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The 5 Tools Every Dancer Should Have in Their Kitchen

Without jam-packed rehearsal schedules, we're all cooking from home a little more these days. Which can be a great thing: Setting aside time to prep, cook and taste your meals increases your appreciation of food—which also helps to slow you down and regulate your portions. To enjoy the time you spend cooking, it helps to have the right tools.


Here are my five favorite kitchen gadgets.

1.Ice Cream Scoop

When sweets are forbidden, we subconsciously want them—we desire what we (think) we can't have. The result? Cravings! Rather than fearing your ice cream, enjoy it. Also, your ice cream scoop is your all-in-one guide to portions. Use a scoop as a measuring utensil when prepping packable snacks: It's a good benchmark for a serving of foods like nuts and dried fruit.

2.Mason Jars

Overnight oats are all the rage, and for good reason. Oats are packed with soluble fiber that promotes gut health and stabilizes blood sugar. This keeps you energized throughout hours of rehearsal. Prep the ingredients in a mason jar the night before, set in the fridge, and then grab on your way out the door. Mason jars are also a great way to store pantry staples like quinoa, rice and beans, or to separate your chopped veggies for easy cooking throughout the week.

3.Blender

It goes without saying that a smoothie is a great option for post-class recovery, but a blender's purpose doesn't have to end there. Use it to prep marinades and seasoning cubes. Simply mix extra-virgin olive oil with your favorite herbs, blend, pour into ice trays and freeze for later use. Pop a square onto your pan for weeknight cooking to season proteins and veggies.

4.Good Knives

Even if you're not planning to become the next Top Chef, a set of quality knives can be a make-or-break tool for smoother slicing, chopping and dicing of veggies, meat, poultry and fish. Cooking with dull knives not only increases your risk of injury, but you'll also spend unnecessary energy having to exert more pressure with each cut. You could even consider a knife skills class to improve your efficiency.

5.Instant Pot

For easy-to-clean one-pot wonders, simply prep your ingredients in the morning and fill your Instant Pot when you get home. Add uncooked beans and lentils for an economical punch of muscle-building protein. Steam veggies or seafood, or cook up some whole grains. These nutrient-dense ingredients will keep you full and energized.

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Inside one of Interlochen's brand-new dance studios. Courtesy Interlochen Center for the Arts

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After months of practicing in a cramped space at home, young dancers have dreamed of training in a spacious, airy studio. And when the facilities are as resplendent as the brand-new dance center at Michigan's Interlochen Center for the Arts, everyday technique class is to be savored.

The recently renovated and vastly expanded 26,000-square-foot Dance Center at Interlochen is now a world-class facility on par with those of premier conservatories and professional companies. Joseph Morrissey, Interlochen's director of dance, says a lot of careful thought went into the architecture: "This could not just be a building that dance is going to go into. This is a building that is made for dance." To build the best facilities for his students, Morrissey sought out Flansburgh Architects, the group behind the beautiful Perles Family Studio at Jacob's Pillow.

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July 2021