A lot of the UK and the wider audience may recognise Camilla Sacre-Dallerup from her dazzling days on Strictly Come Dancing. As a Holistic Wellness and Business Coach, her life has truly changed since then. In this interview, we look at how Camilla transitioned from being an athlete to the fierce leader she is today.
“The transition happened because of my fascination – or rather my obsession – with the power of the mind all the way through my years as an athlete and later on as a dance coach. I became more fascinated by how our mental state could have an impact on our mindset on competition day than dancing the actual steps!”
Camilla Sacre-Dallerup admits it wasn’t such a big transition because, in some ways, she’d already been teaching her dance students how to use a number of mindtools before she ended up doing it for a living, full-time.
“I’ve been self-employed since 2000; first working as a dance coach and then from 2009 as a life coach. I grew up in a family where both of my parents ran their own businesses and I studied business in Denmark, so I’d always been interested in running my own one day. In business – or dancing, or even in a family – when working in a team, it all comes down to good communication, really.”
Communication is key
As a dancer and having worked with a teammate for many years, a lot of her success relied on communicating effectively with her partner, and coupled with the power of the mind, these two things have enabled her to come full circle with her business.
“Now I am working in a space where I can share everything I’ve learnt through my own experiences and from working with others, too. During my time on Strictly when I was coaching, my partner and I would advise businesses on how to communicate and work together better through dancing, and now I’m using mind tools and mindfulness techniques!”
During her last year of doing Strictly Come Dancing, Camilla Sacre-Dallerup realised that none of the things that she had achieved – although great on an ego level – were going to change how she felt inside. “Without the spotlight on me, or the narrative of ‘Camilla the dancer’, I wanted to discover who I was at this time of my life in my mid-30s.” She realised she wanted to find out what she was passionate about and what lit her up, so she went on a journey into herself to discover what really made her happy. “Not the trophy, nor being a champion dancer, nor having a certain job title. I wanted to know what made me happy inside out. That was when I realised I was actually feeling empty inside and none of these ‘successes’ was going to fill that up. I was going to have to fill up that emptiness with self-worth and self-love – and that made me take that major leap in my life.”
Re-learning self-worth and self-love
She says: “A coach that walks the walk results in a client that walks the walk.” Her life as a professional dancer and working in entertainment herself: “doing live tv shows (which I still do) and interviews, learning how to deal with the press, learning how to be in front of the camera and an audience, and even using social media – means a lot of what I have learnt through my own life and experiences are direct things I can support my clients with.”
She feels very comfortable supporting clients like executive producers or actors, for example, because they are under pressure in a way that she has experienced herself.
“Likewise, on a personal level, having had good and bad experiences, from grief to heartache, has helped me become even more empathetic to support others better.”
She primarily works with high achievers, who often hold senior or executive positions and work in highly-pressured environments. A typical client may be experiencing stress and anxiety, or they may be lacking in confidence, or stuck in a rut: “I’ll work with a client to help them identify their true path and potential, often through spiritual guidance and connection, and my 7-System Mind Method”. As a mind business coach, she teaches her clients how to positively align their subconscious mind with their conscious path, breakthrough limiting beliefs and thought patterns and use practical tools to achieve their personal and professional goals. “My coaching is bespoke and unique to the individual – there’s no one-size-fits-all prescription!”
The impact of the pandemic
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, people who may have only considered practising self-care before the pandemic felt an even bigger urge to examine their own thoughts and go within to understand more about themselves. Even for those who were forced to stop working, it provided an opportunity to ask themselves how they wanted to run their lives going forward and ask questions like, ‘How do I want to go back into the world?’, ‘How do I want to feel?’ and ‘How do I want my schedule to look?’.
“People have really stepped up their self-care and self-awareness – building these into their schedules and looking within” Camilla Sacre-Dallerup admits “This pandemic has reminded so many of us that while there is nothing we can immediately do about those things that are out of our control, what we can do is go within and take control of the things that are within our control – how we run our lives, what we choose to focus on, how much time we take for ourselves and what our priorities are.”
Camilla’s three books
As the author of three books, Dream Believe Succeed, It’s Not You It’s Me and Reinvent Me, Camilla Sacre-Dallerup has learned that if you have a dream or a goal that you feel passionate about, start. Take one action at a time and just begin.
Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed by thinking about how to do the whole thing, whatever it is. “Trust me, when I was thinking about writing 60-80,000 words for my first book, I felt very overwhelmed! So I came back to the one thing I could do at that moment and that was simply to start.
Each day, I just wrote a little bit, whether that was 200 words or 100 words. I didn’t judge what I did, I just did the action of writing. And that ended up being three books!” Camilla’s advice is to do what you are passionate about, that’s usually the easiest thing to do. “For me, anything to do with the brain and the mind-body connection fascinates me, so I always want to absorb information about this and share it with others from a place of healing and helping. The books have also taught me that it is ok to feel differently now than how you did before. It’s ok to change!”
When she compares her first book to her third book, there might be some patterns and ways of thinking that she feels differently about now. “As human beings, we are always evolving and as Oprah says, when we know better, we do better. So, never be scared of changing your mind or opinion, or feeling differently about something.”
Lessons from writing
There has been so much to learn from each book Camilla has written and she shares with us a few take-homes from each book.
1. Dream Believe Succeed.
Whatever it is you are dreaming of, start taking action. Nothing will happen – even if you believe – without taking action but amazing things can happen even with small steps of action every single day! Do not underestimate the power of discipline and showing up even when you don’t feel like it. That was my biggest takeaway as an athlete because an athlete shows up even when they don’t want to. But they know the power of taking that small action – they know that even that half-an-hour rehearsal that didn’t feel good is still an action towards their goal.
2. Reinvent Me
When it comes to reinventing yourself is when you find yourself in a situation where you are feeling uncomfortable, or sad, or frustrated, or hurt, or lost, or stuck, it’s common to just want to push the feeling away. I’m saying, instead, listen to your body and your mind. Those uncomfortable feelings, whether you’ve fallen out of love with your job, or you’re feeling lost in your career or relationship, could actually be nudging you in a different direction. Allow yourself to feel them and allow them to guide you. You might be feeling stuck, for example, and allowing yourself to feel this, could help you take action towards following a new path.
3. For It’s Not You, It’s Me
We are all mirrors to each other and all relationships are mirrors to ourselves. When you improve your relationship with yourself, you ultimately improve your relationships with others and you choose relationships that are better for you. When you feel worthiness for yourself, you start to attract relationships into your life where they respect you and so forth. So, any change you want to see outside of yourself, starts within.
Photography credits: Kevin Sacre Photography.