• Harris Bell Athlete Ambassador

    ballet dancer fitness strength

    Harris is a ballet dancer with the Royal Ballet in London. He talks to Sundried about his passion and his journey.

    How did you first get into ballet?

    My grandma took me to my first ballet as a child which must have sparked something, as at the age of 8 I started dancing at a family friend's ballet school near my village. It started more as dancing for fun but once I tried a male solo with some big jumps, I knew this was going to be something fun to chase and it snowballed from there.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    I've had a few moments I could consider, but I'd have to say I'm most proud of where I am now. To be part of the Royal Ballet has been a goal from the moment I knew it existed, and to be here giving as much as I can to this craft sparks more pride than any specific moment.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Setbacks are always going to be hard to swallow, but once you step back and get some perspective you can navigate a route around it that can actually create improvement, so I wouldn't count it as a setback. Take a step back, look at the reality of the situation and figure out how you can use that situation as a springboard to success in areas that it doesn't affect. Refocus your efforts and set short term goals to get through it in high spirits.

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

    Practise confidence and self affirmation every day. Like a muscle, train your self belief to be so strong that nothing can touch you or shake you from your place of absolute self belief. Another one I've stuck to is that you get out what you put in. Do more than is expected of you and great things can only come of that.

    What are your goals?

    My goals are to be the best I can, in whatever I do. That goal will never be reached but the further it is, the further I have to stretch myself. Whether it's my work, hobbies or relationships with family and friends, I want to maximise potential in all areas. Have fun in all I do and find a good balance to be deeply happy.

    Who inspires you?

    I'm so grateful to be surrounded by some of the most incredible dancers in the world every day. I'm lucky enough to call them my colleagues and friends but the people around me are constant inspiration, you just have to look around to realise the culture of skill and obsessiveness that is the Royal Ballet.

    Why work with Sundried?

    What first sparked my interest with Sundried was reading about their values and aims to maximise sustainability in their clothes. That's so important right now, and to be part of a team that has solid ethics as well as making some awesome active wear makes perfect sense to me. As a professional dancer and hobby-cyclist, to train in such well made gear is a treat.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Q&A With Dancer Lucie Palfreyman

    Lucie Palfreyman Sundried

    Lucie Palfreyman uses fitness to further her career. As a professional dancer, it is essential she exercises regularly, focusing on flexibility and endurance. When choreography gets intense, Lucie tells Sundried how her training complements her sport. 

    How do you use dance to keep fit?

    Whilst rehearsing and dancing in shows I keep fit just through the intense choreography and usually long rehearsal days. Between dance contracts I maintain my fitness through attending advanced dance classes and also doing my own workouts.

    Sundried Breithorn Bra

    Do you do any other training outside of dance?

    Outside of dance, I enjoy jogging outdoors and practising my Pilates at home. I also love to attend Bikram Hot Yoga when I can find the time.

    What are your fitness goals?

    My fitness goals are always to push my own strength and flexibility. I am constantly working on my weaker areas. Every dancer has a stronger/more flexible leg and I am trying to even myself out. Cardio is very important for dancers too as some shows can be very physically demanding.

    Sundried activewear stretching

    Where do you find your training motivation/inspiration?

    I have looked up to certain dancers and choreographers since I started my training at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance in 2005. Also, whenever I work on dance contracts with new dancers, I take their strengths and can be very inspired to apply this to my own practice.

    How did you find the Sundried activewear?

    I was extremely pleased with my Sundried products, the quality of the garments is of a very high standard. I particularly love the women's leggings, they are the most comfortable leggings I have ever trained in! The material is very soft and easy to stretch in and I like the height of the waist. The sports bra is also very comfortable and I have been complimented on it every time I have worn it.

    What advice would you give our readers to stay in shape?

    My advice would be to maintain a healthy diet alongside exercise and to always drink lots and lots of water! The body is the most important thing we have and it is vital to look after it. Finding exercise that is enjoyable too is very important. Exercise should be fun and not a chore!

    Sundried logo tights


    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Jade Parker Dancer

    dancer model Sundried

    Jade is a dancer who is passionate about her line of work. She talks to Sundried about training and motivation.

    How do you use dance to keep fit?

    Dance is a full body workout and is great cardio. It helps with balance and co-ordination and is also a lot of fun.

