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Following the path of a ballet artist (and any other artist, really) is a calling as well as a choice. Your character gets tempered with challenges but staying on the road for years, when taking shortcuts is in fashion is tough. We continue talking to Zarely Rising Stars - the ballerinas in the early stages of their careers with the talent, drive, and ambition to follow in the footsteps of the legendary dancers who came before them. In today's spotlight are Adèle Belem and Brigid Walker. You can read the first part of this interview here.

Adèle is a past-student of Paris Opera Ballet School who has recently been promoted to the company. She was born into a ballet family—her mother and father both danced with Paris Opera Ballet, her mother reaching the coveted rank of Etoile—though Adèle says she chose the ballet life for herself, “ The decision to become a dancer was entirely mine. At the beginning, my parents never even suggested I should be a ballerina.

Like Adèle, Brigid also came to ballet on her own. Her parents were quick to jump on board, “ I chose to pursue ballet more intensely and my parents willingly supported my decision.” She trains at the prestigious Master Ballet Academy in Phoenix, Arizona, and captured the dance world’s attention with a spectacular showing at the 2016 YAGP final in New York City where she took home the bronze in the junior division.

So what’s it like to be an up-and-coming ballerina? Much like Taylor, Jessica, and Bianca, it looks a lot like Love of the Craft, Well-Rounded Training, Rest, and Preparation

Love of the Craft

Training all day every day takes its toll, but the girls are sustained by their love of the art form. “ I love jumps,” says Adele. “ They make me feel free like a bird. I like the challenge of maintaining good technique while appearing light and airy.” Brigid enjoys the basics, “ Arabesque has always been one of my favorites. It’s a dancer's home position, and seamlessly combines beauty and athleticism. It can portray and evoke almost every emotion from strength to flirtatiousness to grief.” At Zarely we also believe in striving to perfect the basics. That’s why we poured over hours of interviews and pages of research to develop the perfect pair of tights: The Z1 and Z2 Rehearsal and Performance Tights.

Well-Rounded Training

Even after spending hours in the studio and onstage, Brigid and Adele both find it essential to make time to cross train. After a long day of high impact, high energy rehearsals, both girls like to unwind with lower impact exercises like pilates and yoga.

Brigid gave us a sneak peek into one of her favorite ten-minute core workouts. All you need is an exercise ball!

Adele likes to loosen up before class with a quick stretch at the barre.

Work Hard, Rest Hard

To Brigid and Adèle, recovery is every bit as important as their training. In addition to sliding on their Z3 Recovery Tights, these dancers use heat and massage to soothe their muscles and promote healing. “ Usually, I take a warm bath to relax the muscles,”says Adèle . “It's very important if you want to going strong for the next performances! I also like a nice cup of ginger tea before to go to bed.”Brigid likes a more active approach, “ After a performance or hard day of dance I like to slather on some sports oil and roll out my muscles before I stretch. From there, I hop into bed to get a goodnight's rest and allow my muscles to recover.”

Preparations

Some dancers swear by their pre-show rituals, everything from knocking on the stage to jumping in circles. But Brigid and Adele take much more practical approaches. Adele likes to sew her shoes to get herself in the zone, “ In general, I always prepare my pointe shoes. It keeps me busy so I can concentrate! Just before going on stage, I eat cranberries and almonds, it's a real booster while I keep myself warm!”Brigid also likes a snack and a light bar workout, “ To prepare for a performance, I make sure to eat a substantial amount of protein about 2hrs before I go on, and I try keep a water bottle close by in order to constantly hydrate. I will also take class, or give myself a barre, and then continue to warm up by going over my choreography, listening to my music, and getting into character. Right before I go onstage, I always pray, thus putting it all in God's hands.”

Whether you’re a rising star or a role model, at the beginning of your journey or at your prime, Zarely has you covered with functional tights and stylish athletic wear.


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