How Chantel Aguirre Stays Healthy, Happy, and at Peace While on the Road With Shaping Sound
Chantel Aguirre is a member of Shaping Sound, a newlywed, and a former Dance Spirit cover girl. And if you happen to follow her on Instagram (which you obviously do, right?), you know that the ballerina-turned-contemporary-dancer seems to permanently rock the dreamy, ethereal glow of a well-rested goddess. How does she take care of herself, even while touring the country in Shaping Sound's newest show, After the Curtain? "My overall goal every day is finding balance," Aguirre says. "I try to fuel myself with all things pure—in foods, in the people I surround myself with, and in my overall mindset." Here are 11 more ways Aguirre keeps her mind and body at peace on the road.
She does what she loves with the people she loves...
"Being on tour is absurdly exciting, overwhelming, and invigorating," says Aguirre. "The fact that we are constantly surrounded by our best friends and our art, and that we're able to constantly share it—that in itself fuels me. The people I tour with and the time we get to share exploring the cities we're in is so special. I try to step out of myself daily and see the position I'm in, the things I'm blessed enough to do 'for work,' and it grounds me and astounds me."
...and one of those people is her husband!
"I am so grateful to travel and dance every night with my husband, Michael Keefe," Aguirre says. "Just saying that brings me joy, but experiencing it is surreal."
She helps people—and herself
"I feel that health and wellness can come from an overall mindset of peace, and when you give and promote love, you feel it in return," Aguirre says. "I've realized through this tour, even though I'm not out in the world voicing my opinions and views on a better way of treating others, that our show and the message behind it are doing those things. I've had so many fans message me or talk to me after the show about how the show moved them, how my character and her position changed them, and how they feel more empowered after experiencing our story. That means everything to me. That mends my aches and pains, and gives me the energy to do five shows in a row."
She celebrates her tribe
"Every night after the show, we watch our performance on the tour bus," Aguirre says. "We change, construct, and celebrate the other dancers. Those moments are big for me. They make our story more united."
She's constantly researching healthy hot spots
"Kate Harpootlian, my husband, and I do extreme research on our tour bus rides en route to our next city," Aguirre says. "We find the healthiest cafes, the places that brew up great almond milk matchas, and the best hot yoga classes."
She follows a mostly animal-cruelty–free lifestyle—but doesn't drive herself crazy with it
"I mainly eat vegan, with some fish here and there, so finding good, healthy food on the road is a priority," says Aguirre. "I'm not insanely strict because of all the traveling, and sometimes all I can find is something with a bit of dairy or fish, so I let it be. All in balance, right?"
She keeps healthy snacks on standby
"I always travel with RX Bars that have minimal ingredients and natural, organic dried mangos," she says. "And matcha is my mate! I'm in love with all things matcha. It's a great alternative to coffee, with so many health benefits. It's made from the highest quality green tea, and it's rich in antioxidants. Pretty powerful stuff!"
She loves hot yoga
"Hot yoga is my favorite way to reorganize my body and mind," Aguirre says. "It's a safe space to challenge my flexibility and focus. If I take a class on a show day, I still feel warm, centered, and grounded before our stage warmup. My favorite classes are at Core Power Yoga—I love the C2 Vinyasa Flow class. By the end of class, you're in a puddle of sweat and you feel so clear."
She's into the little details that make a big difference
"Candles are huge—I light them everywhere we go," she says. "Candles change the overall vibe and ambiance as soon as they're lit. I also travel with the matchbooks we gave out at our wedding that say, 'The Best Is Yet To Come.' Every time I light a candle, my mind lights up with the most beautiful memories of that day."
She travels with essential oils and Harry Potter
"I'm an essential oil addict," she says. "I love DoTerra essential oils and use them to remedy everything. I'm a firm believer in using natural products to ease aches and illnesses. I even put my oils in my evening or morning baths. If there's a tub, I'm in it—and I'm reading in it! My favorite books to escape into are the Harry Potter series, but I also love books on enlightenment, health, and healing. I'm currently reading Tell the Truth, Let the Peace Fall Where it May by Bryan Reeves."
She prioritizes exploration
"Exploring is my other passion besides dance," Aguirre says. "I love seeing new places, sights, and hidden gems. Michael and I love walking around, finding little shops and vintage stores, and adding little things to our memories. It makes me more whole."
Getting corrections from our dance instructors is how we grow, and as students, it's important that we do our best to apply every correction right away. But sometimes—whether it's because we're in physical pain, or have a lot on our minds, or are just not paying attention—those corrections don't sink in. And from a teacher's standpoint, giving the same corrections time and time again gets old very fast. Here are 10 important corrections dance teachers are tired of giving. Take them to heart!
Summer intensive auditions can be nerve-racking. A panel of directors is watching your every move, and you're not even sure if you can be seen among the hundreds of other dancers in the room. We asked five summer intensive directors for their input on how dancers can make a positive impression—and even be remembered next year.
We always love a good halftime performance. And we LIVE for halftime performances involving talented kids. (Fingers and toes crossed that Justin Timberlake follows Missy Elliott's lead and invites some fabulous littles to share his Super Bowl stage.)
So obviously, our hearts completely melted for 5-year-old Tavaris Jones. Tavaris may have just started kindergarten, but during Monday night's game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, the Detroit native danced with the panache of a veteran pro at halftime.
The coolest place she's ever performed:
I'd have to say the Super Bowl. The field was so cool, and Katy Perry was right there. And there were so many eyes—definitely the most eyes I've ever performed for!
Something she's constantly working on:
My feet. I'm flat-footed, so I'm always hearing, 'Point your toes!' And I'm like, 'I am!'
My hair! That, and a pair of leggings with a T-shirt or tank top.
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
For a long time, I was the strongest dancer at my studio. But this year there's a new girl in my class who's very talented, and my teacher's attention has definitely shifted to her. I'm trying not to feel jealous or discouraged, but it seems like my whole dance world has changed. Help!
In the dance world, Mandy Moore has long been a go-to name, but in 2017, the success of her choreography for La La Land made the rest of the world stop and take notice. After whirlwind seasons as choreographer and producer on both "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance," she capped off the year with two Emmy Award nominations—and her first win. Dance Magazine caught up with her to find out how she's balancing all of her dance projects.
Marzia Memoli may be the Martha Graham Dance Company's newest dancer, but her classical lines and easy grace are already turning heads. Originally from Palermo, Italy, Memoli started studying at age 16 at the Academy of Teatro Carcano in Milan. Later, she attended the Rudra Béjart School in Lausanne, Switzerland, before heading to NYC in 2016 to join MGDC. This month, she'll perform The Rite of Spring in the Martha Graham Studio Series in NYC, and tour with the company in Florida. Read on for the dirt.