Nutrition and Disordered Eating in Dance, 2012

The Healthier Dancer Programme Conference for 2012, Nutrition and Disordered Eating in Dance: Artistry, athleticism and the role of the multidisciplinary support team, was jointly organised by the Royal Society of Medicine and Dance UK to bring together a host of artistic and healthcare professionals to speak about nutrition and disordered eating in dance. Over a one-day conference, they debated how to encourage healthy eating habits in dancers and consider solutions to prevent disordered eating in dance. Whilst the problem is not the dance world’s alone, the dance sector is often attributed with negative stereotypes of endemic and extreme dieting problems among its artists. Whether this stereotype is true or not, dancers need to maintain elite athlete levels of fitness and stamina, which is impossible without eating healthily. This conference aimed to aid the dancer and those working with dancers to identify and encourage healthy eating behaviours and deal effectively with disordered eating patterns when necessary. Panel discussions from leading artistic directors, dancers, and support staff allowed the delegates to learn of the nutritional challenges that face dancers and dance companies. Health experts offered insights and evidence to support an alternative to constant dieting, demonstrating the healthy way of achieving a lithe athletic physique. Expert advice  aimed to provide a variety of tools for early intervention and prevention of eating disorders. To conclude, a panel discussion on the role of the multidisciplinary team offered insight to individuals on how to create lines of communication when dealing with disordered eating patterns.

View the conference programme

View the conference presenter biographies

View the conference abstracts


Conference steering committee

Nick Allen MSc (Sports Med), BSc (Hons), MCSP, SRP
Jasmine Challis BSc (Hons), Nutr., RD
Dr Huw Goodwin
Helen Laws
Niamh Morrin, MSc
Dr Sanna Nordin-Bates
Moira McCormack MSc
Dr Emma Redding
Rachel Rist MA
Erin Sanchez, MSc
Nicola Stephens MSc, MCSP, MMACP
Heather Walker PG Cert

Special thanks to:
Shauna Meredith
Jillian Descoteaux
Kenneth Tharp OBE
Susan Ringwood and Mary George (Beat)
Selina Shah MD FACP
Council for Dance Education and Training
Dance/USA Task Force for Dancer Health