A new year is always exciting – it’s a brand new opportunity to recharge, start fresh, set some goals and get focused. What do you have in mind for yourself in 2017?
For inspiration, Dance Informa turned to a great source – a dancer who’s so fit, focused and fabulous that she’s bound to have some helpful New Year tips to share. It’s Rachelle di Stasio, USA Energetiks Model Search Winner who recently graced the October cover of Dance Informa America. Here, she offers advice on how to look and feel great in the new year and how to stay focused, no matter what life throws your way.
Whether you call them “goals” or “resolutions”, setting some objectives at the beginning of the year gives you something to work toward and allows you to check in on your progress…and accomplishments!
“Setting goals for yourself helps you stay on track in doing what you know you need to do to get to where you’d like to be,” di Stasio remarks.
In 2017, di Stasio says she plans to work hard and stay focused on her dreams. “And to always choose to have an open and positive mind and a grateful heart,” she adds.
Even little progress toward any bigger goals should be acknowledged and applauded. Resolutions don’t have to be stressful and be-all and end-all ideas; rather, they can be daily motivation for working hard on bettering yourself physically, mentally or spiritually.
For di Stasio, looking and feeling great can boil down to three simple tips: get a good night’s sleep, eat clean, and drink plenty of water. These are especially important for dancers, who are active in their lifestyle and need to fuel and rest their diligent body.
The holidays are synonymous with junk food and perhaps sleeping in until nearly noon. There’s nothing wrong with indulging here and there and offering your body the rest (and little treats) it probably needs, but prepare to get back to a normal schedule shortly into 2017.
“About a week before starting back up, make sure you’re stretching, taking class or going to the gym, and eating clean,” di Stasio suggests.
Realistic dance goals.
Sure, it’d be amazing to beat Sophia Lucia’s pirouette world record or to turn with as much ease as Gillian Murphy, but maybe you should first be concentrating on perfecting your double, maybe making it into a clean triple by the end of the year. Goals are great, but make sure they’re realistic for you and your level. Far-fetched expectations can leave you bummed; instead, choose things to work on that would allow you to see real progress and, in turn, make you feel inspired to grow even more.
“Each day, think of one thing that you want to focus on to improve upon,” di Stasio advises. “If it’s not working, instead of getting frustrated, go to something else you’d like to work on and come back to the original exercise at a later time or day.”
Stay on track.
During all 365 days of the year, there is bound to be a tough day…or two, or several! Maybe you don’t make the cut at an audition you had your heart set on, or you sprain your ankle a week before a performance. No matter what obstacles life deals you, try to stay on track and motivated.
“If you absolutely love what you do, then never ever give up, and know that your time for greatness will come if you continue to apply yourself in knowing what you need to do,” di Stasio says.
She adds, “I like to remind myself daily where I’d like to be and know what I have to do to get there. So, I take the necessary steps, one day at a time, and encourage myself along the way to not give up when there are those tough days.”
Finding a balance.
True happiness will come when there’s a balance in your life – you allow time for dance, school, health, family life and personal life.
“It’s not always easy to find,” di Stasio admits. “The nature of a ballet career can be all-consuming if you allow it. So, for the balance and health of the dancer, especially emotionally and mentally, I feel it’s very important to make sure you do things that aren’t dance-related and make time to spend with family and friends doing activities that you enjoy outside of dance.”
Three things to remember.
As you ring in 2017, di Stasio offers these three simple tips: “Always have an open mind, stay positive, and be nice to yourself!”
By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.