“I’ve been making it a priority to practice presence awareness and gratitude every day and taking in all the abundance in my life and around me.”
Sydney Dance Company and P.E Nation have joined forces to shine a light on Movement in May. Focusing on celebrating dance, the human form, and mental and physical health, this new partnership profiles three incredible women, all of whom have long-standing relationships with Sydney Dance Company – Chloe Leong,Charmene Yap and Linda Gamblin.
First up is Company dancer, Virtual Studio teacher and 2015 Helpmann Award winning ‘Best Female Dancer’, Chloe Leong. We spoke with Chloe this week about how she’s staying fit, mindful and creative during this time.
Hi! My name is Chloe, I am a Company dancer with Sydney Dance Company and currently teaching Body Conditioning in the Virtual Studio. I have a Chinese and Italian heritage, my favourite food is Italian, Middle Eastern and Japanese. I grew up in Sydney and have lived abroad in London and Barcelona for dance. I love nature and am very environmentally conscious. I’m an extroverted introvert. My rising sign is Gemini.
I have been dancing professionally for eight years and started teaching for the first time, for the Virtual Studio. I absolutely love it!
Dance and fitness are non-negotiables in my life, the same as having a croissant every Sunday morning! I need to move my body for my mental and physical health, dance for expression, artistry and fitness, as well as getting those endorphins going and to feel strong and capable.
It’s taken me a long time to find what works for my body. My body adapts very quickly, so in the past I’ve constantly had to change up my routine to be at my peak, which is hard and tiring.
What I have finally found that works for me is doing a mix of Pilates and body conditioning, before work and on the weekend, as a type of strengthening and restorative practice. Pilates is all about strengthening and lengthening and I think because I have so much awareness of my body, even the tiniest of movements has me sweating and shaking! I also love intermittent fasting in the morning. I know that sounds hard core and it’s definitely not for everyone, however I have found that my energy stays at a consistent level, my mind is super clear and my muscle recovery is so much faster. I also swear by cold showers in the morning and a cup of bone broth everyday.
In my classes, Body Conditioning has a strong essence of Pilates, low impact strength work and a guaranteed full body burn. A regular participant in my class, mentioned that I should rename my class, “Death by Chloe” haha! It is all done with the weight of the body, and sometimes with a prop involved, e.g. A yoga block or book if you don’t have one at home. I like to give everyone a really thorough, full body warm up, activating all the muscles in the body, so that you have a good connection of the mind and body, before diving into the bigger exercises. Every class follows a similar format, so by participating consistently in my classes, you will no doubt find yourself feeling and looking stronger.
A morning routine has really kept me in check. Waking up early, going for a walk with my partner and a dip in the ocean or playing with my cat and engaging in my own full body exercise. Slowing things down and sipping on my morning coffee has been really special, as I normally don’t have the time in the mornings. It allows me to practice presence and awareness. Also talking to friends and looking after myself by eating well and adding in a bit of self-care, here and there.
– Dips in the ocean
– Seeing either the sunrise or sunset every day or even both!
– Gratitude and perspective
– A roof over my head, running water, access to technology and healthcare
– Being able to surround myself in nature
– The ability to work from home and still be able to dance / teach
– My loved ones and my kitty, Dumpling
– Slowing things down and having a broader awareness of what is important in my life
One thing I am really inspired by, are all the wonderful silver linings that people are finding for themselves in this unique situation. It’s a beautiful thing.
I’ve always loved interior design, so I’ve been inspired to really make my home into the sanctuary I’ve always envisioned it to be. It helps that my partner is an excellent Carpenter and all-round handy man.
I have the biggest sweet tooth, so I’ve hopped on the baking train and started making delicious baked goods. They definitely don’t last as long as they should.
Chloe wearsP.E Nation, photos by Wendell Teodoro. Book your Body Conditioning class with Chloe now!
Watch Company dancerDean Elliot teach Chloe how to bake her very first cake