Get Energized: The Lowdown on Portable Pick Me Ups
Energy gels: You've probably heard of them. The instant, long-lasting energy they provide sounds like a dream come true. But are these supplements really good for dancers? DS investigates. —Sarah Badger
+ Prone to stomach problems? Some gels, like GU, contain small amounts of chamomile and ginger, which can help soothe your digestive system.
+ The simple carbohydrates in gels will send glucose to your muscles and brain almost immediately, while the abundance of complex carbs will keep you from crashing later.
– Carb BOOM and some other gels may pack as many as 100 mg of caffeine into about 2 oz. of gel—the equivalent of an entire cup of coffee! So if you're sensitive to this stimulant, read the label carefully.
– While some brands, like Clif Shot, contain a small quantity of electrolytes, it's still nowhere near enough to replace the amount you'll lose in one dance class.
What the Expert Says
Marie Scioscia, nutritional consultant for The Ailey School, cautions dancers about consuming energy gels. “They're meant for endurance athletes, which dancers are to some extent, but not in the same way as a triathlete," she says.
The bottom line
If you have a long day of performing during which you're not stopping, then an energy gel could be appropriate. However, when you have time, choose real foods that combine protein and carbohydrates for long-lasting energy.
Tip: If you decide an energy gel is right for you, be sure to drink at least 8 oz. of water with each packet to prevent muscel cramps.
Marie's Non-Gel Power Picks
A hard-boiled egg and a handful of baby carrots
A cup of yogurt and a piece of fruit
Half of a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of soy milk
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.
Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.