blogs Sat, 31 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0000 en hourly 1 Meet #SBFlyFlexFlow model Claire Finlay /blog/meet-sbflyflexflow-model-claire-finlay/ /blog/meet-sbflyflexflow-model-claire-finlay/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/meet-sbflyflexflow-model-claire-finlay/ In the second instalment of our #GetFit4Free Meet the Models series, Sweaty Betty speaks to Transition Zone founder Claire Finlay about her experience with the #SBFlyFlexFlow workout and how it translates to her own teaching… 

What and where do you teach? 

I run my own studio called the Transition Zone in Southwest London. We offer small group classes in TRX, Power Plate, Reformer Pilates Chair and Barre. 
What’s your favourite part of the Fly Flex Flow workout?

I really enjoy the warm-up. It’s a real workout in itself and definitely got every muscle fired up. The Fly section is also wonderful – it’s the perfect package of short intense bursts of high-energy drills to get your heartrate up quickly!  
What techniques in the workout are similar to your own classes or PT sessions?

I use many high-intensity bursts of exercises, just like the Fly section does. My Power Plate classes are probably the most challenging, including V-shape burpees, knee taps, vertical jumps and floor sprints. 

How do you fuel yourself on busy days like shoots or back-to-back classes? 

At the studio I am very lucky to have The Recovery Café on site, which provides me with all the fuel I need. Everything available is raw and superfood-based, so jam-packed full of potent energising ingredients. On really busy days, I tend to stick to our Super Green HIT or Protein HIT smoothies, which are perfect to grab and go. I am also a big fan of our hemp protein balls – again a great pick-me-up when you need a snack. 
Do you prefer indoor or outdoor training, and why? 

I am a lover of autumn and winter outdoor training. I love those cold crisp days for running. When I do go running, I always leave my headphones behind – this is my time to cut out distractions and get some headspace away from my to-do list. I also love to cycle outdoors – nothing beats Richmond Park when it’s just me, the deer and the early morning mist before the commuting crowd arrives. Being outdoors offers you a sense of escapism, fresh air and nature that indoor training can’t match! 

When contending with cold winter conditions, how do you prepare or stay motivated for your workouts?

If it’s early in the morning, I try to have something light to eat around 30 minutes before I set off. A banana usually does the trick. I always wrap up well, making sure my head, hands and neck are covered. Having a treat to look forward to at the end of my session also helps – a nice cup of coffee after a winter workout is all the motivation I need! 

If Sweaty Betty readers wish to supplement the 3 weekly GF4F workouts, what exercise would you recommend? 

I would recommend a strength-based discipline. Weights are great for bone density, changing body shape and gaining overall physical strength. TRX is one of the best all-round workouts available, and it’s a safe option because you rely only on your own bodyweight.  

New Year is a time to reflect on your ambitions and set new targets; what will you be working towards in 2015? 

My focus this year is on the Transition Zone. As a new studio (opened in 2014), we are doing really well and I want to continue to build on its reputation even further. My focus will also be on the Recovery Café, which is a really important part of the umbrella brand. Fitness and nutrition must go hand-in-hand. Watch out for workshops with lunch and supper clubs included! 

If Sweaty Betty followers want to see more of you, where can they find you?  

You can find me at the studio in Parsons Green. I’m a regular on the timetable. 

What was your favourite SS15 piece you wore during the shoot, and why? 

I really liked the Elite Seamless Run Top for its soft material and amazing shape. 

Next week's #GetFit4Free model: PT and British record-holding powerlifter Nicole Dash ]]>
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Tamara's sporting inspirations: Tamara Rojo /blog/tamaras-sporting-inspirations-tamara-rojo-/ /blog/tamaras-sporting-inspirations-tamara-rojo-/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Tamara /blog/tamaras-sporting-inspirations-tamara-rojo-/ To celebrate women in sport, this new blog series will highlight some of the amazing icons who inspire Sweaty Betty Creative Director Tamara Hill-Norton on a daily and seasonal basis. Sometimes it’s their spirit she channels during a workout. Sometimes it’s their essence she captures in the ethos behind a new collection. Always they’re exceptional at what they do. A role model for fitness enthusiasts and a benchmark for success in all areas of life. 

