With endless hours of rehearsals and classes, your ballet career can leave you feeling exhausted. But what if your eating habits are only making it worse?

According to Rachel Fine, registered dietitian and owner of To The Pointe Nutrition, there are three major macronutrients (or "macros") that dancers need to consume daily to fuel peak performance: complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. Since dancers require more energy than the average person, aim to include all three in every meal and snack. Fine suggests these combos:


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- Scrambled eggs, sliced avocado and sprouted-grain bread, like Ezekiel brand. (Fine likes this option since it's minimally processed and has more naturally occurring fiber and protein than other breads.)

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- Greek yogurt, chia seeds or flaxseeds, and berries

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- Wild fish of choice and a dark-colored vegetable (for higher fiber content) over a bed of quinoa or farro

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- Fruit of choice with a spoonful of nut butter or mixed nuts

- Grilled chicken or an egg with extra-virgin olive oil, mixed vegetables, and brown rice or riced cauliflower

- String cheese and an apple

Fine recommends dancers eat a minimum of six times daily to keep their metabolism working consistently. "This is what's going to most efficiently help their body repair itself and burn fuel for energy so they can execute their craft."

Summer Intensive Survival
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There's a sweet spot toward the end of August—after summer intensives have wrapped up and before it's time to head back to school or work—where the days are long, lazy and begging to be spent neck-deep in a pile of good books. Whether you're looking for inspiration for the upcoming season or trying to brush up on your dance history, you can never go wrong with an excellent book on ballet. We've gathered eight titles (all available at common booksellers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble) guaranteed to give you a deeper understanding of the art form, to add to your end-of-summer reading list.

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James Yoichi Moore and Noelani Pantastico warm up onstage. Angela Sterling, Courtesy SDC.

On a sunny July weekend, hundreds of Seattle-area dance fans converged on tiny Vashon Island, a bucolic enclave in Puget Sound about 20 miles from the city. They made the ferry trek to attend the debut performance of the fledgling Seattle Dance Collective.

SDC is not a run-of-the-mill contemporary dance company; it's the brainchild of two of Pacific Northwest Ballet's most respected principal dancers: James Yoichi Moore and Noelani Pantastico. The duo wanted to create a nimble organization to feature dancers and choreographers they felt needed more exposure in the Pacific Northwest.

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The Princess Grace Foundation has just announced its 2019 class, and we're thrilled that two ballet dancers—New York City Ballet's Roman Mejia and BalletX's Stanley Glover—are included among the list of über-talented actors, filmmakers, playwrights, dancers and choreographers.

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The Royal Ballet's Alexander Campbell and Yasmine Naghdi in Ashton's The Two Pigeons. Tristram Kenton, Courtesy ROH.

While most ballet casts are 100 percent human, it's not unheard of for live animals to appear onstage, providing everything from stage dressing to supporting roles. Michael Messerer's production of Don Quixote features a horse and a donkey; American Ballet Theatre's Giselle calls for two Russian wolfhounds; and Sir Frederick Ashton's La Fille Mal Gardee requires a white Shetland pony. Another Ashton masterpiece, The Two Pigeons, is well known for its animal actors. But though ballet is a highly disciplined, carefully choreographed art form, some performers are naturally more prone to flights of fancy—because they're birds.

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