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A Day in the Life of a Professional Ballerina
Being a part of American Ballet Theatre (ABT), professional ballerina and face of the Avon Prima fragrance, Courtney Lavine, knows a thing or two about being a #BeautyBoss. Avon Insider was there when she filmed for a recent fragrance ad. She’s also an accomplished side hustler, tending to her social media account, booking ballet photo shoots and more. “Working from home is easier for me to focus when I’m between performances,” she explains. Sometimes she gets a week or two off, and it’s easier for her to send emails and set up meetings. “I have to stay on top of it. I have two jobs now, but I put in just as much effort for both.” Here, we caught up with Courtney Lavine and asked her to share a typical day in her life — whether it’s a rehearsal or performance day — in her own words.
Avon Insider – Rehearsal Days
On a rehearsal day, I wake up at 8/8:30am. I make coffee and cook breakfast. I put on my makeup and spray some perfume, Prima is a perfect fragrance to wear for rehearsals as its delicate yet has a distinctive scent. As for my makeup routine, the lighting in our rehearsal space in Union Square is harsh and makes people look a little sallow, so I put on a little concealer and foundation. I’ll fill in my brows with a brow pencil and put on a bit of blush, and mascara – I’ve been using Avon True Color Wide Awake Mascara which I love, then I set my makeup with a powder. If I’m feeling really tired, I put on brown eyeliner for a natural look, I like the Avon True Color Glimmersticks Eyeliner as glides on really smoothly. When I’m not working, sometimes I give my face a makeup break.
I head to work. My company class begins at 10:15am and ends at 11:45am. We start with a warm-up class, we do that before even getting into our rehearsal day.
At noon, rehearsal starts. When we’re getting ready for busy season in the summer, we work 12pm-7pm with a lunch break from 3pm-4pm. I’ll either bring food or grab something outside and sit in the lounge with my coworkers. From 12pm-1pm, I could be working on a ballet like Swan Lake, then 1pm-2pm, on a different ballet, especially during a heavy performance season. May through July, we perform about eight different ballets. We try to learn as many of them as we can during the period. The week before we open a show, we rehearse that show all day.
I’m out the door at 7pm and head home, take a shower, and eat. It’s important for me to have some downtime in the evenings – so that I’m mentally and physically prepared for the next day. I typically head to bed around 11pm.
These days are quite different to rehearsal days in that there tends to be more time preparing which can often mean hanging around waiting for things to happen.
I wake up a bit later than a rehearsal day, at 8:30/9am, because I live near Lincoln Center where we perform, on the Upper West Side in New York City – which I love.
This is when we have a dress rehearsal in a practice studio. We do our hair and put on our costumes. Then we perform. If it’s a story ballet, we’ll rehearse on-set to get used to the props we might need in the real show. You can never be too prepared for a show.
That’s our time to get ready for the show, which starts at 7:30pm or 8pm. I’ll do makeup during this time, I’ve picked up techniques over the years from watching makeup artists and the other ballerinas. I have a basic ballerina beauty makeup routine I do myself. I use concealer and foundation and I really set my foundation. In the crease of my eye, I add a plum purple color, because it stands out from far away. You want your eyes to look open. I bring the shadow out past my temples and then I put black eyeliner on the top of my lid and do a small wing. I brush on some blush with a little contour on my cheekbones and forehead. Depending on what show I’m doing, I’ll change my lip look. Typically wear red or plum, Avon True Color Ultra Color Lipstick in Perfect Red or Vamp are great options. Lastly, I don’t apply body oil but I wear lotion. You roll on the floor so you don’t want to be slippery.
This is the time we check in at half-hour calls. You have to be in the theater, and let them know you’re there. And then its show time – my favorite part of the whole day.
We finish around this time, sometimes later if it’s a 3-hour show. I go home, eat something fast and then get in bed.
Check out the behind the scenes video of the Avon Prima fragrance campaign shoot below:
Click here to find out more about the Prima fragrance from Avon.