Ukrainian model, actress, and dancer Anastasiia Kirilik is now living in Miami where she runs her multiple social media platforms and has become a star on Instagram and YouTube. Much of her social media success can be attributed to her passion for dance, exercise, and living a healthy lifestyle. She was inspired to create a free 30 Day Shuffle Dance workout series on her Youtube channel that really took off.
Ana has been dancing since she was four, and working as a model since her teenage years in Ukraine, Germany, France, Los Angeles, and Miami.
Nowadays her career is still on the top and we could see her this month landing the cover of L’OFFICIEL magazine.
She also plays piano, sings, acts, and paints. She attributes her many talents to her mom, who taught her to be a hard worker.
Anastasiia earned an acting degree from Theatre University in Kiev and an acting and dancing diploma from the University in Toulouse, France. She won a grant as an extraordinary talent, which gave her the opportunity to study in France and participate in the international youth project representing Ukraine.
Kirilik broke into the world of film acting with the feature “Die Vermessung der Welt,” which brought Ana to Berlin where she was invited to work at one of the leading film production and distribution companies. While there, Ana learned German — the fifth language she speaks — and worked on the Oscar-winning project “The Artist” as well as other high-profile projects, working with many award-winning actors.
Even though she found early success as an actress, she did not neglect her other talents. She studied modern art at the studio of Jiri Georg Dokoupil, for example, and recorded an EP as a singer.
“My mother taught me to believe in myself. I was never afraid to go for something that I wanted. I did have doubts at times, but I always knew it was better to try to do something than to never know if I could do it.”
After relocating to Los Angeles for a year where she took an acting class at the Stella Adler studio, Anastasiia moved to Miami to pursue an acting opportunity in a TV pilot with Burt Reynolds. It was filmed at the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre in Jupiter, Florida.
You have a very body-positive image on your social media. Have you always felt that way about your body? Thank you very much. And definitely not. I lacked a lot of confidence when I was growing up. I didn’t think of myself as “pretty” probably until I was 21 years old. Growing up I was too busy with school, and music school, and then dance school… I had major self-esteem issues and now am very proud of how far I’ve come. Accepting and loving yourself is very important on the path of being happy every day. Once someone told me: “ One can love you only as much as you love yourself.” You attract what you feel you deserve. And I realized that I wanted more out of my life.
Very interesting. What advice would you give others who are struggling to love themselves? Look at it this way – you only have yourself. This is the body you were dealt. It is yours. Now you either make it work and learn to love it, or live hating yourself. The choice is yours. No one can make you feel bad about yourself, unless you give them the power to do so. Thus ultimately everything comes down to your own self. Here are the things I would recommend: Be kind and patient with yourself. Speak only good things to yourself. Even in your own head. Stop complaining. Choose to look at all things from a positive perspective. Spend time in front of the mirror studying your body – the more time you spend with your own self – the better you’ll know yourself. Look at yourself with love and give yourself compliments. Take your time making at least one thing a day that will make you feel good. Channel those positive feelings and make it your everyday normal.
Do you need to be in perfect shape in order to love yourself? I don’t think so at all. What is perfect? It is so relative. Perfect is to be in harmony. Yes, I believe that everyone should be healthy – meaning workout on a regular basis and keep a healthy diet. Drinking plenty of water is also very important. Besides that, there are no limits for perfection. People always tend to set goals for themselves. That is good, but with happiness that doesn’t work. “I will love myself when I lose 50 pounds” – that is an approach that doesn’t serve you. The better approach is: “I’m beautiful, I love myself. And because I love myself, I want to help myself to become a better version of myself. I’m recognizing the process and love myself even more for taking such good care of myself”. Do you see what I did there?
How often do you work out? That’s the question I probably get asked the most. I try to work out every day. For sure I do something active every day. If I get caught up with things and don’t have time for the gym or yoga, I will take a long walk in the evening, listening to affirmations. By the way, positive affirmations or “I am” affirmations are also a powerful tool to accept and love yourself. I have three of those on my playlist that I mix up and try to listen to every day. Usually, I go to the gym in the morning, and then try to do one more physical activity outdoors. Either it’s to ride a bike, have a dance session or just go for a walk. The following day I’d switch gym with yoga. So one day I’ll do cardio and a strength workout, the following day I will stretch. I used to hate yoga because I didn’t understand it. Now I see great benefits from it, both in my body, and my mind as well. I’m still trying to adopt a habit of meditating. So far yoga kind of does that for me.
What is a “healthy diet” to you? A healthy diet is eating plenty of vegetables and fruits. Drinking lots and lots of water. Never overeating. I personally follow an intuitive eating schedule. There are two types of hunger – physical hunger and emotional hunger. It’s important to recognize which one you’re experiencing.
Can you tell us more about intuitive eating? What makes it a diet? Of course. Intuitive eating is not a diet. It is an anti-diet. The concept is to get rid of ideas about what you should and shouldn’t eat and to make peace with food. The food you eat should taste good and make you feel good. You need to make your eating experience enjoyable, and you may find it takes less food to satisfy you. You have to listen to your body. You also learn to honor your feelings without using food. And this comes together with loving your body as it is and getting exercise, shifting the focus from losing weight to feeling energized, strong, and alive.
How did you get into shuffle dancing? I’ve been dancing since I was five years old. First, in the theatre of dance studying every possible style there is – ballroom, contemporary, jazz, flamenco, etc. I later became a dance teacher for children ages five to eleven and I studied contemporary dance in Toulouse, France. It wasn’t until I moved to Miami that I discovered shuffle dance and fell in love with a style of music that was very new to me, house music. My very first year in Miami I attempted to learn how to shuffle, but I couldn’t find any easy-to-follow tutorials online. I gave up because it was just very hard for me to understand how to move my body in that way. It wasn’t until three years later when I was going through a difficult time mentally and needed something to focus on. So I decided to give the shuffle another chance and learn tumbling in a gymnastic school. I think those two physically hard activities are what kept my spirits up during my difficult time. And because there were no available tutorials on youtube explaining various shuffle dance moves, I started making videos myself. That’s how my youtube channel started to grow because others found usefulness in my videos. Which in return made me very happy. There’s nothing like helping others, it’s the best.