Dancer Camilla Dallerup talks health...
Camilla Dallerup, aged 39, is a dancer - best known for her appearances on Strictly - and a fitness expert and entertainer. And here are her secrets of radiant, glowing good health... I started dancing when I was two. My mother took me to a dance school in our small town of Aalborg in Denmark; she thought it would be a fun way to learn to interact with other children. My little partner and I entered our first competition when I was six, doing ballroom and Latin. I discovered that I loved performing.
I realised early that as well as a strong body, you need a strong mind-set. I learned visualisation at 12, when I was Danish junior champion in Latin dancing. My coach told me to visualise the steps of a routine over and over. Theoretically, the body doesn’t distinguish between whether you are thinking or actually doing the movements. I was always slightly better when I returned to the studio.
I don’t feel nervous when I dance so when I took on Strictly Come Dancing (2004-8), I wanted to know what it was like to shake with nerves, as some of my celebrity partners did. So I challenged myself to do the scariest thing I could think of, which was singing. I took singing lessons for a year – it was really satisfying and empowering to do something so far out of my comfort zone. The singing lessons led to performing in pantomimes, which I love.
I discovered acupuncture when I had severe lower back pain on a trip to China in my 20s. I had always looked after my core strength with yoga and pilates but I was doing too many competitions and too much travelling. I didn’t give my body enough rest and my lower back got stuck. Acupuncture relieved the pain and helped my muscles relax so I could carry on dancing. I’ve had regular acupuncture ever since, to help keep my body and mind in harmony. I get an all-round feeling of wellbeing and increased energy. It also supports my immune system, so I don’t pick up infections.
Now, if I feel my back getting tight, I stretch my gluteal muscles more often and for longer. I sit upright on a chair and pull up each leg in turn, with the ankle on the opposite knee.
I found if I ate badly I couldn’t deliver or think well. So we [Camilla is married to actor Kevin Sacre] eat fresh, home-cooked food, with lots of vegetables and fruit. But I’m not extreme; I like chocolate and good coffee. Before the last panto season, I took a probiotic supplement, royal jelly with ginseng and guarana, and vitamin C.
I love taking our dog Sven for long walks – it frees up my body and soul.
For more information on acupuncture and qualified practitioners, visit www.introducingacupuncture.co.uk
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