Raising a Healthy Dancer


In our dance classes at Tonawanda Dance Arts, we are committed to developing dancers who have healthy bodies and minds—and a healthy outlook on life! We want our dancers to feel confident about themselves and love their bodies.

What can you do at home to support this objective and boost your child’s overall wellness? We encourage these principles as a guide to build healthy habits in your child:

  • Think about food as fuel: Nutrition plays a huge role in developing healthy dancers! Help your child see food as fuel by referring to it that way, that food makes up the protein, fats, and carbohydrates they need to have the energy and mental clarity for dancing.

  • Make hydration easy: Whether at home or at the studio, children may need extra reminders to stay hydrated. Make drinking water a habit by having a water bottle available whenever possible (such as in their backpack or dance bag) and inviting your child to help prepare it in their favorite way, such as with the squeeze of an orange or an overload of ice cubes!

  • Wind down before bedtime: To optimize your child’s existing routine, help them discover ways to “decompress like a dancer” in the hour before bedtime. Listening to music or gently stretching, for example, can be excellent ways to unwind.

  • Talk about bodies in a healthful way: At Tonawanda Dance Arts, we are hyper-aware that body-positive talk by adults influences kids’ perspectives about their own bodies. We encourage parents to curb any negative talk about themselves and instead model an appreciation for what healthy bodies can do, such as grow stronger muscles or learn new dance moves!

  • Take social media breaks: Children can easily get caught in a current of body-comparisons as they scroll through their social media. Encouraging them to take breaks—even just an evening at a time—interrupts those thoughts, allowing kids to refresh their thinking.

It’s essential for us at Tonawanda Dance Arts to grow the mindset that dance class is about more than just the steps: it’s also a place that helps shape healthy habits for life. We appreciate our dance parents standing shoulder-to-shoulder with us on this mission!

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