Ballet Dancers - Energy for class

by Annie Hefer
(United States)

Ballet Dancers - Energy for class

Dear Odette,
This is the first time I have contacted you, and I am very excited to hear from you! I love ballet so much, and am always dancing even when I'm not in class.
I have recently entered high school, and have had a really hard time, because I'm tired all the time! I don't know what's wrong, I make sure to get at the very least 8 hours of sleep every night. I have started drinking coffee, and I have loved the results! I am so much more alert in class, and I feel like I do so much better! But I know coffee is not very good for me, so I have a major dilemma! My New Year's Resolution is to not drink coffee, but when I don't drink coffee I do very bad. We had a performance last weekend, and I hadn't drank coffee that day, and I messed up really bad.
I am a very healthy eater, so it's not my diet. I am not allowed to drink green tea so that is out of the question, but I really need something that will pick me up, and keep my energy high for class. Do you have any suggestions?
Thank you for any, and all advice you can offer!


Reply by Odette

To:- Ballet Dancers - Energy for class

Hi Annie,
Thank you for contacting me, it is great to hear from you. I can relate to how you are feeling, because I feel tired a lot of the time too! I think, in general, ballet dancers do get tired from being such active people and giving your whole energy into dancing. However, before I speak too generalised, if you are feeling unusually tired then it is worth checking with the doctor. You just want to make sure why you are feeling tired is not due to any health related problem, because then that could answer your questions before you worry about what else you could do.

Personally, I have never drank coffee so I have not felt that energy kick or affects it gives. I am a lover of green tea, but a lot of my friends who are professional dancers have a daily coffee, so it is not so awful that you should ban it altogether. However, it is best not to rely on the coffee too much for energy because then you will not be able to live without it.

The first points that spring to my mind for energy are sleep, eating well and getting the right amount of rest. Even when I do all of these things, I can still feel tired too. Often for me though, it can be more in my mind than anything. When I tell myself I am tired, then I just end up feeling more tired! If I distract my mind and let myself believe I am fine, then usually I feel a lot better.

Make sure you are keeping yourself hydrated with lots of water, and keep energised with fresh vegetables and fruits. Have another light snack before your classes to make sure you are not running on empty. Perhaps a banana, dried fruit or oatcakes usually works for me.

Especially in ballet class, when you should be concentrating your mind completely on the class, you shouldn't even have time to think about how tired you are. For me, when I loose focus or get distracted is when I feel my tiredness slip in.

Keep focused on every moment and push yourself to beyond feeling tired, you will be surprised at how much stamina you do have!

Best wishes,

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