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Jasmine Shannon, dancer for Kanye West, reveals her top fitness tips

When in doubt, dance it out! If you’re not someone who likes traditional forms of cardio, or if you’re looking to spice up your exercise regimen, then it’s time to challenge yourself to move your body to the beat like you never have before. Dancing can have tremendous benefits both physically and mentally, and has been proven to boost confidence, mood, and endorphins.

One particular professional dancer who knows this to be true is Jasmine Shannon, who has worked among the likes of Kanye West, Lil Nas X, OT Genasis, Snoop Dogg, French Montana, Rubi Rose, CeeLo Green and many more stars. Jasmine lives by a strict workout and wellness routine in order to perform at her highest level, and keep her stamina high.

For Jasmine, dancing is “definitely a release.” She exclusively tells GLAMOUR South Africa, “It allows me to express myself in a creative way.”

The talented and sought-after performer - who also hosts a podcast on female empowerment, The MND Show, with her mom Bianca Banks - encourages those who have never danced before to give it a go, especially now that some of us may have more time on our hands during lockdown.

Jasmine Shannon, Image: Supplied

In our light-hearted interview, Jasmine endorses live Zoom classes and one-on-one dance training, explains the various mental and physical health benefits of dancing, reflects on her time dancing for the NBA, and - in the wise words of Lady Gaga - reveals why it’s never too late to “just dance!”

How did you get started in the dance world?

I got started in the dance world by taking class at a young age in central Los Angeles! Once I took my first class, I knew it was going to be something I loved.

What are some of your career highlights, and the names you've worked with?

- BET AWARDS 2019 Performance- Lil Nas X & Billy Ray Cyrus

- Kanye West (I’ve danced for him many times)

- Jimmy Kimmel Live Halloween Special- 2019: Big Boi, CeeLo Green & Sleepy Brown

- Music Videos: Snoop Dogg, French Montana, Davido, OT Genasis, KCamp, Lexy Panterra, Rubi Rose

- Choreography- NBA Portland Trailblazers Dance Team

What is your current fitness regimen to stay in shape?

My current fitness regimen is running and weight training with my amazing trainer and dear friend, Malcolm Marable! I love hainge a trainer. It pushes me!

Why do you think dancing is the greatest workout?

Dancing is the greatest thing in the world because it's a way someone can tell a story with just movement. I think art is beautiful!

Do you feel like dance has mental health benefits too/can it be therapeutic?

I definitely feel that dance helps with mental health! For me, it's definitely a release and allows me to express myself in a creative way.

Do you have tips for how people can stay active during COVID through dance?

My tip I would give to people to stay active during the lockdown is to find classes that you really like and keep up with their schedules! Also, finding teachers that could give you private Zoom classes is a great way to stay active and grow in the skill! One-on-one training is a good push!

How do you practice wellness in your daily life?

In my daily life, I practice meditation, yoga and exploring new healthy snacks, especially because we are home so much more now!

Jasmine Shannon, Image: Supplied

When you were a dancer for a professional sports team, what was your exercise regimen like? How often did you workout and what was the process like to prep for those shows?

When I was dancing for the NBA, my exercise regimen was very intense! We practiced twice a week for 4 hours and I did hot yoga on my own time about 1-2x a week! With just games and practices, it was a lot of physical work, which means self-care was so important! We had 44-45 home games a year that we were performing at, so it was a huge commitment and a lot of time!

What's something you never skip in your workout?

Something I never skip is STRETCHING! Stretching in the beginning and end of your workout is essential to your workout. Stretching gets your muscles warm & can prevent long term injury! Stretching is EVERYTHING!

Best advice to someone who wants to start dancing, but may not feel confident or comfortable enough to start?

My advice to someone who wants to start dancing is that it's never too late! I started in the professional/commercial industry when I was 24! A lot of people start as young as 5 years old and home school for most of their life! Everyone's journey is different, so embrace that! It's never too late to follow your dreams!

This article was written by Sebestian Lagree

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