Lauren Post, dancer with American Ballet Theatre and artistic director of CoLab Dance, corresponded with Ballerina Book Club about her favorite books, childhood reading habits and advice for those trying to break into ballet.
Lauren and I met on our first day of ballet boarding school many years ago, and we have been inseparable ever since. It’s amazing to watch Lauren juggle motherhood, ballet, college, directing her company CoLab Dance and starting a second career as a personal trainer. She’s pretty much my hero!
Read on for Lauren’s book recs and insights. You can check out more of out “Friend Picks” on our Ballerina Book Club collection page.
- “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens: It’s a coming of age story about an orphan who defies all the odds and is a beautiful depiction of human connection to nature. It brought me back to my Southern roots.
- “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle: Such a great book about female empowerment and social constructs that can be barriers for girls and women.
- “Spiritual Midwifery” by Ina May Gaskin: I read this with my first pregnancy to prepare for birth, and it gave me so much comfort, inspiration and respect for the birthing process. It also really influenced my decision to give birth outside of a hospital setting. I’m so thankful that women now have options for different birth plans.
What was the last book you recommended to a friend?
“Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. It highlights how circumstances play a major role in people’s success and that it’s often more of a factor than innate talent.
What’s your reading style?
As a mother working two jobs (dancer and certified personal trainer), the only time I have to read is before bed. But I always finish each day with reading. It’s my way of unwinding and relaxing.
What was your relationship to reading as a kid?
I read everywhere as a kid. I would bring a book everywhere — to restaurants and on road trips. My favorite series were “The Baby-Sitters Club” and “The Boxcar Children.” And Nancy Drew was pretty cool too!
How did you get into ballet as a profession?
I grew up in the ballet studio in Hattiesburg, Miss., because my mother taught ballet. At 13, I went away to ballet boarding school (where I met Bella!), which really set me on the track to becoming a professional dancer.
To date, what has been your favorite part of being the artistic director of CoLab Dance?
The second season of CoLab, which took place two weeks after I gave birth. Even though I wasn’t able to perform, sitting in the audience with my newborn and watching my friends dance and the evening come together so beautifully was a moment I will never forget.
What advice would you offer to someone trying to break into your field?
To keep some perspective. We often feel like our company is our entire universe, but there’s so much more to life outside of ballet, and it’s important to nurture other interests and not be afraid to step outside and try new things.
What’s a passion outside of your public persona that people might be surprised to know about?
It’s not really a secret because I post about it often, but I really love working out and I’m passionate about helping others feel better through their fitness journey. I’m also really interested in pre and postnatal fitness in this chapter of of my life and find that there’s not a lot of information out there for moms-to-be and new moms. I actually experienced postpartum depression following the birth of my daughter. I used dance and fitness to reconnect with my old life after giving birth, and I was so grateful for those outlets that helped me feel more like myself. I’d love to help women going through similar situations, which is why I’m currently getting my certification in pre and postnatal fitness.
Favorite pasta recipe? (Bella’s obsessed with pasta, did you know?)
Lol of course!! Spaghetti carbonara because it only takes 10 minutes, and it’s one of the few recipes I’ve mastered.
What was the last thing you read?
“Manhattan Beach” by Jennifer Egan
What are you looking forward to reading?
“Interior Chinatown” by Charles Yu!
What book have you read over and over again?
I don’t really re-read many books, but I do feel like “Untamed” had some really important lessons that I want to revisit, especially as I’m raising my kids.
Top Image: Lauren Post by Karolina Kuras. Photo courtesy of artist.