Ballet dancers are the lithe, graceful women that leave us wondering how they manage to maintain a grueling exercise regimen and eat healthfully too. Just by googling "ballerina diet", you'll find answers ranging from a single glass of juice a day to full-on carbo-loading. However, it is impossible to pinpoint exactly what the ballerina diet is, as every dancer eats differently and has a different body type.

Going to a school where pre-professional ballet dancers make up the majority, I see dancers eating every day in the cafeteria - so my preconceived notions about their diets went out the window. Three of my ballerina friends agreed to share their daily diets with me, which is much more reliable than the standard blog post written by someone who has never actually met or spoken to a ballet dancer.

Ella Rubin

While my friends have admitted that eating disorders are common in their world, it's not a reality for every dancer. They want to make it known that "people do fuel themselves... the majority of us are actually normal eaters." As a matter of fact, School of American Ballet dancers Annika Lambert (15), Marie-Louise Larsen (15), and Natalie Glassie (14) fuel and treat themselves daily.

Hearing what actually goes into their bodies for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks is fascinating because its the exact opposite of what you'd expect. They nourish themselves properly to get through multiple hours of daily exercise but enjoy their food in the process. Secret's out, everybody: ballerinas eat!

Natalie Glassie

Ella Rubin

Breakfast: Bagel with cream cheese, Belvita crackers, a banana

Snack: 2 muffins

Lunch: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Cheez-Its, Oreos, fruit

Post-class snack: Veggie Straws, grapes

Dinner: Roasted chicken, pasta, salad

Dessert: Tub of Häagen-Dazs Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Marie-Louise Larsen

Ella Rubin

Breakfast: Oats with banana slices

Breakfast #2: Granola with milk and a honey peanut butter Kind Bar

Lunch: 2 plain bagels, a slice of apple pie, a muffin, and mixed fruit

Post-class snack: Cliff Bar and mixed fruit

Dinner: Chicken wrap

Annika Lambert

Ella Rubin

Breakfast: Yogurt, banana, and a plain bagel

Snack: Banana

Lunch: Slice of pizza, fruit, and white rice

Snack: Stonyfield Yogurt Drink

Dinner: Sushi rolls and a bottle of Tropicana Orange Juice

Dessert: Donut

Why Do They Eat What They Eat?

Diet is usually a very specific science for athletes, so I was very curious as to their reasoning for the food they consume. However, these young dancers explained that they truly don't have a reason for their diets, though others might. Marie-Louise said, "Maybe when we're older, we'll be a little healthier or more specific with macros and meals, but for now, we're just eating what we like and makes us feel good."

Talking to Natalie, Annika, and Marie-Louise about what they eat was so fun, and even eradicated some of the stereotypes I still considered to be true. Throughout our conversation, they continued to reiterate the fact that not every ballerina eats the same way or simply doesn't eat. While it occurs, it shouldn't be automatically assumed that ballet dancers neglect to fuel themselves.

So, before you go Googling what your favorite celebrity, model, or ballet dancer eats, educate yourself with real knowledge about what works for your body. We as humans vary physically and should fuel ourselves differently from one another (including ballet dancers). Food isn't one size fits all, and I think that should be honored.