By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
One of my favorite couples in the dance world made their return to Jake’s Take!
A lot of things have happened to So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD)’s Ryan and Ashleigh Di Lello, since they last visited the blog.
Ashleigh gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Sofia, and the couple entered a new phase in their professional careers by partnering with Movemynt (MYNT) to increase awareness about a healthy lifestyle.
In addition, they are preparing to create new workout plans for couples that want to get in shape and change their lives forever.
In this edition of Catching Up, the couple talked in-depth about their involvement in MYNT, whether or not they are going to compete in fitness competitions and shared their thoughts about the potential of an All-Star season of SYTYCD.
Jacob Elyachar: How have both of you grown professionally since the last time we talked?
Ryan Di Lello: Since the last time we talked, both Ashleigh and I have been doing more activities in the fitness realm. In fact, we helped launch a company called MYNT. It has been a huge undertaking for us. We got involved with MYNT last December and Ashleigh and I are so passionate about helping people change their bodies through health and fitness. We also are helping them take control of their lives and that is what MYNT is all about.
While almost all of our focus has been on MYNT, we are still dancing. I was an All-Star during this past season of SYTYCD. I danced the Argentine Tango with Tanisha and the Samba with Valerie. We also had the baby (laughs and points to his daughter on Ashleigh’s lap). That is also a big change in our personal lives, but MYNT has played a huge part in our professional careers right now.
We still continue to perform at least once a month and we are traveling and making appearances.
Ashleigh Di Lello: I have been doing fewer appearances because of the baby. But, I returned to the stage four weeks after she was born. (JE (jaw dropped): Wow!) It was a little crazy.
RDL: Everyone in the audience had that exact same reaction when the emcee of the show announced that Ashleigh came back from giving birth.
JE: Could you describe your partnership with MYNT to my readers?
RDL: MYNT is a company that gives people the opportunity to change their lives and win control over their health. It is a fitness movement, but we spell movemynt: M-Y-N-T. MYNT also stands for “my nutrition.” MYNT has a product line called CORE and the products are all natural and are completely free of artificial flavors and colors. It is also gluten-free and there are also no GMOs and that is very important to Ashleigh and I. We are very particular of what we put in our bodies and what we recommend to our fans.
During MYNT’s early stages, we had a connection to the company through a mutual friend, Olympic skeleton racer Noelle Pikus-Pace. She knew one of the founders of the company and they were looking for high-profiled athletes, to endorse and formulate the products. They knew how passionate we were about fitness, nutrition and our supplements. Everyone who knows us knows that Ashleigh and I travel with a suitcase of supplements!
We sat down with the MYNT leadership and we helped launch the company. The CORE products include a customized protein and detox that you can add to your protein shake. You could also add a fat burner or a pro-biotic to help with fat burning and digestion health. CORE also has a build product that can help people add lean muscle to their bodies, leading to a faster metabolism and removing fat.
We are also participating in the CORE Challenge! The company designed a weight loss challenge that people can do. All they have to do is join the challenge and the products come with it. For the price of the products, you get everything ranging from the nutritional guides to a discount on all of the products. If your readers are on Facebook, they check out the CORE Challenge group page! There are thousands of people in that community doing the challenge. People who have been participating in the challenge have literally changed their lives. If your readers want learn more they can visit our website: RyanandAshleigh.com
JE: What are some of the similarities and differences between MYNT and other fitness programs like P90X and INSANITY?
RDL: I think both P90X and INSANITY have done great things for a lot of people. But, the downside to those programs is that a lot of people quit them. Their programs are so intense and are such a drastic change for the average person that people can burn out in a couple of weeks. Once they burn out, they go back to their old habits.
The CORE Challenge is a more doable program. It is not something so hard that is scares people! It teaches you how to make small adjustments in your life and it is with those small adjustments over time that you see big results. That is why the CORE Challenge is so successful!
JE: Have both of you thought about competing in fitness competitions such as the WBFF and the IBFF? Why or why not?
RDL: We have flirted with the idea! We are not opposed to it. A lot of our fans have told us that we should compete and we might do so in the future.
ADL: If we decide to do it the good thing is we have the experience presenting ourselves on stage, so we wouldn’t have to get a trainer to teach us how to pose for competitions. Also, I have worn a lot of small dresses as a dancer…but this is even less clothing! (Laughs) I admire the women who compete; they are out on stage wearing their bikinis. I think this would be fun for us to do…because we are a very competitive couple. But, I would not be able to do it for a little while because I know we want to have some more children (looks down at her daughter).
JE: Both of you are currently developing a lot of fitness programs! Could you share some of them to my readers?
