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Janelle Issis: So You Think You Can Dance Contestant Recommends Juice Plus+ for Dancers

For Janelle Issis, belly dancing isn’t something that she does. It is part and parcel of who she is.

“It’s a huge part of my culture. From the age of four, I was learning how to roll, learning to control my isolations, absorbing the technique involved--the diversity of movement, the musicality.”

Janelle went on to study jazz and tap, and eventually expanded her dance repertoire to include Hip Hop, Jazz and Modern at the University of Alabama under the direction of Professor Cornelius Carter of Alvin Ailey. But according to Janelle, belly dancing will always be “closest to my heart. It’s in my blood and I love it. It makes me feel so good.”

So when Janelle heard that So You Think You Can Dance was holding open auditions in Atlanta, there was no doubt in her mind—she knew she could dance. She was going to be a contestant! Janelle headed straight from her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama to the SYTYCD Season 9 audition on the stage of the famed Fox Theatre in Atlanta.

You can picture her face when she scored one of the treasured tickets to Las Vegas and the next level of competition. The judges had put her through with glowing praise: “Tremendous performance!” “Your love of this work certainly comes across.”  “You are a star.”

From that first audition, during the arduous weeks of competition, Janelle Issis proved herself again and again, to become one of the Top 20 Finalists on the wildly popular FOX reality dance show. And the confidence and celebrity she has taken away with her at the end of the day continue to open new doors and fuel new passions.

Janelle realized during the weeks of exhaustive rehearsals and strenuous competition that she had a message to share with her dance students, their parents, other athletes, and anyone who would listen:  “Nutrition is a big part of being able to perform at your peak, to perform with energy.”

Back in 2011, when Janelle had graduated from the University of Alabama, she’d earned a degree not only in Dance, but in Nutrition as well. “I knew I wanted a dance career, so I studied dance. And I studied nutrition because I felt that nutrition tied so well with dance. I had the dream to teach dancers and be able to help them with their nutrition, and I'm getting to live that a little bit now.”

Being “in the trenches” on So You Think You Can Dance has added the practical life experience she needed to bring a wealth of credibility to her message. She feels driven to share the good news that thoughtful, wholesome nutrition for dancers, athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and for people of all ages can mean the difference between simply marking time and making the most out of life.

“Live life to the plus: live your dreams, accomplish your goals, and feel and look healthy while you’re doing it! It’s important to feel strong and beautiful, and I think Juice Plus+ is definitely the way to fill you with what you need to follow your dreams and do what you love.”

Since her appearance on SYTYCD, Janelle reports that she has a lot of young people who come up to her to ask for advice. “The girls ask me, you know, ‘How can I dance like you?’ or ‘How can I feel good?’ With all of them--no matter what they ask me--I always say that nutrition is so important. You know it's going to make their skin look good, it's going to make them feel good.”

The natural, healthy skin that every girl wants is waiting in a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. As a performer, Janelle has come to terms with the fact that she is often judged on her outward appearance. Fortunately, she knows that health and wellness reveal their presence in the quality of our hair, our nails, and our teeth. Beauty that is “skin deep” may not be such a bad thing after all--if it has made its way there from a wellspring of health within.

Concerned teachers and parents also turn to Janelle for answers: "How can we make our kids eat healthier? How can we get our kids to where you are?" Janelle credits her family with her own good nutrition from the very beginning. (And just to be sure she was getting her fruits and vegetables, she remembers that her dad brought home Juice Plus+ Chewables when she was about seven.)

“I was already a healthy eater and an active person, and then adding Juice Plus+ to my life and learning more about it--what was in it, what it was doing for me, and obviously studying nutrition--I mean, it definitely was a catalyst for me to want to do more. I felt better so I was ready to take that extra class. I felt more alive. I think that feeling healthy and being able to do more made me a better dancer and pushed me further in my career.”

Beyond the bright lights of SYTYCD, Janelle has garnered a new sense of what it means to be a performer.  She still enjoys the stage, the cameras, and being the center of attention, but finds that “getting to teach kids about nutrition, getting to teach them a new style of dance that they've never had before, or getting to answer their question whatever it may be, that's the joy that I have now.”

With her life brimming over, what dreams does Janelle have for her future?

“I definitely see myself being a personal dance trainer and/or a huge convention hall dance trainer, but I want nutrition to be one of the biggest aspects of what I teach. I feel like it is such an important thing, and it's such a preventative thing that's going to help people for the rest of their lives to stay healthy. Ten years from today you’ll find me living my life to the plus--out there still teaching and preaching about nutrition and hoping that I can influence a lot of young lives, and a lot of old lives, to take a look and change their lifestyle for the better.”



Janelle Issis Belly Dance SYTYCD Season 9 Atlanta Auditions YouTube}

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