To launch the series, Sweaty Betty’s Tamara could think of no woman more fitting than Principal Dancer and Artistic Director of English National Ballet Tamara Rojo. Here she explains what makes this extraordinary ballerina stand out…  

She first grabbed my attention…  

“I remember when I first met Tamara. She had just been made Artistic Director in the first year that Sweaty Betty sponsored English National Ballet. I knew we’d made the right decision when she introduced herself, a fireball of energy in sky-high Louboutins, and instantly demonstrated a drive for perfection. Seeing her on stage the same year, I knew the emotional connection she achieves in performance was the result of untiring practice and dedication.” 

I was inspired… 

“I loved watching Tamara dance opposite Carlos Acosta in Romeo and Juliet. It was a beautiful contemporary take on a classical performance and it helped to keep ballet relevant in today’s dynamic creative environment. There was a particular moment after Juliet’s death when she is supposedly a corpse and Romeo dances with her body – it was the first scene in a ballet that brought me to tears. Although she appears weightless and effortlessly graceful, I was in awe of the strength and poise required to master such an illusion.” 

She rose to fame…  

“Honoured for her work and dedication, Tamara received the 2013 II Fundación Banco Santander Prize in the Spanish Embassy in London and was highly celebrated in the media. Despite finding success at a very young age, she’s become a tremendous icon for sport and the arts in both England and her home country of Spain.”  

She joins the Sweaty Betty dream team… 

“Not satisfied with the status quo, I respect how Tamara continues to challenge conventions in ballet and consistently shows a deep-seated passion for the art. As such, she shares Sweaty Betty’s values of ‘pushing boundaries’ and ‘loving what we do’.”

Shop the Sweaty Betty X English National Ballet Dance collection here]]>
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Honestly Healthy: Creamy Cashew Porridge for cardio /blog/honestly-healthy-creamy-cashew-porridge-for-cardio-/ /blog/honestly-healthy-creamy-cashew-porridge-for-cardio-/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/honestly-healthy-creamy-cashew-porridge-for-cardio-/ Following Honestly Healthy’s introduction to alkaline eating, this week founder Natasha Corrett invites you to fuel the Fly part of your Get Fit 4 Free workout with her Creamy Cashew Porridge...

Eating breakfast is one of the most important things you can do to set you up for the day. After a night of natural detoxification, your body is at its most acidic. Starting out with a cup of hot water and lemon to help alkalise the digestive system is a great way to stimulate a healthy metabolism. Follow that with a hearty breakfast packed with ingredients for slow release energy and you’ll notice a substantial boost during cardio workouts like Fly section of #SBFlyFlexFlow

I love the Creamy Cashew Porridge recipe because it takes no time at all and combines low GI oats with protein from cashew butter to help rebuild muscle tissue and accelerate post-workout recovery. You can also add extra seeds on top if you want a crunchy texture and powerful protein kick. 

If you’re a coffee drinker, the time to have your daily dose of caffeine is straight after your porridge. Drinking coffee on an empty stomach makes your blood sugar levels spike and can cause cravings throughout the day, but combining it with a slow release meal like porridge helps counteract that effect. 

Creamy Cashew Porridge 

Serves 2

90g gluten free oats 
25g grated apple
400ml almond or rice milk (option to split 50/50 with water)
1/8 tsp cinnamon 
1 heaped tbsp. cashew or seed butter

Garnish: pomegranate seeds

1. Mix the oats, grated apple, milk and cinnamon in a pan and put on a medium heat. Stir continuously for 3-4 minutes until the oats absorb the milk. 
2. Add the cashew butter and stir until the texture becomes creamy. 
3. Take off the heat and serve with pomegranate seeds. 

Remember to download your 'Fly' podcast here for the run interval segment of your Get Fit 4 Free workout. 
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Meet #SBFlyFlexFlow model Hollie Grant /blog/meet-sbflyflexflow-model-hollie-grant-/ /blog/meet-sbflyflexflow-model-hollie-grant-/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/meet-sbflyflexflow-model-hollie-grant-/ Annie Foulds show you all the moves of our exclusive new Get Fit 4 Free workout, we chose three of our top ambassadors to feature in the #SBFlyFlexFlow video. When you need a super-efficient home workout, this is the video to follow! To give you a little insight behind the scenes and demonstrate what it takes to be a Sweaty Betty Ambassador, we posed a few questions to each of our models. First up is Hollie Grant, founder of The Model Method and best known as the ‘Pilates PT’… 

What and where do you teach? 

