Dancing Into Health
Mission: To create a healthy environment surrounding food through education and practice around intuitive eating for young dancers
What does the program focus on?
- Education on the concept of intuitive eating, gentle nutrition, all foods fit, and health at every size
- Social media’s influence – due to the wide variety of negative influences out there
- Information for dancers of adolescent age (13-17), who want to have a positive relationship with their mind and body
- Steering away from the “diet” mentality that surrounds us all every day
Why is this program important?
- I work as a dancer and dance instructor myself and witness disordered eating and negative influences surrounding body image in dance settings and school settings of adolescent girls and young women. I think it is important to break the stigma that dancers have to be a “certain” size or weight.
- If we can create a positive environment around food through intuitive eating, girls and young women will begin to understand how to look at food as fuel (both mentally and physically) to grow and be healthy. It is also important to understand that it is not “one size fits all” and that health comes in many different sizes, even for dancers. This program will teach how to listen to hunger and show passion for one’s own health.
How does the program work?
The Dancing Into Health nutrition program is an eight week long program that focuses on education around disordered eating, intuitive eating, and gentle nutrition. Targeted at young adolescent dancers, the program focus on health promotion to order to prevent disordered eating patterns. Each week consists of an hour long meeting of understanding impacts of disordered eating and how social media and dance can effect these. We will also focus on how to incorporate intuitive eating and gentle nutrition in everyday life in order to create healthy relationships with food. Each week, participants will be asked to take note of how their journey with intuitive eating is going and meet with the program leader. By doing this we can begin to build support around self-efficacy and what it means to live a happy life with food.
What is Intuitive Eating?
While there are a variety of different resources to support this nutrition education lesson, the most important concept to speak about is the development of intuitive eating. While this was originally created by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RDN, CEDRD-S, and Elyse Resch, MS, RDN, CEDRD-S, Fiaedp, FADA, FAND, in 2012 (Tribole & Resch, 2012), the concept has only become more relevant over time and continues to be updated and spoken for via their literature and website. Intuitive eating is best understood as a “mind-body” approach to eating that consists of ten principals ultimately all leading to a healthier mind and body and overall relationship with food (Tribole & Resch, 2019). This concept is based off of extensive research and supported by many studies and assessments. Eating intuitively has helped many overcome issues related to disordered eating as well kick the recurring problem of diet-culture that we see all too prevalent today. Tribole and Resch’s program is a huge part of my own research and the main science behind the program I have created.
Tribole, E., & Resch, E. (2012). Intuitive eating: A revolutionary program that works. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin.
Tribole, E., & Resch, E. (2019). 10 principles of Intuitive Eating. https://www.intuitiveeating.org/10-principles-of-intuitive-eating/