We’re Thankful for Food!
In the midst of Nutcracker rehearsals and studying for exams, one important holiday rolls around: Thanksgiving! Before you sit down to eat, check out the stellar health benefits of some favorite Turkey Day staples. You don’t have to feel guilty about indulging when you feast this way. Dig in!
Turkey is a great source of lean protein and niacin, a B vitamin that ensures radiant skin and a healthy digestive system.
Tip: Choose skinless white meat. The dark meat has a lot more saturated fat and the skin is loaded with fats and calories.
These delicious tubers are an exceptional source of vitamin B6, beta-carotene, fiber and protein. Plus, they’re one of the best low-fat sources of the heart-healthy antioxidant vitamin E.
Tip: Swap your sugar-and-butter–loaded sweet potato for a baked one with a dash of brown sugar.
Not only jam-packed with antioxidants, cranberries have also been shown to block urinary tract infections, stop plaque buildup on your teeth and prevent stomach ulcers.
Tip: Make your own sauce from fresh cranberries for a tasty alternative that’s less sugary than the canned variety.
Green beans, or string beans, are a great source of vitamin K, which plays a vital role in bone health and osteoporosis prevention. Plus, they’re full of fiber.
Tip: Skip the butter—simply sprinkle a bit of sea salt and pepper over your beans.
Before it becomes dessert, pumpkin is a low-fat, low-calorie squash that’s filled with potassium, beta-carotene and vitamins A and C.
Tip: Replace the traditional pumpkin pie recipe with a healthier, lower-sugar one.
Worried about a snug tutu?
Indulge in smart servings of the things you really crave (pecan pie!), and skip the just-kind-of-meh foods.
Ditch The Guilt
On the morning of your Thanksgiving feast, give yourself a mini barre and go for a jog. You could even sign up to participate in your community’s turkey trot race. You’ll feel refreshed and energized as you help in the kitchen, and you won’t feel guilty about having a second slice of pie!
Just Say Thanks
Being grateful every day can make you a more alert, enthusiastic person, according to psychologists at the University of California (Davis) and the University of Miami. In studies, researchers found that kids who took part in daily gratitude exercises had greater levels of determination, attentiveness and energy. Plus, they were more likely to help others than the children who focused on daily hassles instead of gratitude. So the next time you see your parents, your ballet teacher or your bestie, show them some gratitude.
To kick off your Thanksgiving celebrations, make a gratitude list. Find a quiet space, jot down everyone and everything you’re thankful for and tape it to your mirror. It’ll help you keep your attitude of gratitude even after the festivities are over.
Much of Janelle Ginestra's career has been about helping others shine. She's dedicated herself to supporting and cheerleading her partner, WilldaBeast Adams; the emerging talents in their dance company, ImmaBEAST; and the countless dancers she inspires at master classes and conventions. Her YouTube channel has become a launching pad for young talents like "Fraternal Twins" Larsen Thompson and Taylor Hatala, thanks to viral videos featuring Ginestra's creative vision.
But Ginestra's a skyrocketing success in her own right—an in-demand choreographer, a social media influencer, and a dance entrepreneur, building a legacy one eight-count at a time. It's time for her turn in the spotlight. And she's more than ready. "I want to be a legend in whatever I do," she says. We'd argue that she already is.
Almost a month out, Puerto Rico continues to suffer the devastating aftereffects of Hurricane Maria. Many of the island's residents still lack power, clean water, and safe housing. Ballet classes? For Puerto Rican dance students, they must feel like an impossible luxury.
But a dance studio in Florida is working to allow a group of young Puerto Ricans to continue their training. And it needs your help.
Yes, I am a dancer, and yes, I am fat.
There's nothing quite as soul-crushing as the reactions I've received when I've told people I dance. They can range from disbelief to confusion to shock. To many people, it's somehow incomprehensible that a plus-size person like myself could grace a stage. While the body-positive movement has been trucking along at full force over the past few years, it hasn't made much progress in the dance community yet. In fact, the words "body positivity" and "dance" are almost never used together in the same sentence.
Despite that fact, dance is what helped me learn to love my larger frame. In honor of National Body Confidence Day, I wanted to talk about my first time in a studio, and about the tremendous progress I've made since.
If you've ever seen a Janelle Ginestra class video, you know how lit her combos are. What you don't see in those clips is how devoted Ginestra is to her students. We went behind the scenes at one of her sold-out IMMA SPACE classes to see Ginestra in her element, mentoring some of L.A.'s most talented dancers. It was an inspiration feedback loop.
All photos by Joe Toreno.
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 love ballet, and I've been told that I have a lot of potential. I can see myself dancing professionally one day. But I'm also working toward my black belt in karate—and I'm passionate about that, too. How can I keep up my technique while also making time for the other things I love? Is that even possible?
What do you get when you combine a Beyoncé anthem, fierce girls from all over the world, and choreography by legends like Ellenore Scott and Lamar Lee? You get the epic music video below. The viral video features little girls who live everywhere from Tanzania to Washington D.C. dancing and lip-syncing to Queen Bey's song "Freedom," and the result is electrifying. These littles can dance—and they bring a determination and enthusiasm to their movement that's truly inspiring.