Many teachers and students struggle to find an appropriate cardiovascular training regime to complement their dance training. This is a very common issue in the dance world and much more research into the area definitely needs to be done in this extremely important area.
Often the aim of cardio training for dancers is to increase endurance, or to reduce body without increasing muscle bulk and this goes for girls as well as boys.
However there are many other benefits to a good cardio program, and it should be an essential element of any dancers training regime, no matter what their body type. As injury rates increase with fatigue, potentially improving a dancer's endurance may help prevent many of those injuries occurring.
If a dancer thinks that she should, or has been told that she should, lose weight, the immediate response is often to stop eating, which unfortunately is actually the last thing a dancer with a high training load should do!
Suddenly dropping your food intake can send your metabolism into a stress response, raising your cortisol levels, which can actually have the reverse effect on your body! The optimal strategy is one that encompasses dietary considerations (lots of fresh vegetables, lower GI choices and lean protein) as well as a sensible cardiovascular training regime.