I’m Leah, a CNS Candidate, ballerina, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, outdoor enthusiast, and always on a quest to find the perfect almond milk matcha latte.
Leah is a Certified Nutrition Specialst (CNS) candidate pursuing a MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. Her interests in nutrition include sports nutrition, RED-S, disordered eating, body image, eating disorders, mental health, stress, and the gut microbiome. She also is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
I come to the health and wellness community from a unique background. I am a professional ballet dancer turned nutritionist as well as a self-proclaimed foodie, squat enthusiast, and one who eats nut butter by the spoonfuls. I have had the amazing opportunity to train at Pacific Northwest Ballet, and dance with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet, and Utah Regional Ballet as well as guest for companies like Ballet Memphis, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and Indiana Ballet Theater. I am also passionate about mental and emotional health and strive to find balance in all areas of my life. However, it took me quite a number of years to figure out how important balance is.
As a ballet dancer, I struggled with performance anxiety, depression, multiple injuries, perfectionism, and a rough relationship with food and my body. I hit a rock bottom when I was 19 – I went through two major injuries over the course of a year and a half, spending months with undiagnosed pain, surgery, and recovery. I felt alone as I coped with the emotional and mental implications of the pain, the desire for a cure, and the impatience for healing.
After years of soul searching, dancing professionally while finishing my Bachelor’s Degree in business, taking a hiatus to make ice cream for a living, then returning to school to become a Certified Nutrition Specialist, and dancing again as a freelance dancer, my identity as an artist and goals for my career have dramatically shifted. Focusing on caring for my whole self has allowed me to live out my passion in a way I never thought possible. I am far from getting this right all the time, but I now see health as a journey towards wellness, and not the destination of outward perfection.
There is a growing need in performing arts for education to address matters such as mental health, emotional well-being, coping with injuries, body image, functional nutrition, and relationship with food. What Fuels a Dancer exists to fill that gap. As an CNS candidate, my mission behind What Fuels a Dancer is to:
Provide individualized nutrition care to dancers and students by offering support and tools to thrive in the art form and find balance in everyday life
Partner with ballet companies, dance schools, and other performance groups to estabished scientifically-backed nutrition programs for artists and students that prioritize a dancer’s physical, mental and emotional health inside of the organization and beyond.
Finding balance as a dancer is tricky, whether performing Aurora in the famous Rose Adagio or finding time to practice self-care, cook nourishing meals, and have a social life with a schedule packed with rehearsals and performances. It can often feel overwhelming, stressful, and draining, but I am here to help you find the sweet spot of pursuing your passion with dedication, abundance and freedom. I would love to listen to your story and provide you with encouragement as you discover what fuels your life with vibrancy and passion inside and outside of dance. Head over to my Work with Me section to learn more about Life Fuel and what it means to work with me, or go to my Contact Me page and send me a message.
Not in the world of dance? What Fuels a Dancer is for Any artist, athlete, or busy professional.
I would love to walk alongside you as you explore who you are in the center of your being and help you establish healthy habits to take with you for the rest of your life. What Fuels a Dancer means living your passion as a career, finding a healthy lifestyle, discovering how to fuel your whole self, and living life abundantly. I can’t wait to connect with you!