Features

The Dance Bag Diet

Many dancers’ bags double as mini 7-Elevens. They’re chock full of carefully selected snacks that fuel dancers through the day, the performance and the season. There’s not a casual cracker in there! These stashes are as individual as the dancers themselves: Every performer who’s put a protein bar to her mouth has a different snack philosophy. Five stars let us peek at their noshing habits.

Jeanette Delgado
Company: Miami City Ballet
Rank: Principal
Go-to snack: Pumpkin seeds. “They make me feel good after rehearsal, and are ideal for muscle fatigue.” (An excellent source of energizing protein, these seeds are loaded with anti-cramping nutrients like potassium, as well as magnesium and zinc.)
Afternoon pick-up: Almonds, walnuts or a mix of both. “Nuts really sustain me. A handful is all you need—otherwise it’s too fattening.”
Sweet treat: Fresh medjool dates. “Three dates give me a nice boost directly after class or rehearsal; one before and two after works as well.” (Dates have quick-acting sugar, fiber and calcium, as well as essential nutrients like iron, copper and magnesium.)
Favorite bar: Vega Whole Food Vibrancy bars, created by vegan triathlete Brendan Brazier, author of The Thrive Diet. “They’re expensive, but they’re made with dates and raw almonds.”  








Daniil Simkin
Company: American Ballet Theatre
Rank: Soloist
Go-to snack: A packet of Trader Joe’s individually packaged nuts and dried fruit mix. “I like quantifying things. A small, separately packed bag of nuts, preferably roasted and salted, is ideal for me so I don’t over-eat. I like to snack during shows. It’s more of a nervous thing, I guess.”
Alternative snack: Fruit—sliced pineapple and watermelon in the summer, grapefruits and oranges in the winter, or apples and bananas any time of the year.
Favorite bars: He’ll sometimes grab a granola bar or a Clif bar, but Simkin generally avoids protein bars. “They are glorified chocolate bars. I’d much rather have a real cookie than think that I’m doing something good for my body by eating ‘healthy.’ ”
Sweet treat: Cookies. “I don’t think I will ever refrain from eating cookies. Ask me again in a couple of years: I might reduce the amount, but I don’t think I will ever lose my appetite for those simple carbs. When I feel really down, I get one from Levain Bakery on the Upper West Side. They are heavenly delicious.”
Snacking philosophy: “I know all the benefits of good nutrition, but everything is good in moderation. Just don’t obsess over it.”






 

Misty Copeland
Company: American Ballet Theatre
Rank: Soloist
Go-to snack: Unsalted peanuts. “I’ve noticed over the years that my body responds best to nuts. I eat them throughout the day if I feel my energy drop, either before and after lunch.”
Alternate snack: Mixes with dried fruit and yogurt-covered raisins.
Favorite bar: “I don’t do protein bars.”
Former bad habits: 1. Forgoing snacks. “I wasn’t eating often enough throughout the day, and when I did eat, it was too large a meal that was too high in fat.” 2. Relying on the vending machine. “Anything that comes in a plastic bag from a machine, I have no business eating.”
Sweet treat: A cookie or Pinkberry (although she doesn’t stash that in her bag). “I make sure that almost every night I have something sweet!”






 

Heather Ogden
Company:
The National Ballet of Canada
Rank: Principal
Go-to snack: A fresh grapefruit. “I just peel it and eat it. It’s sweet and smells great.”
Alternate snack: Raw almonds. “They have the good fat we need. A handful works—not more than 12 a day.”
Favorite bar: A maple nut or peanut butter Clif bar. “They look like real food rather than those overly processed bars. I sometimes just need a bite, so I can nibble on it throughout the day.”
Afternoon pick-up: Organic yogurt with granola.
Instant booster: A packet of Emergen-C for the minerals and potassium.
Former bad habit: Going to the studio unprepared. “Now I have snacks on hand so I don’t need to go for empty calories. I think ahead.”
Sweet treat: A killer good chocolate chip cookie.

