"As a teen, I had a ballerina's body," says Misty Copeland. So when her middle-school drill-team coach suggested dance classes, she took the tip and eventually studied at San Francisco Ballet School. Today Copeland, 35, is the first African-American female principal dancer with N.Y.C.'s American Ballet Theatre. During the six months a year when the ballet is in season, she can spend seven hours every day training for shows like Swan Lake and The Nutcracker (Copeland has a lead dance role in the upcoming Disney movie version of the latter). But caring for her body takes more than pliés. "You need a balance between eating clean and working out."
VIDEO: Misty Copeland Quotes to Get You Through the Day
Here, a few of the rituals that keep her mind and body ballet-ready.