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The Dancer’s Lunchbox

Dancers are constantly required to be able to move and perform at their full ability. The strength needed to achieve such demanding tasks is found in proper nutrition, which is essential to a serious dancer.

It is often heard that breakfast is the most important meal. What you eat for breakfast will determine your energy level for the rest of the day. Foods such as oatmeal, cereal, fruit, egg whites, fruit juice, and whole-grain breads are all good choices to begin your day. Don’t forget to also drink a glass of water to stay ahead of dehydration.

Next, depending on your schedule, a dancer’s lunch could be considered more of a mid morning and an early afternoon snack. It’s important to not load up your stomach with heavy, starchy foods that will slow you down instead of giving a boost. Nuts, berries, green vegetables, carrots, beans and apples with peanut butter are all smart picks. If you have time for more of a lunch, lean meats or fish are good sources of protein and energy.

At long last, dinner time. After a long day of dancing, dinner is where the bulk of your calorie intake occurs, and prepares your body for the next day. A salad, followed by a main course of protein and carbohydrates on the side is a typical dancers dinner. As listed above for lunch, lean meats and fish such as salmon are recommended. For those who don’t eat meat, a vegetable stir fry with tofu could also be an option. Fruits and vegetables always encouraged!

The best time to take a snack is in between class and rehearsal or during a rehearsal in which you are not actively being rehearsed. You don’t want to eat something in the middle of class and then rush right back into a big jump combination! Time your day throughout you rehearsal or dance intensive and bring snacks that are easy to eat but will give you a good source of energy.

We took the time to speak with some of SPB’s company members, and asked what snacks they bring and why.

Zoé Snack

Artistic Director Zoe Henrot brings cheese with crackers. “I eat small snacks throughout the day which all together sum up to a lunch portion. I find eating one small thing every hour and a half or so helps keep me energized but also feeling my best physically.”

Nicole Snack

Company member Nicole Brown brings an apple with peanut butter and nuts with craisins.

“Peanut butter is a big one for me, it gives my stomach just the right amount of fullness without feeling heavy and sluggish. Dancing while hungry isn’t a good feeling, you don’t perform to your best ability when your body is tired.”

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Lasty, we have Jarod who brought a banana and other assorted fruits. “Bananas are the perfect snack, it provides fiber, Vitamin C, and the right amount of fullness in my stomach.”