Craig Hall
Company: New York City Ballet
Rank: Soloist
Go-to snack: A really ripe banana. He finds ripe ones tastier because of their sugar content.
Alternate snack: Almonds and pumpkin seeds. “They both travel well in Ziploc bags. I get a quick little boost, and mentally, it’s good just to nibble on something. It’s comforting.”
Favorite bar: LUNA bars, especially the chocolate peanut butter flavor. “I know, they are made for women, but I don’t care! They fill me up without weighing me down. I get a great burst of energy.”
Former bad habit: Twizzlers. “When I first started in the corps, I was more of a junk food guy. But they did more harm than good, and wouldn’t give me the sustaining energy
I needed for partnering.”
Sweet treat: A milk chocolate bar with almonds. “The sugar is a quick pick-me-up.”
Pre-show prep: A swig of water with a few drops of peppermint oil. “It’s a great breath freshener, and it clears the sinuses. It’s like drinking a box of Altoids.”

Nancy Wozny writes and snacks from Houston, TX.




















Elizabeth Abbick as the Snow Queen in Butler Ballet's "Nutcracker." Photo by Brent Smith, Courtesy Abbick.

Pointe caught up with three college dancers last spring to see what it's like juggling ballet, academics and a social life on campus. First up is Elizabeth Abbick, a student at Jordan College of the Arts, Butler University getting her BFA in dance performance and her BA in mathematics.

Abbick studying in the library. Photo by Jimmy Lafakis for Pointe.

Leawood, Kansas, native Elizabeth Abbick faced some tough choices her senior year of high school. Equally talented in math and ballet, she wanted a professional dance career but also desired to plan her post-performance life. "Butler University had always been on my radar because I knew the faculty was stellar and the students are the best of the best. I realized it could offer me both worlds," she says. Now a senior majoring in dance performance and mathematics, she hopes to work on the business side of the ballet world after her stage career.

Keep reading... Show less
popular

If you're in the NYC area and are in need of weekend plans, you might want to consider heading to the Film Society of Lincoln Center to see Jean-Stéphane Bron's documentary, The Paris Opéra. While the film was originally released in France this past spring, it just made its way to the US on October 18th, and it chronicles the 2015-2016 season at the Paris Opera.

Encompassing the entire institution (which was founded in 1669 by King Louis XIV!), dancers will particularly enjoy an inside look at the Paris Opéra Ballet—both in rehearsals and onstage. Most notably, Bron captures the then POB director Benjamin Millepied as he decides to leave his position with the company barely a year after his appointment.

Check out the full trailer below, and the Film Society of Lincoln Center's full listing of showtimes here.

Your Training
Thinkstock.

Bianca Bulle was always prone to ankle sprains. When she was 18, her recoveries became more complicated: She started experiencing Achilles tendonitis due to muscle weakness and fluid buildup in the ankle. "The last thing to get back to normal would be my Achilles, which was so incredibly tight and painful," says Bulle, now a principal at Los Angeles Ballet.

The Achilles is the body's largest tendon, attaching the bottom of the calf muscles to the back of the heel. It contracts and releases as you relevé and plié, as well as when you jump and even walk. Tendonitis, or inflammation, of the Achilles is one of the most frequently reported overuse injuries among active people, according to the American Physical Therapy Association. You'll know it by the pain or tightness at the back of the heel. If the condition gets bad enough, the tendon can rupture, which requires surgery to fix.

Achilles tendonitis is especially common among dancers on pointe, but it's not inevitable. With rest and proper conditioning, you can work to avoid it with careful technique and a commitment to cross-training.


Boston Ballet School pre-professional students. Photo by Igor Burlak Photography, Courtesy Boston Ballet.

What Causes It?

Keep reading... Show less
New York City Ballet in Marc Chagall's costume designs for Balanchine's "Firebird."

