How Do You Take Care of Your Body?

   An interview with Saint Paul Ballet Company Members

Brittany Adams & Anna Roehr


Headshot of professional ballet dancer Headshot of Professional Dancer         

What are some nutritional tricks you’ve learned work well with your body?




Meal Planning

BA:     I definitely eat breakfast or I would pass out.  I don’t usuallyPlate of Dinner make a specific meal plan, but I definitely need to eat a good full meal when I get back from rehearsal or class.  I need to start and end the day with “real food.”

AR:     Breakfast is usually rushed – if I’m up early enough I’ll make eggs or something with protein.  We both like making smoothies with fruit, cashew milk, chia seeds, spinach…keeps us from getting too hungry.  We usually eat dinner together – I like making meals in the crockpot a lot.


Tasty Treats

Pizza is a definite weakness and a fun treat.  You can even make it semi-healthy!

"You can't make everyone happy.  You are not pizza."

KIND Granola BarSnacks

BA:     It’s a good day when I remember to bring snacks with me.  My rule of thumb is to bring lots of snacks that keep me going but don’t weigh me down.

AR:     Lunch is more a cliff bar/granola bar during a 10 min. break to change shoes.  Same if I need to grab food before teaching.




3 Brightly Colored Smoothies

Snacks of Choice

Trail mix – because I can buy a big tub and leave it at the studio.

Smoothies or Oatmeal – I like soft foods that are light but have good fiber & protein.  I like smoothies especially because you can add whatever you want to them – like caffeine, flaxseed & supplements.  I make my own and buy frozen fruit.

Bowl of oatmeal with bananas on topHow conscious are you of carbohydrates, proteins & fats?

BA:     Not as conscious as I should be, but I definitely can tell if I haven’t had enough protein.  I find meats hard to buy and eat consistently, so eggs are a go-to.


AR:     I don’t keep track of specific amounts, but I follow something similar to the Paleo diet – not a lot of bread, rice, potatoes, red meat or milk.  I avoid refined foods in general because they just don’t make me feel very good – I just eat healthy and whole foods and eat when I’m hungry and that pretty much takes care of it.

BA:     I pay more attention to supplements, especially since I currently have a labral tear.  I take magnesium to rebuild muscles & fish oil for joint health, and I drink Emergen-C almost every day for Vitamin C, energy & potassium since I don’t like bananas.


Brittany’s Favorite Combo

*Toast with half a ripe avocado and a hard-boiled egg on top.Eggs

What exercises do you make sure to fit in outside of rehearsals/classes?Girl in yoga pose on yoga mat

BA:     I do most of my stretching & roll out my feet while exercises are being demonstrated at the barre.  I always have to stretch my hip flexors between barre & rehearsal.  And I roll out my back like 80 times a day 🙂

AR:     I have to stretch my IT band and my splits every day – they get really tight.  It’s kind of a nightly routine for both of us to roll out with a foam roller while we watch TV or something.



2 light pink weights

Do you cross train?

BA:     I like hot yoga and do the “work for trade” program at Core Power.  I also walk outside sometimes when it’s nice and occasionally lift weights for specific or challenging choreography.

AR:     I take yoga and Pilates now and then – depending on what I have time for – sometimes I’m too exhausted.  I cross train mostly to keep my core tight and sometimes lift light weights for arms since I don’t get as much of a workout with arms as I do with legs in ballet.

How do you help yourself stay hydrated?Bottled water pouring into a glass

BA:     I always have a water bottle with me, but I don’t count the ounces.  I can tell when I haven’t had enough, though, because my muscles don’t respond well, or I’ll wake up thirsty in the middle of the night.

AR:     I try to have a big glass of water in the morning before coffee or anything else.  I have water with me during class/rehearsal – I know I need to get even more than the daily amount because of how much I’m exercising and sweating.  It helps just to keep it with me.

What do you do for down time?

BA:     I would kill for down time since I really don’t have any – that’s been a real struggle this whole year.  I don’t really feel healthy or balanced without it.  I need a lot of sleep and often don’t get enough, so sometimes down time ends up being a nap.  Ideally I’d like to spend more time with friends and get more things done around the house.Cartoon Tiger Sleeping

AR:     I have an ok amount of down time…it usually ends up being late at night, which means I stay up later than I probably should – just whenever I’m home from teaching.

Brittany and I will make plans together, which is nice – it’s helpful to do something not dance-related.

What are some creative ways you’ve found to relax in the middle of a packed schedule?

 BA:    I take Epsom salt baths and try to schedule massages regularly if possible. 

      AR:     I listen to music.   

Music notes on a wavy staff