Attention my Curvy beauties! It is the holiday season and I hope you are taking the time to enjoy it to the fullest. It is a wonderful time of year that we spend planning fabulous events with friends and family. If there is a chance that you are looking for that true holiday experience that will transform your spirit, have I got something for you. It’s magical, it’s mystical and nostalgic as well as being the ultimate holiday experience that will remind you of what this season is all about. I am of course talking about George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” brought to you by the Miami City Ballet.
Like a Broadway spectacular, Miami City Ballet’s production of the famed George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ has it all — a cast of more than 100, glorious sets and costumes, magical special effects, beautiful music, and exceptional dancing by international stars. It’s the Holiday show to see!
Founded in 1985 by Edward Villella and Toby Ansin, the Miami City Ballet is one of the most famous companies in the world and houses some of the most talented and graceful performers of all time. As a true lover of the ballet, it was the highest honor for me to meet and interview their principal dancer, Jennifer Kronenberg whose talent unsurpassed and mesmerizing. She is the true definition of discipline, grace, and beauty. So here is my conversation with Miami’s own Sugar Plum Fairy:
Her background is really interesting. She was born in New York. Her mother is Dutch and Father was born in the US of Russian/French/German descent. She grew up in Queens, NYC. Dance was a huge part of her life since she was very young. Ballet was definitely her style from the very beginning. Started studying in a small school in Queens called “Once upon a Time”, which I think may have been a clue to her destiny. She then studied at the School of American Ballet in NYC. At the age of 18, she was offered a one year apprenticeship with the Miami City Ballet and took a chance on her future. It was the obvious a perfect fit being that this is her 17th year with the company. She has never been happier. Here are a few questions I wanted to ask Jennifer:
1) What is it like to be with the MCB?
When I came to the company it was so amazing because it was all new to me. I was coming on an apprenticeship for a year and was very excited. I have truly found a home in Miami and love being part of MCB. So it’s been great to be here as it has grown so much.
2) I hear that training and preparation can be very rigorous, not much different that of an athlete. How do you protect your body from getting hurt? How do you protect your feet?
Prevention and maintenance are a big part of our routine. It is several hours a day of rehearsals and training. Massage Therapy/ Physical Therapy & Acupuncture are also part of our routine. There are all kinds of details that we are constantly taking care of. Point shoes for example die so quickly, through rehearsal week that I will go through 2-4 pairs. Sometimes I will change shoes at least three times throughout a performance.
3) Can you give our readers an insight into your diet? What is your daily routine? Any healthy tips?
I eat all day long and breakfast is a must! Protein and small carbs are essential for my diet. Fruits for snacks, protein bars or shakes. Lunch is usually a lean cuisine or a turkey sandwich. Nuts and trail mix are also part of my snack choices. Dinner: Vegetables are where the vitamins come from and protein essentials. Carbs and fat are vital for energy and performance.
4) Theatre makeup can be so heavy on your skin, what is your skincare regimen, etc.
Makeup on a regular day (light makeup, mineral powder, blush, mascara and light lip gloss) Brand – Stage (MAC) Everyday (MAC) Mineralized skin finish
Skincare – Neutrogena deep clean, then toner and moisturizer
Once I get off stage, I run to take my makeup off because it can be so heavy and settle into pores. So my skincare is pretty important.
5) If stranded on a desert island, what are the top items you couldn’t live without?
A) My husband
B) Moisturizer with sunblock
C) Brush and a clip (My hair is really long and thick)
D) Lip gloss/chapstick
6) What keeps you motivated?
My love of ballet keeps me going! It makes me get up and drives me to do what I want everyday. It’s the best reward.
This was truly one of the most interesting conversations/interviews I have had. I really could have asked questions forever. I was so fascinated by Jennifer’s achievements and stories of their intense training. Even though they may look thin and fragile, they are intensely strong, focused and hard working. Here is a peek into their scheduled training and rehearsals that I learned from their PR director:
The ballerinas attend Company class every day – Monday through Friday — from 10 am to 11:30 am.
Then they are in rehearsals from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm
They take a one hour lunch from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm
And then resume rehearsals from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm.
That is seven hours of pure cardio work out – five days a week.
And then performances on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!
They eat small meals between rehearsals (an apple with peanut butter is a favorite snack during the 10 minute breaks)
And they perform even while injured.
They may be “thin” – but that is mainly all hard muscle and an amazing ability to work while in pain.
I think that seeing Jennifer’s next performance will leave even a bigger impact on me after speaking to her. She is an incredible human being with a fabulous personality and I will be forever grateful that I got to interview her. She is funny, interesting and driven with an impressive amount of skill. I highly suggest everyone go out and see all the amazing dancers that made Miami City Ballet what it is today. You can see “The Nutcracker” playing December 15th through December 24th at several venues throughout Miami and Broward. It is a must have for the holiday season! For more information, go to: www.miamicityballet.org. Happy Holidays!!! Xoxo
Photographs by Leigh-Ann Esty