-fi, some warm layers, and plenty of pointe shoes!

Growing up, did you always know you wanted to become a ballerina? When did you realize this could be a serious career path for you? 

When I first started dancing, I didn’t really know what ballet was or that it was something you could actually do for your career, I just loved the expressiveness of it and also the challenge. No one in my family knew anything about it either. I’m not sure that I ever made a real choice, because even at a young age I couldn’t picture my life without dance. I just knew it was something I would always do.

What are your favorite food cities? What restaurants do you like to go to in each? 

New York is number one! I love Prune, ABC Cocina, Totto Ramen, and Cafe Orlin.

Maybe New York and Tokyo are tied…Literally the best pizza in the world is in Tokyo at Savoy Pizza. Trust me. Once I got to dine at Jiro’s sushi with Jiro himself and it was incredible. And all the ramen! The ramen in Tokyo….

In Paris, I love Le Chateaubriand and Brasserie Lipp for some classic French food and service.

What advice do you have for women waking up and looking in the mirror in the morning? 

Don’t limit yourself. You can do whatever you set your mind to, as long as you don’t let fear or worrying about your perceived shortcomings get in the way of working towards your goals.

In the same vein as what is the new black in fashion, what’s the new potato right now? 

The new potato is coconut creamer in iced coffee. Absolutely love it!

Read our interview with ABT’s Misty Copeland. Also learn more about Ballet Beautiful

Isabella Boylston, photographed in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann.