Performance Playbook: The Training

Performance Playbook: The Training

Being a performer with a day job takes some serious work. In my quest to become a professional performer I’ve been stepping up my performance training to around 3 hours a day. Surprisingly, this isn’t enough. I would like to be clocking in at around 30 hours a week. To do this, I’m now pushing my training up to two times a day.

Training is hard, rewarding, fun, and wild work. I’m constantly coming up with new ways to push my body while making sure I’m eating correctly. Here’s some of the workouts I incorporate into my weekly routines:

Capacity and Desire Fire Dancing

Fire Dancing:

I’m trying to push a different kind of fire dancing than what you might see at most fire events. I’m actively dancing and moving while I spin fire. I’ve seen so many fire spinners out there that spin while they stand in place. Fire dancing can be so much more than that. I learned this when I started having to move with my double swords. Fire swords are a static tool (unlike poi which are on chains and have the ability to keep moving even though the dancer might be standing still). To look halfway decent with the swords, I have to create some really dynamic movements. These movements have spilled over into my Poi and Staff dancing.

Weights:

I really admire slim, feminine-looking, male performers (think Wildchild World). They have very sexual-looks to their characters… which is something that I feel that I have been lacking. For the longest time, I’ve been trying to slim down to get myself in a place where I might be able to imitate their looks.  Recently, I’ve realized that I have a very different body type than they do. I have a body that likes to put on muscle and then slim down. More of a powerful, masculine look (like the performers at Zen Arts). To play on this strength, I upped the poundage on my free weights and started the two days on, one day off weightlifting routine.

Aerial and Tumbling:

I practice aerial once a week on Wednesdays at Emerald City Trapeze. This has been great and I have many of the fundamentals of Aerial fabrics down. I’m leaving for the Firebird Rising Showcase in LA and Apogaea in Denver in two weeks. When I get back to Seattle after my travels, I plan  on purchasing an open gym membership at the Aerial studio and stepping up my practicing to at least 3 times a week. This should give me the ability to perform Aerial fabrics in front of an audience by September.

I took some tumbling classes at the studio. This gave me the basics of tumbling and I have been incorporating the movements I learned into my weights and dancing routines. I hope to be doing handstands and hand balancing by the end of the summer.

Dance:

On the days that I’m not lifting weights, I’m practicing dance. YouTube has been helping me learn the basics of Ballet. 3 weeks in and my range of movement has already increased. I’ve been getting some comments that my dancing is more on-point than it has been in the past. I plan on taking some classes with the Massive Monkees here soon. To keep this fun, I make sure to go out dancing at least once a week at some of the local shows. StageMe has been helping me widen my range of pop-and-lock movements. I get a ton of cardio out of the dancing that I do. I try and hit up the stilts once every month or so, just to keep on point for the big shows.

The hardest part of getting into professional-performance-shape for me has been the diet. I have had to learn how to eat healthy. Definitely not something that I’m used to and still something that I’m working on daily. It’s a fight, but I’m getting used to it.

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