Christina Ilisije’s LIVING-DANCE Heals Minds & Transforms Bodies

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As a former professional dancer turned female entrepreneur, I am living my dream. But when I was pursuing my BFA in dance at Marymount Manhattan College, I was suffering from anorexia. The idea for my company, LIVING-DANCE, came as a result of my journey to find what freedom in my body and mind felt like.

I spent over a decade performing and teaching for Buglisi Dance Theatre and then Parsons Dance. During that time, I decided I wasn’t going to sabotage living my dream as a professional dancer because my mind decided to make problems out of my body. After making that promise, I danced my ass off – literally. I focused on the dance and not on how my body looked doing it. I danced heart-first. In a hilarious act of what seemed like irony at the time, my body slimmed down with ease for the first time ever. 

Performing transformed me. I performed in the most taxing of circumstances – on a sprained ankle, with a fever, not knowing my moves and deliriously exhausted. Through those moments, I had a breakthrough. It’s all ok. It always was and always will be. I started focusing on having the most-lived in performance, not the most perfect. I focused my entire being on the feeling of the dance, being in flow with it.

In flow, living your dance, is the sweetest place to ever be. It is presence. I knew if I could be that present, that free, that happy, and feel that supported and safe on stage – inside of a dance – that I could feel that way off-stage in all areas my life. Whether I was on the streets of NYC, in a disagreement, being bumped on the subway, building a business, or doing laundry – I could find it always. In that space – all is beautiful. And when I stopped in front of a mirror – all my mind could do was smile and for the first time ever my body felt healthy, fit, light, happy, and free.

While having a dance career, I simultaneously began a career teaching barre and fitness. I started hearing the women I taught judge their physiques. I heard their comparisons to others. I saw them looking at themselves in the mirror – not to see if their alignment was proper – but to see if they were ok. If they were thin that day. So they could either parade around happy if they were, or wallow in guilt if they weren’t. Silently making that same resolution for the millionth time: “I’m going to go on a diet. I’m going to go to the gym. This time I’m really serious. This low tummy will be gone by the time summer rolls around.”

Then I had to do it. I was on a mission to help others feel free in their bodies so they could be free in their lives. I launched LIVING-DANCE LLC on February 23rd, 2017. Since then I have trained hundreds of women, men, and professional artists using my method of dance, meditation, and positive performance psychology. 

I offer barre and dance cardio classes, personal coaching, and an e-book for lasting diet and habit changes. We have an obligation to shift our culture, elevate our minds, and energize our bodies so we can lead meaningful lives. We have an obligation to lead by example so the next generation will only know how to love, care, and respect the bodies they have been gifted. Are you with me?

Learn more and sign up here.

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