I have my own gorgeous studio (PilatesPT) on New Kings Road in Fulham, specialising in Reformer Pilates and The Model Method. I created The Model Method to help those wishing to change their body shape, not just body size. It incorporates all the best features of Reformer Pilates, HIIT and weight training, and it is a really individual and results-driven process. There is a real emphasis on changing the perception that women should be thin and wispy – we push for strong women who will live longer without risk of illness and who focus on why they love their body rather than the things they dislike about it.  
What’s your favourite part of the Fly Flex Flow workout?

I love both the indoor and outdoor Fly sections. HIIT is huge at the moment, and for good reason! HIIT improves heart health, can help you live longer, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and absolutely blasts body fat! It's hard work but as you improve there is a real sense of achievement. 
What techniques in the workout are similar to your own classes or PT sessions?

The Model Method is all about HIIT! At PilatesPT we have hundreds of imaginative and fun ways to get your heart rate right up there, pushing your heart to grow stronger and encouraging the body to break down unhealthy fat in the body. In between cardio sets the Reformer machine tones the muscles to keep the metabolism boosted and create long lean muscles.

How do you fuel yourself on busy days like shoots or back-to-back classes? 

Before becoming a Pilates teacher I was an award winning pastry chef. I absolutely love food and cooking and take a lot of inspiration from my incredible client Ella Woodward of Deliciously Ella. She healed herself through diet and has created the most amazing recipes that nourish your body AND taste good. I often teach clients for 5-6 hours of back-to-back sessions, so I have to make sure I eat as healthily as possible to stay energised. I stay super organised by preparing lunches and snacks the night before and eat as many superfoods and supplements as possible. 
Do you prefer indoor or outdoor training, and why? 

Indoor. I’m a pretty fair weather exerciser, and indoor training removes that potential excuse – it never rains inside! I also prefer to use equipment such as the Reformer, power plate and weights, which are all a lot easier to incorporate in indoor workouts. But I do think it’s fantastic that portable pieces of equipment such as the TRX and resistance bands mean it's become a lot easier to train outdoors. 
When contending with cold winter conditions, how do you prepare or stay motivated for your workouts?

Dress appropriately! Wear layers so you have options once your body begins to warm up. The hardest time to motivate yourself is during winter when it's cold outside, but wearing sweat-wicking, warm and reflective clothing will take the edge off. 

If Sweaty Betty readers wish to supplement the 3 weekly GF4F workouts, what exercise would you recommend? 

It depends on your goals and personal reasons for taking part. If your objective is to lose weight and reduce body fat, I would add in a 3-4km run each week... that’s a run, not jog! Do it as fast as you can, trying to beat your PB each time! This way your metabolism stays high and your ability to break down stubborn body fat is increased. If your aim is to be more flexible, try to complement it with Power or Vinyasa yoga (both are slightly faster and more challenging practices). For improved musculature and tone, try Pilates (particularly Reformer) and weight training (with low reps and high weight to increase your strength). 

New Year is a time to reflect on your ambitions and set new targets; what will you be working towards in 2015? 

After a very busy year career wise, I will be trying to make time for my own training! I first got into fitness when training for charity events (7 marathons in 7 days and cycling John O'Groats to Lands End). I love pushing myself, but recently it has been difficult to fit in my own exercise! I will be strict, say no occasionally, and get my butt in gear!

If Sweaty Betty followers want to see more of you, where can they find you?  

I have a busy year planned but have managed to squeeze in a few special events, like instructing at the exclusive #SBFlyFlexFlow event in association with Sunday Times Style on 1 February at the top of the Shard. I also work regularly with Women’s Health magazine, so you’ll hopefully see more of me in there!

What was your favourite SS15 piece you wore during the shoot, and why? 

The Anusara Vest I wore was incredibly comfortable, kept me cool, and I love all the different colours it comes in! It summed up all my favourite things about Sweaty Betty – everything is not only super technical and comfortable, but also designed to make you feel amazing! 

