What It Means to Be a Healthy Dancer

For pros and aspiring pros.

Most of the dancers who contact us for support are either working professionals or those who aspire to be.

Even though we would prefer it to be otherwise, there is still an aesthetic pressure in that area. No matter how it is expressed, we should acknowledge its existence because we are powerless to wish it away.

If you’re unsure of your ideal weight, think about putting down the scale and letting your body be your guide. While consuming enough nourishment, you should be able to easily maintain your healthy weight.

Honor your body.

As a dancer, your body is your instrument, but it serves you in so many other ways in daily life. You live there. You should be thankful for it merely because it exists and keeps you going through the day.

Meeting your wants is part of honoring your body. It’s about taking care of oneself and realizing that dancing wouldn’t be possible without this place you call home.

Ask yourself: Am I actually taking care of my body outside of the studio? if you want to be a healthy dancer.

Respect your individual needs.

It makes no difference what anyone else consumes. Your dietary requirements are wholly unique. Avoid deluding yourself into thinking that your calorie requirements are unusually high since you are a highly active person.

Any pre-professional or professional dancer should not consume less than 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day because it is exceedingly low and unhealthy. Your daily calorie requirements will probably be far more than 2,000.

You must ask yourself: Am I meeting my personal needs? if you want to dance in good health.

Prioritize high-quality fuel.

Your dietary decisions matter. Before you consider the quality of the food, make sure your connection with it is healthy since that is what matters even more than that.

So, what exactly is premium fuel? Food that is rich in macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) to give your body the energy it needs to function at its best.

It’s crucial to avoid undereating in terms of calories or macronutrients in favor of your micronutrient needs. Fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods are abundant in important vitamins and minerals yet have comparatively few calories. To suit your demands as a performing athlete, you should have a variety of meal options and include calorically dense foods.

Ask yourself: Am I eating various, nutrient-dense foods? if you want to be a healthy dancer.

Plan strategically.

You must prioritize your health and well-being by making a strategy. This can be as easy as sitting down and planning where you’ll squeeze in meals and snacks after looking at your upcoming commitments. Having three meals and two snacks, or two larger meals and three to five snacks is a solid general rule for dancers.

Make some lists of possible breakfast, lunch, supper, and snack options once you’ve identified where you can refuel. (Click here for my snacking advice.) Consider how you feel after consuming each of your selections. It’s important to note for yourself that some strategies might be more effective in some time frames than others.

Some foods, including those higher in fiber, which may induce bloating or stomach discomfort, may be best avoided before dancing. You won’t experience the same energy surge from a meal that is largely protein as you will from one that has carbohydrates. Always strive for balance (include modest amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and fat) and pay attention to what suits you.

Ask yourself: Am I scheduling strategic fuel inside my schedule to be a healthy dancer?

What Are Some Solutions to Performance Anxiety?

How can a dancer calm their nerves and allow themselves to enjoy performing if they enjoy dancing in the studio but experience performance anxiety the moment they have to perform on stage?

Stage fright, or performance anxiety, is more commonly known to the general public as “stage fright,” and it affects performers from all backgrounds, including those who appear to be extraordinarily successful, such as Barbra Streisand and Adele.

Since you are transitioning from a relatively safe environment to one that is full of uncertainties, the act of bringing a performance from the rehearsal studio to the stage can naturally cause emotions of worry or even acute fear. When we enter this condition, it is impossible for you to access the parts of the brain that you need to perform properly. Your mind will likely be filled with “what if…” thoughts of all the things that could go wrong.

Before you take the stage, try this breathing technique if you start to feel nervous or panicky. Anywhere—the dressing room, the hallway outside the stage, or the wings—is a good place to practice.

Take a four-count inhale through your nose, followed by an eight-count exhalation through pursed lips. Pull your navel firmly toward your spine as you exhale. The counting will help you divert your attention from your nervous thoughts, and the controlled exhalation will lower your pulse rate. Tensing your stomach muscles will activate your vagus nerve, which will help you relax. Do this four times. If you still feel anxious, return to your regular breathing pattern and go through the process again. Nothing else should be done during this breathing, not even limbering or plying. Just pay attention to your breathing.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that because our minds and bodies are intertwined, whatever we focus on expands. It will start a cycle between your mind and body if, as you prepare to take the stage, you determine that you are feeling anxious. Anxious thought = anxious feeling = anxious thought and so on. After that, you will soon train yourself to experience increasing amounts of anxiety. It’s interesting to note that many of the bodily sensations that are associated with anxiety can also be associated with excitement.

