Women’s Health Week: Stefanie Roper

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Women’s Health Week: Stefanie Roper

By | 2018-06-10T23:28:35-04:00 May 20th, 2018|Fitness, Healthy Nutrition, Lifestyle, SHA-NANIGANS®|


Stefanie Roper The Dancer

                                Stefanie Roper, Dancer

Not sure if what you had is different, but the last paragraph in the final draft I have on file read like this:
I met Stefanie in 2016 when she worked for my company DASHA® as part of our concierge. This young lady has such poise and was always present to the experience at hand.

How long have you been a ballet dancer?

I actually was 20 years old when I took my first ballet class at Utah Valley University (Orem, UT). I needed one more elective for my fall 2010 semester, so I thought why not?  I completely fell in love. It was the something that I needed in my life, and it just made sense. I moved up quickly in the dance program and graduated in 2015 with a BFA-Fine Arts with a Ballet Emphasis. A few of my teachers didn’t support me whether it was my lack of experience or shin splints but I pushed myself through all of the hardships because ballet made me understand me more.

How did you end up in New York City as a dancer?

I was awarded a full-time scholarship at Paul Taylor’s Summer Intensive in New York the summer after I had graduated. While in New York, I found my dream, Ballet Hispanico. And they were having company auditions! Unfortunately, I didn’t make the audition invite. I went back home to Utah after the program in New York ended and found another audition. I spontaneously booked a quick 3-day trip to NYC. I got contracted and had to move to the city a week later. I sold my car, new apartment, said my goodbyes and started my journey! I left my family, friends and everything I had known. I am now currently with a company called FJK Dance Company and loving every minute of it! Touring internationally as well as all over the states!ryday with a huge smile, such poise and was always present to the experience at hand.

What does it mean to be a female dancer?

Sadly, but realistically there is so much competition in the dance world, especially between women. Hundreds of women audition for Broadway, cruises, commercials, summer intensives, companies, trying to ‘stand out,’ yet trying to fit the mold of what the judges and director are looking for but also staying true to themselves. I know, it’s a big contradiction! It can be very difficult not to compare yourself the others who might be skinner, prettier or more flexible than you. However, in order to be truly successful, you must know who you are. Your limits, your boundaries, your strengths, your weaknesses. And by knowing this, you learn to love yourself.

What about health is sexy to you?

I think it’s the ability to reach your fullest and true potential. You see all the changes physically, but you also feel these changes mentally. Being in a puddle of sweat, doing mountain climbers while the instructor tells you, “only 10 more seconds!” How sexy it is to know you’re not giving up before the timer runs out? You don’t care what you look like, or if a guy you like is watching, you’re fully, 100% committed to yourself. That’s sexy.

How do you feel empowered in your line of work?

Through my struggles and triumphs, I have learned to love myself through it all! I feel empowered knowing who I am and since I have found that, I have been so much more successful. When I dance, I love finding the strengths and weaknesses of the movement I am required to do. I am able to build on the things I know and search for progression, not perfection. Creating new shapes, emotions, and movement for my body becomes such a vulnerable process. I find something new about myself every day. When I share my art, I share my heart. That is my health, and this is what keeps me active and grateful for the body I’ve been given.

About the Author:

Shannon Russo-Pollack (SHA) is the Founder of DASHA® and powerhouse behind the DASHA brand. SHA strategically works with medical, wellness and lifestyle professionals who have a like minded philosophy of total body health and well-being. Using her entrepreneur skills, healthy lifestyle and passion for fitness to inspire others.