Next week's #GetFit4Free model: Transition Zone founder Claire Finlay]]>
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Honestly Healthy's introduction to alkaline eating /blog/honestly-healthys-introduction-to-alkaline-eating/ /blog/honestly-healthys-introduction-to-alkaline-eating/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/honestly-healthys-introduction-to-alkaline-eating/ One of the biggest names in food blogging, Natasha Corrett of Honestly Healthy is on a mission to end fad diets and replace them with clear everyday lifestyle advice. In the first of four guest blogs as the new #GetFit4Free nutrition partner, Natasha explains exactly what her alkaline eating plan is all about… 

The ethos behind Honestly Healthy is to eat predominately alkaline foods, most of which are plant-based, to improve your health and reduce your risk of numerous diseases. Research has shown that cutting acid-forming foods like meat, dairy and refined sugar out of your daily food intake can have a direct influence on your health both in the present and well into the future. By taking action now, we can help to promote a long, healthy life and avoid the need to undo any damage down the line.    

Before discovering the theory of alkaline eating, I felt sluggish, bloated and moody. My skin looked dull and my nails were always flaky. But soon after I changed my diet, my energy levels and appearance improved dramatically.  Making these kinds of changes can be a little tricky at first, but I’m here to help you and with a little forward planning it doesn’t have to be as time-consuming as you might think. 

Plan your meals around what you are doing in your life, and around the activities that require you to feel nourished and supported. Are you going to do a big workout today? If so make sure that you are going to fuel it correctly. Understanding how the body uses food as fuel is the main part of supporting yourself so that you have lots of energy and feel fantastic. 

The first week is always the most challenging – especially if you eat red meat daily and tend to drink a lot of wine or caffeine. But once you get through that first hurdle, the benefit you’ll enjoy when you reach the other side is better health inside and out. It’s also important to incorporate balance in your life, so I’m a big advocate of the 70/30 rule. 70% of the time you follow the Honestly Healthy way, and the other 30% of the time you let your hair down and eat what you like. 

Of course, to be the healthiest version of yourself it’s also essential to get regular exercise into your life. Sweaty Betty’s new Fly Flex Flow workout is an amazing time-saver because it combines all your cardio, conditioning and flexibility training in a single one-hour workout – and doing it three times a week will make a wonderful difference to your wellbeing. To support your #GetFit4Free journey, I’ve created three recipes specifically designed to refill your energy stores and maximise your results. 

Honestly Healthy’s next post: Creamy Cashew Porridge recipe

Get involved with the Get Fit 4 Free campaign by taking a free class in-store or enjoying one of the online workout videos.
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Tamara's scrapbook: Inspired by feminine strength /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-inspired-by-feminine-strength-/ /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-inspired-by-feminine-strength-/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Tamara /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-inspired-by-feminine-strength-/ A month of hibernation for many, Tamara has defied the temptation of the sofa and enjoyed a very social, active start to the year. From collaborative workouts like the Elle Pilates event held across Sweaty Betty’s 40 UK stores, to unforgettable performances of Swan Lake by English National Ballet, and attempts to emulate that beauty in her local Barrecore class, Tamara fills us in on her inspirational January… 

Liaising with Elle 

Last week, Sweaty Betty and Elle magazine joined forces to host informative Pilates classes across all our stores. Together, Elle Editor Lorraine Candy and I set about spreading the word and planning enticing goodie bags for our guests. We also joined in on the action, spending an evening in the Kings Road boutique with Ambassador Hollie Grant teaching challenging core exercises that can be moderated to suit people at all stages in their training. 

Lorraine also hand-picked her favourite capsule collection from our new Spring Summer 2015 collection, which you can browse for yourself here

Tamara presents the Elle Pilates event with co-hosts Lorraine Candy and Amy Lawrenson from Elle magazine. Hollie (below) led the class at the Kings Road boutique. 

An evening of fine entertainment 

The following evening, I met up with more editors from top magazines to take in a performance of Swan Lake by English National Ballet. Many of them were former dancers themselves, but had since traded in their ballet slippers for heels or trainers. We spoke of how seeing the ballet reminded them of their youth and liberated their imaginations, while at the same time remarked on the incredible grace and power of principal dancer Tamara Rojo as Odette and her evil double Odile. 

Our most recent theme at Sweaty Betty has been all about the Power of Transformation and the real struggle that takes place in rehearsals and training. Having had some insight into the immense effort that goes into the ballerina’s movements, it was particularly inspiring to see how feminine and pretty Tamara looked on stage. Madison Keesler, our campaign model for the dance collection, also looked effortless. Not for one second did she show signs of back strain, when in reality she was straight off stage for an ice bath when the performance finished.   