The amazing thing about this technique is that you don’t have to exert physical effort in order to get a good result. This technique can be used whenever you are learning something new, so after you begin practicing a new routine or technique, spend some time, when you are traveling, before your rehearsals, just before you go to sleep, and when you wake up, trying practicing this: – close your eyes and go through the sequence, solo, or routine in your mind. Imagine that you have an energetic self that is doing this. Feel the physical feelings and your positive emotions as strongly as you can. If there is a step you find challenging, concentrate on the sensation of what it feels like to complete it right and experience how happy you feel when you do this. Visualize this other self performing the tasks flawlessly. Despite the fact that it takes some practice, there is compelling scientific evidence that doing this truly trains the same parts of the brain that you use while practicing in the real life.

5 Essentials for Balanced Dancer Meals

Thank goodness, there is no ideal way to eat. You will have a completely different eating strategy from the dancer next to you. But if you’re looking for recommendations, stop right there. To assist you to gain confidence in your dietary and eating decisions, I’ve developed a framework.

Starchy carbs

These carbohydrates should be a part of every meal because they give you energy. Because they raise serotonin levels, our body’s feel-good hormone, starchy carbohydrates also have a tendency to be the more calming ones.

Complex carbohydrates are those derived from starchy meals, which can encompass a wide variety of foods. Your first thought when thinking of starchy carbohydrates may be potatoes and potato products. But there are other underground vegetables known as “root vegetables” that can be included in this group, such as sweet potatoes, yams, parsnips, jicama, taro root, water chestnuts, Jerusalem artichokes, and rutabaga. However, compared to other root vegetables, carrots, beets, turnips, and daikon radishes have fewer carbohydrates.


Protein is included in many foods, and lean protein can be found in beef, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, dairy products, soy, and soy products. Protein needs can also be met by consuming a variety of plant-based sources of protein throughout the day, such as beans, nuts, and seeds.

Dancers must remember that because protein might make you feel full, eating it needs to be done carefully. If you want to have enough energy to dance all day, you might need to prioritize more carbohydrates.


Dietary fat is essential for supporting appropriate hormone levels as well as helping people satisfy their energy demands. Nuts, nut butters, avocados, olive and coconut oils, and nuts are all good sources of fat.

Fat is a terrific alternative for a topping or sauce, so you could want to include it in your “joyful tastes.” Tahini, avocado, cashew, or oil-based sauces are simple to make. Fat is a part of a balanced dancer’s diet.

Non-starchy carbs

Do you ever feel as though you’re munching excessively? Actually, dancers have this feeling pretty frequently. Many of my clients end up snacking to make up for the fact that they didn’t get enough fat, protein, or volume at their meal (or occasionally all three).

There is no guarantee that non-starchy carbs will provide you with a lot of energy. Because of their fiber, prebiotics, vitamins, and minerals, these carbs are better known.

Think of greens, vegetables, fruits, and berries when you hear the phrase “non-starchy carbs”! These include your vegetables, such as brussels sprouts, bok choy, tomatoes, cucumbers, and many more, as well as your leafy greens, such as arugula, kale, and romaine.

Joyful flavors

It’s highly likely that you’re lacking the flavor component if you find it difficult to consume complete, healthful foods. Never should you have to force yourself to eat something. By using different cooking techniques, seasonings, and sauces, you can improve the flavor of your food.

Although herbs and spices are wonderful, they are also a great source of antioxidants, which guard your cells against free radical damage. There is a substantial amount of research showing that consuming spices can lessen or even completely remove the negative impact that pollutants in food and the environment have on people.

Include spices like cloves, oregano, rosemary, cinnamon, thyme, turmeric, sage, and more when cooking to make your nutritious dishes more appealing.