RDL: During our last interview, we talked about Power20 Fitness. It will be one of the programs offered. But, Ashleigh and I want people to have options for people. All this information will be at the new RyanandAshleigh.com. Up to now, our website has been the place where they can find our bios and photos from our past shows. The new RyanandAshleigh.com will be dedicated to fitness. Ashleigh is developing a program focused on losing the baby weight in 30 days and one of my programs is going to focus on how to maintain a six-pack for dads. We are also working on a fitness program for couples. All of the new programs are coming soon and will be featured on our website, including the CORE Challenge.
JE: While both of you have been so immersed in the fitness industry, have you thought about taking a break from dance?
RDL: I do not think we will ever take a break from dance! We will be dancing until we are forced to stop (hopefully around 80-years-old). Dancing is our passion and it brings so much joy and many opportunities into our lives. We have been able to build a brand through our talent of dance. I do not think that we will ever take a break from dancing. We might have moments (like Ashleigh’s pregnancy), where we have to slow down.
Even now, I will be traveling across the country in Alec Mazo and Edyta Sliwnska’s new show called Dancing Pros Live. We were both going to do the show, but Ashleigh could not because of the baby and we needed to have someone watch her. (Laughs) I will be out on tour with them starting in November and doing a few shows with them in February and Ashleigh might rejoin the company sometime in March or April.
JE: Ryan, you mentioned your return to “So You Think You Can Dance” after a two-year absence as an All-Star. What were the similarities and differences between your times as an All-Star?
RDL: I worked with three different girls during my time as an All-Star. Eliana Girard (Season Nine) was just amazing! She ended up sharing the title with Chehon Wespi-Tschopp. She was so sweet and I enjoyed working with her…. I can also say the same thing about Valerie and Tanisha who I worked with on season 11. I was very lucky to work with them. All of the SYTYCD alumni are amazing and I felt very blessed to work with those amazing girls. They were such hard workers and were very focused and very humble! All three routines were praised by the judges and were highlights for both seasons.
JE: Ashleigh, would ever consider returning to “SYTYCD” as an All-Star?
ADL: Absolutely! If they (the producers) asked me, I would be there! However, there have been so many great ballroom girls that have been on the show in the past, so the producers have a lot to choose from and it depends on heights, partnership matchups, etc.
RDL: I think there is a lot more competition with the ballroom girls. So, the producers have a lot more to choose from and they tend to choose some of the more recent ones. It is a lot harder to become a female ballroom All-Star, because there have been so many female ballroom dancers that have made it so far. There are not as many terrific guy ballroom dancers. Pasha (Kovalev from Season Three), Dmitry (Chaplin from Season Two, Benji (Schwimmer-winner of Season Two) and myself are the four male ballroom dancers that the producers look to the most because of our experience.
For me, I am a bigger guy and the producers know that I can partner with anyone they put me with. So, I probably have an edge with their selection process as well. For example, if you look at Twitch, not only is he phenomenal…he can also partner with any girl as well. Both of us have a similar build and I think that may be a factor in the producers’ decision on which male dancer to bring back as an All-Star.
JE: A lot of shows such as “Dancing with the Stars,” “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race” have had all-star seasons. Do you think “So You Think You Can Dance” should have an all-star season? Why or why not?
RDL: I do not know. The All-Stars season of Dancing with the Stars did not do very well. So, I do not know if it would be the same scenario as So You Think You Can Dance. It depends on the fans’ reaction. The upside of an All-Stars season is that it would be this new, cool approach to the show and create a lot of hype. But, I think the miracle of the show is the fact that it is taking people from small towns across America…who have a dream of being on television realizing their dreams and seeing their progress. I think that is the heart of the show, so if you have an All-Stars season, you would be taking away the heart.
ADL: If producers decide to do an All-Stars season, they have a diverse group of past contestants to choose from. Some of them moved on to make big names for themselves in the entertainment industry. I do not know how they would feel if they were an All-Star that made it to their respective season’s finale, but now they might go home first! (Laughs)
JE: As we wrap up our interview, I want to go back to MYNT. If either of you had the chance to meet with someone who wants to try MYNT or join the CORE Challenge, what advice would you share with them?
RDL: We are happy to talk to anybody that is interested! Like I said earlier in this interview, if anyone is interested in the program they can go to RyanandAshleigh.com. From there they can join the CORE Challenge, purchase the products or they can fill out a contact form and they can submit it if they have questions. We can actually contact them over the phone and share how they can get involved with MYNT. We will give them details on the CORE Challenge and answer all their questions.
ADL: Because I faced and overcame my illness, I became very passionate about health and fitness. Every time I talked to someone who wants to improve their personal health and fitness, I tell them: “Do it now!” Be proactive, instead of reactive! There is no time like the present to make improvements to your health. We have seen so many people take charge of their health, got the results that they wanted and felt more empowered to go out and do the activities that they always wanted to do! They also have been more involved in their family life! Instead of sitting down and watching TV, they are out of their houses and doing stuff together!
So, do it! It will change your life in more ways than you can imagine!