Sock walk: As soon as she wakes up, Pazcoguin pulls on compression socks and takes her dog for an hour walk in Central Park. Their heavy elasticity alleviates recurring toe and joint pain in her right foot. “They help increase circulation at the start of the day,” she says.
Creative cooking: Pazcoguin wouldn’t dare skip breakfast. “I would be an absolute grouch and pass out.” She makes her own “breakfast rice” by blending raw cauliflower in her Vitamix and sautéing it. “I’ll add salt, pepper and healthy spices, like turmeric—it’s great for reducing inflammation—and poppy seeds, which also have antioxidants. Then I’ll put an egg on top.”
Therapy on the go: Whether she’s at work, on the road or even out to dinner, Pazcoguin always has her favorite massage tools in her bag. The Thumbby—“basically a silicone mini-cone that mimics a therapist’s thumb”—releases tension in her calves, shins and piriformis (one of the external rotators). Her Stress Buster Massage Ball targets her lower back and thighs.
Favorite workout: She swears by her Gyrotonic sessions with master teacher Emily Smith. “Not only is she great for building strength in my weak spots, but she fixes a lot of the issues in my body before a PT is needed.” Pazcoguin says Gyrotonic is “super for core strength.”
Always on her mind: Pazcoguin had a Lisfranc injury as a teenager that damaged the joints in her arch and still haunts her. “My entire right midfoot will shift over my big toe, so it’s a constant effort to get it to shift back so there’s support around my fourth and fifth metatarsals.” Aside from therapy and Thera-Band exercises, she also practices engaging her hamstring and turnout muscles, using her leg’s strength to maintain skeletal alignment when her foot gives her trouble.
How she gets through tough ballets: Breathing can be a challenge, says Pazcoguin, “especially when you’re trying to move as fast as these Balanchine roles require.” She applies techniques from singing—she’s appeared in Broadway’s On the Town and with musical theater troupe American Dance Machine for the 21st Century—like slowly compressing, then releasing and reactivating her abdominals. “It’s helping me engage my core in a much different way.”