Most dancers’ meals are filled with healthy food choices. But splurges are also part of a well-balanced diet—and life.
Broadway performer and member of physical comedy troupe Parallel Exit
Typical meals: Eggs and yogurt in the morning; a salad or sandwich for lunch; chicken, veggies and couscous for dinner.
Splurges: Pad Thai or Domino’s pizza with pepperoni and banana peppers.
Tips: “Before I eat, I ask, ‘Do I really want or need this, or would I be full with some chicken and veggies?’ Or, ‘How will I feel onstage after I eat a pizza the night before?’ I try to realize when I’m thirsty versus hungry, which happens a lot! But you must reward yourself sometimes.”
Dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Typical meals: Boiled eggs and green juice or lemon juice with cayenne for breakfast; a bento box with teriyaki salad during the workday; and pasta and seafood (or steak, if she’s been dancing hard) for dinner.
Splurges: Pie. “I usually buy them at Magnolia Bakery. I also love Girl Scout Cookies!”
Tips: “When I’m fatigued, I’ll add carrots, nuts and cranberries for energy and drink more water. And whenever I feel the need to comfort or to treat myself, I do. And that’s healthy.”
Typical meals: Homemade green juices with kale, spinach, romaine, apple and cucumber. Chicken and veggies for lunch and dinner.
Splurges: “When I’m dancing a lot, I eat a lot of Domino’s pizza with pepperoni and pineapple—plus ranch for dipping! I try to keep it to once a week. Dove chocolate squares are also special—my mom had them at home when I was growing up, and now she sends them to me when I’m on tour.”
Tips: Winslow focuses on separating hunger from boredom. “If it’s been a hard day, I’ll eat healthy, but also get Lucky Charms or enjoy a couple of Oreos.”
Sarah Ricard Orza
Soloist with Pacific Northwest Ballet
Typical meals: Eggs, oatmeal or a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast; sandwich and fruit for lunch, with nuts and pretzels to snack on; organic vegetables and a Cuban pork roast for dinner.
Splurges: “I love to bake with my daughter, and we often make lemon bread or chocolate cake. I also love strawberry balsamic gelato or great coffee, like brewed espresso from Stumptown or Caffè Fiore in Seattle.”
Tips: Orza tries to only eat what she prepares at home. “It’s about a healthy and happy life. Splurging is a part of that. We have so much stress from our work, so when I want something, I’ll enjoy myself.”
Dancer with Alonzo King LINES Ballet
Typical meals: A substantial breakfast, like brown rice and kale; light lunch; and tropical fruit like oranges, bananas or mangoes for snacks. Dinner is a big meal of fish, veggies and some kind of grain, like couscous.
Splurges: Peanut butter. “My friends laugh because I put it on everything. My favorite is Peter Pan, from my childhood!”
Tips: “Cravings are a way of your body communicating: Honor that. And remember, everyone is different. Don’t let what other people look like or what they eat make you judge what works for you.”