While dancing in itself is an intense workout, keeping the body in peak physical form with regular gym sessions is integral to a dancer’s training and career. At Queensland Ballet Academy, we’re fortunate to work with former Principal Dancer turned Personal Trainer of 17 years, Tony Lewis. Every week, Tony works with our male students in the Academy’s purpose-built gym.
“There’s been a big shift with strength training over the years, especially when I look back to when I was training. One of my friends found a bench and barbell on the side of the road, and we would find whatever was available to make it heavier. That was how we did weight training,” he laughs. “Through strength training, we reduce injury rates and build resilience, which is what I focus on primarily.”
Getting body conditioning advice and planning tailored for dancing is highly advantageous. Tony explains that since dancers are already so in tune with their bodies, they’ll know when something doesn’t feel right quickly.
“With dancers I need to be very aware why I’m giving them a particular exercise to do because they’re more likely to want to know why they should be doing it,” he explains. “There’s little things we try and look at to get just a bit extra out of them to fine-tune things – there’s both science and creativity behind it all.”
Also, if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t! Having a close relationship with a physiotherapist is so important in this field, which is why it’s important to have in-house physios working as part of our Academy and Company Performance Health Team.