The weekend after watching Swan Lake, Tamara saw this pair of white and black swans near her beach house in West Wittering. One of life's uncanny coincidences. 

Emulating English National Ballet

Wanting to channel the ballerina’s strength and grace, I couldn’t wait for my next Barrecore class. It’s one of my favourite workouts of the week because the atmosphere is friendly yet challenging, with only yourself to compete against and no need to psyche yourself up beforehand. While we were practising leg lifts, I recalled how Tamara Rojo had easily reached her toe out and up in a perfect arc. It was the ultimate example of ‘little by little’ training where you aim to progress just a small amount with every workout, building up to a semblance of the stunning strength displayed on stage at the ballet. 

Another reason I love Barrecore is the opportunity to wear beautiful, feminine clothes while working out. Whether it’s a full outfit from our Dance range or a mixing of layers with key Yoga Statement pieces, there’s a noticeable confidence boost that comes with looking amazing before and during your training. 

My favourite barre outfit from this season is the Adagio Dance Leggings with the Mukha Yoga Vest and the Flow Yoga Vest featuring the ‘You Give Me Butterflies’ slogan, which I tuck into the leggings. The seamless leggings are so supportive and the stirrups under your feet add lovely length to your body. Plus, I love the customised, edgy look of the Flow vest with its raw edges layered on top. Once I’m warmed up, I’ll wear the Mukha on its own because I can see all my muscles working. Of course, I always take my barre socks with the high-grip soles, too!  

Next week on the blog: In a brand new blog series, Tamara reflects on some of the female sporting icons who have inspired her throughout her career. Some of them seasonal muses and others a constant source of empowerment. Find out who sprung to mind first… 

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Meet Annie Foulds: The new #GetFit4Free instructor /blog/meet-annie-foulds-the-new-getfit4free-instructor-/ /blog/meet-annie-foulds-the-new-getfit4free-instructor-/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/meet-annie-foulds-the-new-getfit4free-instructor-/ Sweaty Betty boutique nearest you.  

Here to help you prepare for the #SBFlyFlexFlow workout is Annie Foulds, Sweaty Betty Ambassador and the brains behind this innovative new regime...

What is unique about the new Fly Flex Flow workout? 

There is something for everyone with the new workout – I love how varied it is. The Fly is super high energy and really challenges the cardiovascular system, while the functional elements of the Flex section build all-round strength for every sport and discipline. Finally, the Flow section is a fantastic stretch and breathing session to help you extend the benefits of your workout throughout the day and week. 

There’s even versatility within the workout, with the option to take the run outdoors or stay inside and work up a sweat with a cardiovascular routine. 
What were your top considerations when devising the workout? 

I wanted a full body workout that covered and worked the three most important aspects of fitness: cardio, strength and flexibility. Although I wanted to keep the intensity really high because Sweaty Betty customers are already very fit and knowledgeable,  the routine is also easy to follow so you don’t have to think too much about the moves.  
Is there one piece of advice or top tip you can share with participants to help them get the most from their workout?

Just remember that every workout is YOUR workout. Push yourself out of your comfort zone a little bit more every time, and remember that by cheating you are only cheating yourself. Technique is especially important in this workout as you’re often working multiple muscle groups at once, so concentrate on the muscles involved and you’ll definitely feel the benefits the next day!  

Do you have any advice specific to the outdoor segment of the workout?  

If you are running solo, please run in a safe, brightly lit area. Wear the appropriate clothing – waterproofs, hats, gloves and good trainers. Also, make sure you are wearing something bright or reflective, like the Hypo Glisten Top or Hi Viz Fleece Earwarmer

When it comes to the workout, make sure you’re running with a tight core but relaxed shoulders. This will help you stay light on your feet and avoid channelling any unnecessary tension through your body. Tensing your glutes will also help you take the loads off your hamstrings and generate more power.    
You champion ‘relaxation’ at the end of every workout. Why is the Flow part of the workout just as important as the Fly and Flex?  

