Dance Health

Why see a Dietitian? Could meeting with a qualified nutrition expert help you?

Dance Dietitian

Nutrition information and mis-information is all over the internet and popular media. It’s easy to get a copy of the latest diet books. Some are good and some are borderline dangerous. Why should you pay to see a licensed nutrition professional when you can get information for free?   How we feed ourselves and families may be one of the most important decisions we make. You wouldn’t go to a doctor who didn’t go to medical school, but we don’t give the field of nutrition the same value.   Why not, when we are quite literally what we eat? 

The credential “Registered Dietitian Nutritionist”, RDN is a nationally recognized and state licensed nutrition professional with a minimum of a bachelors of science degree from an accredited university and a 1200 hour post-grad supervised practice in medical nutrition therapy, metabolism, food allergies, diabetes, eating disorders, community nutrition, sports nutrition, food safety and food science among other specialties.   The educational process is rigorous and certified by the most respected nutrition and dietetics organization in the US.   You don’t become a RDN from an online certificate. A RD must pass a national test similar to nurses, therapists and other medical professionals. Dietitians are much more than just experts in weight management. They can provide important information and insights for dancers who want to perform at their best, not just look their best, and avoid or recover from injuries with speed.

Here are just a few reasons to see a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist:

  • You want to gain or lose weight in a sustainable way with lower body fat and higher muscle tone.  
  • You suspect food allergies or sensitivities and want real help. Is gluten the culprit or maybe not? What about milk, eggs, nuts, or something else?
  • Maybe breast cancer runs in your family and you want to know how to prevent it.
  • You’re exercising but want better results. A sports nutritionist knows the science to take your training to the next level.
  • You had an injury and aren’t sure how to eat to come back strong and maintain a healthy weight in the process.
  • You don’t know why your energy is so low. Is more protein or carbs the answer, if so how much and from what sources?
  • You are busy and don’t have time to meal plan, what are the top meal and snack ideas for busy people?
  • Metabolism is not inherited, many factors influence whether you have a “fast or slow” metabolism. A RD is a metabolism expert.  
  • Are carbs really evil? Because they taste good.
  • Your child has trouble concentrating in school and has behavior challenges. Can food make a difference?
  • You are worried about your friend/daughter/student who has lost a lot of weight and you suspect an eating disorder. What should you say?

By Emily C. Harrison MS, RDN, LD, Registered Licensed Dietitian, Centre for Dance Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles and Dancer Nutrition LLC.

Emily Harrison
Emily Cook Harrison MS, RD, LD
Emily is a registered dietitian and holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nutrition from Georgia State University. Her master’s thesis research was on elite level ballet dancers and nutrition and she has experience providing nutrition services for weight management, sports nutrition, disordered eating, disease prevention, and food allergies. Emily was a professional dancer for eleven years with the Atlanta Ballet and several other companies. She is a dance educator and the mother of two young children. She now runs the Centre for Dance Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles. She can be reached at

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