Ballet Dancers - How Many Calories Per Day?

by Rodney

Ballet Dancers - How Many Calories Per Day?

Dear Odette
Our daughter is 16 and loves ballet. Lately, we've been concerned about her eating habits as she had drastically cut back on her calories. She says she wants to have "6-pack abs" but we want to make sure that she's getting enough calories--she has ballet lessons every day.

Any good guidance or place to go to get a good healthy diet for ballet dancers?


Reply by Odette

To:- Ballet Supplies - Clothes for Specific Body Type?

Hello Rodney,

Thank you for contacting, it is pleasure to hear from you.

Firstly, I must say I am not a specialist in nutrition so all the advice I give on this topic is personal opinion from my own experience.

You have a right to be concerned of your daughter's eating habits, as a nutrition plays a dominate role in every dancer's life.

I am too concerned by the "drastically" cut back on calories. The amount of calories does hugely vary with the individuality of each dancer. But dancers do need an adequate amount of calories for energy. Dancers need to think about the long term affects, as any drastic actions could compromise their future in dance.

Remind your daughter, as a dancer, having the right amount of ‘fuel’ is essential to perform at her best. She will more likely be able to achieve "6-pack abs" through particular exercises or cardio work. This is often the part that makes the difference rather than trying to cut food down to an unsustainable level.

My guidance is, as hard as it can be for dancers, to try and encourage a healthy relationship towards food. It is tempting to think restricting yourself will make you thinner, but it can actually just be damaging to your body.

The key is to be sensible and have a balance of foods. Follow the eat well plate. Instead of restricting food, think of adjusting to make a healthier choices.

Perhaps think about seeing a nutritionist to get more specific direction towards a healthy eating plan. A nutritionist will be able to calculate a sensible amount of calories your daughter should be eating.

Always remember, food is fuel. Dancers need fuel for energy.

All the best,


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