The Optimal Diet for Dancesport: Dancer‘s Menu.

Guest Writer: Dr. Erik Wischnewski        Editing And Translation: Kerstin Lange    Photography: Helmut Römhild


The pair needs contact and a sense of being one single entity.
Here again concentration is essential for both lady and gentleman.
And concentration is necessary to control each of the central aspects of dancing, to precisely position the body, to feel and understand the partner, to remember the steps and figures (which is an additional task for beginner), to be aware of what's going on on the floor (the task of the gentlemen).

And it takes a lot of concentration to maintain control - for 90 seconds if the dancer is lucky, up to 2 minutes if not.

It is balance which makes a dancer successful on the dancing floor.

It is intensive training which is necessary to acchieve the equilibrium the dancer needs but it is the ability to concentrate which makes the difference in a competition.


But a dancer who is hungry is not able to concentrate.

Instead he or she will be listening to what the empty stomach has to say.
Also a full stomach doesn't help. A well fed dancer is slow and sluggish, the muscles lacking blood which is used elsewhere, supporting the body to digest the meal instead of helping to win a competition.

The dancer's diet has to be optimised to support extreme concentration.

Always eat the minimum: Eat until you no longer feel hungry. A hungry dancer thinks about eating, not about dancing.

Never eat the maximum: Don't eat until you are full before stepping onto the dancing floor. If you gave in to your appetite you better relax on the comfy chair instead of trying to dance.
Only eat what body and mind need during hours of concentration.

Fighting hunger with small meals - how does that work?
It works with high fibre food.


Erik Wischnewski

Dr. Erik Wischnewski

Author of proLife, a systematic approach
to a balanced diet.

Diet And Dancesport.

To each kind of sport belongs a specific diet: combat sports, sports requiring reactive power, sports requiring endurance ...

Dancing belongs to the competitive games.
In this type of sports the athlete experiences moments of high impact followed by intervals of slow or even no activity.
90 seconds of dancing is followed in most cases by an overlong break, ‘breaks’ also being part of every dance: posing, music suddenly changing tempo ...

In addition dancers need endurance and should be able to instantly accelerate and stop.

All this is typical for soccer, tennis, handball – and they provide the name for this type of sport: games.

Diet and dancesport – what a dancer needs, what a dancer should avoid: in a series of articles Dr. Erik Wischnewski will provide the basics of an optimal diet for dancers.


Fibre and whole food.

Whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, jacket potatoes and fruit are the hunger killers, fruit meaning bananas and berries.
Such a whole food diet automatically leads to eating less while satisfying the needs of body and mind better than a 'wrong' diet.

White bread, rice, white flour pasta and sugar increase the gastric acid, making the stomach send hunger signals, asking for more.

Alcohol? Hands off!

True: Alcohol is a source of energy - but not for the athlete.
Stay away from it especially when training or competing.
The reason is that it definitely helps to keep the body relaxed and flexible but the price is a loss of concentration and balance.

Eating whole grain food has additional benefits:

Whole grain food is rich on minerals and not only helps to stock up on minerals but also to replenish minerals which where lost together with the body water while sweating (See article ‘Watersupply’).
Whole grain food also helps to maintain the acid-base balance.
An overacidified stomach leads to agressive behaviour instead of finding the harmony which is essential for high-quality and high-performance dancing.

10-30-60: A well balanced diet

provides a human being with 10% protein, 30% fat and 60% carbohydrates.
The percentages describe in which proportion the 3 ingredients contribute to the energy a diet contains.
Within a norrow margin the values can vary depending on which nutrition theory is applied.

18-27-55 is the dancer's formula,

meaning that compared to ordinary people, a dancer has to eat more protein, at the same time less fat and less sugar.

And how can a dancer build the protein stock necessary for the long hours of full concentration?

The up to date dancer treats him- or herself to breast of chicken or turkey or filet of fish. They provide plenty of protein and contain almost no fat and calories.

Breakfast consists of whole grain rolls and egg, lunch of fish and jacket potatoes.

The dancer frowns upon fat. No eel, none of the other fishes rich with fat. The same applies to pork and beef they too are extremely difficult to digest.

Preparing for a competition early on a Sunday? Have 2 eggs and 2 whole grain rolls for breakfast.
You need to perform in the afternoon or in the evening? Your optimal lunch will be filet of fish, chicken or turkey with jacket potatoes and fresh vegetables.
Bananas are the ideal snack.

The dancer's benefits:

A dancer needs a lot of concentration.

Filet of fish and poultry are the brain food, they supply the necessary protein.
Whole grain food rich of fibre keeps the hunger away and prevents the dancer from feeling full, heavy and sluggish.


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Aktualisiert: 12.10.2009