running treadmill gym

Holly is a professional musical theatre performer and dance teacher. She talks to Sundried about her fitness journey.

Please tell us about sporting events you have taken part in or have coming up.

I have a passion for all things dance and fitness. As a professional musical theatre performer I have worked in film, television & theatre, appearing in musicals in the West End, on tour around the UK and in Japan.

I regularly take part in charity running events and have ran the Manchester, East London & Blackpool Half Marathons. This year I ran the Lancaster Trimpell 20 miler in preparation for the Manchester Marathon, which was sadly postponed until next year. The Manchester Marathon will be my first marathon event!

Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?

My dance and fitness journey began at a very young age. I have always danced! It is my passion and it’s what I’ve been determined and fortunate enough to make into a 10 year career. My Granddad worked at my primary school, he was a teacher who specialised in sports and would teach after school dance and gymnastics classes, which I attended. He’d also encourage us to run 6 laps of the playing fields as part of his lunch time running club! I loved it. Both dance and fitness were instilled into me from a young age and have had a profound effect on my life. The discipline and healthy competitiveness (with myself & others) have helped me through my dance career and my Granddad’s passion for dance, fitness and teaching has been passed onto me!

What are your training goals now?

To train for the marathon next year!

Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn’t know about you:

I tried surfing for the first time this year - in Scarborough!

What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started dancing?

I wish I’d have been more aware of how having a career in the dance and theatre world will affect your ‘normal’ life. People tell you how hard it’ll be and how much training you’ll have to put in but nobody can really prepare you for the impact it’ll have on your personal life. It is an ‘all or nothing’ kind of industry and requires the same kind of commitment to your profession as that of an elite athlete. You may miss family and friends’ birthdays, weddings and decide to cancel or postpone holidays because you’re auditioning or rehearsing. It’s hard to prepare yourself for making those choices until you find yourself having to make them. It’s a different kind of commitment compared to the physical side of training every day, but I think it’s just as challenging.

Talk us through your training regime.

I currently keep myself fit by running about 3 times a week. I also maintain my body strength by attending Pilates classes with one of the fab instructors from the gym where I work. Recently I have done some online workouts with my personal trainer colleagues too. I teach 2 online dance fitness classes and an online ballet class, which help me stay in shape and keep my creative side active by choreographing and planning lessons.

How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

The personal trainers that I work with at Energie Fitness inspire me with their fitness knowledge and workout ideas and I read Runner’s World for running tips.

What are your top 3 dance teacher tips?

Have fun with your classes! If you have fun and enjoy yourself your dancers will too!

Think carefully about what music you use. I am a BIG music fan and enjoy using a variety of music styles for my classes. Really prepare this before the class, make sure the exercises fit and that there is something for everyone. Regularly keep in touch with your dancers. Whether that be through social media or email & texts. Make sure they are kept up to date with information about your classes but also make sure they know enough about you to feel engaged with you. Give them a bit of insight into what makes you you!

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Haha I love my food so that’s tricky. I really had to think about this. At the moment I love a tasty brunch so I’d probably say that. Eggs on toast, tomatoes, mushrooms and avocado, everything that makes up a yummy brunch. Either that or a roast dinner.

Why work with Sundried?

I’m so excited about the opportunity to work with Sundried. Sundried combines my love for fitness clothing and trying to look after the planet, so I was very keen to get involved. We share the same eco friendly values. I have consciously been shopping much more sustainably recently, trying to buy clothes made from recyclable or recycled materials, so I was very happy to discover Sundried’s EcoTech range.

Favourite fitness quote:

"We dance for laughter, We dance for tears, We dance for madness, We dance for fears, We dance for hopes, We dance for screams, We are the dancers, We create the dreams." - Albert Einstein