Volleyball is a tough and competitive sport, yet here comes Dennise Lazaro in her sweet and down-to-earth demeanor. It’s no surprise that this former Lady Eagle has amassed a huge following both in and out of the court.
She had been juggling both the sport and her Biology degree her entire college life, but now her eyes are set only on what she loves doing best. Having graduated two years ago from Ateneo De Manila Universtiy, 25-year-old Dennise is now working her way up from being a college volleyball star to becoming a pro.
Although her schedule this year is consumed by playing in commercial volleyball leagues, she also finds time to be on the other side of the court—commentating as a volleyball analyst for UAAP and NCAA.
All dressed up in basic denim for the shoot, Dennise shares that this laid-back ensemble is her go-to look, which further reveals a simple spirit. With her charming personality and legitimate skill, we’re excited to see what’s next for this talented athlete.
What made you want to be an athlete?
My parents made me try ballet when I was really young but I didn’t like it. I was introduced to volleyball by my mom and cousins—who happen to be volleyball players—and I ended up enjoying the sport. I would play volleyball with my cousins every summer, and it was not until I decided to join the varsity team at my school that my volleyball career developed.
What is it about volleyball that you love? Is it because it’s competitive?
Yes, it’s very competitive. And I love how it is a team sport, how there is sisterhood. I got to meet new friends and every time we would go on training, I got to learn new things and I got to improve myself—not just my skills but even my character. Starting from grade school and high school, I learned to manage my time because of volleyball, especially when I reached college.
Speaking of college, what was your course in Ateneo?
Biology. I went to medical school for one year then I’m on a leave of absence this year. It was challenging for me especially during the latter part of my college years since our trainings were twice a day. I had to really manage my time well. My focus was on my studies and volleyball. After class, I would go to the dorm and rest. No time for socializing [laughs].
What would you say is your biggest accomplishment so far, sports-wise?
I think every volleyball player here in the Philippines would aspire to be part of the national team to represent our country. I was able to join the team for the SEA games last 2015. But of course when I was in college, everybody wanted to win in the UAAP, and we managed to do so. Passion is what makes me get up in the morning.
Congratulations. Do you have any special skills or hobbies that people don’t know about?
I love shopping! [laughs]. I’m not good at shopping but I get excited when I’m in the mall and I have to go buy something.
Speaking of shopping, how does being an athlete affect your style?
Since my schedule is usually fast-paced, I like wearing clothes that are laid-back yet chic. There are times when I have to go from training to another place, so I have to change really quick.
H&M offers many basics pieces in their Divided line from casual dresses to tank tops.
Yes, they have really nice go-to pieces. For events, I try to keep up with current trends. I try different kinds of styles—sometimes I want to dress up girly or other times I want to be in my casual getup. It depends on my mood. [For Dennise’s style tips and more H&M Fashion Inspo, click here.]
So this store must be a playground for you! Every month, H&M offers a variety of collections– from dressy pieces to denims like what you wore in the shoot.
Yeah, their collections are great. They also have nice shoes and heels that are comfy. So when I go to the mall, it’s a must for me to visit H&M.
What are your tips to achieve a volleyball player’s toned butt and legs?
I always try to insert workouts during my day (even when it’s hectic). That’s the major thing that’s always on my schedule. In volleyball, you have to squat during the game, so your butt and legs are crucial. Try squats, jumps, and plyometrics!