Web Bonus: More About "Healthy" Food
Why you think they’re healthy: Energy bars like PowerBars and Balance Bars are marketed as meal replacements packed with muscle-building protein.
But really: Most energy bars are glorified candy bars, loaded with sugar, calories and protein you don’t need. According to Jan Hangen, a registered dietitian in the sports-medicine department at the Children’s Hospital in Boston and a nutrition consultant at Boston Ballet, excess protein is stored as fat. You need .8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight (1 kg = 2.2 lbs). So if you weigh 125 pounds (56.8 kg), you should eat about 45.5 grams of protein each day. Some energy bars contain up to 30 grams of protein—the equivalent of one chicken breast.
Instead: Try Lärabars, which contain only fruit and nuts, rather than excess protein and chemical additives found in energy bars.
Why you think they’re healthy: You’ve heard that grains are a heart-healthy energy source.
But really: There are two types of grains: refined grain and whole grain. Refined grains have been milled to lose the outer bran layer of the kernel. Whole grains contain the entire kernel, making them higher in fiber and other important nutrients. The multigrain designation usually means that in a single serving, you’re eating mostly refined grains, with a very small (even negligible) amount of whole grains. Whole grains fight disease and take longer to digest, so your appetite will be curbed and you’ll have calories to burn (translation: energy).
Instead: Skip foods labeled “multigrain” in favor of those with a “whole grain” label. Munch on Triscuits or toss a bag of dry whole-grain cereal in your dance bag. Kashi cereals or regular Cheerios are good options. You can also try oatmeal, brown rice and whole-wheat bread. Just make sure the words “whole grain” appear first or second on the ingredient list, and that there are fewer than 4 to 5 grams of sugar per serving. (See the “What Are Whole Grains?” sidebar below.)
Why you think they’re healthy: Pita bread is a good for you, so baked pita chips must be good too.
But really: “They sound wonderful, but they are really high in fat,” says Peggy Swistak, a consulting nutritionist at Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle. “Three or four pita chips with bean dip is a healthy snack, but who only eats three or four?” If you aren’t careful, you could eat a whole bag, and that would count as your fat allotment for the whole day.
Instead: Munch on rice cakes or plain air-popped popcorn. One rice cake is only 45 calories and contains less than a gram of fat. One cup of plain popcorn is about 30 calories and less than half a gram of fat.
What Are Whole Grains?
- brown rice
- bulgur (cracked wheat)
- whole-wheat bread, pasta or crackers
Harper Watters is a ballet dancer for today's generation. A social media maestro and a charismatic performer, the Houston Ballet soloist is equally at home in front of the camera hosting his hit YouTube series, "The Pre Show"; interacting with fans on his crazy-popular Instagram account; or showing off his beautiful classical technique onstage. It's a multifaceted identity that's proven to be invaluable to his career—and it's taking him to places he never even dreamed of.
The dancers who take our breath away are the risk-takers, the ones who appear completely fearless onstage. "When you see somebody trying to travel more, go farther, push the limits of their physical abilities, that's always going to be inspiring," says Ballet BC dancer Alexis Fletcher.
But dance training can feel like it's in conflict with that idea. We spend thousands of hours in the studio trying to do steps perfectly, and that pursuit of perfection can make us anxious about taking risks. What if we fail? What if we fall?
Luckily, fearlessness is a mental skill that you can work on, just as you work on your technique. Here's how you can learn to push yourself past your limits.
If you're in need of a piece that's both trendy and sophisticated, look no further than this Só Dança crop top. Featuring elegant long sleeves, a high neckline, and a delicate lace trim, it's both classic and contemporary—perfect for everything from that big audition to a long night in the studio. Enter below for your chance to win it!
Auditioning for summer intensives in person may be the ideal—but for Anna McDowell, a 16-year-old student at Juneau Dance Theatre in Juneau, AK, it's rarely possible. “Living in Alaska, it's difficult to travel to auditions," she says. “It gets way too expensive!" Instead, each year, with help from her teachers and a videographer, she puts together a well-crafted video and submits it to schools around the country. Last year, her high-quality video helped her earn acceptance to nearly every program she applied for. Most summer intensive programs, eager to attract students from far and wide, will accept video auditions from those who can't travel to take class. But major schools look at hundreds of submissions each year, which means video auditioners have just a few minutes—or even seconds—to make a great impression. If you're about to create an audition video, follow these tips from the professionals to put your best digital foot forward.
There are zillions of things to think about when choosing a summer program, but here's one you might not have considered: using an intensive as an opportunity to focus on a new style. Maybe you're a tap dancer who's ready to see where else your rhythm and quick feet can serve you, or a contemporary dancer curious about the more traditional roots of your genre. A summer program can be the perfect place to broaden your horizons, giving you the opportunity to make technical and artistic changes that stick throughout the year.
Happy birthday, George Balanchine! The great choreographer and founder of New York City Ballet would have been 114 years old today. Balanchine revolutionized ballet, especially American ballet—and he also had quite a way with words. To celebrate Mr. B's birthday, we rounded up some of our favorite iconic Balanchine quotes.
There's a common misconception that a dancer's body has to be thin. But the truth is that talent knows no body type, and the number on the scale never determines an artist's capabilities. Here are some extraordinary dancers fighting the stereotype of what a dancer "should" look like.