Even though it's still summer, audition season will be here before you know it. The goal is to look, dance and feel your best when auditions roll around. You're likely focused on improving as a dancer technically and artistically, but aesthetics are (unfortunately) something companies will consider as well. To look your best, healthfully and mindfully crafted body goals will make a world of difference.
1. Take Your Time
Reaching healthy goals takes time, so plan ahead. Pixabay
When it comes to achieving a healthy physical aesthetic, the most important thing to give yourself is time. To reach these goals for winter auditions, that means starting now.
If you want to make sustainable changes, they should be gradual and they'll require experimentation. In my work as a health coach for dancers, I always tell my clients there's no one-size-fits-all eating plan. You'll need to try different things to find the nutrition plan that works for you. A balanced cross-training plan is also essential, and building strength and aerobic capacity takes time. Work with a dancer-turned-trainer who will have a true understanding of your goals to find exercises that address your weaknesses.
2. Don't Go to Extremes
Focus on the delicious healthy foods that can fuel your dancing. Pixabay
Calorie counting is extreme and unsustainable, so instead, think of ways you can increase the whole foods you're consuming and minimize the processed sugars. Don't focus on what you're not eating but rather think about all the good stuff you can add in. Allow occasional indulgences.
Crash diets and quick fixes can cause weakened bones and stress fractures, so as tempting as it might be to try something extreme, don't do it. The majority of my clients who go down that road end up falling into a cycle of restricting and overeating which can damage not just your body but your mind-set about food.
3. Focus on Confidence
Dancing with energy and confidence is always a "do." Photo by David Hofmann/Unsplash
When you set body goals for audition season, put the focus on how you'd like to dance and feel instead of how you'd like to look. Wouldn't dancing with energy and confidence and feeling strong be ideal? Try to find the way of eating that makes you feel that way now so you perform at your peak in auditions.
A helpful goal for all dancers moving towards audition season is to get to a place where you feel confident in just a leotard and tights. You might be used to wearing skirts or warm-ups in class, but at an audition they'll want to see your lines clearly. Practice wearing your audition attire now.
4. Forget the Number on the Scale
Being a healthy dancer isn't about hitting a certain weight on the scale. Photo by i yunmai/Unsplash
Setting a magical number weight-loss goal may lead to disappointment and feeling down on yourself if you don't hit it by your first audition. The number on the scale is irrelevant. Weight looks different on every dancer and is influenced by how much muscle you have and your bone structure. While ballet companies might ask that you list your weight on your resumé, they're not going to be concerned about the number if the dancer in front of them looks healthy, happy, strong and confident.
5. Energy for Auditions
A balanced approach will make your progress more sustainable and give you energy for auditions. Flickr
If you leave your audition season game plan until the last minute and resort to diets or quick fixes, you'll feel weak, tired and not at your best during auditions. But by working towards your body goals four to six months before you hope to reach them, you're setting yourself up for balance and success. This gradual approach is going to make your progress more sustainable.
Once You Have a Contract
When you show up to your first day on the job, the company who hired you expects the same dancer they saw on audition day. If you were crash-dieting leading up to auditions, you will most likely hit a wall and will be more susceptible to injury or binge eating. Joining a company can be anxiety-inducing on its own, and either of those things will make the transition more difficult.
If you're not sure what is actually "healthy," seek out support from a nutritionist, dietitian or health coach who works specifically with dancers. Developing a healthy relationship with your body now is going to provide greater stability and confidence as you move forward in your dance career.