How This San Francisco Ballet Dancer Became An Instagram Foodie Star
"Whatever I'm into, whether it's ballet or healthy food," says Natasha Sheehan, "I'll research anything and everything about it."
That curiosity has led the San Francisco Ballet corps member, 19, to develop a sideline as an Instagram foodie star and food blogger. Sheehan shares recipes and photos of her beautifully styled meals, along with behind-the-scenes ballet insights, with her more than 44,000 followers.
"For food photography, natural light is best," says Sheehan. Styling a dish and setting up the shot can sometimes take a very long time, she admits. "As a ballet dancer, being a perfectionist, I try to make the food look as perfect as possible."
A devotee of Dr. Mark Hyman's pegan diet, which combines elements of paleo and vegan plans, she focuses on whole, unprocessed ingredients like organic fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and high-quality proteins like chicken and fish. "I've found that eating food in its natural state makes me feel my best, so I've stuck with that," says Sheehan, who hopes to become a nutritionist after her dance career.
She shared one of her favorite recipes with Dance Magazine:
Vegan Spinach Walnut Pesto
Sheehan loves making this pesto to put on zoodles (zucchini "noodles"), salads or roasted vegetables, or to dip raw vegetables in to snack on.
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 4 cups fresh basil
- 2 cups spinach
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinaigrette (olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, garlic, Himalayan pink salt)
- zest from 1/2 lemon
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth.
- Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. If you prefer your pesto to be more thinned out, add either extra olive oil, lemon juice or water.
For more on Sheehan's daily diet, how she solved her recurring digestive issues and her homemade energy ball recipe, pick up a copy of Dance Magazine's August issue.
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:
We knew that Ivo van Hove and Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker's production of West Side Story would challenge our preconceived notions about the show.
But a recent Vogue story gives us a taste of just how nontraditional the Broadway revival will be. Most notably, van Hove is cutting "I Feel Pretty" and the "Somewhere" ballet, condensing the show into one act to better reflect the urgency of the 48-hour plot. (The choice has been approved by the West Side Story estate, including Sondheim, who has "long been uncomfortable" with some of the "I Feel Pretty" lyrics.)
"The show must go on" may be a platitude we use to get through everything from costume malfunctions to stormy moods. But when it came to overcoming a literal hurricane, Houston Ballet was buoyed by this mantra to go from devastated to dancing in a matter of weeks—with the help of Harlequin Floors, Houston Ballet's longstanding partner who sprang into action to build new floors in record time.