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.”
Essential oils sometimes get a bad rap. Between the aggressive social media marketing for the products and the sometimes magical-sounding claims about their healing properties, it's easy to forget what they can actually do. But if you look beyond the pyramid schemes and exaggerations, experts believe they have legit benefits to offer both mind and body.
How can dancers take advantage of their medicinal properties? We asked Amy Galper, certified aromatherapist and co-founder of the New York Institute of Aromatic Studies:
Karen Azenberg, a past president of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, stumbled on something peculiar before the union's 2015 move to new offices: a 52-year-old sealed envelope with a handwritten note attached. It was from Agnes de Mille, the groundbreaking choreographer of Oklahoma! and Rodeo. De Mille, a founding member of SDC, had sealed the envelope with gold wax before mailing it to the union and asking, in a separate note, that it not be opened. The reason? "It is the outline for a play, and I have no means of copyrighting…The material is eminently stealable."