Health Scan


Monica Loughman, ballerina and artistic director

Do you think you have a healthy lifestyle?

I do. I’ve a good balanced diet, with a little bit of junk thrown in. I love good food because when I was living in Russia, you couldn’t find an apple that didn’t look like it had fallen down the stairs, so I love fruit and veg.

How often do you exercise?

On Sunday I dance for six hours, on Saturday I dance five hours and then every other day, it’s usually 90 minutes of class. You start off at the barre with warm-up and strengthening core exercises, then it’s technique and co-ordination. Then you do your big jumps which are about strength and stamina. I also swim.

Do you get your five a day?

I try. I genuinely love salads. I went to Russia in 1992 aged 14 and I stayed for 15 years. You couldn’t get salad leaves, red peppers or tomatoes – you couldn’t afford them. When you can’t get something, it’s ingrained in you to want it.

Do you worry?

I do, a lot unfortunately. It’s always “have I done enough, could I have done more, is there anything I’ve overlooked?”. We’re touring with the Nutcracker soon and in bed at night, I’ll run through the whole show in my head, I’ll change choreography and try to make things better. But when I go in and I’m teaching, it’s all there. It’s all clear. It’s like a book, I can turn the page and I know what I have to do.

What do you do to relax?

I watch movies and play with my son. And I shop. My son is two and a half and he’s very keen on jigsaw puzzles.

What’s your unhealthiest habit?

Apart from not enough sleep, probably not drinking enough water. I drink tonnes of green tea and too much coffee – eight cups a day easily. Instant black coffee, I’m not fancy.

In conversation with JOANNE HUNT