After a year abroad, Maya moved to NYC to pursue her dance career. After choreographing a dance for a few friends as a fun weekend activity, Maya realized she was onto something. With her patience for teaching beginners, she quickly began teaching a weekly beginner dance class, something she thought NYC lacked. She wanted to create a safe environment for those who used to dance or want to learn while getting a work out in. After a few months, Maya developed a dance fitness class and now teaches her class "Maya Moves: To Sweat".
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Maya Sank, I’m a professional dancer/choreographer and the founder of Maya Moves, easy beginner dance classes for all ages. I’ve been a dancer and performer since a young age and have always dreamed of turning my passion into my career. In 2016, I received my BFA in Dance & Choreography from Elon University, and went on to live in Jerusalem, Israel for a year to train with Vertigo Dance Company. I moved into NYC in July of 2018 with a plan to dance. I knew I had the unique talent of being able to turn anyone into a dancer, and it wasn’t long before a few one-off classes with friends turned into a full-fledged business. Maya Moves has now developed into a weekly dance fitness class, as well as teaching private lessons, choreographing first wedding dances and hosting birthday parties/events. I love bringing dance to people and seeing their faces light up as they impress themselves by the end of class! In addition to running my own business, I currently teach dance to kids across three different schools in Manhattan. With the help of social media, I’ve been able to develop a full-fledged brand for myself and showcase my choreography to a huge audience.
What does balance mean to you?
Balance to me means making sure you do something you love every day. I think living in NYC constantly demands the maximum amount of your energy, but having something to look forward to every day helps me stay balanced. I’m a dreamer with too many ideas, so for me, I feel balanced when I’m organized and prioritizing the steps I need to take to reach my goals!
What three things define balance for you and how do you achieve them?
1. Prioritizing work vs. a break- I usually make a schedule for myself each day. Because I work for myself and rely heavily on social media, I find myself working as soon as I wake up until I go to sleep. I make sure to take a break during the day and to turn off “work mode” by 9 pm. If I feel like I have to work later than that, I’ll add it to my to-do list for the next day.
2. Eating healthy vs. treating yourself- I’ve always naturally loved eating salads and can live off fruit, so luckily, staying healthy isn’t a problem for me. That being said, sometimes my eating habits can be like that of a child and know that my main vice is candy. I always keep in mind that my body is my biggest tool and make sure to always maintain a healthy balance!
3. Change of scenery- I’m a huge advocate for taking a break from your usual routine. I’m lucky enough to have parents that live an hour outside of NYC in the suburbs, so I often go home for weekends to spend time with them (do my laundry) and see the trees! I always come back feeling more organized and motivated.
What advice do you have for someone struggling to find work/life balance?
Prioritize your life as much as you prioritize your work. Set boundaries on yourself but don’t limit yourself. Set reminders, make lists, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Do you have any go-to resources or rituals that help you find balance?
I like to use the walks to and from the subway to call my parents and grandparents! It’s important to stay connected to the most important people in your life, and I like to make that a part of my routine!
Now let’s have some fun, what are some random things we don’t know about you?
I was on the Ellen show in spring 2018: she saw me dancing in the audience and gave me a few minutes of airtime! I was also invited to watch the entire show from the Skybox! My parents didn’t realize my name is theirs combined (Mark+Yael=Maya) and I see dance choreography in my head any time I hear music
To learn more about Maya follow @maya.moves on Instagram and workout with her here!