Category Archives: ballet nutrition
You may not realize this, but Ballet Dancers have some of the most unhealthy dietary and lifestyle habits. These bad habits effect dancers from daily class all the way to auditions. We’ve all read the famous Ballerina’s books like Gelsey Kirkland’s Dancing on my Grave and hopefully have learned a lot from their mistakes.
What can you do to improve your health so that you can reach peak performance? Follow a few of these simple guidelines to boost your energy in everyday class all the way to performance time.
1.) Don’t skip out on Breakfast– After 8 or more hours of fasting overnight, your body desperately needs food fuel in the morning. Make sure you are eating a balanced breakfast before heading out to class in the morning.
2.) Stay Hydrated– I cannot stress this enough. If you are not drinking water or an electrolyte enriched beverage before and during class, your strength will suffer.
3.) Eat– The skinny, emaciated look is so 1970. Artistic Directors are looking for strong bodies these days.
4.) Soak and Stroke– A hot bath at the end of a long day of rehearsing is just what your body needs to relax and prepare for tomorrow.
5.) Take a day off– Sometimes you need a mental day of rest. On your days off, participate in functions or activites that do not involve dancing. You will feel a lot fresher when the work week begins again.
I hope you have enjoyed these 5 healthy tips for Ballet Dancers! If you’re feeling a little low on energy, chances are you are missing one of the above components.
Nikol Klein, Professional Ballet Dancer, Author of The Ballet Audition Preparation Guide
I had a chance this morning to bring the video camera into my workout session. I wanted to show my loyal blog followers the type of workout that I do in the off-season to keep my body lean and toned. It is sometimes hard for Professional Dancers to get into the studio over the summer because there are no classes available and/or they cannot afford to pay for them. (Yes, these days most studios are even charging professionals to take class!) If you are not lucky enough to have a studio near you offering free classes, you definitely need to look into the things you can do in the comfort of your own home! I happen to be lucky enough to have an oversized 3 car garage and a ballet barre, so I am able to give myself class at home.
A lot of the exercises I do in the video, mainly the plie jump squat, work on specific weaknesses that I need to target. The plie jump squats help improve my spring in jumps both in ballet class and on stage. I also make sure to add a 10 lb kettlebell to the equation so that I feel lighter when I perform the same movement in ballet class.
I will be making more of these videos in the near future and will be releasing instructional videos too! Stay tuned and please, bookmark this page.
Best in Health,
Nikol Klein, Professional Ballet Dancer/ Certified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist
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What are you doing to ensure that your body is in top form every morning when you step into the studio?
There are many factors that contribute to injuries in dancers that could have easily been prevented. Muscle fatigue, lack of proper rest and recovery are essential to keep your body in top form. Here are a few simple maintenance routines to get you on the right track.
Get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Without proper rest your body will not have proper time to recover from the day before. Plus you won’t be alert in class and rehearsal making it hard not only on yourself, but also your co-workers!
Don’t forget to stretch. It seems like something so simple, but it is also something that is easily forgotten. Tight muscles are more suseptible to injury.
Supplement. No, don’t take Advil. Try a natural approach. Did you know that Bromelain is a natural anti-inflammatory? Also, try a Calcium/Magnesium complex to relax the muscles while supporting healthy bones.
Drink Water. Enough said.
Soak in the tub. Soaking sore muscles in a few cups of Epsom Salt and hot water can make a world of a difference. Try stretching after the hot bath too!
Seek massage and chiropractic work. Let’s face it, we’d like to have all the answers ourselves, but sometimes we must rely on the help of others. A weekly visit to the chiroprator or masseuse will fine tune you…at least until you have to rehearse some overhead lifts in a pas de deux.
Practice these simple techniques to help promote an injury free career. Your body will thank you for it!
As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions!
-Nikol Klein, Certified Personal Trainer/ Professional Ballet Dancer