Exclusive Interview with Student-Athlete Dalis Connell

Many young women hold one shared priority: to go above and beyond in any task she should undertake. Each one does so inspired by the sometimes frightening, often thrilling anticipation of asserting herself in the real world; meeting new challenges and opportunities with both fervor and perseverance. These girls can be labeled as a “go-getters”: the ones who love discovering new talents and abilities within themselves, followed by the urge to apply these in an effort to succeed. It’s a revolution that is spreading quickly throughout the girls of this generation, and will undoubtedly result in the most successful wave of women in human history. These young ladies are the future, but that perspective can be so easily lost in the chaotic period of post-adolescence. With this in mind, Girlish Writings has decided to highlight a nineteen-year-old student who can be viewed as a prime example of just what talent, determination and a great sense of work ethic can result in.

Meet Dalis Connell: a student, athlete, motivator, and innovator. After living with her mother in Southern California, Dalis moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee when she was 16 and is now a track star for Tennessee Tech University, admitted on an athletic scholarship and a sterling reputation. If there is one way to describe Dalis, it is passionate: she has taken her focus of study in Pre-Physical Therapy and Personal Training to the highest degree through her athletic achievements, providing advice on diet and fitness, and a newfound career in modeling.  As an author of several fitness blogs, and with more than 23,000 followers on Twitter, Dalis not only vigorously pursues her own goals, but is also acting as a great inspiration for others. Another way that Dalis gives her time and energy toward a greater cause can be seen through her significant involvement with community service, as it gives her a great amount of satisfaction to enrich the lives of others. One thing is evident: Dalis has an insatiable thirst for success and tangible results. Girlish Writings had the pleasure of discussing her views on personal fitness and the modeling industry, how she has gotten to where she is today, and all the incentives that have helped push her along the way.

 Girlish Writings: How long have you been modeling? Describe your history, the process and the steps you took to get there.
Dalis Connell: I have been a model since May 2011. I have always wanted to be a model, so I found a local photographer who could start off my portfolio and it went up from there! It really helps if you have connections, so thankfully the photographer I worked with loved me so much and hooked me up with a lot of them!

GW: What is it about modeling and staying fit that you love? Describe this in the best detail possible, so a person who has never modeled before can fully understand why it's so great.
DC: Every girl loves feeling pretty, and both of those do that for me! Staying fit and eating healthy make me feel pretty on the inside, and modeling makes me feel pretty on the outside!  

GW: How do you feel when you’re in the middle of doing a photo shoot?
DC: Toward the middle is when I completely open up and start to become myself, so it’s probably when I’m feeling my best and having the most fun!

GW: What is the biggest obstacle when pursuing a career in modeling?
DC: Competition and staying confident. Obviously there are a ton of gorgeous models out there, so it’s a super competitive field! If I don’t get a job, I can’t let myself get down about it.

GW: If a person wants to become a model what’s the best advice you can give them?
DC: HAVE PATIENCE. It takes a while to get your name out there and get more work, so you can’t get too down on yourself if you’re not getting a lot of work at first. And also, have confidence. When you’re confident, the photographer can tell, and the pictures turn out way better. First step, find a local photographer and get pictures done for your portfolio!

GW: What is the most important thing every aspiring model should know about the world?