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A Dancer's Guide to Summer Produce

Whether you're heading off to a summer intensive or loading up on classes at your hometown studio, buying fresh and seasonal produce is a great way to get the fuel you need for dancing. Fruits and veggies are tastier (and often cheaper) when they're in season, since they are more locally abundant and don't have to be shipped from far away.


Here are a few foods that are in season right now, to get you started:

Beets

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A good source of potassium (helpful for reducing muscle cramps) and fiber, which keeps you feeling satiated for longer. Plus, the phytonutrients in beets have antioxidant, detoxification and anti-inflammatory benefits. Try grating raw beets over salad to mix up your usual blend of veggies.

Watermelon

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Is there anything better than a juicy slice of watermelon in the summer? True to its name, the fruit's water content is over 90 percent, helping you stay cool and hydrated on hot days. Watermelon juice may also help reduce muscle soreness if you drink it before a workout.

Strawberries and Blueberries

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Fresh berries are a perfect summer snack, and not just because they're delicious. These have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and one study found that blueberries may give short term memory a boost.

Green Beans

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Non-starchy vegetables like green beans are a healthy source of carbs that can help provide the energy you need for long rehearsals or performances. Green beans are also a good source of vitamin K, which helps blood to clot.

Cherries

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They're known for their anti-inflammatory properties, and tart cherry juice in particular has been found to reduce muscle pain and weakness after intense strength training or long-distance running.

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In a brightly lit studio high above the busy Manhattan streets, Roman Mejia rehearses George Balanchine's Allegro Brillante. Though just 20, the New York City Ballet corps dancer exudes an easy confidence. Practicing a tricky sequence of triple pirouettes into double tours his breathing becomes labored, but his focus doesn't waver. He works until he finds the music's inherent rhythm, timing his turns evenly and finally landing them with a satisfied smile.

Since joining NYCB in 2017, Mejia has had the chance to take on ballets ranging from Romeo + Juliet to Fancy Free to Kyle Abraham's hip-hop–infused The Runaway. Though he often finds himself the youngest person in the room, Mejia is rarely intimidated. He's been immersed in ballet since birth. His father, Paul Mejia, danced with NYCB in the 1960s, and his mother, Maria Terezia Balogh, danced for Chicago City Ballet and Fort Worth-Dallas Ballet. Both of Mejia's parents and his grandmother attended the School of American Ballet. Now, Mejia is quickly building on his family's legacy, creating buzz with his shot-from-a-cannon energy, rapid-fire footwork and charismatic charm.

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi Everyone,

These are challenging times. The social distancing measures brought about by COVID-19 has likely meant that your regular ballet training has been interrupted, while your performances, competitions—even auditions—have been cancelled. You may be feeling anxious about what the future holds, not only for you but for the dance industry. And that's perfectly understandable.

As you adjust to taking virtual ballet class from your living rooms, we here at Pointe are adjusting to working remotely from our living rooms. We've had to get a little creative, especially as we put our Summer Issue together, but like you we're taking full advantage of modern technology. Sure, it's a little inconvenient sometimes, but we're finding our groove.

And we know that you will, too. We've been utterly inspired by how the dance community has rallied together, from ballet stars giving online classes to companies streaming their performances to the flood of artist resources popping up. We've loved watching you dance from your kitchens. And we want to help keep this spirit alive. That's why Pointe and all of our Dance Media sister publications are working nonstop to produce and cross-post stories to help you navigate this crisis. We're all in this together.

We also want to hear from you! Send us a message on social media, or email me directly at abrandt@dancemedia.com. Tell us how you're doing, send us your ideas and show us your dance moves. Let the collective love we share for our beloved art form spark the light at the end of the tunnel—we will come out the other side soon enough.

Best wishes,

Amy

Bethany Kirby, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet

Ballet Company Costume Departments Jump Into Action, Sewing Masks for Coronavirus Aid

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