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Stress Less for More Energy: Understanding the Connection Between Stress and Nutrition

This story originally appeared in the December 2014/January 2015 issue of Pointe.

As winter's chill sets in, you may be tempted to fill up on comfort foods like chicken pot pie, meatloaf or cheeseburgers. Though it's okay to indulge occasionally, new research from Ohio State University says you should pay attention to when you eat heavy, high-fat meals.


In the recent study, a group of female participants ate an identical meal of biscuits and gravy, turkey sausage and eggs for a total of 930 calories and 60 grams of fat. They were monitored for seven hours after eating, and the women who reported being stressed the previous evening burned an average of 104 calories less than the women who didn't have any stressors.

Why? When stress and fat are combined, the body's metabolism actually slows down, making you less effective at converting food into the dancing fuel you need. If you're stressing about learning the role you're understudying and you eat an unusually heavy meal, you're likely to feel sluggish and won't have enough energy to fully attack your next rehearsal. But when you opt for a more balanced mix of proteins, carbohydrates and fiber, you'll have more energy when you step back in the studio.

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How to Support the Black Dance Community, Beyond Social Media

The dance community's response to the death of George Floyd was immediate and sweeping on social media. Dance artists, including Desmond Richardson and Martha Nichols, used their social platforms to make meaningful statements about racial inequality. Theresa Ruth Howard's leadership spurred ballet companies including Dance Theatre of Harlem, American Ballet Theatre, and New York City Ballet to pledge #BalletRelevesForBlackLives. Among the most vocal supporters have been dance students, who continue to share the faces and gut-wrenching last words of Black men and women who have died in police custody on their Instagram feeds and Stories.

The work we're doing on social media as a community is important and necessary—and we should keep at it. But now, that momentum must also carry us into taking action. Because to be a true ally, action is required.

A responsible ally amplifies Black voices­­. They choose to listen rather than speak. And they willingly throw their support, and, if they can, their dollars, behind Black dancers and Black dance organizations. Here are some ways you can do your part.

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Class of 2020, These Ballet Stars Have a Heartfelt Video Message Just for You

Congratulations to this year's graduating seniors!

You might not have had the chance to take that long planned-for final bow, but we're here to cheer you on and celebrate all that you've accomplished. And we've brought together stars from across the ballet world to help us; check out the video to hear their best wishes for your futures.

To further fête all of the ballet grads out there, we're also giving away 100 free subscriptions to Pointe... plus, one lucky bunhead will receive a personalized message from one of ballet's biggest stars. Click here to enter!


Tulsa Ballet in Ma Cong's Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music. Kate Luber Photography, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Updated: Mark Your Calendars for These Online Ballet Performances

Updated on 5/27/2020

Since COVID-19 has forced ballet companies around the world to cancel performances—and even the remainder of their seasons—many are keeping their audiences engaged by streaming or posting pre-recorded performances onto their websites or social media channels. To help keep you inspired during these challenging times, we've put together a list of upcoming streaming events and digital performances.

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