Khandi Alexander: Choreographing Her Career One Step At A Time

khandi alexanderBefore starring in CSI: Miami and HBO’s gritty drama hit, The Corner and it critically-acclaimed post-Hurricane Katrina drama Treme, actress Khandi Alexander began her career as a dancer on Broadway. She also appeared in the original Tony Award-winning Broadway production of Dreamgirls. What are her fitness secrets?

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Alexander started out on stage, as a dancer. She wanted to act, but she was concerned about her prospects. “I never saw a consistent through line of employment for black actresses,” she explains. “I was like, ‘How are they supporting themselves?’” But she found an example in actress Diana Sands. “I knew that she worked consistently in theater and occasionally had great roles in film and TV,” Alexander tells Als. “But I saw her consistency in theater, so that’s where I really focused.”

In between doing Broadway shows, Khandi forged a four-year-long creative collaboration with the multi-platinum songstress Whitney Houston. Their association culminated in Khandi choreographing Houston’s successful “I’m Your Baby Tonight” international concert tour. Khandi Alexander also served as choreographer for the 1992 American Music Awards.

Khandi’s no-nonsense flair, coupled with her fantastic build, helps make her a force to be reckoned with onscreen. She attributes her slim frame to always being in dancer shape.

Although it may not come easy, follow these three steps to be dancer-ready:

Do Cardio 4-5 Times A Week

You need to be a healthy body weight. If you aren’t already there, regular cardio can help. Doing cardio develops long, lean muscles. Even if you are at a healthy bodyweight, cardio is great for your heart.

Eat To Dance

The other component is making sure that your diet is healthy. Make sure that the majority of your diet consists of fresh foods and whole grains. Avoid processed foods, as well as empty calories and excess sodium.

Strength Train 

If you want to be lean and toned like a dancer, strength training should be on your radar.

To stay lean, use light weights and high repetitions. Keep in mind though, that lifting heavy has a…