Workshops on dance nutrition can be incredibly beneficial. It allows dancers to learn without the individual expenditure of one-on-one instruction. It can also motivate a dancer to seek coaching assistance when they might not have otherwise.
There should be some magic certificate or requirements that all dance nutrition workshop speakers must meet. However, there is a range of nutrition professionals who can assist dancers. They come from quite diverse backgrounds and take very different attitudes. This implies that more people are available to help dancers, which is fantastic. You might choose a collaborator based on a genuine connection. The disadvantage is that it can lead to unqualified persons giving incorrect advice.
Red Flag #1: The individual has nutrition training but needs to gain dance experience.
Always inquire about the person providing you with the information’s history and credentials. For example, suppose a health coach, nutritionist, or dietitian is speaking at a dance nutrition workshop. In that case, they are likely to give a well-rounded session for dancers if they understand the dancer’s mindset or have experienced the dance world professionally.
Registered dietitians (RD) are regarded as nutrition specialists. They have diverse educational backgrounds and must maintain their education. Many dance schools may engage an RD with the expectation that they will all offer the same information in the same way. Even within the standardized discipline of dietetics, though, you’ll discover a wide range of narratives and techniques. There are also contradictory conclusions based on dietary studies and statistics. This is because they may utilize the statistics to showcase the benefits of a particular eating style without adding that it may only benefit some.
No standards dictate the degree of training someone must finish before calling oneself a health coach on the road I traveled to become a health and nutrition coach. Every year, I make a personal effort to pursue new credentials. I will continue to do so to provide dancers with scientifically supported, legitimate, and valuable tactics, support, and knowledge. The knowledge presented may need to be updated or even hazardous if a health coach does not have certificates or has not recently studied nutrition.
Red Flag #2: They impose food rules on dancers.
If a dance nutrition program presenter provides you with a list of absolutes or rules to follow, turn around. There should be no absolutes in dance nutrition—or any particular approach to nutrition—aside from including a range of foods and eating enough. What is best for one dancer may not be best for the next.
No need to demonize sugar or act like a few sweets won’t hurt a dancer’s success or performance. However, to appreciate our distinct diversity, the dialogue must be balanced. Giving absolute food limits to dancers, especially young dancers, might lead to restrictive or problematic eating practices.
Red Flag #3: No mention of the dancers’ relationship with food.
It is critical to consider how you experience and relate to food. Food and body image are intricately linked for the majority of dancers. As a result, you can only talk about food if you simultaneously talk about body image.
Aside from that, specific frequent dancer experiences should be discussed in a dance nutrition class. Because dancers are always on the go, packaged convenience foods will almost certainly be a part of your diet at some point. In addition, the advantages of meal planning and grocery shopping should be discussed. All these factors contribute to developing a relaxed relationship with food, an important goal for all dancers.
Red Flag #4: Their dance eating plans are standardized and one-size-fits-all.
You are unique, as are your requirements. There is no one-size-fits-all meal plan for dancers. Dance nutrition training needs to gain vital knowledge if you’re taught that you can’t be a vegan or vegetarian as a dancer. Some speakers may advocate calorie or macronutrient counting. This is rarely a good practice for dancers and should be avoided by most.
A well-rounded dance nutrition program should inspire you to try new things. That is how you will discover the ideal approach to eating for your specific needs. This is referred to as bio-individuality in my field. It is the notion that every one of us has a distinct genetic makeup, activity level, lifestyle, and personal life experiences. All these factors influence our eating choices and how different meals perform in our bodies.
Red Flag #5: They fail to address the most critical nutrition concern for most dancers: weight.
Weight is an issue for many dancers. Even if no one has ever told you, you may feel pressured to be smaller. These physical problems may influence your food choices. They may cause you to eat less when you should be eating more.
The majority of dancers are under-fueled. Therefore, any dance nutrition workshop should include plenty of advice and information on the significance of getting enough nourishment and how to do so.
Learn more: How to Set Up the Ideal Dance Studio in Your Home