It was lockdown that created the opportunity for Company Dancer, Alice, to lean into her passion for fitness and launch Fitness for Dancers. We talk to Alice about keeping fit as a dancer, her specialism in this area and how she hopes to support professional dance artists with their fitness through the classes.
Hey Alice, tell us about your interest in fitness and how Fitness for Dancers first came about?
I’ve been passionate about fitness for many years. This interest grew when I moved to London for professional dance training. It was then I began feel the benefits of having my own fitness and training regime in place designed to support my needs as a dancer, especially in relation to performance output and injury prevention.
The first lockdown created the opportunity for me to lean into my passion for fitness further. When everything stopped due to Covid, I got certified in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training. Once qualified, I wanted to reach out and share my learnings with others. This inspired me to set up Fitness for Dancers on Zoom.
The class is now in person and part of Chameleon’s professional dance programme, which is great!
What makes a Fitness for Dancers class different from other classes?
My Fitness for Dancers classes are tailored specifically around the needs of dancers, integrating traditional fitness aspects with other aspects like balance and proprioception. Fitness for Dancers is a mix of exercises from a range of different approaches, which is what we need as performers.
What are the key different elements that make up fitness as a dancer?
Stamina, power and endurance are the three of the key elements we need as performers. These are the three principles, which underpin the structure of each of my classes.
What is the most challenging thing about keeping fit as a dancer?
Many dancers are freelancers and the “stop and go” periods of time can be very difficult to navigate. My hope is that these classes help dancers find the consistency they need to maintain a high level of fitness, so they can perform and show up as an artist.
What does your fitness regime look like?
Personally, I like going to the gym 3/4 times a week to do my strength and cardio training. At the moment, I plan this in with the rehearsal and performance schedule at Company Chameleon.
One of the fears of professional dancers is getting injured! How does fitness help dancers prevent injury?
Several studies indicate that dancers have muscular imbalances, which place them at higher risk of injuries especially in the lower extremities.
Working on improving general strength and endurance with regimes that aren’t “dance related” is a great way to build balance in the body, prevent injuries and facilitate a long-lasting career.
Tell us about your Fitness for Dancers class at Chameleon and how and why dancers should come along?
Fitness for Dancers is running twice a week, Monday and Wednesday from 9.25 to 9.55. It is a great way to get warm before class or simply kickstart the day! Every session focuses on different fitness aspects, and every exercise is explained and coached by me. Ultimately, I’d love for people to be able to take everything they need from this session, so they can implement and feel supported in their professional practice.
If you’re a professional dancer in the Greater Manchester area, why not join Alice for Fitness for Dancers at our home studio in Openshaw. Classes are free and you can book a place here.
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Thank you to everyone who comes to watch us perform and for all your wonderful comments and feedback!