July 30, 2020

The past few months has tested the dance industry. Currently most studios are closed, competitions have been cancelled, and it has been difficult for students to take lessons from their coaches. In general, our world has been put on pause and no one is quite sure when the equilibrium will be re-established. 

However, just because things are currently at a stand-still does not mean that dancers have stopped trying to improve themselves. Many competitive couples and dancers have managed to establish a quarantine routine that allows them to stay in shape, so that when the dance floor opens back up, they are prepared. AIDA Dance USA was able to check in on a few of these dancers to see how they have stepped-up their fitness game. Let’s see what they have been up to! 


First up is Klaudia Petriti:


1.) What kind of exercise do you do outside of dancing?

“I do a lot of resistance training and I also love to run.”


 2.) How have your exercise habits changed since the pandemic? 

“I’ve always loved to workout in the past but since quarantine started, I got more serious about training. I use to go to the gym maybe twice a week in the past and now I workout 5-6 days a week. I realize how important it is to do another form of training to be in peak condition for competitions and for my own sense of well being!”


3.) Do you have any advice for dancers who want to start working out, but are not sure where to start? 

“Absolutely! If you don’t want to spend money on a program right away, YouTube has so many workouts available. I also use an app called SWEAT by Kayla for any ladies looking for a fast and productive workouts. Recently, I invested in an online coach for nutrition and training as I believe both are super important. If you do some research online, you can find lots of great coaches that can help you on your fitness journey!”


4.) Are you teaching fitness anywhere? If so, could you provide any details.

“I do not teach fitness but I would be more than happy to help if anyone needs some advice! Just reach out to me on Facebook or Instagram.”


Next are Artem and Ginny Ray Shiller:


1.) What kind of exercise do you do outside of dancing?

“We run, do Insanity (cardio and plyometrics interval workout program by Beachbody) and I do some occasional yoga or Pilates.”


2.) How have your exercise habits changed since the pandemic? 

“Well, the running thing is new. We were doing Insanity, but we got inspired by Eugene and decided to give it a try. We realized that with life being less busy we needed to do something else to stay in shape. It started out with taking a several mile walk daily and then running, and then both. Now it's like "what else can we do to move around?" Artem completed a 10,000 pushup challenge in 20 days and has since outfitted the basement with more workout equiptment. I use the space to get some extra ab work in or stretch...it's slowly turning into an actual home gym. We've also been really paying attention to what we are putting into our bodies. When you're on the go and traveling all the time, that kinda gets pushed by the way-side, but without the busy-ness it can catch up with you quickly! Currently our kitchen is like a healthy restaurant and I'm the cook. I make a bunch of stuff for the week and label it by calorie amount and Artem will "order" his meals by how much fuel he needs for that day. It's a system I'm always tweaking for efficiency.”


3.) Do you have any advice for dancers who want to start working out, but are not sure where to start? 

“Just do something. Anything. There's so much out there as far as programs, videos, blogs...you name it...to help you get started. Plus if that doesn't work for ya, you're a dancer...do some extra basics with some ankle weights or something. Or call us! We'll keep you company while you work out!”


4.) Are you teaching fitness anywhere? If so, could you provide any details.

“No, but we have livestreamed our Insanity workouts a couple of times.”


Lastly is Andrea Harvey:

1.) What kind of exercise do you do outside of dancing?

I’ve always loved pilates or hot yoga for extra conditioning especially when my rehearsal/ performance schedule is busy! I do a lot of cardio as well; moderate weight training and sessions of muscle conditioning for specific areas at a time. For cardio, I’ve always been a fan of the elliptical machine as you can control the level of difficulty and it’s not heavy in the joints. When I was young in ballet we were always told not to run or cycle because it would bulk our legs in a way that wouldn’t be ideal for ballet. I do believe this is a weird myth passed around for too long. So helpfully, my family member, who has worked as a physical therapist and now sports Ortho, has always given me awesome fitness advice and encouraged me to cycle because it strengthens muscles to protect the knee and most certainly won’t bulk the legs in an unflattering way, especially when done as a way to boost the heart rate and at a level of intensity that is a challenge but not feeling extremely heavy."


2.) How have your exercise habits changed since the pandemic? 

Since all of our gyms were closed I also started to run/ jog during the pandemic. As I mentioned before, I was always told not to run as a ballet dancer, but my boyfriend & dance partner Craig helped me understand how great it is for our muscles and fat burning mode. At first, I’m pretty sure I looked like Kermit the frog with turned out feet running and I didn’t last for long sessions but I’ve grown to love it! I definitely would encourage dancers to jog now knowing and feeling of how helpful it is! In general for cardio, I will do 1 of 2 things: Power walk on a steep incline/ run at a 7 out of ten level of difficulty for as long as I feel that day (anywhere from 30-45 minutes). I’ll push myself at a 10 out of 10 level of difficulty for 4 minutes ( typical length of a cabaret routine) and give myself 2 minutes to recover and repeat several times since it is important for us to have a quick recovery period. Jump rope has also been a great way to get cardio work in for me which I haven’t done before and that probably kicks my butt the most! I also started doing ballet barre outside on our balcony (in the summer heat it’s a great way to sweat) and had continued and upped my mat pilates and muscle conditioning work. I’ve always been very conscious about what I eat as well, but since the pandemic we’ve been much better at taking time to plan our meals and cook extra healthily. For example, I love making shredded chicken in the crockpot and having leftovers so that when I’m tired and hungry the next day after working out, I don’t need to spend too much time making something. I love juicing as well! Putting as many green vegetables as possible with a little bit of ginger in the juicer is an awesome favor to do for your body! I eat a lot of salads with lean protein, healthy carbs and as many vegetables as I can!"


3.) Do you have any advice for dancers who want to start working out, but are not sure where to start?

Ask yourself what are your main goals? Endurance, stamina and fat burn? Try jogging, swimming, jump rope or HIIT you can find on YouTube or fitness apps. Stretching/ flexibility? Try pilates, yoga or ballet Body tone and strength? Try targeted area workouts or ballet! If you YouTube, access a fitness app, or follow your favorite athletes or fitness gurus on social you’ll be able to find area specific workouts. A large part of my online classes help with leg specific workouts, core stability and body alignment. More class types will be available soon!"


4.) Are you teaching fitness anywhere? If so, could you provide any details.

I am teaching online classes and the link to join is on my Facebook & Instagram bio, on related posts, and listed below! Currently I have two classes available: Basic ballet- basic barre class for dancers new to ballet or work professionally in other styles. A no stress but great workout class that feels like a pilates session! Perfectly Pointed- this class is targeted towards strengthening and flexibility of the feet as well as working correct muscles in the legs for creating a strong support and long, lean lines. I have other types of focus classes coming soon! Advanced ballet (High intensity and conditioning, great for a challenge) Stretch flow (Relaxing and detox stretch to target areas that are tight) Advanced stretch ( If you want to greatly improve your flexibility, this is for you!) Cabaret fitness ( high intensity cardio and muscle conditioning blend that is helpful for cabaret) I would love to hear from you, the reader on which classes sound most interesting or valuable to you and if you’d like to receive other types of classes from me! I can be found on my Facebook or Instagram @theandreaharvey. Clickhere to sign up!” 


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