Being a dancer gives great fulfillment. You are able to put your body in positions that make you look beautiful. You are graceful, athletic and artistic. Participating in ballet gives you an emotional connection that nothing else can. But, with ballet also come concerns about body image and health. It is no secret that in order for you to perform ballet, it is ideal for you to be thin and fit.

For the dancer, this presents a physical and mental challenge. Dancers are not only performing artists, but are considered athletes. Dance students and professionals train for hours on a daily basis. With this training, the body is being honed into the ideal shape for ballet performances. But, some dancers feel added pressure to be even thinner; therefore develop poor nutrition and health habits. Because dance is both a performing art that also challenges the body and makes dancers into athletes, it is vital that dancers understand and implement a healthy lifestyle. Not incorporating a healthy lifestyle results in greater risk of numerous health problems and for a dancer, adds risks of injury.

With these thoughts in mind, being healthy for a dancer is as important as perfecting a new move. In order for you to perform at your best, you have to be healthy. That doesn't include just eating healthy; it includes knowing how to prevent an injury and avoiding other bad habits that can cause you to be unfit or become injured. Learn what it means to live the dancer's healthy lifestyle through nutrition, including vitamins and minerals and eating healthy as well as preventing injury, avoiding certain foods and staying away from bad habits like smoking. A bonus section also talks about cross training and the benefits or drawbacks for the dancer. Being healthy is important for everyone, especially a ballet dancer.

Click on any of the sections listed below to learn about ballet and your health. Then quiz yourself to see how much you've learned.

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