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photo by vince trupsin at elevation studios

Today I have for all of you part two of my “Dancer Diaries” series thanks to one of my dearest friends and fellow dancers. When I asked her to share some of the wisdom she’s learned from her years of being a dancer that would translate into the everyday life of an everyday girl, she sweetly agreed. So, here’s something she learned from the stage, in her own words:  carolinehanleyguestpost

One of the most significant lifestyle changes I’ve made since joining a professional company is being more conscientious of my health. And you don’t have to be a dancer to take care of your body, it’s essential no matter what you do: whether you’re a student, starting in a budding career, or entrenched in a busy lifestyle. Your health is one of those things many of us take for granted, which makes it so easy to forget about until something goes wrong! As a dancer, I rely on my body to function flawlessly during rehearsals and I’ve learned I need to put in the energy for upkeep in order to make that happen.

A big misconception about dance is that dancers are much like the model stereotype…we don’t eat! While eating disorders are a real problem in the dance world, dancers are athletes and we can’t perform well if we don’t eat well!

First things first – be aware of what you eat. I’m not saying you need to skip out on dessert and dive into a heavy-duty diet, but just think about what you’re eating for breakfast, lunch, dinner…and all those snacks in between. It’s easy to mindlessly make your way through a bag or two of chips, but stopping to think about what you’re eating can help bring more balance to your diet.

I started my health-kick with the simple things — snacks. Switching my chocolate-covered peanuts for a healthier option was easy for me to do, and still allows me to enjoy my five-meat, extra cheese pizza guilt-free. Here are some delicious and surprisingly healthy snacks I’ve grown to love when I’m on the go:


(Check out the recipe for the Southwestern Quinoa salad here)

Raw bell peppers aren’t probably at the top of your list for yummy snacks, but I’ve discovered that making small changes makes a BIG difference in my mood and how my body feels. As a dancer, I need my body to be strong, limber, and full of energy, even when I’m sitting at my desk at work I want to feel energized. There’s no way to procrastinate when it comes to your health (unfortunately!) and taking care of your body, exercising, and eating smarter is a great way to prove that you are your top priority! So, snack healthy! It can help you no matter where your life “stage” may be.


Dance Photos via

– ❤ C.

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Things I Learned from the Stage (part one)