This February, as we encourage our communities to lead longer and healthier lives, we talk to three inspiring women about the power of music, heart-healthy habits, and setting intentions. Here’s what they had to say…
How do you use music as a way of connecting with others, reducing your own stress, or simply getting you moving?
Music has provided a lot of abundance in my dance career. Before joining Dancing With The Stars in 2016, I was able to travel the world while on tour with Katy Perry. Outside of dance, one of my favorite ways to currently use music is through my mindfulness practice. I frequently use music during my daily meditation practice and play sound frequency music throughout the day, which promotes emotional, physical, and spiritual healing.
Do you have any heart-healthy recipes that you love? If so, what are they?
One of my go-to smoothie recipes not only happens to be a great way to start your day but is a heart-healthy recipe as well!
1 to 1 1/2 cups spinach
1/2 cup frozen mango
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
Tbsp hemp seeds
Tbsp MCT oil
Stevia to taste
What are some new intentions that you’ve set for yourself this coming year?
As a family medicine physician assistant, it can be really challenging to be present when faced with the fast-paced pressure of the day-to-day. There is a tendency to want things done quickly, for change to happen quickly. I have to remind myself that sustainable change happens very slowly over time. This has been my most steady reminder and intention for this coming year, especially when I can feel the tension of busy rising.
Can you tell us about a time when you “lost your rhythm?”
Having started my career in medicine during a pandemic, it’s been hard to find firm footing. It feels like a collective trauma has seeped into every aspect of life, and therefore, most clinical appointments. But I have wonderful patient experiences, friends, family, loved ones, and moments that remind me to keep going—that crack my perspective and challenge me to see things differently and with new buoyancy.
How did you “reclaim your rhythm” after everything that’s happened in the last two years?
I immediately think of the several months when theaters all over the world shut down due to the pandemic. It was extremely challenging to stay motivated and keep moving. I reclaimed my rhythm when I focused my attention on new ways to inspire and create. I was honored to teach for the Dance Theatre of Harlem School and to lead a choreography project for Columbia Ballet Collaborative. And, I generated content for Dance Theatre of Harlem and my own social media platforms.
Music has been referred to as medicine for the soul. How has music helped you throughout your life?
For as long as I can remember my house was filled with music. My father collected albums since his college days. He would play all the American classics in the house, from Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin to [George Frideric] Handel and [Ludwig van] Beethoven. I’m so lucky to have grown up with such a wide variety of musical genres that encouraged me to dance.