Healthy at Home

with Carolyn Lippert

Carolyn Lippert was born in Boston, Massachusetts and trained at Severance Ballet Conservatory with her mother, Carla Stallings-Lippert, and at the American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School.  

Lippert joined the ABT Studio Company in September 2011 and performed with American Ballet Theatre at the Metropolitan Opera House in 2013.  She went on to dance with The Washington Ballet for their 2013-2014 season and San Francisco Ballet for their 2014-2015 season. 

Carolyn Lippert ABT

She joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in December 2015. 

Here’s how Carolyn is staying Healthy at Home:

Of course there are some things we’re all collectively experiencing but what have been the most major life changes for you?

I’d say one of the biggest life changes for me right now has been the lack of physically seeing people. I know that’s something everyone is collectively experiencing, but I feel like not seeing anyone (besides my boyfriend) in person deeply effects me. I miss connecting with people. 

How are you staying positive and motivated dancing at home?

It’s honestly really hard for me. I’ve been stuck in a 450 square foot apartment the entire quarantine, and doing class in my tiny kitchen is far from inspiring.

I’ve been trying to stay motivated and positive, but there are some days that not taking class is better for my mentality than struggling through yet another class with my kitchen table as a barre and constantly kicking walls. 

Have you made any adjustments to your meal plan? Any favorite quarantine meals or snacks?

I haven’t made many changes to my eating, I’ve always just eaten when I’m hungry. I naturally eat pretty healthy, but if I crave something I go for it!

I’ve started cooking more during quarantine and have pushed myself out of my comfort box as a chef (it didn’t take much!).

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I’ve also rekindled my love for hummus after overeating it a few years back, so I’ve been dipping whatever I have (veggies, pretzels, etc) in hummus for a snack. And of course all the amazing summer fruit! 

Are you coping with any anxiety or more challenging emotions? What are you doing to work through them?

I have days every now and then that are difficult emotionally, but I’ve found keeping moving and busy helps. On my harder days I’ve found that long walks with my dog help. Just letting myself breathe and enjoy the world around me, like the nature in the park, can help me reset and remember that things will be ok. 

Are you worried about staying in shape? What would you say to dancers who are concerned about losing technique or “getting out of shape”?

I am, and at the same time I’m not. It’s so easy to let the fear of getting out of shape cause unneeded anxiety. I think dancers right now need to realize that it’s ok to relax, it’s ok to not always be doing something to “stay in shape”.

There’s a lot going on in the world, and putting extra stress on ourselves (something dancers, or at least myself, are very good at doing) is the last thing anyone needs right now. There will be time to get back into shape. Do what you can/want every day, but only do what you mentally and physically should. 

How are you filling your extra time?

I’m one of those people who would rather be too busy than not, so I’ve really tried to fill my time. In the beginning of the quarantine I took really long walks with Chloe (my pup), did workouts, “company class” every day via Zoom, and read a lot.

I think I went through something like five books in the first month of quarantine! Once the summer term began on June 1 I’ve had college classes (I’m a student at CUNY). They are definitely filling my time! 

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What does your transition plan look like? Have you gotten word as to when you’ll be getting back into the studio? How do you think the structure you’ve created at home will translate back to company life?

Technically, my company is scheduled to start back in September and prepare for our fall season. However, I’m not sure if that will realistically happen. I really hope so!

I plan to go home to California at some point before we start back. While there, my mom will whip me back into shape. (Fun fact: she trained me and was a soloist at ABT and principle dancer at Boston Ballet!)

ABT Dancer Carolyn Lippert “Healthy at Home”

Jess Spinner

Jess is a former professional ballet dancer turned Holistic Health, Nutrition, and Lifestyle Coach for high level dancers. She founded The Whole Dancer in 2015 after identifying a greater need for balance, wellness and support in the dance world. Since The Whole Dancer was founded, Jess has worked with 100's of dancers worldwide at top companies and schools. She has been featured in or written for Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine, Pointe Magazine, and Dance Spirit Magazine.

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