Movement Artist and
Certified Personal Trainer
Torre (she/they) holds a BA in Dance and has worked professionally as a dancer, actor, deviser, and actor combatant. Besides the usual dance pedigree (ballet, modern, jazz, tap, contact improv, etc.) they have trained in Commedia Dell'Arte, acrobatics, tumbling, aerial arts, stage combat, and even attended a pro wrestling intensive. Basically: if it's performative movement, they've probably done it at least once.
Off-stage, Torre fell in love with strength training and functional fitness both as a compliment to their performance work and as an antidote to hours spent in front of studio mirrors. They have centered their movement practice around strength training and are a much better performer for it - and along the way they have competed in powerlifting and obstacle course racing, and in 2020 received their personal training certification from the American College of Exercise.
I spent much of my early dance and performance training trying to make my body smaller, because that's what I was constantly told - by teachers, classmates, and dance media - was needed for me to be successful in this field. Hours in the dance studio followed by endless cardio and crunches left me with a number of injuries and an eating disorder than took a decade to heal.
What changed everything for me was discovering strength training - and I don't mean the pilates- and barre-class "toning" cross-training that I know you've all seen and done. I started lifting heavy, first on my own to run a Tough Mudder race, and then at a small powerlifting-focus gym where I soon joined the competitive team. Focusing on putting more weight on the bar, producing more power, and, most importantly, using my body to move something external to me, as opposed to always focusing on what my body itself looked like, produced incredible results both physically and mentally. I am happier and healthier than I've ever been, but I also am a better performer in every way. Partnering work, both as a base and flyer, is easier; I am quicker to pick up new movement styles because I am only learning specific skills instead of also developing the body control for them; I don't get injured nearly as often (and when I do, the rebound time is incredible); and old injuries that had plagued me for years have all but disappeared.
I'm not saying strength training is the magic bullet for physical performers. But if it's something you're not currently doing, I challenge you to add it to your movement practice, and I would be delighted to be the one to guide you into that world.