Vicky Valet's blog

Now that fall's officially here, it's time to get down to business. But while it’s important to work hard in the studio, make sure you know when to take a break. A recent study in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that exercise, like anything else, can be harmful when over done. According to Dr. James O’Keefe of the Mid America Heart Institute of St. Luke’s Hospital, when an athlete exercises intensely for excessive amounts of time, the heart muscle begins to tear and releases troponin, the same enzyme that signals damage during a heart attack.

Pre-performance jitters got you shaking in your pointe shoes? Grab a snack! Foods that are rich in carbohydrates, vitamin B or magnesium can help calm your nerves. After a few bites, these types of foods enable your body to produce serotonin, which gives you a calm and relaxed feeling. Carbohydrates like cereal and popcorn, vitamin B-filled bananas and magnesium-packed cucumber and pumpkin seeds will help you fight anxiety—and fit perfectly in your dance bag.

Fall is almost here. What will you do this year to take your training to the next level? Smart dancers know they need to stay on the lookout for opportunities that will improve their artistry, whether it's a new competition, a mock-audition course or a master class in a technique they've never tried before.

 

Raisins may be small, but their benefits are huge. A recent study published in the Journal of The International Society of Sports Nutrition found that athletes who ate raisins before a workout had more energy, moved more quickly and burned more fat than those who didn't. The dried grapes are chock-full of fiber, potassium and iron, and have no added sugars. Plus, their price tag is easy on the wallet, making them an all-around excellent choice to stash inside your dance bag.

Finding the perfect pas de deux partner is, in some ways, similar to searching for your ideal pair of pointe shoes. At first, you’re tempted to decide based on the shimmer of the satin or the prestige of the brand name. However, you soon realize the need to look beyond the superficial, and choose the something that offers unwavering support and makes you look your best. During last night’s episode of "Bunheads," Boo learned that there's more to a good partner than what meets the eye.

 

Maintaining a student-teacher bond in ballet requires a balancing act more difficult than any exercise on pointe. Built on a foundation of trust and understanding, dancers must feel comfortable enough to place their budding careers in the hands of their instructor, but not so at ease that boundaries are crossed and respect is lost. During this week’s episode of "Bunheads," Michelle learned that befriending students comes at a cost.

For the second year in a row, Sacramento Ballet is teaming up with the Firefighters Burn Institute to create one hot 2013 calendar. Each month will feature a photo of a dancer and local firefighter partnered. The best part? You get to decide who makes the cut. Visit sacballet.org to vote for your favorite Sacramento Ballet dancers as many times as you want through August 10. Each vote is a tax-deductible fee of $2, and will benefit the Sacramento Ballet and the FFBI.

We’ve all heard the expression “putting pen to paper,” but what about “putting foot to paper?” Well, the “Body In-Sight: Action Drawings from the Dance Studio” exhibition at the Museum of Performance and Design in San Francisco will be doing just that, with ballet dancers!

Whether it’s as simple as transferring their weight before a pirouette or as complicated as transitioning into a new phase of their career, dancers always need to be on their toes and ready for anything. In this week’s episode of "Bunheads," Michelle did just that, setting aside her apprehensions and assuming an unfamiliar role.

 

Next time you open your fridge in search of a nutritious breakfast, consider adding a slice of cake to the mix. Yes, you heard me right—dessert with breakfast! Researchers at Tel Aviv University’s Wolfson Medical Center in Israel believe that adding a something sugary to a high-protein meal in the morning could result in long-term weight loss. Their study showed that those who had a treat with their healthy breakfast had stable blood sugar levels and ate fewer calories throughout the rest of their day because their sweet tooth was already satisfied.