A Day in the Life of Ballerina Lauren Strongin

lauren1Photo Credit: ©Erik Tomasson

Los Gatos native Lauren Strongin joined the San Francisco Ballet as a soloist in 2015, after a stint with the Houston Ballet. Her husband, Joseph Walsh, is a principal dancer at the company. In honor of the upcoming season, which opens with a gala this Thursday, January 19, we asked her to share what happens in a day of her life. Here’s how the petite ballerina prepared for the new season one busy December day.

7:30 a.m. My husband gets up first and starts to make breakfast. I slowly get up and make breakfast for our English bulldog, Orson.

8:00 a.m. I eat breakfast—usually a high-protein vegan smoothie and coffee and sparkling water.

9:00 a.m. I head into work at SF Ballet. Today we prepare for the Nutcracker [which opened December 10]. I try to do some warm-up exercises before class, including some Pilates and stretching.

10:00 a.m. I start the workday with a ballet class. This helps me warm up and be ready for a full day of rehearsals.

11:15 a.m. Class finishes and we have a 15-minute break to prepare for rehearsals.

12:30 p.m. Our schedule varies from day to day, but today I have a private rehearsal of the “Grand Pas de Deux” from the Nutcracker.

1:00 p.m. I finish my private rehearsal and head to my next rehearsal of the “Snow Pas de Deux” from Nutcracker. Today, I run the snow scene with the corps de ballet in preparation for my first performance of the Nutcracker season.

2:00 p.m. Lunch time. Today I was able to schedule a massage during my off time. We are lucky to have massage therapists that come and take care of us in-house during the workday. I eat lunch between rehearsal and massagesomething high protein like an apple with almond butter and nuts or tofu spring rolls and a juice. Maybe some chocolate, too…

Lauren Strongin and Hansuke Yamamoto in Wheeldon’s Rush

Photo Credit: ©Erik Tomasson

3:00 p.m. More rehearsals for the Nutcracker, including several run throughs of the second act in its entirety. This gives everyone a chance to have a try before we get on stage in a few days. Also, it’s always inspiring to see the work my colleagues have been doing.

5:00 p.m. Today I’m lucky that I finish at 5:00, which is great. Some days we rehearse until 8:00, so finishing early is always exciting.

6:00 p.m. I head home and take care of my dog. I feed him and take him out. If I have the time and have prepared enough, I try to make dinner at home. My husband makes breakfast and I make dinner. We usually lean towards a more vegetarian menu and at the moment are trying out a vegan diet. We’re trying to maximize our protein intake and be extra healthy during our Nutcracker season, which can be really taxing physically. But we do allow ourselves a cheat day on our day off….We just went to Anchor Oyster Bar in the Castro, which is close to our house. It was amazing.

8:00 p.m. I eat dinner.

9:00 p.m. Usually on a long day or busy week, we stay in. Tonight we don’t have plans, so we can just chill. It’s the season for lots of holiday parties and get-togethers, so when we have the odd night without plans, it’s pretty nice. We recently moved into a new home in the Mission-Noe Valley area and are loving our little place. If it’s been a physically demanding day, I might indulge in a bath. Epsom salts are a good way to detox the muscles. Also, home time with the dog always makes me happy.

10:00 p.m. I’ve been loving watching Westworld on HBO and will probably watch the season finale. Maybe a little dessert while I watch and some herbal tea.

11:00 p.m. Bedtime.

Joseph Walsh and Lauren Strongin at the 2016 opening night gala's after party
Joseph Walsh and Lauren Strongin at the 2016 opening night gala’s after party

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer