As spring recital season comes to a close, young dancers from all over the world are getting ready for summer dance intensives. Summer dance intensives have become routine in recent years. For many, this will be the first time spending time away from home with the heavy responsibility of caring for yourself including making sure you eat right, sleep well, and drink plenty of fluids.
The term “summer dance intensive” is quite descriptive: dancers may spend several more hours per day dancing than they would during the regular year. As a dance medicine specialist, I have seen dancers fatigue from inadequate nutrition during this time.
The increase in hours of dance means an increased use of energy (calories) and increase in water loss through sweat. Therefore the body needs more fuel and hydration to remain healthy. Remember to have a healthy, balanced lunch and drink enough water and/or sports drinks throughout the day. Also, during breaks consider healthy snacks such as fruit and nuts, healthy protein bars, granola, string cheese, pretzels, and any other healthy choices that are appropriate for your dietary needs.