I think it’s important to find balance in life – to work hard but get enough rest to enjoy your work, too. Too much activity can actually spike your cortisol levels (stress hormones) and lead to illness or injury, so the Flow section is a chance to recharge your batteries and return your body to a relaxed state of being. Concentrating on the breath is also a way to increase your mind-body awareness and better understand your happiness or dissatisfaction outside of your workout. 

As a runner, you know the importance of practising conditioning and strengthening exercises to protect the joints and improve performance. How do you personally stay fit to run? 

As an endurance runner, it is essential for me to have a strong and perfectly aligned body. Anything weak or out of sync will eventually lead to injury.  My weekly routine consists of the following. 

Monday: Run at least 10 miles. 60 jumps squats and 200 abdominal-based reps
Tuesday: Run 7 miles, including kicking and skipping. Finish with burpees, jump squats and abs
Wednesday: Run 7 miles, plus bodyweight conditioning - abs 200 -  full body conditioning - no weights
Thursday: Run 8 miles of intervals. 60 jump squats and 200 abdominal-based reps 
Friday: Rest day 
Saturday:  Zumba/HIIT session or 7-8 mile run
Sunday: Run 10+ miles 

My average total mileage for a normal week is 50 miles, building up to 70/80 ahead of a marathon. Core work is essential for everyone, but it’s especially crucial for runners because it keeps your frame strong and light. 

Is there one move from the workout that you always include in your training sessions? Why is it so effective/important? 

Burpees! I know, everyone hates burpees, but they’re so effective because they use every part of your body in one movement. 
What’s your response to women who are afraid to flex, for fear of gaining bulk? 

Please do not be afraid. Science shows that it’s very difficult to build huge muscles on a woman as we simply don’t produce the testosterone levels to gain serious bulk. In fact, women are more prone to osteoporosis and therefore should be extra-dedicated to weight-bearing exercise because it helps to promote bone strength. 

Annie wears the Half Zip Windbreaker and Motion Run Tights

Watch the #SBFlyFlexFlow preview video and find out more about how you can Get Fit 4 Free with Sweaty Betty this January. Plus, join the conversation on Twitter and never miss an update!]]>
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Behind the scenes with English National Ballet: Meet ballerina Madison Keesler /blog/behind-the-scenes-with-the-english-national-ballet-meet-ballerina-madison-keesler-/ /blog/behind-the-scenes-with-the-english-national-ballet-meet-ballerina-madison-keesler-/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/behind-the-scenes-with-the-english-national-ballet-meet-ballerina-madison-keesler-/ Swan Lake. The fantastic reviews so far demonstrate that dedicated practice really does result in a spectacular performance. Taking time out of her very busy schedule, Madison shares some behind-the-scenes insights into what ballet rehearsal really looks like…  

Madison wears the Arabeseque Dance Leotard, Coupe 3/4 Dance Leggings and Fierce Dance Sweat

What does your typical training day look like, from breakfast through to bedtime?

My day can change a lot depending on the time of the year, current repertoire, and whether or not there is a performance that day. At the moment we are doing Swan Lake at the London Coliseum, so a typical day might be class from 11:00 to 12:30, rehearsal from 2:00 to 5:00, and then the show from 7:30 to 10:30. A non-performance day might be class from 10:15 to 11:45 followed by rehearsals from 12:00 until 6:30 with one hour off for lunch. Either way, we certainly work long hours! 
How important is nutrition when you’re rehearsing? What snacks do you keep on hand to stay energised?

Nutrition is extremely important. My body is my tool and I must treat it well because my life and career depend on it. For snacks I like to have nuts, green smoothies and protein shakes. Another snack I enjoy is toasted grain or wholewheat bread with avocado. I couldn’t live without my avocados — they are so tasty and a great source of healthy fats!

What are you thinking about just before the curtain call for a big performance?

This can change dramatically depending on the type of role I am performing.  I usually try to think to myself: “one moment at a time”. Regardless of my role, my job is to bring the audience into another world. In order to be a great artist, one must try to be fully present while they’re creating, rehearsing or performing. If I can achieve this fully present state of mind, the result will always be honest and true – which is of course the most important aspect of life or art. 
Ballerinas are infamously hard on their bodies during training. What’s been your biggest personal injury or struggle as a dancer?