    Do you do any other training outside of dance?

    Yes, I go to the gym. I like weight training, HIIT classes and just going for long runs. I try to vary my workouts to keep myself motivated

    What are your fitness goals?

    To maintain a strong and healthy body while improving on my own fitness and endurance.

    Where do you find your training motivation/inspiration?

    In my line of work, appearance is quite important so I am aware I need to keep in shape but luckily it's something I have always enjoyed doing. I know that the healthier I am, the more my dancing will improve so this acts as great motivation.

    What advice would you give our readers to stay in shape? 

    Find something you enjoy, whether that's an activity, sport, class, or exercise. It will be so much easier if you enjoy it and have fun while working out.

    Do you follow a specific nutrition plan and if so, what/when do you eat?

    I do eat mostly healthy foods but I don’t limit myself to anything; if i want a slice of pizza I will definitely have that slice. I live by the motto 'everything in moderation'.  

    What do you like about Sundried and what's your favourite bit of our kit?

    I love that the activewear is eco-friendly and is just trying to leave our planet in better shape than we found it. It's also high performing and will push you to your limit. My favourite piece so far is the Sundried Solaro women’s leggings, they are high waisted and cinching in all the right places.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Deanna Humphreys Fitness Instructor

    Deanna Humphreys Fitness Instructor

    Deanna is a keen dancer and entered the fitness industry to complement her dancing. She talks to Sundried about life as a fitness instructor.

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

    I have taken part in the Tough Mudder event, one of the most challenging but fun sport events I have been able to take part in. I love to challenge myself and push my body so my next challenge will be to do the 24-hour 3 Peaks Challenge in the UK this coming July.

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

    I have always been into sports from a very young age. I was a part of the netball and rounders team in school and always performed in high school dance shows. I continued my love for dance through to college and university and I'm still loving it today. I began my career in fitness in 2016 because I wanted it to help me with my dance career after I graduated, so I could stay fit and keep moving. I love being physical and being in the fitness industry and the dance industry is really a dream. I am still improving and I want to become a very versatile Fitness Instructor. I teach many gym classes where I work and I look to combine both dance and fitness. I teach Les Mills BodyBalance which combines Yoga, Pilates Tai Chi and Dance, and I have recently become an instructor in Animal Flow which is movement training designed from many disciplines of Parkour, Hand Balancing and Yoga.

    What are your training goals now?

    My current training goals are to improve my inner/core strength and mainly just to be happy and healthy, both physically and mentally.

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

    Try things that are out of your comfort zone! It really helps confidence and makes you try things you thought you couldn't do.

    Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?

    I wish I had the willpower to stick to a nutrition plan.

    What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?

    Keep reminding them of why they started and what their goals are.

    Talk us through your training regime.

    I am currently working on overall strength. I generally do a lot of cardio as I cycle to and from work and teach a lot of spin classes. I make sure I spend at least 3 days a week working on compound exercises and 2 days on Movement Training which incorporates primal movement patterns, balance/stability, dance and yoga.

    How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

    Instagram.. Doesn't everyone nowadays? and I also like to read fitness blogs.

    What are your top 3 trainer tips?

    1. Always challenge yourself.
    2. Mix things up - try different training techniques.
    3. Do things that make you happy - don't make staying fit and healthy a chore.

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

    It has to be chocolate, specifically plain Dairy Milk

    Why work with Sundried?

    I am 100% for a healthy body and healthy mind and live to help people feel good and be happy physically and mentally. I had heard of Sundried's ethical ethos and loved the fact that their newest range is made from 100% recycled materials. Sundried are a positive company towards a healthy world and environment. I believe that the environment is a major factor in our health and well-being from bad pollution causing diseases and illness and even how our environment looks can take affect on our emotional/mental well-being. Working with Sundried, I know i will be helping towards the environment and also spreading the awareness of what 'fast fashion' is doing to our world and how it affects the people in it.

    Favourite fitness quote:

    "If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you!"

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Amy Kerr Personal Trainer

    Amy Kerr Personal Trainer Sundried Running

    Amy is a keen dancer who has turned her hand to personal training so that she can share her wisdom with others. She is a very vibrant and bubbly character with lots of passion and energy to pass on to her clients.

