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Dancer's Kitchen

Snacking in the Wings

 
The holiday performance season can be a grueling one for dancers. Staying fed and hydrated can be a balancing act. The Dance Current asked three dancers from Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada in Moncton, New Brunswick, to share what they eat before stepping on stage.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Stéphanie Audet
My go-to favourite snack before a performance is either a banana or a hard-boiled egg. I find they are easy to digest and give me enough energy to get through the first act without making me feel too full. Just the right amount in my opinion! I usually eat my snack thirty minutes before the show starts. Of course, I eat a full meal about three hoursbefore a performance, to feel full and to keep me going. I also make sure to bring my reusable water bottle everywhere with me so I drink enough water. 
 
 
 
 
Peter Lancksweerdt
The last things I usually eat before a performance are cookies. I eat them a few minutes before the show begins and I continue to eat them during the performance (if I have breaks) or during the intermission. I don’t eat a lot of them, just enough to not get hungry or weak onstage. The sugar gives me some energy. I eat cookies because they are easy to eat, come in small quantities, aren’t too heavy on the stomach and, of course, they taste good! 
 
 
 
 
Olga Petiteau
The last things I usually eat before a performance are a banana, about thirty minutes before going onstage, and one square of dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao) right before going to the wings. If I have some fruit juice, I quite like to drink a little of it (especially if I made it myself). If I feel more tired than usual, I might have some almonds or grapes as well. The banana provides the fuel I need to do a show; the grapes are sweet, easy to snack on and make me feel hydrated. The chocolate I eat only because it’s my treat and makes me happy. 
 
~
 
Stéphanie Audet; Peter Lancksweerdt; Olga Petiteau / Photos by Michael Hawkins
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