Eating Healthy — Even If You're On A Limited Budget
It’s the dancer’s dilemma. You need to eat well, but nutritious food can seem pricey. Being a dancer, however, doesn’t have to mean a life of ramen noodles. With a little resourcefulness, you can get the foods you need to stay strong—without depleting your bank account.
1. Eat breakfast. If you skip breakfast, you’re more likely to binge on expensive food mid-morning. “Eggs are fabulous sources of protein, and they’re cheap,” says Leslie Bonci, RD, MPH, company nutritionist for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and director of nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Center for Sports Medicine. One egg has 70 calories and 6 grams of protein.
Eggs also won’t make you feel bloated. Prepare them plain, stuff them in a burrito with some veggies or prepare them as a frittata. Even if you eat out, a classic diner breakfast of eggs and bacon will give you a lot of fuel for less than the price of a large frozen cappuccino. Oatmeal, another breakfast standby, is a good meal any time of the day. Save money by choosing a container of plain oats over a box of individual packets.
2. Put the freeze on fruits and veggies. Frozen produce is just as good as fresh—better, if you consider that “it’s cheaper and lasts longer, because you won’t end up losing a lot to spoilage,” says sports nutritionist Nancy Clark, MS, RD. Use frozen fruit to make smoothies, and add frozen vegetables to your eggs or into a premade can of soup. You can also toss in veggies with chicken or tuna for a cheap stir-fry.
3. Drink your nutrition. “Smoothies are a fabulous way to pack a lot of nutrients into a portable meal,” says Bonci. “I always recommend low-fat milk, 1% or less. Cow’s milk is less costly than soy milk, and rice milk is nutritionally inferior to [both] and is pricey, too.” Mix milk, yogurt, frozen fruit and two tablespoons of dry milk powder in a blender for a cheap, easy-to-digest meal that’s high in protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals. Milk powder, which runs about $6 per 320-ounce box, is good to add to beverages and soups for extra calcium and protein, because it won’t dilute liquids.
4. Go nuts. “Peanut butter is one of the best sports foods,” says Clark. It’s high in protein and you’ll get energy without feeling too full. Clark recommends that all dancers keep a jar around for snacking. Put some in a pita or on a celery stick or banana. The healthiest peanut butter is “all natural,” meaning peanuts and salt are the only ingredients. These run between $3.50 and $5 per 8-ounce jar. Nuts are also good sources of inexpensive protein. Mix with yogurt for extra calcium. Peanuts and sunflower seeds are the best bargain buys (roughly $1 for a half-pound bag of either). Even if you splurge every once in a while on pricier nuts such as macadamia or pistachios, the large bag should last long enough to make the expense worthwhile.
5. Shop by unit price. Resist the urge to purchase small cartons of yogurt or single energy bars. You’ll most likely spend much less in the long run if you buy large cartons of yogurt and boxes of bars. It’s best to shop by unit price, or the cost per unit, rather than sale price (exception: anything that spoils). Unit prices are typically listed next to sale prices. Compare the unit price of a 12-ounce can of soup with a 24-ounce can of soup; in most cases, the 24-ounce can will cost less per ounce.
6. Make your own coffee. If you’re buying a cappuccino three times a week, you’re throwing away a lot of cash. Better to brew your own coffee and save the money for nutritious food. “Whip up your own [frozen coffee] with ice, coffee, vanilla yogurt and dry milk powder for extra protein,” says Bonci. Your frozen drink will have less sugar and more calcium and protein.
7. Look for deals. Shop with coupons and buy what’s on sale. If frozen berries are discounted, purchase three bags instead of one. Split the cost and the food with friends or roommates.
It's time to get your pirouette on! From September 5th to September 30th, we're hosting a contest to find out who's the best turner of them all.
Put together your most impressive turning combo. Post a video online. Share your turns with us and thousands of other dancers around the world. And if our editors think you're the top turner, you'll win a fabulous prize.
All of 18-year-old Kaylin Maggard's dreams—from scoring the title of National Senior Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals to winning the 2017 Dance Spirit Cover Model Search—are coming true. And to anyone who knows the gorgeous contemporary dancer, that's no surprise.
From the moment the Dance Spirit staff met Kaylin, it was obvious her humility and talent would take her far. Not only did she go full-out during the photo shoot and class at Broadway Dance Center, but she was always cheering on, laughing with, and supporting her fellow CMS contestants Haley Hartsfield and Michelle Quiner. During the voting period, the social media world was abuzz with praise for her work ethic, positive attitude, and generosity.
Since her CMS trip to NYC, Kaylin's moved from her hometown of Columbia, MO, to the Big Apple for her freshman year at Juilliard, and is busy getting acquainted with the city. As for the future? She's taking it one opportunity at a time, but something tells us we'll be seeing this contemporary queen reach new heights every year.
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email email@example.com for a chance to be featured!
I know I'm not getting good enough dance training from any of my local studios. But I'm not sure I'm ready to move away to study at a big-name school, either. How do you know when you're ready to leave home to pursue your passion?
Instagram star Kylie Shea has built a following of nearly 170,000 with her playful workout videos, which combine traditional fitness activities, like jumping rope or running on the treadmill, with pointe shoes and sassy choreography. Shea's effortless cool-girl-next-door vibe and solid ballet technique make her vids totally irresistible.
Now Shea's using her platform to address the body image issues that tend to plague dancers. In a poignant video, she sheds her clothes and tugs at her skin. The caption explains her relationship with her body and the pressure she feels to maintain a certain aesthetic as a dancer.
Physical discomfort is inevitable when you're spending tons of hours in the studio every day, but some pain shouldn't be suffered through. "Dancing through pain can make an injury worse and lead to more time away from dance," says Dr. Joel Brenner, medical director of dance medicine at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters in Norfolk, VA. "Failing to rest and recover when you're in serious pain could even lead to the point where you're unable to dance in the future."
That may sound scary, but there's good news: If you take precautions and listen to your body, many injuries can be stopped in their tracks. The first step? Knowing what's normal—and what's not.
Think about it: How often do you see a ballet pas de deux for two women? Almost never, right? Sometimes, choreographers will forgo the traditional danseur-ballerina pas to make a duet for two guys, since they can lift and partner each other easily. But a dance for two ballerinas is a rare thing.
That's part of what makes "Duet," a new video by director Andrew Margetson featuring Royal Ballet beauties Yasmin Naghdi and Beatriz Stix-Brunell, so compelling.
"Dancing with the Stars" pro Lindsay Arnold has become a mainstay on the hit show—this fall marks her ninth season! America has fallen in love with her larger-than-life stage presence and vivacious personality. Specializing in Latin ballroom, Arnold trained in Utah with teachers including fellow "DWTS" veterans Shirley and Mark Ballas. After high school, Arnold planned to study physical therapy on a full academic scholarship at Utah Valley University—until landing a spot on "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 9. Catch her on Season 25 of "DWTS" this fall!