After being a competitive cheerleader for 15 years Dana is now going into her third season as a Dancer for Hamburg Towers – a professional ProA basketball club in Germany. In addition to all her dancing sessions, she is really passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and working out.
And those habits have helped lead her to create a healthy lifestyle and to be a successful dancer and athlete:
"One of the greatest achievements during my cheer career was winning National Championship titles in 2010 and 2011 with my lovely team, the HSC Allstars. On top of that we also qualified back-to-back for the Cheerleading World Championship in Orlando/Florida, which definitely made my ultimate goal in those days completed.
But as every cheerleader knows - competitive cheerleading is not just a sport, it’s hard work and a huge time commitment. So, as I started my apprenticeship for marketing communications in 2015, I reaIized I will no longer be able to put all my energy and effort only into cheerleading. That’s why I decided to focus on my personal career and quit cheering. But at the same I really missed it to be a part of a team and do what I love. So my sister Janice (the founder and Coach of the HSC Allstars) and I became aware of this big project the „Hamburg Towers“. And here we go: the Hamburg Towers Dance Team was born and I’m still so happy to be a part of it."
1. Workout before breakfast – but don’t forget a light snack!
I usually prefer to do a workout in the morning as it makes my whole day more active and helps to speed up my metabolism. However, I always workout before breakfast. So right after I wake up I drink lots of water to stay hydrated and eat 1 banana and make my coffee, which gives me a little bit of fuel for my morning workout. After exercising, I love to have a big breakfast of healthy carbs and fresh fruits. My favourite post-workout breakfast is a huge bowl of porridge mixed with all kind of fruits. To balance those carbs, I love to add some protein-rich nuts.
My dance practice is always in the evening and I also prefer to eat afterwards. Sometimes I have a little snack before practice like some fruits or nonfat joghurt. After my practice I love to have a light meal, such as big salad with lots of veggies. But my favourite post-meal is definitely low-fat curd, which is so high in proteins and helps my body to recover.
2. Get enough sleep
Cheer Dance and working out requires a lot from my body, so it’s very important for me maintaining a balanced diet and getting enough sleep. Even though I have a full time job and a social life, I always give it a priority staying healthy and working out. Self-discipline and time-management is the key ;)
3. Mental preparation
Every time before I work out I prepare myself mentally setting a personal new goal. Working towards achieving that goal, helps me to push myself while exercising and don’t giving up.
4. Warm up your body!
Warming up your body should be the first thing you do before start exercising. Each Cheer Dance practice we’re doing a tough warm up routine (30 min) to avoid injurys. It’s a mix of aerobics, strength exercises and stretching.
5. Remember what motivates you
Motivation is what gets you started! If you stay consistently motivated to eat right and work out, it will become second nature to you. The great feeling after working out, always motivates myself for the next time and of course reaching my goals. It is very important to set realistic goals, because it always helps you to stay motivated and completing that goal.
6. Motivate others
I always do my best to be focused while working out with my team and try to push everyone through. My team mates and friends are also very interesting in my daily routines living a healthy lifestyle, so I often give them some personal tips and advices.
7. Dedicate yourself
I do conditioning as well as strength exercises and always try to do a mix of different workouts. But I personally love running, because it’s the easiest workout you can do everywhere and gives me so much good energy. Stretching is very important and I always try to add it to my daily workouts, especially after my strength exercises to keep my muscles flexible, strong and healthy.
8. Exercise regularly
I have dance practice with my team twice a week and every second weekend we perform at games. Besides Cheer Dancing I try to work out 3-4x per week. My favourite workouts are running and simple body weight exercises.
9. Reflect yourself before comp days
Competition/performances schedules are always tough. There is not much time between the games during the season (only 1 or 2 weeks). So learning a whole new choreography can be very stressful. I personally prepare myself watching practice videos at home to see what improvements I can make.
10. Don’t forget YOUR personal basics!
1. I eat breakfast every morning.
3. I always prepare my meals.
4. I avoid industrially produced sugar.
Get your best performance ready by remembering the 10 habits of athlete and dancer Dana!
Don't forget to check out Dana's feed on Instagram: dana.do.it