Health & Body

5 Tips for Achieving Your Healthiest Body in Time for Company Auditions

Photo by JoelValve/Unsplash

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.

The Conversation
Hamrick rehearsing Port Rouge in St. Petersburg. Photo courtesy Hamrick

Choosing music for your first-ever choreography commission can feel daunting enough. But when you're asked to create a ballet using the vast discography of the Rolling Stones—and you happen to be dating Stones frontman Mick Jagger—the stakes are even higher.

So it's understandable that as of Monday, American Ballet Theatre corps de ballet dancer Melanie Hamrick, whose Port Rouge will have its U.S. premiere tonight at the Youth American Grand Prix gala, was still torn about which songs to include.

Keep reading... Show less
The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
Royes Fernandez and Maria Tallchief in "Les Sylphides." Captured via YouTube.

In the early years of professional ballet in the United States, influential American dancers played key roles in changing perspectives of ballet as a strictly European art form. Maria Tallchief and Royes Fernandez were among those dancers who helped establish and define an American ballet aesthetic and identity: she as the original prima ballerina of New York City Ballet and he as American Ballet Theatre's Siegfried in the company's first full-length production of Swan Lake. These two exceptional performers are mesmerizing together in this 1963 excerpt from Fokine's Les Sylphide.

Maria Tallchief, Royes Fernandez - Excerpt from 'Les Sylphides' www.youtube.com

Keep reading... Show less
News
She's back! (Erin Baiano)

Congratulations are in order for Kathryn Morgan! After a long struggle with hypothyroidism, which led to the ballerina's resignation from New York City Ballet in 2012, Morgan is now set to dive back into full-time professional dance as a soloist at Miami City Ballet.

Keep reading... Show less