Day on a plate with Rhiannon Bailey

What a professional dancer eats in a day

I’m super excited to kick off this series with Rhiannon. I often get asked what both Pablo and I eat to fuel our training sessions, what the perfect pre race breakfast is, and if there’s anything I’ve come to realise over the years is that there is no magic diet for athletes. We are each individual in how we do things from elite athletes to local runners, to professional dancers.

Rhiannon Bailey is a professional dancer, Personal trainer, sports model, entrepreneur, fitness fanatic and the list goes on. I was lucky enough to meet Rhiannon last year and can honestly say she is one of the hardest working people I’ve come across. No two days are the same for her. One moment you can find her training clients, to the next moment running off to a last minute photo shoot or casting. Rhiannon has also had the chance feature in music videos such as Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets”  and a contestant in reality TV show “Broman’s”.

Dancers especially performers often experience pressure to achieve and maintain unrealistic body weights and shapes, especially during the teen years when bodies tend to mature and change. With such a busy and crazy schedule I decided to track her down to learn a bit more how she fuels her busy days, on and off stage.

What a professional dancer eats in a day

Could you run us through your typical Day On A Plate:

5:00am
Rise and Shine

7:30am

Post workout breakfast
Omelette (2 yolks, 1 egg), peppers, spinach, mushrooms, tomato. AS WELL AS small bowl of porridge/smoothie bowl with fruit such as frozen blueberries/raspberries and a dollop of nut butter (yes I have 2 breakfasts – I love breakfast!) AND of course black coffee  myprotein vanilla drops (the dream) 
9:30am-1pm
Audition/Casting/Fitness coaching
My breakfast often lasts me until lunch! might have an extra coffee though. 
1:30pm
Lunch
Chickpea and lentil salad or mackerel salad with quinoa, roasted peppers, nuts, spinach, red onion, feta cheese, and drizzle of balsamic glaze.
 Day on a plate with a Professional dancer
 
4:00pm
Create and plan content, film vlog or another audition/casting
Snacks such as… banana, carrots and humous, handful of nuts, protein bar. 

7:00pm
Dinner
Fish/chicken/veggie substitute stir fry OR butternut squash and chickpea curry OR chickpea burgers – and a whole lot of veg! 

8:00pm
Dessert
Yoghurt, scoop protein, fruit (mango, raspberries, blueberries..), nut butter, dark chocolate. Peppermint tea.

Did you struggle with your relationship with food during dance college?

Thankfully, my college and group of friends had a relatively healthy relationship with food so was never a direct issue for me. Obviously there was the occasional dance teacher that would make comments but we always laughed about it. Regardless, wearing tight clothing everyday and surrounded by mirrors, there isn’t anywhere to hide! So I can’t say everyday I loved my body but who does? And some people did struggle more than others (as you can expect) as we are repeatedly told, “you are your product!” – you automatically want to present the “best” version of yourself which can stereotypically be thinner, more muscular, more toned etc… Luckily for me I have always enjoyed eating healthily. I’ve been brought up to eat a nutritious, balanced diet so there hasn’t been any added pressure there.

How did you prepare physically and mentally for being on a show like Broman’s?

I can’t say I “prepared” much as I didn’t really know what I was going in for! Therefore I feel like the only way to prepare for those kind of things is by throwing yourself into it and taking it as it comes! I knew that all I wanted to do was be myself and I feel myself and Tom did that well and in return, received a lot of positive feedback.

I didn’t expect the show to be as physically and mentally draining I have to say. Being filmed 24/7, living in “ancient Rome” with everyone around you all the time.. it was hard to properly relax, or have your own time, and consciously knowing how TV transform a small frown into a whole different story! However we had the best time. I am please we did it. It opened up doors and career opportunities, we received such positive feedback from the show.

Lastly if you could eat only one sweet treat for the rest of your life what would it be?
Cookie dough with nutbutter melted on top. Wow.

All images: Rhiannon Bailey

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