A statement all too true for a dancer, this flows through our veins. Well, the ‘Dance’ part but how about the Eat?
Dancers are tough, they train exceptionally hard for long hours at a time so we thought to ask you, the dancer, what is your daily diet like?
The dance world is riddled with stereotypes, especially when it comes to a dancers diet. Eating disorders seem synonymous with dancing, which is an extremely dangerous thought and commonly far from the truth.
We all know nutrition is vital and an essential element to consider if you are an athlete in any form. Our topic of discussion may be a vast subject to cover as nutrition and dancing can take on so many levels and ideals on what is the norm as a dancer. Our world is consumed with the words Nutrition, Vegan, Meal prep, BMI, Calories, Calorie tracker, High intensity interval training (HIIT), Meal recovery and so forth. It can all be very overwhelming and sometimes too much.
Lets simplify it for us with a few simple “Nutrition musts”:
Eating a well balanced diet enables you to:
- Perform at your peak, or shall we say “raise the barre” on your performance in class or during a production
- Assists with reducing the risk of injury and illness
- Ability to bounce back, ready to rehearse again the next day
- “The happiest dancers are the ones that have really learned how to take care of their bodies and minds.” Rachael Mclaren
Some tips for the nutritious dancer, or anyone really:
- Never skip breakfast,
- Mom’s right, don’t! Eating breakfast jump starts your metabolism and provides energy for the day. Breakfast stimulates your mind bringing out the dancer in you.
- Don’t forget the Proteins and Carbohydrates.
- Don’t skip the good carbs, this is essential for energy.
- Protein enables muscle growth and recovery.
- Eat the right amount of calories for how active you are. Balance the energy you use with what you consume.
- Eat three meals a day and actually E.A.T
- By E.A.T we mean, choose to sit down for 20 minutes with no distractions ( No TV, No Facebook, No phones – nadda…Shew!)
- This helps with stimulating the metabolism allowing you to breakdown your food and feel fuller for longer
- The 20 minute “me time” also assists with not over eating – which is a win-win.
- Either choose to eat three well balanced meals a day or opt for 6 smaller meals throughout the day, allowing for snacks
- Keep hydrated. Water. [All day. Everyday.]
- Sugar & Saturated Fats: Stay away from concentrated sugars and try to make the correct choices of unsaturated fats. Rule of thumb: If it tastes too unnatural, it probably is.
- Most importantly – take note – eat to nourish YOU, your body, your mind. Look after yourselves. A healthy body is a healthy mind.
- A healthy mind from eating well and a happy heart from the freedom of dance = pure bliss.
Share with us what helps you get through those long rehearsals, do you snack or do you meal prep? What do you as a dancer eat?
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Also in For The Love Of Dance
For Ricardo Koopman, Dance has saved his life. From growing up in the fishing village of Hout Bay, Cape town, he has entertained many with his dancing talents from young age of 4 years old.
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