Humans have the best chance of building our strongest bones when we are young — because until age 30 we are growing bone mass. After age 30 we begin to lose bone at a higher rate than we formed it. Most of our bone mass is formed at a very specific age: 11 – 14 in girls and 13 – 17 in boys. Forming bone mass is extremely important for your entire life, because you are less likely to break bones later in life if you have developed strong bones in your youth.
Dance is a form of art and exercise that uses an enormous amount of energy. The energy we expend must be replaced with healthy carbohydrates and fats so that our body can function normally. We need the best fuel for our bodies. We need Calcium and many nutrients, including Vitamin D, to support our working bodies. Dancers who do not consume enough fats and calories risk creating a hormonal imbalance, which can lead to lose of bone mass.
So here's where this gets really tricky: the human body is formed to maintain a certain level of calcium, and if you don't consume the correct level your body will take the calcium from bone, which will lead to decreased bone density. Dancers should get their calcium from sources such as dairy, broccoli, almonds, dark left greens, and other vegetables.
Although our culture puts a lot of pressure on us to appear a certain way I can promise you that the most beautiful dancer is the healthy one. A person who glows with health and joy is the one you want to watch onstage. Every body is beautiful - and everybody can find a home in dance.
Now back to rehearsal!