These Photos of Ballerinas Eating Our Favorite Foods Are Making Us Hungry

One of the biggest myths about ballet dancers is that they don't eat. While we all know that, yes, there are those who do struggle with body image issues and eating disorders, most healthy dancers love food—and eat plenty of it to fuel their busy schedules.

Luckily for us, they're not afraid to show it:


New York City Ballet principal Sterling Hyltin sorts her laundry backstage while noshing on a fried chicken finger. Props on her paper towel technique—gotta keep those fingers from getting the costumes greasy!

Believe it or not, burgers can make excellent recovery food after a long day of dancing. Royal Danish Ballet principal Ida Praetorius obviously got the memo.

Sure, she's an Oikos ambassador so she probably got paid to do this. But still, Misty Copeland makes yogurt look so tasty. (If anyone wants to pay us to eat yogurt, we're totally down. Just sayin'.)

Royal Ballet first soloist Melissa Hamilton takes the cake for her birthday with a homemade gluten-free version from fellow dancer Sasha Mukhamedov. It's definitely a celebration with a little Aperol champagne spritz in hand.

The Joffrey Ballet's Victoria Jaiani enjoys her donut almost as much as we're loving this shop's pun. She gets extra kudos for eating in turnout.

We're so here for Pennsylvania Ballet principal Lillian DiPiazza's island-appropriate vacation meal: While relaxing in Turks and Caicos, she enjoys some conch fritters for lunch.

While we don't have proof that they actually ate the whole tub, that's a lot of butter that sisters and former Miami City Ballet dancers Patricia and Jeannette Delgado are sharing with choreographer Justin Peck and Jeannette's husband Andres.

Misa Kuranaga's lunch is homemade by none other than her boss, Boston Ballet artistic director Mikko Nissinen. In between company-running duties, he took the time to cook up some Japanese ankimo—a specialty dish made with monkfish liver. How's that for rehearsal fuel?

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Luke Isley, Courtesy Ballet West

How Do Choreographers Bring Something Fresh to Music We've Heard Over and Over?

In 2007, Oregon Ballet Theatre asked Nicolo Fonte to choreograph a ballet to Maurice Ravel's Boléro. "I said, 'No way. I'm not going near it,' " recalls Fonte. "I don't want to compete with the Béjart version, ice skaters or the movie 10. No, no, no!"

But Fonte's husband encouraged him to "just listen and get a visceral reaction." He did. And Bolero turned into one of Fonte's most requested and successful ballets.

Not all dance renditions of similar warhorse scores have worked out so well. Yet the irresistible siren song of pieces like Stravinsky's The Firebird and The Rite of Spring, as well as the perennial Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, seem too magnetic for choreographers to ignore.

And there are reasons for their popularity. Some were commissioned specifically for dance: Rite and Firebird for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes; Boléro for dance diva Ida Rubinstein's post–Ballets Russes troupe. Hypnotic rhythms (Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel) and danceable melodies (Bizet's Carmen) make a case for physical eye candy. Audience familiarity can also help box office receipts. Still, many choreographers have been sabotaged by the formidable nature and Muzak-y overuse of these iconic compositions.

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