Earlier this summer, I hopped a bus to NYC to visit a friend temporarily in town from the Royal Danish Ballet. Seven years had passed since our bonding at Jacob’s Pillow but! thanks to the joys of social media, there was a strong sense of uninterrupted connection between us. If not in a multi-paragraph message framed in Facebook Blue, than through the remarkably vivid 612×612-pixel window of good old Instagram, over the years we shared in our adventuring. We watched each other grow. Separate, but together.
At long last on a rooftop above Brooklyn, pocketed by twinkle lights, we reunited. The alfresco table was beset with blondes, some faces familiar and some new. Among those whose acquaintance I’d only just made was the delightful Miss Shelby Elsbree.
As the sun slipped away, we loaded up on fresh mussels, al dente pasta, and July-ripened artichokes. Basketballs abounded, flirtatious chefs offered shots and the rosé seemed to reappear endlessly. We discussed Copenhagen, Boston, Providence, Bournonville, Forsythe and Balanchine. Collectively reliving old romances, mulling over the merits of dating apps and fantasizing future travels we filled the gaps between our cities with easy communication and the breaking of bread.
The notoriously small nature of the ballet world felt tangible on that breezy New York evening and again this past weekend, when Jessica Spinner of The Whole Dancer reached out to me about her webinar on eating and injury prevention for dancers. The internet seminar, live on August 27th at 8 pm (or whenever it hits your inbox- all who register will receive a copy of the discussion via email) is completely free and features none other than, that’s right, Boston Ballet Corps Member, Shelby Elsbree.
Balancing strength and artistry seems a fitting topic for Miss Elsbree, a spirited pint of a person whose energy supersedes her. The collection of “culinary curiosities” and bits of ballerina life comprising her blog, Tutus & Tea, showcases her unique ability to maintain a harmony between the two. Here, in her lovely little corner of the web, Shelby proves she has as much grace and power in the kitchen as she does in the studio.
Avoiding injury as a professional dancer is hard. Cultivating a healthy relationship with food can be, too. That essential, deeply personal balance between dance and life often alludes us. To steal Shelby’s secrets, register for the free webinar (live one week from tonight), and join as she and holistic health coach, Jessica Spinner, navigate the twisting road towards a protective and empowering dancer diet. Learn how to decipher primary and secondary foods, choose superfoods when recovering from an injury, and experiment with an eating plan to reach your ideal dancer’s body. Nourish your body and mind. Your tastebuds (and injury-free bod!) will thank you.
photos by Kenneth B. Edwards.