Photo By Nathan Sayers

Find The Best Dancer-Friendly Energy Bar For Your Bod

Sometimes, dancers just need a snack that's super-portable, mess-free, and nonperishable. That's where energy bars come in. The trick is to know which ones are most like real food: tasty, low in added sugars, and high in dancer-friendly nutrients like fiber and protein. Behold, our ultimate energy bar breakdown.

BRAND: Clif Bar

FLAVOR: Chocolate Almond Fudge

TASTING NOTES: If you like your energy bars sweet as candy, you'll flip for Clif. If not, back away slooooowly—we couldn't take more than a few bites before feeling overwhelmed.

PROS: You'll get 20 percent of your daily dose of fiber, electrolytes like potassium, and organic ingredients.

CONS: It has a LOT of sugar—22 grams, or approximately 4.4 teaspoons.

BRAND: KIND Fruit & Nut Bar

FLAVOR: Dark Chocolate Almond & Coconut

TASTING NOTES: Imagine if trail mix had a baby with the Samoa/Caramel Delight Girl Scout cookie. It's a chewy, crunchy blend of coconut, chocolate, and almonds.

PROS: It's got healthy fats, is dairy- and gluten-free, and has fewer carbs than most bars, which means less of a crash.

CONS: 3 grams of protein might not keep you satisfied for long if you're dancing your hardest.

Photo by Nathan Sayers

BRAND: Lärabar

FLAVOR: Chocolate Covered Almond

TASTING NOTES: Kind of confusing, but in a good way: The soft, slightly chewy texture reminds us of a brownie, but it tastes fruity, with some dark-chocolate chips for variety.

PROS: Made with just 3 ingredients, this bar offers a lot of fruit, and even has some iron and calcium.

CONS: Some nutritionists argue that a concentrated dose of sugar (even the natural sugars found in dried fruit) can lead to a sugar rush—followed by an energy crash.

BRAND: Luna Bar

FLAVOR: Dark Chocolate Hazelnut

TASTING NOTES: It's as if your favorite breakfast cereal got a powerful infusion of Nutella—crunchy, nutty, and overall a lot like a granola bar. (We tasted more chocolate than hazelnut, if you care about that.)

PROS: Hooray for only 5 grams of sugar, a range of vitamins and minerals, and organic oats and dark chocolate!

CONS: Most of those vitamins/minerals are isolated, then added to the bar. Your body absorbs nutrients better from whole foods, as opposed to supplements.

BRAND: Oatmega Bar

FLAVOR: Chocolate Coconut Crisp

TASTING NOTES: Whoa there with the coconut! This one gave us serious tropical-vacation vibes, but we wish there were more chocolate in the blend of flavors.

PROS: This bar has almost 30 percent of your daily protein and fiber requirements, some electrolytes to replace what you lose from sweating, and just 5 grams of sugar.

CONS: Its omega-3 fatty acids (a type of healthy fat) come from fish sources, so it's not an option for dancers who've gone veggie.


Look for energy bars that are high in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes; low in added sugars; and made from ingredients you recognize and can pronounce.

A version of this story appeared in the September 2017 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "Battle of The Bars."

Latest Posts

Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by Jamayla Burse

Catching Up With Christian Burse, Comp Kid Turned Complexions Rising Star

With her nearly limitless facility, well-timed dynamics and incredible control, Christian Burse's future as a dancer was guaranteed to be bright. A student at the renowned Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, and at Dance Industry Performing Arts Center in Plano, TX, Burse has consistently made waves: She won first runner-up for Teen Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals in 2019, received a grant for summer study at Juilliard from the Texas Young Masters program in 2020, and was named a YoungArts finalist for dance in 2021.

So, it wasn't all that surprising when Burse announced that, at just 17 years old, she would be joining Complexions Contemporary Ballet as an apprentice for the company's 2021–22 season.

Dance Spirit caught up with Burse to hear all about her first season with Complexions ahead of the contemporary ballet company's run at the Joyce Theater in NYC this month.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search