I am a self-confessed costume nerd who really needs little persuasion to travel nearly 3,000 miles to see a costume exhibition—which is what I did when I set off for California for the new exhibition at Los Angeles County Museum of Art: Chagall: Fantasies for the Stage. I knew Marc Chagall primarily for his sumptuous blue swirling paintings featuring violin-playing goats, his incredible ceiling at the Paris Opéra's Palais Garnier, and murals at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, so I was intrigued to see his work with ballet.

Marc Chagall (1887–1985), was born Moishe Zakharovich Shagal in Belarus. He later moved to St. Petersburg, Russia, to study art, apprenticing under famed Ballets Russes designer Leon Bakst. Chagall's work in ballet and opera, however, did not begin until he and his wife Bella arrived in the U.S. as World War II refugees in 1941.

Chagall: Fantasies for the Stage, adapted from an earlier exhibition at the Montreal Music of Art and curated by Yuval Sharon and Jason H. Thompson, is an exciting opportunity to see 41 costumes and nearly 100 designs. But it is the costumes that really steal the show. You won't see any tutus here, but instead amazing, almost cartoon-like realizations of Chagall's artwork. LACMA's exhibition runs through January 7, 2018. For those of you who can't make the trip like I did, here's a rundown of highlights.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Tiler Peck in "Who Cares?". Photo by Paul Kolnik, Courtesy NYCB.

New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck and Emmy-winning actress Elisabeth Moss (of Mad Men and Handmaid's Tale fame) may seem like unlikely friends, until you dig a little deeper into their backgrounds. Both attended Westside School of Ballet in Santa Monica and spent summers at the School of American Ballet in their youths. Moss and Peck's career paths diverged when the former fell in love with acting and Peck went on to study at SAB full time, eventually becoming the star we know today. Now, the pairs' artistic pursuits are uniting in an exciting new project.

According to Deadline.com, Moss will produce a documentary featuring Peck and her work curating BalletNOW, last summer's star-studded, critically acclaimed program at Los Angeles's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Peck was the first woman to lead BalletNOW's programming, and she brought together dancers from companies including The Royal Ballet, Miami City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and the Paris Opéra Ballet, putting them on stage with tappers, clowns and break dancers (sometimes simultaneously).


Keep reading... Show less
Your Best Body

Looking for creative and healthy ways to get your pumpkin fix this fall? First, back away from the pumpkin-spiced latte—the season's unofficial drink is often laced with sugary syrup and comes with a complimentary mid-rehearsal crash. Instead, try these simple snacks with puréed pumpkin. It's high in beta-carotene, which converts to immunity-boosting vitamin A, and is a good source of vitamin K, iron and fiber. You can buy it canned or make the purée from a "sugar" or "pie" pumpkin (they're commonly available at grocery stores or farm markets).

Fruit-and-Spice Toast

- Spread purée onto whole-grain toast.

- Top with sliced pear.

- Add a dash of cinnamon.

Keep reading... Show less
Pointe Stars

When Maya Plisetskaya first toured abroad with the Bolshoi Ballet, she stunned the world. Her dramatic and technical abilities were far beyond what anyone outside the Soviet Union had seen before. She quickly became an icon, symbolizing Russian ballet.

Plisetskaya was the perfect ballerina to play the Tsar Maiden in The Little Humpbacked Horse when choreographer Alexander Radunsky and composer Rodion Shchedrin recreated the classic Russian folktale in the 1960s. This vintage clip of the ballet offers a glimpse into an era gone by. Although ballet technique has advanced since then, Plisetskaya's performance is still electrifying. She is daring and agile in her manèges and fouettés, while she shows gentle purity and authentic emotion in the pas de deux with the wide-eyed Ivan. Even half a century later, this magnificent artist continues to transfix us with her radiant presence onstage. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!


Sponsored

Videos

Sponsored

mailbox

Get Pointe Magazine in your inbox

Sponsored

Win It!