After nearly a decade of dancing professionally, Stephanie Burg is using her own personal discovery to empower other women to reconnect with their bodies and develop a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. Stephanie fell in love with ballet at a young age, being drawn by its beauty, playfulness, and creative form. Her passion would fuel her ability to meet the rigorous training, discipline, and physical demands commonly placed on young dancers.
Similar to other sports, ballet has certain physical expectations for its performers, and the bar is set high. At age nine, Stephanie was asked to lose weight, planting a seed for an internal struggle of the mind and body that would continue to evolve as her career did. It was not until she took a break from the stage, after multiple injuries and periods of rehabilitation, that Stephanie began to realize the inner turmoil that had developed as a result of the daily demands placed on her body to perform.
Stephanie, Board Certified Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach, AADP, speaks candidly about years of insecurities, weight struggles, and pushing her body to its edge. Those close to her, her boyfriend at the time, now husband, often shared concern for Stephanie’s thin frame but she could only cling to the feelings that had been fostered for years, “not good enough”. Delivering countless performances, externally she portrayed the strength and poise expected of a seasoned ballerina.
While dancing for a company in Charleston, South Carolina, Stephanie sustained her first major injury in 2009, an ankle sprain resulting in surgery, months of physical therapy, a year off and unwanted periods of rest. She worked extremely hard to return to the stage and back to her pre-injury weight and shape through rigorous dieting and exercise. She pushed harder, through another ankle injury, and finally a neck injury that would leave her not only asking herself if she would dance again but whether she could perform normal daily tasks. Stephanie’s body was sounding the alarm and she now had no other choice but to listen.
After leaving the dance company and creating space from the dancing world, the physical and emotional healing process truly began for Stephanie. With help from a non-profit in New York, which focuses on career counseling for former dancers, she was able to discover new passions for food, cooking, and holistic nutrition. It was a liberating time of self-discovery and reconnection with her body, setting her on a new trajectory that would lead her to help other women looking for change through Stephanie Burg Coaching. Her clients, often motivated by weight loss, are introduced to the bigger picture, one broader than the numbers on a scale. She encourages her clients to:
- “Know thyself” and learn what your individual body needs in order to thrive.
- Trust the wisdom of your unique body.
- Realize that one woman’s food may be another woman’s poison.
- Understand how change fits into your unique life for sustainable shifts.
- Try an elimination diet, a powerful tool that can be eye opening in terms of your personal relationship with food and your body (Learn more about The Renewal Formula, Stephanie's signature elimination diet program here, the next round begins early February!)
- Join a supportive group of like-minded women in a group program, something Stephanie Burg Coaching offers, in order to gain support and accountability.
In addition to serving her clients, Stephanie is back in the studio, but this time dancing to a new beat. She performs, teaches adult classes, co-founded a modern dance company, and enjoys choreographing. Her identity as a dancer has evolved and is now one that embodies the beauty of the art both inside and out.
Join me (yes, I signed up!) and participate in The Body Renewal Challenge, a free 7-day mini-course designed to reconnect you to your body and leave you feeling renewed, rejuvenated and vibrant by week’s end. Learn more and register here. The Challenge begins Monday, January 11.
Stephanie Burg lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with her husband and is the founder of Stephanie Burg Coaching. She is Board Certified Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach, AADP, from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Stephanie enjoys spending time in nature, traveling the world, cooking with her husband, time with girlfriends, all things ballet and dance, live music, and sharing photos of her beloved cats on Instagram. She also enjoys connecting with fellow female entrepreneurs. To learn more about private coaching or to join a group, click here.
Featured image by Corey Tenold Photography; Dance images by Richard Calmes.