We had the good fortune of connecting with Lindsay Janisse and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lindsay, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I have been dancing my entire life, with the last 13 years mostly performing on Broadway. A few years into my time here in NY, I discovered yoga and found the practice life saving – not only because of its ability to counter the physical demands of 8 shows a week, but because constantly returning to the mat and my breath mentally got me through an incredibly difficult period in my life. After years of solely practicing as a student, I had the opportunity to take my first teacher training. Discovering the gift of healing others through movement became a passion. Dancing and teaching yoga became my dual careers until the pandemic hit and both of my fields were decimated. That period gave me time to hone in on what I really wanted in my life; which is to facilitate health and wellness using the wide array of modalities I inhabit. In 2020 I gained further certifications in meditation, pilates and as a health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I dreamed of an affordable and accessible online wellness program that could provide meaningful change to those seeking physical, mental, and nutritional transformation. Steering away from a one-size-fits all approach is an essential part of GroundWell. I focus on embracing each individuals unique needs rather than trying to make someone fit into a mold that may not serve them completely. I believe everyone deserves to be well, and with my business I hope to reach a part of the population that might otherwise shy away from exorbitantly high price tags and intimidating expectations of what success looks like.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think what sets me apart is my versatility. My life has taken me down many different paths. Over time, I believe that the ability for adaptability has provided me with a unique perspective. I started out as an 18 year old fresh out of high school with a 4.0 GPA who decided to forgo college to pursue a career in dance. Not the most traditional choice, but I was young and hungry and just didn’t see where a formal education in dance would provide me with more instruction than the real life experience could. I still don’t regret that decision, and though I long for the documentation that a college degree provides I have spent my life continuously learning and garnering certifications in a myriad of disciplines.
I struggled for years in Los Angeles trying to succeed. And while I was blessed with incredible opportunities to dance for top of the industry choreographers, I never quite found my footing in the commercial dance arena. I had the opportunity to travel around the world and hone my craft, but I was always working some other job (or 3) to make ends meet. My big break arrived in the form of a Broadway show called “Wicked”. I was living in Las Vegas at the time, performing at a cabaret show, when I got the news that I had been selected to open the Los Angeles company of Wicked at the Pantages Theater. After a year learning the ropes of musical theater I was given the responsibility of dance captain for the Broadway company. Imagine my surprise (and quite honestly, sheer terror) when I showed up to the Gershwin Theater at 24 years old realizing I had agreed to essentially manage and be accountable for the choreography, cleanliness, new hires, and general upkeep of a show that I had up until that point simply been performing in and learning the basics of the structure as an assistant dance captain in Los Angeles. To say I was intimidated would be the understatement of the century. I call that period my Masters in Musical Theater. I may not have gone to university, but boy did I learn on my feet.
My time in New York as a dancer has been incredibly fruitful. I have performed on Broadway in 2 different shows over the past 13 years, worked on pre production for many up and coming productions, gotten to play in film and television, and have toured the US in both “Wicked” and “Rock of Ages”. Though the original Broadway show has remained elusive to me, for a young girl who didn’t know how to phonate when she first began theater, I am proud of what I have accomplished.
I discovered yoga in 2012 after a particularly damaging divorce. This discovery would lead to a new passion for movement beyond dance, and a new approach to how I live my life. Through yoga and its accompanying studies I have learned about compassion for self, the importance of the present moment, how to get the attention off of one’s self, and how to expand one’s scope of living to envelope so much more than the finite monotony of our day to day tasks. Yoga blew my mind and my heart wide open. It is through this practice that I have tempered many storms.
The pandemic decimated both of my industries. In a day, March 13, 2020 to be exact, both of my means of living were indefinitely postponed. And while the yoga industry was able to pivot to the virtual medium, live theater was gone (and is only just now returning). I had the time to reassess what I wanted from my life. I still love to dance and will always do so, and teaching is a passion that will always provide more room to grow. But I was burnt out. I had been working in overdrive and felt that this time of stillness was an opportunity to expand my horizons.
Over the “break” I got certified in meditation under the tutelage of Joni Pollard, pilates through the Kane School at Kinected NYC, and became a health and wellness coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. With the help of an incredible team I created GroundWell; an affordable and accessible online wellness program that facilitates meaningful change to those seeking physical, mental, and nutritional transformation. I created my dream occupation. One that would allow me to facilitate ease and well being to those in need while still practicing a craft that I love and am passionate about.
In the short time that GroundWell has been in business, I have already seen the incredible way in which it can impact someone’s life. My goal is to bring balance to people’s lives through coaching and through movement. To clear a pathway towards building health and wellness into one’s unique lifestyle by putting the power into their hands. Through tangible tools, accountable action plans and small discoveries that lead to transformation, I hope to create meaningful change with the goal of a sustainable lifestyle rooted in happiness and well being.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My favorite spots in the city, in no particular order, are:
Central Park (especially the north side of the park, The North Woods and The Conservatory Garden)
Riverside Park (especially from 95th down to 83rd)
For a view – Top of the Rock or The Edge
Get lost in the West Village
Museum of Natural History
John’s of Bleecker (Best Pizza)
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout goes to Benjamin Goodman. He was my best friend, my fiance, and the love of my life. A week after I launched GroundWell, he passed away suddenly. I could not have created this business without his unconditional support and encouragement. His belief in me was unlike anything I have ever experienced, and to be the recipient of such fierce loyalty was a gift I will never take for granted.
Instagram: @groundwell_ @lindsayjanisse
Linkedin: GroundWell LLC
James Jin Photography Anisha Spice Travis Taber Photography