The Case for Bringing Your Own Snacks to the Studio
For busy dancers on the go, it's easy to grab a premade salad on the way to class or scroll through delivery options as rehearsal comes to a close. But bringing homemade meals and snacks to the studio or theater has real payoffs. And making it happen doesn't have to be as difficult as you might think.
Why Do It?
Reason 1: It's ready when you want it
Bringing your own food can be a lot more dependable, points out Kelly Hogan, a registered dietitian in New York City. "If hunger strikes, you have something on hand and don't have to go searching for a meal or snack, which may take a while and result in crazy hunger."
Reason 2: It's more reliable
Making your food keeps you in control. Eating out can be tricky if you have a sensitive stomach or dietary restrictions. Homemade meals ensure you're eating what you know agrees with your body when you're dancing.
Reason 3: It's cheaper
A quinoa bowl at a grab-and-go café in New York City will run you at least $10. Make an entire batch at home and you can get an entire week's worth of lunches for not much more.
Reason 4: It's healthier
At home, you can make your dishes as nutritious as you want, says Hogan. "Restaurants often add in lots more salt, butter and oils to make their foods taste so good, but it's usually more than is necessary."
Reason 5: It's the right size
Restaurant portions are usually massive. You're more likely to eat mindlessly just because there's more food in front of you, or let it go to waste if you can't finish it.
Don't underestimate the nutritional power of a good PB&J
How to Actually Make It Happen
"The name of the game is planning," says Hogan. "Take a look at the week ahead and plan out what you think you'll need. Prep accordingly, both with your meal prep and your grocery lists."
Cook in batches: Get into the habit of making recipes that will last you a few days. "Try dedicating a few hours on the weekend to making a big dish," she says. And remember that not everything has to be fresh: The frozen foods selection at Trader Joe's has loads of healthy, quick options, like vegetable and grain mixes.
Roast your veggies: Chop a bunch of your favorite vegetables, like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, drizzle them with olive oil, top with salt and pepper, and roast them all together on a big sheet pan. Throughout the week, you can add them to quinoa, bean-based pasta (a good source of protein) or eggs.
Splurge on a lunch bag: Relive the childlike joy of picking out your favorite lunch box. Having a bag or box you genuinely want to carry will make you more likely to pack meals and snacks to-go.
Roasted veggies are easy to make and mix in with other foods to boost a meal's nutritional punch.
Fast (But Homemade) Food Ideas
Overwhelmed? Here are a few of Hogan's favorite DIY foods that pack a nutritional punch, won't cost a fortune, and are easy to make and transport.
- A nut butter and jelly sandwich (for extra nutrients, swap the jelly for banana or berries)
- Mini Babybel or string cheese paired with fruit
- A portable peanut butter packet with crackers
- Greek yogurt with fruit and granola
- Eggs and veggies, in scrambled or omelet form
- Overnight oats
- Farro or quinoa bowls topped with vegetables and your favorite dressing
- Soups or stews
- Chicken (a store-bought cooked rotisserie chicken is a great option) paired with quick-cooking rice and veggies
Alicia has died. I walked around my apartment feeling her spirit, but knowing something had changed utterly.
My father, the late conductor Benjamin Steinberg, was the first music director of the Ballet de Cuba, as it was called then. I grew up in Vedado on la Calle 1ra y doce in a building called Vista al Mar. My family lived there from 1959 to 1963. My days were filled with watching Alicia teach class, rehearse and dance. She was everything: hilarious, serious, dramatic, passionate and elegiac. You lost yourself and found yourself when you loved her.
"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.
It's Nutcracker time again: the season of sweet delights and a sparkling good time—if we're able to ignore the sour taste left behind by the outdated racial stereotypes so often portrayed in the second act.
In 2017, as a result of a growing list of letters from audience members, to New York City Ballet's ballet master in chief Peter Martins reached out to us asking for assistance on how to modify the elements of Chinese caricature in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. Following that conversation, we founded the Final Bow for Yellowface pledge that states, "I love ballet as an art form, and acknowledge that to achieve a diversity amongst our artists, audiences, donors, students, volunteers, and staff, I am committed to eliminating outdated and offensive stereotypes of Asians (Yellowface) on our stages."
An audience member once emailed Dallas choreographer Joshua L. Peugh, claiming his work was vulgar. It complained that he shouldn't be pushing his agenda. As the artistic director of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, Peugh's recent choreography largely deals with LGBTQ issues.
"I got angry when I saw that email, wrote my angry response, deleted it, and then went back and explained to him that that's exactly why I should be making those works," says Peugh.
With the current political climate as polarized as it is, many artists today feel compelled to use their work to speak out on issues they care deeply about. But touring with a message is not for the faint of heart. From considerations about how to market the work to concerns about safety, touring to cities where, in general, that message may not be so welcome, requires companies to figure out how they'll respond to opposition.