Posted by on Oct 18, 2018 in Blogs

how to eat before a dance competition or performance

Just like other sports and body-focused professions, dancers are at risk of developing poor nutrition habits or even eating disorders. Here at Elite Dance Studios, we believe in health-first eating that supports and strengthens our athletes in everything they do. Remember: everybody and every body is unique– never restrict your dietary options without consulting a trusted medical professional. Still there are healthy rules of thumb that you can follow everyday, as well as the night before, the day of and the time after a dance competition or performance. Read on for more!


  • Across sports science, it is agreed that fresh vegetables should be the majority of your meals– taking up roughly two-thirds of your plate;
  • Never skip the protein! Lean meats like fish or poultry are great choices, as well as alternatives such as eggs, tofu and much more;
  • Do you love avocados and nuts? Great news! Not only do they fill you up, they are full of necessary fats for energy and recovery (they also contribute to healthy nails and hair);\
  • Never restrict calories or eat “diet” foods, they often rely on sugar or salt for flavouring and contain less building blocks for strength and endurance.


  • It is crucial to eat well the night before putting your body through physical exertion– you will have more energy, more endurance and faster recovery;
  • Eat dinner early in the evening, opting for your favourite protein and complimenting it with a “complex carbohydrate;”
  • Complex carbs include whole wheat pasta, wild rice, beans as well as whole grains like quinoa, couscous or even oatmeal;Also consider that the night before a competition or performance is not the best time to try a food, ingredient or seasoning for the first time.


  • Eating a filling breakfast to give you a good baseline of energy to carry you through the day;
  • If you have an uneasy stomach, try a fruit smoothie blended with your favourite nut butter, chia seeds or vegetable-based protein powder;
  • Keep your energy up during downtime with snacks or small meals made up of nuts, dried fruits, veggies & healthy carbs;
  • Juice and sports drinks are popular, but athletes perform best by drinking water when they are thirsty.


  • Within an hour of your last performance: drink water, have a serving of fresh fruit and a protein-rich snack– you will avoid crashing and feel less sore the next day;
  • Treat yourself! Desserts, junk food, fast food– they taste even better as a reward for a job well done (but don’t overdo it).

The tips above are only a generalization of what works for most people– always respect your own dietary needs and limitations. Healthy nutrition for a dancer is only restricted to what feels best for you and your body. Questions? Concerns? Bring your dance issues to the dance experts at Elite!