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The Whole Dancer

The Whole Dancer

Jess Spinner of

The Whole Dancer

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I've always been envious of athletes. Whenever I hear of a player in the NBA or NFL who experiences an injury or is going through a rough patch in their career, I marvel at the team of coaches, experts, and support that immediately flock to their side.
The dance world, unfortunately, doesn't quite function in the same light. Far too often in my journey I've felt alone, wondering if other dancers were thinking & experiencing similar struggles with injury, body image, mental wellness, & lack of 'me too' kind of support that I was. That is, until I found The Whole Dancer. 

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Jess Spinner, founder & creator of The Whole Dancer, has established a supportive community that the dance world in large has lacked for so long. The Whole Dancer is a multi-faceted enterprise; From informative blog posts, to interactive Facebook Groups, to positive communities on YouTube & Instagram, Jess continues to dispel the commonly believed message "you must sacrifice everything for dance", as one that ultimately leads to burnout & dissatisfaction. Instead, The Whole Dancer's platform not only promotes health, wellness, and a balanced lifestyle, but practical & achievable steps for dancer's to get there. 

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What I admire about Jess is the way in which she turned her own story into what the Whole Dancer has become today. Currently based out of Massachusetts, Jess grew up training at Eglevsky Ballet in Long Island, spending summers everywhere from ABT New York, to Boston Ballet, & Orlando Ballet. She went on to graduate from Butler University & dove straight into a professional career dancing for Louisville Ballet. 

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But as she recalls, the struggles she faced with body image, food choices, and the constant, nagging feeling of believing she wasn't 'good' enough, ushered her into burnout, ultimately leaving her to walk away from the dance world.
Instead of burying her struggles, Jess decided to investigate them, & began studying holistic health at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Not long into her studies, Jess realized she was acquiring the tools to achieve the balanced, beautiful, & happy lifestyle that she had longed for as a dancer.  

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With these tools in hand, Jess set out to give back, & crafted two programs that remain at the core of what the Whole Dancer is all about:
The Dancer's Best Body Program & The Whole Dancer Program

The Dancer's Best Body Program focuses primarily on teaching food as fuel. The Program consists of modules covering topics such as Healthy Eating Basics, to Taking Action on a New Eating Plan as well as support through a private facebook group as well as continued feedback & motivation from Jess. 

On the other hand, The Whole Dancer Program focuses on not only external factors like food, exercise, & career, but internal factors such as a positive mindset & self awareness that effect one's trajectory in the dance world.

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"Dancers from New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, and aspiring dancers from around the world have participated in individual coaching and group programs from The Whole Dancer. There are options to fit every need and budget and many resources are provided at no – charge in order to support as many dancers as possible to find balance and true happiness as you work towards your dance goals."

 

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To be honest, last Spring I was feeling fed up & stuck in my relationship to food. From following @thewholedancer on Instagram, I saw Jess posting about a week long Spring Cleanse program that The Whole Dancer was offering. From my frustration, I thought 'Why not!' and jumped on board.

Jess provided us with a meal plan, recipes, grocery shopping tips, and endless support through the Facebook group & e-mails, that I walked away from the week feeling refreshed & encouraged. 

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I am so grateful that Jess decided to give back to the dance world through creating The Whole Dancer. If you feel alone, uninspired, and near burnout in your pre-professional to professional journey, look no further! Jess delivers content weekly, from her Podcast platform, as well as bringing on guests to her YouTube page regularly. Be informed & become inspired by joining The Whole Dancer community! 

Podcast Link Here: {http://www.premierdancenetwork.com/the-whole-dancer/}

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Til Next Friday's #ballerinainbusiness ...

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