Home Videos Photos Contact Us Partners
Articles by Topic Search News and Reviews
Dance Topics
Diet and Nutrition

Dance Styles
Classical Ballet
Jazz Dance
Modern Dance
Tap Dance
Hip Hop
Social Dance

Dance Appreciation
Dance History
Dance Biographies

Dance Guides
Dance Dictionary
Q&A: Dance Advice

Dance Reviews
Dance Events
Dance Products
Press Releases

Dance Opportunity
University Dance
Dance Employment
Dance Auditions
Master Classes

Video Gallery
Photo Gallery

Mission Statement
Note from The Editor

RSS Feed
rss feed

Add to your
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator
Add to Google
Home > Diet and Nutrition

Eating for Performance

Early on in ballet, we hear the dreaded word 'diet'. We are expected to stay at our thinnest as ballet dancers and this can be quite a feat for some. Many start their dancing very young. When we begin to grow into women, we oftentimes begin our weight issues. It is very important that the developed body be embraced and not punished. Dieting isn’t going to make hipbones go away! We need to stay sensible and healthy instead of obsessed. It is very easy to get into the mean cycle of diet obsession. It leads to nothing more then a variety of weight problems. We need to feed our bodies for maximum performance, not maximum thinness! We will automatically be at our best when we think nutrition rather than dieting.

A body that is malnourished, or under fed, especially in intervals, is not a body that can hold up to the demands of dance. Crash dieting is especially dangerous and counter-productive; it leads to a slowed metabolism, which in turn causes weight gain. When your body is starved, the metabolism slows down and it goes into a panic mode. This panic mode is a natural defense mechanism that tells the body to hold onto fat for energy reserves. So starving yourself will only make you gain weight.

food pyramid

Instead of resorting to short lived victories and long lived defeat, resort to a change of mindset when it comes to eating. You are eating to fuel your body, you need to put in exactly what your body needs to function, in this demanding way, and this sometimes means eating more. And by this I don’t mean more pizza… Dancers need to eat more often, sometimes up to 6 times a day. The key is content and portion control. Here’s an example of a healthy dancer’s day of eating:

7:00am – Heavy fiber cereal and berries

10:00am – One banana and a teaspoon of peanut butter.

12:30pm – Spinach salad with a small, grilled, all white meat chicken breast, and raisins topped with vinaigrette (low fat).

3:00pm – Cup of plain yogurt.

6:00pm - Red, yellow and orange sautéed peppers in a wheat pita, one small Salmon fillet sautéed in olive oil and topped with fresh grated parmesan cheese.

The only liquid a dancer should be drinking, and drinking a lot of, is bottled water. We need to drink more than the average person does since we sweat more than the average person. Always have a bottle of water next to you during class. Drink one before and during, then one after each class, and keep replenishing throughout the day. An occasional orange juice or pomegranate juice is ok but should be thought of as a snack rather than a simple drink.

fresh glass of water with lemon

No matter how much you’re tempted to take the short cuts to dieting, your food intake should be consistent and nutritional. Eat healthy and eat enough, your dance performance relies on it. We work out so hard that our hearts can be taxed if we aren’t very careful about our diet choices. A weakened heart and an underfed body can lead to injury and possible death. So do yourself a favor and nourish your body daily, don’t diet!

Email This Page to a Friend:
Your Name: Send to friend
Friend's Email:


 Subscribe in a reader

Subscribe via Email:

Vegas Dance Auditions
Do you have the guts for VEGAS??

Hats off to the masters of choreography!

"Dance is the hidden language of the soul." More Dance Quotes

fred astaire ginger rogers
See our tap dance video gallery.

martha graham
See our modern dance photo gallery.

See our ballet photo gallery.

Ward off tendonitis.

L.A. Contemporary Dance Company
 photo Then_Now_Onward2.jpg
Review on LACDC
Full Article...

The Eco-Friendly Dancer
10 ways to save cash, stay green, and inspire others in today’s climate.
Full Article...

Dancehelp Reviews Toepads
Pointe Pads
Read our pointe toepad reviews!
Full Article...


Check out the best summer dance intensive programs in your area
Full Article...

Should dancers avoid carbs?
Dieting Myths Debunked
Full Article...

How do I improve a low arch?Practice working...
Q: How can I strengthen my point and make my arch more flexible?
Full Article...

Brush up on Your Dance Trivia!
Dance Quiz
Take this short dance trivia quiz, how do you score?
Full Article...

Stomp dancer
STOMP is no ordinary performance, it's a rhythmic masterpiece.
Full Article...