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

    I began ballet and jazz classes at the age of three. Dance is my biggest passion in life so when I began training professionally after leaving school I also started to hit the gym to become as strong and fit as possible. It’s important for dancers to do other forms of exercise to support our training, to prevent injury, and create balance in our training. Soon I realised that I was as equally interested in general fitness as I was in dance, especially in posture and movement efficiency. I wanted to learn more, so I decided to become a PT so that I could use my new knowledge along with my dance background to train and educate others!

    What are your training goals now?

    My goal is to sign up for a 5k run and beat my personal best of finishing in 24 minutes. Finishing in 20 minutes would be amazing! As a dancer, I work in short bursts of energy so now I'm focusing more on building stamina and endurance. Currently, my weekly training looks like this: 2/3 dance technique classes, 1 yoga session, 1 upper body session and 1 lower body session (these are usually HIIT sessions). I also try to include some LISS cardio and core on one day. I also stretch every day. So I mix it up a lot! When it comes to training for the 5k, I will start to put my focus on the LISS to build aerobic stamina, and include HIIT sprints to improve speed. I prefer to run outdoors for the extra challenge.

    If you could only give your clients one exercise, what would it be?

    It would be Salsa dancing! It’s cardio, it challenges your balance and coordination, and it tones the waist like nothing else... plus the music is amazing and you can do it with a friend which is twice the fun. 

    How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

    It’s crucial to keep my knowledge up to date, which I do by meeting other PTs for coffee and sharing training tips. Reading is vital, so I make sure I brush up on any newly published research. Recently I got my hands on a set of DVDs introducing the basics of bio-mechanics, so that will be my next topic of interest. 

    What are your top 3 trainer tips?

    1. Don't just warm up by doing 5 minutes on the treadmill... you need to mobilise every part of the body and activate the muscles you plan to train. Not only will this highlight any aches and pains (so you can adjust accordingly to avoid injury), but a good warm up will get you in the right head space to push your limits in the rest of the session. 
    2. No time to train? Every little helps! I have been known to squat with my full washing basket as a weight and even do single-leg balances whilst I brush my teeth! Adding these little daily habits is a great way to fit in exercise when time is short. My New Year’s Resolution was to stop taking the escalator in tube stations... so every day is leg day now!
    3. Pack your training bag the night before so there are no excuses the next day when you are searching for reasons not to train. If it helps, pack an outfit you feel amazing in, so that you look forward to putting it on and kicking butt.

    Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?

    I tend not to overthink this unless I'm working towards a specific goal. Generally, I think the rule of eating healthy 80% of the time, and enjoying a treat the other 20% keeps things on track and allows for variety and most importantly, enjoyment! I don't cut any food groups except for dairy (personal choice to replace it with almond or coconut substitutes, which has improved my skin and energy levels, but not something I push everyone to do). My meat intake is minimal, again just through personal choice. Importantly, I always try to buy organic/free range where possible, to ensure the quality and ethical production of my food.  

    What do you do to keep your clients motivated?

    I motivate my clients by finding out about their taste in music and putting together a killer playlist to listen to while working out. It makes such a difference psychologically, and it can provide a steady tempo during exercise too. I'm also not afraid to jump in and do an exercise with my clients if the energy is lagging, maybe create a little competition! My clients have become accustomed to receiving a mid-week message to boost motivation and provide some training tips so that their energy doesn't drop mid-week. I also like to work with progress pictures as they are a great visual reminder of how far the client has come, and how far they could go. 

    What would future you, tell yourself when you were starting out?

    Future me would tell the young, newly qualified PT Amy that she should cut back on the coffee before sessions, so she doesn't scare clients with all the excess energy! She might also mention that it’s important to keep track of reps! Apologies to any client who ever did 50 instead of 15 because I lost count! I've learned, I promise...

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

    I am part of 20% of the world's population who will never get wisdom teeth. I'm told by trusted sources that I really don't need to feel jealous? 

    Why work with Sundried?

    Because I believe that positivity creates positivity. So an activewear brand that is ethical AND stylish... well that's pretty positive. Imagine the good karma when you work out in those leggings!

    Favourite fitness quote

    "You don't get the ass you want by sitting on it".

    Amy Kerr Fitness Model Personal Trainer Sundried
    Posted by Alexandra Parren