I have done the company lifestyle for 16 years, and ballet has changed.
I'm not OK dancing 90 percent.
At age 14, coming to the U.S., all I knew was American Ballet Theatre, Baryshnikov, Nureyev, and some of the European companies. I barely knew anything about Balanchine.
By the end of 'Swan Lake,' you know how there's all the corps on stage, and she keeps running in the back, doing arms? You can't feel your arms. You're just like, 'Ow.'
I've learned, after 18 years of gathering information, to eat, then check in with my body - how do I feel? I've learned to eat whatever makes my body feel good. As a teenager, I was just so confused, overwhelmed by all the information.
There are positives to moving around and changing companies: you put things in perspective; you can compare living and working conditions. Living in one city, you tend to take things for granted; your view is much more narrow. In Europe, a dancer can leave for a year and still keep her original contract.