To stay in shape, San Francisco Ballet's Sofiane Sylve takes class with the trainees, taught by SFB School associate director Patrick Armand. Why? Because it's 30 minutes longer than company class.

"You have to floss deep," quips the 41-year-old principal.


She also gets massage, physical therapy and plenty of sleep, eschews alcohol and follows a vegan diet.

Her holistic wellness approach is in part a response to injuries, including severe neck pain while at NYCB and a back problem at SFB. "I was doing Myrtha, and I literally could not get on the toilet," she recalls.

Through painful experience, she has learned to stay tuned in to her body. "Whenever I've had an injury," she says, "I'm like, 'Okay, my body is trying to tell me something here, so how can I curb that while still dancing?' "

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