What Dancers Eat
Dancers often make the best chefs. Photo by Quinn Wharton

Tired of the typical turkey and stuffing? For Thanksgiving this year, try something different with these personal recipes that dancers have shared with Dance Magazine. The ingredients are packed with dancer-friendly nutrients to help you recover from rehearsals and fuel up for the holiday performances ahead.

If anyone raises an eyebrow at your unconventional choices, just remind them that dancers are allowed to take some artistic license!

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As you gather around the table with friends and family for today's Thanksgiving meal (or maybe you're at the theater prepping for a Nutcracker performance), it's tradition to take stock of what you're thankful for. Don't forget about these dancer-specific kernels of gratitude. It's the little things like these that we often take for granted.

1. When your rehearsal director says "Take five" or gives everyone a water break.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre principal Julia Erickson in the studio. Photo by Aimee DiAndrea, Courtesy PBT.

2. Better yet, when you're physically drained and you hear these sweet words: "Let's just mark it this time."

Hannah Bettes rehearses at Boston Ballet. Photo by Liza Voll.

3. The feeling when you nail your fouettés, pirouettes or any tricky move. Two words: Crushed. It.

Tyler Hanes as Rum Tum Tugger in CATS. Photo by Matthew Murphy, Courtesy CATS.

4. The personal satisfaction of a nearly perfect performance—and soaking up the applause of a loud curtain call.

Former American Ballet Theatre star Paloma Herrera. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor, Courtesy ABT.

5.  Indulging in a massage after you finish a production.


6. Having dance friends around who will always cry or laugh with you, because they just get it.

From left: Ailey dancers Collin Heyward, Belen Pereyra, Jacqueline Green, Jamar Roberts and Yannick Lebrun. Photo by Jayme Thornton.


Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Dance Magazine.

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It's nearly turkey time! But first, make way for the last-minute grocery-store shuffle. If you haven't completed your shopping yet, you'll want to me sure these Thanksgiving staples are on your list. Not only are they tasty, but they're great for dancers!

Brussels sprouts: Whether they're cooked in a cast-iron pan or shaved and tossed into a salad, it seems like Brussels sprouts are the latest buzz-worthy vegetable. Just one-half cup provides 81 percent of your daily vitamin C and more than your daily dose of vitamin K. (Got a nasty blister from pointework? Vitamin K helps with clotting.) Plus, Brussels sprouts are a good source of dietary fiber.

Sweet potatoes: This vegetable is a vitamin A superstar. One medium sweet potato has more than four times the amount you need daily. Vitamin A helps make and maintain healthy skin, bones and soft tissue and promotes good eyesight. Basically, your dancing body couldn't do its job without it!

Cranberries: With all the savory foods on the Thanksgiving spread, you'll be grateful for this tart-tasting berry to balance things out. Cranberries may prevent urinary tract infections, and they offer several other health benefits. They're a good source of vitamin C, are packed with antioxidants that may lower your risk of certain cancers and have been linked with better oral health.

Dig in!


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