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How Two Business Students Created Nutrition Bars for Dancers Julia Erickson and Aaron Ingley were both ballet dancers and business students when they came up with an idea to keep dancers full between rehearsals.

By Jodi Helmer

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As a principal dancer with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and a business major at the University of Pittsburgh, Julia Erickson would race between rehearsals and classes, often turning to snack foods for convenience.

In 2010, bored with energy bars and prepackaged trail mixes, Erickson retreated to her kitchen. She wanted to create a nutrient-packed snack with a mix of protein, fiber and carbohydrates that would provide the stamina she needed to perform but with fewer processed ingredients and calories.

"As a dancer, how I look matters," Erickson explains. "I've spent a lifetime figuring out how to eat to be strong but slender--and doing it while grazing during short breaks."

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