Courtesy Upshaw

Why Mean Girls' Kamille Upshaw Spends an Hour Meal Prepping After Performances

Kamille Upshaw is no stranger to getting through eight shows a week. The Hamilton alum, who currently performs in Mean Girls, knows what her body needs to perform at its best: vegetables, protein, healthy carbs, but also greasy pizza and treats that please her sweet tooth.

We checked in with her for Dance Magazine's "What Dancers Eat" series to find out the fueling secrets that keep her performances so fetch.


On her food philosophy:

"I always try to figure out how to satisfy my stomach in the healthiest way possible. I eat all meat, vegetables and good carbs—brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes. I try to buy organic produce and non-farm-fed meat. This gives me leeway to never hesitate to indulge my sweet tooth or my craving for a greasy slice of pepperoni pizza!"

What a typical day of meals looks like: 

Breakfast: "A bowl of oatmeal with raspberries, blueberries & agave. Two scrambled eggs and bacon."

Lunch: "Lots of snacking! Sliced cucumbers with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Some popcorn and almonds."

Dinner: "I pick a protein and then usually pair it with brown rice and a vegetable. Lately I've been into lots of roasted veggies!"

Her day off treat: 

"I like to think my day off—yes I said 'day' as in a singular day—is my free day! I treat myself to whatever I am craving. Most of the time it's Popeyes or a really good pasta dish. Every other day, my eating habits are clean and healthy so that I can provide my body with the correct nutrients during an eight-shows-a-week schedule."

Her go-to backstage snacks: 

"Pretzels and any trail mix."

A chair marked Kamille has bags of cashews and pretzels on it

Why she loves cooking late at night: 

"Cooking is very therapeutic for me. I usually will do a meal-prep cooking hour right after I get home from my shows at night. It's the best way to wind down and still do something productive. Nothing is more relaxing than chopping vegetables with a glass of wine and some good music!

"My favorite thing to cook is roasted vegetables (carrots, green peppers, red peppers, onions, snow peas and eggplant), paired with some kielbasa, brown rice/quinoa mix, topped with goat cheese! It's a very easy dish to cook, and I usually can make it last for three meals."

A bowl of kielbasa with veggies and goat cheese, sitting atop a cutting board with pieces of cheese

Upshaw's kielbasa with roasted vegetables and goat cheese

Her kitchen must-haves:

"This may sound odd, but I love onions. They can make any dish more flavorful. I usually sauté them in olive oil and then add anything else in the pan.

"The only other thing that's consistently in my kitchen is eggs. I love them for breakfast, but they can be a good snack when boiled to get some solid protein."

Her favorite treat: 

"The Milk Bar B'Day Truffle balls. If you haven't had them, go get them now! It's like eating cookie dough but not the raw egg part. Trust me, you will not be disappointed."

The one food she can't stand: 

"I think figs are so disgusting—and I have given them a fair try multiple times.

"Other than that, I have a very well versed palate. I owe that to my nana and mom! They were always encouraging me to try new foods at a young age."

Her favorite place to go out to eat:

"I am in love with the sea scallop dish at Ocean Prime. They are always cooked perfectly and accompanied by Parmesan risotto, English peas and citrus vinaigrette.

"Or, when I am trying to not be fancy and have something more reasonably priced, my go-to is Ponty Bistro, in Harlem. They have a killer linguini alla scampi. It feeds all my pasta dreams."

Latest Posts


Matthew Murphy, Courtesy DKC/O&M

MJ The Musical Casts Its Michael

MJ The Musical has found its Michael Jackson: Ephraim Sykes.

If there's anyone who's up to the task, it's easily Sykes. The Tony-nominated triple threat has proved his mettle time and again in six Broadway shows. No stranger to the soul and pop genres, he was in the casts of Memphis and Motown The Musical, and is currently starring as David Ruffin in Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS
Ailey II artistic director Troy Powell teaching an Ailey Workshop at NYCDA. Courtesy NYCDA

NYCDA Is Redefining the Convention Scene Through Life-Changing Opportunities

Back in 2011 when Joe Lanteri first approached Katie Langan, chair of Marymount Manhattan College's dance department, about getting involved with New York City Dance Alliance, she was skeptical about the convention/competition world.

"But I was pleasantly surprised by the enormity of talent that was there," she says. "His goal was to start scholarship opportunities, and I said okay, I'm in."

Today, it's fair to say that Lanteri has far surpassed his goal of creating scholarship opportunities. But NYCDA has done so much more, bridging the gap between the convention world and the professional world by forging a wealth of partnerships with dance institutions from Marymount to The Ailey School to Complexions Contemporary Ballet and many more. There's a reason these companies and schools—some of whom otherwise may not see themselves as aligned with the convention/competition world—keep deepening their relationships with NYCDA.

Now, college scholarships are just one of many ways NYCDA has gone beyond the typical weekend-long convention experience and created life-changing opportunities for students. We rounded up some of the most notable ones:

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS
Paul Kolnik, Courtesy NYCB

Dance Magazine Award Honoree: Sara Mearns

Sara Mearns is a force. There is a monumentality to her dancing that was apparent even as a young corps member of 19, cast in her first Swan Lake with New York City Ballet. She threw herself into the role heart and soul, stretching each shape to the limit, trusting the music to carry her to a deep place (and her partner to save her should she go too far). In the 13 years since, her dancing has gained in power and focus, while never losing that edge of risk.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS
contest
Enter Our Video Contest