Q&A with Paloma Herrera

The prima ballerina on broccoli, baths and how she keeps that bun in place.

It's "The Nutcracker" season and wide-eyed children everywhere are filing sugarplum fairies away in their earliest holiday memories. But for Argentine-born Paloma Herrera, who celebrated 20 years with the American Ballet Theatre this summer, the Tchaikovsky classic is just the next curtain call in the whirlwind life of a prima ballerina. Before taking the stage in ABT's version (debuting December 14 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music), we spoke with Herrera about dedicating herself to dance 24/7.

Typical Workout:
I usually begin with Company class in the morning for an hour and a half. Then I’ll have several hours of rehearsal throughout the day. If we’re performing, I’ll start to prepare and then have the performance at 8 p.m. until 11 p.m.

Secret to ballerina bun perfection:
Garnier Fructis Shine Glossing Spray. It makes my hair shine for performances and prevents frizziness.

Favorite tights:
I always wear Bloch when I’m dancing.

Where she feels most at home:
New York, because I feel at home as an artist. And Buenos Aires, because I have my family and friends there.

What we’d be surprised to find in her fridge?
Nothing! I always eat very healthy and basic food. 

Why a 6-year-old would hate her diet:
I love broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts. I usually steam them.

All-time favorite place to dance:
The MET.

Best insider tip from an instructor:
"Be happy with yourself."

Favorite meal:
Sushi in Japan.

Her latest obsession:
Vinyasa and Bikram yoga.

Why you shouldn’t invite her on a cruise:
I don’t take vacations. I really love what I do!

Best gift she’s ever received:
To be able to dance.

What totally relaxes her:
Listening to music, reading and a hot bath.

Libraries or e-books?
Libraries!!!

Number one reason for taking care of her body:

To prevent  injures and because it just makes me feel good.

If she weren't a dancer, she would be:
Um, I have no idea.

Message she’d like to send the world. (Only catch: It has to be 140 characters or less.): 
To be very generous and think about others to make the world a better place.