When we see a ballerina on stage moving gracefully and exhibiting her art, we only see beauty. We do not see the hard work, endless hours, and physical sacrifice that he or she has committed to this performance.
A ballerina never chooses that profession for money. The fact is, there are many ballerinas who struggle every day for the basics that we take for granted. Ballet companies have tremendous overhead and they rely on ticket sales (which are often expensive) and donations to exist. This means the dancers are not compensated highly.
Professional dancers must be conservative. They are careful with the foods they buy to get the most value for their money. They must have proper attire for their craft and they watch for bargains on the best dance costumes. They do not dance for the money. They dance because it is their passion. It is as necessary to them as breathing. They know the day will come when they can no longer master the human body and they will retire their art. Until that day comes, they harness every ounce of themselves to be a ballerina.
The professional dancer must know their body. They must understand the qualities and effects of the foods they eat both immediate and for future growth. Muscles must be strengthened and cared for. Use of those muscles requires fuel to recover.
Food as fuel
A dancer must love and respect his or her body, and they also must recognize that they are human and like all humans, want to treat themselves from time to time. It is recommended that a dancer follow the 90/10 rule. 90% of the time, they eat only what is good for their bodies and view their food intake as the fuel they need right now. 10% of the time they indulge in something extravagant like ice cream, candy, or even a few chips, If they want something sweet without added sugar they can fall back on classics like frozen fruits. Frozen watermelon tastes just like a slushy drink and it is low in calories.
Do not look at all foods as good for you or bad for you. For example, if you have had a long practice and your body needs fast recovery, experts suggest chocolate milk. It is much less expensive than protein drinks. It gives you the immediate energy you need and is a great fuel for muscle recovery. Also, having a post-exercise caffeine can be good for you and help your muscles refuel if you pair it with a carb, like a banana. Check out making-nice-coffee.com and you will find out what’s better for you – buying a preground or grinding a fresh coffee.
Mixing foods to get the nutritional boost you need is a great plan. Make high-energy (no-bake) fruit and nut energy balls and add whole grain oats with Cheerios. There are high-protein foods that are inexpensive that give you everything you need when mixed with other nutritional foods. Peanut Butter is a good example of this. The point is, balance your fuel intake and get everything you need. Do not omit a group of foods. Exercise portion control, but include all of nature’s bounty. Even fat consumption has its place in the body of a dancer as well as other high-energy athletes. Fat gives the dancer energy and fat-soluble vitamins they cannot get elsewhere. They also provide essential fatty acids. Moderation, not omission is the key.
If you have chosen the path of being a ballerina, you have chosen well. It is not an easy path but it is the path that leads the dancer to personal accomplishment and satisfaction that the world can enjoy. And that, is true success.