I begin each day of my life with a ritual: I wake up at 5:30 A.M., put on my workout clothes, my legwarmers, my sweatshirts, and my hat. I walk outside my Manhattan home, hail a taxi, and tell the driver to take me to the Pumping Iron gym at 91st Street and First Avenue, where I work out for two hours.
The ritual is not the stretching and weight training I put my body through each morning at the gym; the ritual is the cab. The moment I tell the driver where to go I have completed the ritual.
I repeat the wake-up, the workout, the quick shower, the breakfast of three hard-boiled egg whites and a cup of coffee, the hour to make my morning calls and deal with correspondence, the two hours of stretching and working out ideas by myself in the studio, the rehearsals with my dance company, the return home in the late afternoon to handle more business details, the early dinner, and a few quiet hours of reading. That's my day, every day. A dancer's life is about repetition.
- Twyla Tharp
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life. Twyla Tharp with Mark Reiter. (New York: Simon and Schuster Paperbacks, 2006).