Supernovas, I am so excited to welcome Marina D. on my blog. She's the fabulous owner of A Dancer's Live-It, an awesome healthy living blog. Like me, she's a dancer as well, so I thought she'd be the perfect fit for my blog.
First, here's a little bit about her:
My name is Marina and I am the 21-year-old dancer, college student, health/wellness enthusiast, and self-diagnosed oatmeal and baking addict. I am currently majoring in Dance Performance and minoring in Public Health at a university and will graduate in the Spring of 2017. After graduation, I hope to be able to perform with a contemporary/modern dance company and am highly considering becoming a Certified Health Coach or some type of fitness instructor or personal trainer. This past year I finally recovered from an eating disorder/exercise addiction and love to help others with their struggles in that area. I have no problems talking about it because I want to make sure it NEVER happens to anyone else.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. What type of dance do you do? What are you studying in college? What got you into healthy living?
I’ve been dancing since I was 4 years old, and I started with ballet, as most young dancers do. I did that for about 4 years before I discovered the world of modern dance, jazz, and lyrical. I was hooked! I love the expressivity that modern gave me. I also dabble in hip hop, contemporary, improvisation, pointe, and African dance. In college, my program focuses mostly on modern dance and improvisation, but we also had to take African for a semester and ballet for 2 years. I ended up taking it for more than two years because it’s such awesome training.
My journey to healthier living went into full swing during my senior year of high school, as I knew I had auditions for colleges coming up. Knowing that I would be in for some rigorous days, it was so important to be fueling my dancing body properly. It’s not that I was out of shape or anything, I was just tired of not seeing results from all the hard work of dance. I wasn’t happy with my eating habits. While I still ate pretty healthy foods of course, I wasn’t really thinking about portion controls, snacking, or processed foods/sugars. I felt sluggish and I knew I had to whip myself into shape. I used to run sparingly, but then I started running almost every day along with dancing and I immediately saw a change in my mood and health. I started by making smarter food choices, eating about 5 smaller portioned meals a day, (rather than 3 huge ones), and I also stopped eating meat, except for seafood. All in all, I ended up losing about 12 pounds freshman year at college. But this ended up turning into a big problem…see my “What’s A Live-It?” page for more details.
2. Tell us all about your blog. What does "live-it" mean?
The “live-it” is a term my Mom actually came up with when we were driving in the car one day. She said, “when you think about it, why do they call it a ‘diet’? It sounds too harsh, people shouldn’t have to die to try and be healthier. It should be called a live-it because it’s a lifestyle change!” That phrase always stuck with me and I thought it fit well with the message I try to send on my blog. Being healthy doesn’t mean having to “die” or restrict the foods we love, it’s a lifestyle change that’s all about balance and listening to our bodies! To sum that up, my blog, A Dancer’s Live-It, is a place where I can show you that being healthy isn’t about going on a DIEt. In order to truly appreciate the benefits of health, you have to change your lifestyle, so therefore LIVEit.
3. Why did you start blogging? What do you love about it?
I stumbled upon the blog world in 2013 when I started reading one of my favorite lifestyle blogs, Peanut Butter Fingers. I loved being able to get a glimpse into someone’s life and read about all of their quirks, likes, dislikes, and favorite foods to eat. I thought, ‘well maybe I could do that too!’ When I started blogging, however, I started it as a way to help my recovery journey from orthorexia because I wanted others to NEVER go through what I did. I thought I would try it out for a little while, maybe get a few readers, and then I’d be done. Nope! It’s honestly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I love being able to connect with others and hear about their stories too. I had no idea how huge the blogging world is, yet we’re so closely knit and supportive. I’m overwhelmed at the amount of kindness I’ve gotten through emails, comments, and Facebook communities. I also love that it can be a career if I wanted it to be, but I’m not sure that I could ever be a full-time blogger.
4. How do you decide your blog topics? What is your favorite topic to write about?
This has been a struggle for me up until this past year because I hadn’t truly found “my voice” yet. I’d look and see what others were writing about and see the amount of feedback they got on that topic and I would try to write about that too. It went okay for a while, but I still felt like something was missing from my blog. This year I finally realized that I should be writing about what matters most to me: recovery from eating disorders and helping others with aspects of their physical and mental health. My favorite topics to write about include elements of self-love, positive body image, and intuitive eating/listening to our bodies.
5. Besides dancing, what other activities do you do for exercise?
I used to be a runner, but I don’t do that anymore. I wrote a post called “Dear Running…” that talks about what running was doing to me and why I finally stopped. Now I enjoy “quick and dirty” workouts! Workouts that involve pure bodyweight, HIIT workouts, or training with weights are what make me the happiest. I also love Vinyasa yoga, Pilates, and I’ve taken several Barre classes before. Honestly, my workouts are anywhere between 22-30 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week. That’s all my body needs!
6. What else do you want readers to know?
I was born and raised in a suburb of Buffalo, NY and I am a very proud Buffalonian. I have so much “Buffalove”, as we call it. You won’t find good chicken wings anywhere else! Go ahead, try and argue with me. I’m also 100% Italian (because both sides of my family are) and I’m very proud of that too. Let me feed you food! I traveled to Italy in 2014 with my family and it was incredible. I’m a lover of classic movies, traveling, “I Love Lucy”, “The Golden Girls”, “The Office”, Michael Jackson, and anything seafood. Ice cream is my favorite form of dessert and anything with strawberries and/or dark chocolate. My Dad got me into amusement parks when I was little and I’ll go on any ride you throw at me! Rollercoasters, spinning rides, you name it! I have one brother who is 5 years older than me and he is KILLING IT in the music world. Seriously though, he’s a freelance jazz pianist/composer and he’s a prodigy. My dream is to be able to dance professionally as well as help work to help others with their body image/health. One more thing…no matter how bleak or dark things may look in your life at a given moment in time, always remember that “this too shall pass.”
ACE Certified Personal Trainer, NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, nutrition coach, young adult author, moody ballerina.
I help people perform without pain.
Order When Stars Die
Free on Lulu.
The views expressed on this blog are entirely my own. Any advice I offer is not to be taken as medical advice. If you think you have contraindications to exercise, please see your physician before implementing any sample workout plans I present on this blog.
All images are either my own, from Canva, or Creative Commons