Is it true that a lot of dancers have eating disorders? 

I will not lie and say that eating disorders are not common in the dancing community. However, as the physical demands on dancers increase, many are learning that substandard nutrition is a major cause of injury and illness that they simply cannot afford, professionally or financially. Students are finally beginning to learn more about nutrition and how it affects their dancing, and many dance schools now have policies about restricting classes for at risk girls. The misconception that all the thin dancers you see on stage have eating disorders is exactly that; a misconception. Most dancers are now highly aware of their personal optimal nutrition, and use this to their advantage to stay lean and lithe, while maintaining strength and health. Many have rituals about what they eat before, during and after performances, and many actually eat a lot more than you would expect. Hours of training can work off large amounts of food that people who do not exercise could not cope with. In addition, many companies now prefer a stronger, more muscled physique in their female dancers, which then, in turn, communicates the message to their avid patrons and fans that this physique is desirable. This is especially true in many contemporary companies and also in classical soloists. Many productions are incorporating more acrobatic skills and demand more strength, especially in the upper body, than was traditionally demanded of ballet dancers. In order to be versatile, and therefore employable, dancers need to be fit, healthy and strong in all areas.

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