By Russell Janzen
Calling myself a food-obsessed dancer probably makes you think I’m counting grapes into a Dixie cup, but that’s far from accurate. I love to eat. My next meal is always in the back of my mind, and oftentimes it is the promise of an exceptional dinner that gets me through the week. Food really is what I live for.
Soon after I joined the New York City Ballet, my last name (Janzen, but pronounced Yahn-zen in this context) became a verb with two meanings: (1) to eat quickly and with gusto and (2) to finish the food off of someone else’s plate. As in, “You must have been hungry! You Yahn-zen-ed that pizza.” Even now, when I’m at my black-swan-craziest, with only two days left of New York City Ballet’s six-week long season, I relish every meal, every snack, and every bite.
8:30 AM—I have a big day today, and I want to start it off well. First is class, then a full run-through of tomorrow’s performance, and in tonight’s show I’m dancing in two very different ballets. All this makes me anxious, and my next chance to eat a real meal won’t be until 1:30. For breakfast I have 3 scrambled eggs with grated Piave, half an avocado, lox, a banana, and a cup of green tea.
Story continues in Issue 1