The Workout: Roberto Bolle

Although he’s almost as renowned for his physique as for his partnering, the La Scala étoile and American Ballet Theatre principal doesn’t believe in going to the gym.
Published in the August/September 2013 issue.

Photo by Luciano Romano

Workout philosophy: “I don’t lift weights; I just lift beautiful women.”

Pre-class must-do: Planks on his elbows. “I hold the position for a minute, rest for 30 seconds, and then repeat that two more times. It stabilizes my abdominals and back before dancing.”

Cool-down:
Bolle spends half an hour stretching his whole body, focusing on his quads, which get tight from jumping, and any other muscles he’s worked especially hard. “Over time, you learn that the muscles need to be relieved after dancing, or else you’ll feel them the next day.”

Secret yogi: Bolle goes to a private teacher in Milan once every couple of weeks when he’s there. “Yoga’s a different way for dancers to feel our bodies. It stretches our muscles at the same time as strengthening them. And it makes us breathe.”

Italy vs. United States: “I think Americans are more focused on fitness and how they look. In Italy, people just want to enjoy life.”

Water work: Bolle loves swimming in the pool and doing exercises like cabrioles and multiple entrechats underwater. “It’s work, but it’s fun because there’s no gravity. And I like the feeling of the water on my body.” He actually prefers the sea, but only goes when on vacation. “I would love to go in the Italian sea, but I am too well-known there to show up in my suit.”