Atlanta Ballet to host Healthy Living Day

Atlanta Ballet’s Centre for Dance EducationAtlanta Ballet’s Centre for Dance Education will host its second annual Healthy Living Day on Sunday, Sept. 8 from noon to 6 p.m. at its Michael C. Carlos Dance Centre in West Midtown Atlanta.


The event is a part of the Centre’s initiative to promote healthy, sustainable lifestyles through physical activity and a balanced, nutritious diet. The event will also support the effort to eradicate childhood obesity in the U.S. and is in recognition of September as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.


Festivities are open to the public and will include nutrition seminars and food demonstrations, individual consultations with nutrition experts, and free dance classes for children and adults in ballet, hip-hop, modern, African, jazz and yoga. There will also be dance performances by Atlanta Ballet’s dancer-driven modern troupe Wabi Sabi, Atlanta Ballet’s Centre for Dance Education, and other local dance and arts organizations.


Healthy Living Day will also highlight Atlanta Ballet’s Centre for Dance Nutrition, which launched in 2010 and is the first of its kind for any dance company in the U.S. The Centre for Dance Nutrition is headed by registered dietitian (and former Atlanta Ballet dancer) Emily Cook Harrison.


“Our mission has been always been to inspire and enrich the communities we serve through dance, and now we’re expanding our outreach to include nutrition and healthy living,” said Harrison. 


For the festivities, Harrison has put together a day of interactive workshops that will show families a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be expensive, but affordable, accessible, and fun.


“Although nutrition and healthy eating are crucial to the lives of dancers, the principles we teach are applicable for everyone. Many of our students may not go on to pursue professional dance careers, but a healthy, active lifestyle is necessary for whatever path you choose,” said Harrison. 


Parents and kids can partake in classes such as “Feeding a Healthy Family: Real Life Nutrition for Busy Families,” which will include food demonstrations of healthy recipes, and “Sports Nutrition.”


Harrison will also be on hand throughout the day with other registered dietitians providing individual consultations.


“Atlanta Ballet recognizes the serious threat obesity poses to the health of America’s children and the importance of decreasing its prevalence, not only in Georgia, but across the entire United States,” said Harrison. “Through programs like Healthy Living Day, we are confident that we can play a significant role in remedying this problem. We want the message to resonate with all families, no matter their circumstance or socio-economic background.”


Atlanta Ballet is one of hundreds of organizations nationwide planning events and activities to build awareness of childhood obesity and ways to combat it in observance of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. September 2010 was the first National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, established by presidential and congressional proclamations.


Atlanta Ballet’s Centre for Dance Education Healthy Living Day will be held from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 8 at the Michael C. Carlos Dance Centre, located at 1695 Marietta Blvd., NW, in West Midtown Atlanta.


For more information, including a full schedule of events, visit or call 404-873-5811.


Photo: An instructor leads dance class as part of Healthy Living Day in 2012. Photo by Kim Kenney.

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