As professional ballet dancers, we are always working to push our bodies to the extremes and stay within this profession as long as our bodies will allow. Injury prevention is always on our minds. Keeping our bodies healthy and strong begins with good nutrition. Despite the misconception that ballet dancers eat very little to stay skinny, we actually have to take great care in making sure our meals are significant and balanced. Every morning I start with a fried egg and some toast to have just enough protein and carbohydrates to get my body moving. For after ballet class and throughout rehearsals, I make sure to have a protein bar and some almonds and chocolate in my dance bag to get me through the day. Chocolate protein smoothies are also a favorite of mine to replenish post rehearsal.
On top of eating well, there are other preventative steps to keep from injury. If something in particular is starting to give me a little trouble throughout the day, I try to give it a bit of attention that night. I’ll make sure to massage, ice, elevate and possibly kinesio tape the problem area for the next day. We also have an amazing support team in our company. We have a massage therapist and a chiropractor who help us with our troubles every week. The human body is always good at letting us know if we aren’t getting enough nutrients or if it needs extra care. It’s important to not let ourselves ignore those signs when our lives get particularly busy or stressful. There are disciplines within ballet to try our best and work our hardest but also to know when to rest, eat and recuperate so that we are ready for the next day!
Melissa Dooley Photography