How To Diet, Exercise, And Train Like A Professional Dancer – Ft. Jaja Vankova

How To Diet, Exercise, And Train Like A Professional Dancer – Ft. Jaja Vankova


So it is the day of an amazing battle.
First thing when I wake up… Hello everybody. This is Jaja. You might know me from America’s Best Dance Crew, So You Think You Can Dance, or as the robot girl from Step Up, and STEEZY. and I’m here to help you on a body recovery and health journey So I started my health journey firstly for environmental reasons, but also I started because of health reasons in 2017 I was diagnosed with Cancer in Situ and I wanted to take a healthy approach and a different approach Than the usual surgery and treatments so I decided to do a whole plant-based diet and completely change everything from cosmetics, to how I take care of my body, to what I eat Personal health and taking care of your body relates to dance because we are athletes and I really do believe that we should be treating our mind, mental health, and our body’s physical health as high level athletes as well. So I am combining, eating lifestyle, meditation, and body recovery to be the best version of myself that I could be for dance Mental health is really important, especially for dancers because a lot of our injuries, or illnesses, or when our body is tired comes from mental state what I also see a lot in dancers is that they are not able to concentrate or focus or even be creative in different kind of ways.
If you are combining the healthy eating and meditation together it is really going to build up your mental state to where you will be able to concentrate in learning choreography or freestyling So the basic understanding of meditation is basically focusing and being able to focus on just your breath So when you are inhaling you focus on your breath when you are exhaling you still focus on your breath You don’t let any other thoughts come into your head This is really just helping you in dance to focus on the present moment on your body Another kind of meditation is where you are meditating focusing on the breath but also you are visualizing a Certain thing in dance that you want to improve.
For example, you are visualizing yourself learning choreography in the dance studio your goal right here is to Really visualize yourself, the teacher, and the dance steps. Just by practicing this visualization Your physical body will be improving as well to learn the choreography better So I use nature as my personal de-stresser because in nature I can really relax, focus and connect with the nature and really disconnect from the everyday stresses: dance, responsibilities… and sometimes we just need to unplug and this is my way of how I relax Everybody’s body is ultimately very different So I think it’s really important to tailor yourself your own workouts for your body and what suits with you so what I do a lot is I focus on Functional Range Conditioning, Neuro- Somatic massages, breathing techniques, and Cryotherapy This is something right now that works with my body the best So functional range conditioning is basically a strength kind of workout So getting your joints to the point where they have the maximum range of motion I’m going to demonstrate some of these exercises for you. So this is the cat-cow workout. You’re going from here, first chin, then chest, slowly Making your spine into a half circle and then going back starting with your hips and again, slowly stretching your spine back up, finishing with your chin up So in this one, I’m moving my leg in a half circle Imagining I have a glass of water on my bag that I do not want to spill by pushing my hips to the ground While pushing my leg up I focus on static stretching a lot as well Which means you are basically holding a pose in a stretch for about 45 seconds And then you switch to a different pose where you hold it for another 30 to 45 seconds again In a static stretch you take a pose where you feel stretched out and you stay in the pose for about 30 to 45 seconds while really deeply breathing So I also developed a lot of body control exercises because especially as a female, I really wanted to have the best body control possible So what I do is I take regular workouts and I add weights on my body and I do the exercises With my arms and the weights in my hands It actually really levels up your control Also make sure that your weights are no more than 3-5 pounds because you don’t want it to be a regular workout you really want it to be a workout for the control only. Stay safe! With this vest I’m going to be doing stops. one, two, three, four, and one, two, three, four. I’m tensing my core and my legs and trying to make this stop as clean as possible This weight vest helps me to make it really sharp and nice and levels up your control for my arm control exercise I’m going to raise my arms and again tense my muscles in my arms and go Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop and drill this exercise over and over again Cryotherapy is basically cold therapy for your whole body where you go into a freezer that has negative 150 degrees Fahrenheit And you are there for three and a half minutes. What it does with your body, it helps you to recover faster and better from soreness. It also helps your skin glow And it also helps your mental health as well Personal diet as I would love to say, lifestyle, is really important for dancers and people in general to really fuel your body with the best food that you can to build up the best version of your body that you can lifestyle for me is to really make a conscious choice to change your eating habits completely to build a body that is going to serve you the best version for your dance Whole foods are foods that are not processed.
So if you go to a store you can get yourself Fruits, veggies, nuts, and grains, or if you eat meat also meat. it’s basically food, that we were eating back in a day when we were still hunting and picking berries when you eat whole foods you basically are cleaning your body from all the chemicals from the processed foods What happens is when you eat a lot of processed foods, the chemicals are staying in your body and your body is not able to process the nutrition from the actual food Processed foods make your body more sluggish, tired… You can have a brain fog or a fatigue and it doesn’t help your stamina. It doesn’t help your focus So this is how whole foods are going to help you so much in dance So when you are buying foods that are packaged I would definitely recommend to focus on the words that you cannot even pronounce that are in the ingredients That’s my number one thing. Then one I would also focus on not buying foods that have too long of a list of ingredients Because that’s for sure a no-no. If you take this almond butter, the only thing that you will see in the ingredients is almonds! that’s what you are paying for So alkaline and acidic foods. First I will explain what alkaline and acidic means. So when we are born as a baby our body is born alkaline Which means that our body has pH more than six and a half Our body has on average pH 7.3, but when we grow up and we start to eat foods Such as potatoes, rice, meat, and processed foods, it’s all very acidic foods These acidic foods are taking the pH of our body down diseases cannot really grow in alkaline environments and that’s why our bodies actually have the natural ability to heal itself if our body is alkaline The minute our pH is acidic diseases love to live in acidic environment, so that’s how normal diseases such as cold, flu, inflammation, joint pain, headaches, come in and also more serious diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and such So it is the day of an amazing battle First thing when I wake up, I would have a really huge glass of water, it’s about 1 litre of water that I would be drinking in the morning after that I would be drinking some celery juice after that I might have some ginger shots because ginger shots are really great for your gut health, lunch, I don’t have until like 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. I would make some bowl that would have: kale, chickpeas mushrooms fermented cabbage avocado, peppers, tomatoes Cucumbers, sesame seeds, and I would make a nice dressing from tahini and miso later that evening I would maybe eat half a watermelon or some cherimoya or some fruits such as mangos and Papaya, and that would be my typical eating day This dance health journey definitely helped me out in the long-term Completely transported my mental state and my physical body to help me in my dance Especially with a lot of traveling with a lot of training It helps me to recover faster. It helps me to focus and it also helps me to feel better and more happy That way I can connect with people better and I would recommend this transformation for everyone. One of the most important things that I think is always to stay curious and always to seek for education. These conscious choices that I’m making in my health go back to my body and to My mental health and physical health to make me a better person, better dancer, and better athlete. So I know this transformation might not happen overnight but stay open minded, stay curious, always educate yourself I’m Jaja, thank you for listening to my TedTalk I hope that this video was helpful for you guys. Thank you guys so much for watching You can find me on Instagram @JajaVankova or my website JajaVankova.com