My biggest struggle over my past 7 years as a professional and my 11 years of training would be staying in a strong and healthy place mentally. Sure, I have dealt with many physical injuries, but being in a strong and healthy mindset is without a doubt the most important key to success. One must be confident, yet humble; sure, yet always questioning; grateful, yet always wanting more. Finding the balance can be hard to obtain at times, so I would say that finding consistent mental strength has been my biggest challenge.
What do you do to recover from the physical and mental exhaustion of a particularly challenging training day?

I make sure to drink a lot of water and eat a good meal. I’m also trying to focus more on getting a good night’s sleep. Scientists are understanding more and more about just how important sleep is for the body, as well as the brain. 
What physical or psychological tricks do you use to stay looking elegant and composed during performance?

I always come back to the breath. Anyone with experience in meditation knows how powerful a single breath can be. Whether I’m meditating alone in my room or on stage in the middle of a performance, being able to come back to the present moment through just a single breath is the best way for me to stay composed. Performing is the most amazing type of meditation there is – when I’m on stage, nothing else exists! 

Madison wears Vitality Dance Crop, Flaunt It Dance Vest, Adagio Dance Leggings and Barre Dance Shorts

Shop our Dance Statement range for beautiful rehearsal wear inspired by exclusive English National Ballet insights. ]]>
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On location with Sweaty Betty: How Gunnersbury Park set the scene for SS15 /blog/on-location-with-sweaty-betty-how-gunnersbury-park-set-the-scene-for-ss15/ /blog/on-location-with-sweaty-betty-how-gunnersbury-park-set-the-scene-for-ss15/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/on-location-with-sweaty-betty-how-gunnersbury-park-set-the-scene-for-ss15/ ‘Social Butterfly’ collection was the English garden, she was thrilled for the opportunity to revisit one of her favourite haunts. 

Lauren wears Upbeat Padded Bra and Tadasana Sweaty Pants

Gunnersbury Park in West London has long been Tamara’s preferred running route – a pocket of serenity within the hustle and bustle of London. Its diverse flora is also home to a plethora of bees, birds and butterflies, proving a fitting setting to showcase the collection’s soft, symmetrical prints, honeycomb mesh panels and intricate laser cut designs. 

A natural backdrop for Sweaty Betty’s ‘Social Butterfly’ collection, Gunnersbury Park set the scene for the new season beautifully. It was especially fitting the new yoga and dance ranges. Our model Madison Keesler put our knitted rehearsal wear to the test, chasse and twirling her way through the gardens. In the background, the park’s historic buildings with their grand pillars and peeling paintwork added a soft urban dimension to the picture. 

Madison wears Arabesque Dance Leotard, Coupe 3/4 Dance Leggings and Fierce Dance Sweat 

Watch the campaign video now and see the new season come to life in one of London’s most iconic settings. ]]>
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SS15 'Social Butterfly': New season inspiration /blog/ss15-social-butterfly-new-season-inspiration-/ /blog/ss15-social-butterfly-new-season-inspiration-/#comments Thu, 08 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/ss15-social-butterfly-new-season-inspiration-/
Lauren wears Chakra Yoga Crop TopOm Yoga Vest, Hatha Yoga Capris and Embrace Luxe Knitted Yoga Shawl

The concept came to Creative Director Tamara Hill-Norton during a run through the English countryside, with dusk light descending and nature’s finest creatures coming to life. Picture butterflies hovering, bees buzzing and dragonflies darting over still water. Pairing off, as social species are known to do. 

Channelling this natural softness and playful interaction, SS15 delivers feminine, fashion-forward styles you’ll be proud to be seen in – combined with our signature high-performance fabrics to ensure you get the most from your training. In this way we support the athlete’s physical metamorphosis, similar to a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. We join the dancer in her dressing room after rehearsal when her arms are weary and her toes blistered from hours in the studio. We admire the yogi in an effortless headstand and ask her how many years of untiring practise it took to master this single pose. 

Here at Sweaty Betty, we admire that powerful process – the transformation – every bit as much as that final beautiful presentation. For this reason, transformation is at the heart of this season’s collection. We’ve looked to nature for examples of this metamorphosis, and brought intricate insect-inspired mesh and beautiful butterfly prints to the fore. 

Erika wears Body Map Thermal Top and Body Map Thermal Run Tights 

For a closer look at the ‘Social Butterfly’ collection, watch the Spring 2015 campaign video here. Or shop the collection now and be among the first to wear the most innovative new workout looks. ]]>
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