67 thoughts on “How To Diet, Exercise, And Train Like A Professional Dancer – Ft. Jaja Vankova”

  • How does she drink her breakfast on performance day? Having juice as a meal, especially when you need energy the most, is absolutely a no no.

  • This is beautiful information laid out in a way I can understand. Will be sharing this with all platforms. Thank you so freaking much. I freaking love you STEEZY.

  • Thank you Jaja! You're inspiration for the used to be uninspired. I cannot wait to abide by your tips and recommendations. You're a beautiful lightworker. Your dance is a gift. You are so helpful 😭😭😭♥️

  • Woooow… it's a lot of info but (the magic of the video) I will re watch this for sure.
    This help and motivates me more for been a better dancer!!
    Thank U 💗

  • for some reason I wasn't expecting to learn so much when I clicked this video but wow, that's some amazing information, thanks Jaja for sharing all of this and thanks Steezy for the nice video (as always) 😁❤

  • I love jaja 😍and steezy too 🤷‍♂😍 and this video was needed 🙏🏼 and can u guys bring her to teach robotics, that'd be tight 🤩 I mean she already has her own tutorials for that, but that'd great if we had basics on steezy for that 🙏🏼🙏🏼

  • First of all: Steezy deserves better !!!
    Second, I was struggling with all of that last year and searching to improve this year as a dancer and human. THANK YOU STEEZY !

  • Thank you for this video so much! I really needed to see all those body recovery exercises, coming back from being bed ridden with various problems for a couple of years. This whole video is literally perfect for me

  • I love this video and Jaja!

    Viewers should be aware however that the health benefits of cryotherapy and alkaline diets are not supported by modern science.
    They could work for you, but always check with a real doctor beforehand to make sure you don't end up doing more harm than good.

  • Hey steezy channel I would like to request you that please😫🙏🙏💓 please😫🙏🙏💓 please😫🙏🙏💓 make a video on hip hop styles or urban dance I mean what dance are we doing when we are dancing? How to identify whether this dance is hip hop or urban dance?

  • Jaja is one of a kind. The sweetness of an angel + The energy of a ferocious beast… Her isolations are truly unparalleled. I love how she insists upon the fact that mental health is complementary to physical health.

  • Niiiice !!!! Thank you !! This are very important information. I love that you give us like some „behind the Szene“ moments. To educate ourself to become better and better!

  • Hey steezy I love you guys and love jaja but I hate to say that some of the things Jaja is saying are not entirely true, related to nutrition. I don’t have any bad intentions with this I just don’t want misinformation spreading, but chemical in food are not necessarily bad. I mean water is considered a chemical. Another thing natural does not always mean good for you you can be balanced and healthy. And one important thing, the alkaline diet was disproven by MD Anderson in Houston the leading cancer research hospital that while the alkaline diet promotes a cleaner life style because you are avoided a lot of bad food however food you eat cannot change the pH of your blood so quickly. And having an acidic pH doesn’t raise your risk of cell mutations, the misinterpretation was that in the lab doctors used acidic pH levels to grow the cells and your body is much more complex than that. I totally agree with so many things she’s saying regarding to meditation, taking care of your body, and the level of training but I just wanted to say this to remind everyone watching this to do your own research about things and if you want to make changes to your eating habits it doesn’t hurt to consult a doctor or nutritionist and fact check things yourself so that your diet is doing what it’s supposed to do and so you don’t have any deficiencies or surpluses in you diet because it will affect your health.

  • the information about acidic and alkaline foods is just pure bullshit – I don't blame her cause a lot of people believe that but there are so many studies that prove the contrary – the fact that she had cancer completely changed her perspective and I understand from where she is comming … but for a normal typical healthy person – you can whatever you want – yes even processed foods as long as you stay in your caloric base line or if you want to lose weight – caloric deficit .

    Internet is full of stories with people who ate only one type of food and lost weight while their bad cholesterol went down and their good cholestherol went up – research and you will find out – must information we know about nutrition is just shit – going vegan is just one way to stay healthy but it definetly hurt other people as well – going vegan is not for everyone just eating meat or diary is not for everyone either – you just have to discover what works for you but remember that everything works

  • such a good reminder for what to not include in your diet! i only eat plant-based foods as well, but i'm definitely not healthy about it lol… thanks for the tips!

  • Some of this really shouldn't be taken as fact. For example, cryotherapy has never been proven to have any benefits, nor have alkaline diets. And also, a minor thing, an alkali has a pH of above 7, not 6.5; something with a pH of 6.6 is actually slightly acidic, not alkaline. And things like headaches, diabetes, or cancer are 9/10 not caused by viruses or bacteria so the average pH of your body will literally have no affect. And a lot of fruit, such as mango or oranges, are also very acidic anyway so this doesn't really make much sense

  • man, is it even possible to love Jaja more? <3
    I always emphasize the food point to my peeps and students, because as she said, we are in fact athletes
    got surprised to see that Jaja is Vegan and just like her, I also felt the "unclogging" from my body and all that after I transitioned to a plant-based diet~
    also, DANG SHE'S A SUPER POWERFUL KRUMPER you guys should take a note about that

  • I literally started my blog's intro yesterday stating my mission is to help hip-hop dancers improve physically mentally and spiritually everyday, and today I saw this!!! Thanks for the confirmation. XD I've been having ideas around dancers physical ability improvement, injury prevention and recovery, mental health and awareness for a reaaaaaaally long time. You guys gave me the inspiration to do so BTW. BIG THANKS FOR THE WORK YOU DO.

  • By far my favorite and best video I’ve seen on Steezy! I applaud you for taking it into your hands and healing yourself instead of going with surgery, that was very mature of you and very inspiring! I know from Step Up 5 and I have to say you’re amazing!

  • Very very nice , helpful , entertaining , instructive video ,i really like the topic it's so precise and unique one and i haven't watched like this one before .top

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