Thursday, 9 July 2015

Being a 'sleeker'

Photo of me by Mark Chilvers for The Guardian. 

I am absolutely thrilled that the conversation I had with fashion editor Morwenna Ferrier of The Guardian online has now been published as an article - I am truly grateful to Grey Model Agency, which I recently joined, for putting me in touch with Morwenna and to Morwenna for reshaping my 'ramblings'.
Magazine articles have to be of a certain number of words, so inevitably a few things are edited out of contributions and the prose tightened as the style has to conform to that of the publication. Editors do have a most difficult job, I am always amazed at how, after their intervention, copy is transformed into something readable.
One of the things I wanted to talk about a little more in the piece was the fitness programme I follow because it has been extremely effective, with the result that  people are forever asking me about what I do to keep in shape.  My brief for the article was to discuss modelling, so I was only able to mention the programme in passing.  However, to quote a fellow 'co-sleeker'  "the girls too deserve the accolade for being so fabulous".  Absolutely. Who are the girls? One moment please, let me begin again.

Victoria and Flik of Sleek Technique

Since April 2014 I have been a 'sleeker'. Sleek is a fitness programme based on ballet and involving barre, cardio and mat-work. It is the brainchild of Victoria Marr, former principal dancer with Birmingham Royal Ballet, and Flik Swan who also trained, like Victoria, at the Royal Ballet School and then became a successful dancer in the West End - she was recently Lily James' dance double in the film Cinderella by Kenneth Branagh. The Sleek programme consists of  live classes which one can attend through videoconferencing and streaming workouts. You can read all about Sleek on the Sleek website and hear  how Sleek came about through this YouTube video.
I absolutely love it. Before 'sleeking' I used to go to dance and yoga classes and also to the gym. Now I sleek everyday at home - I have invested in a barre and though I still go to the odd dance class, simply because I love dancing (only two days ago I tried Voguing), sleek is the perfect fitness programme, and it has enabled me to save much time. The videoconferencing works very well and the teachers are able to see the participants and give corrections individually.

Yoga in the park. Photographer: Terry Lee-Shield. Model: me

When I used to go to the gym, I worked with a personal trainer once a week and followed a set gym routine in between sessions with the trainer, as well as making time for yoga and pilates. It was fine,  but it meant that I always had to budget time in my schedule for the gym and take that into account when planning my day. With Sleek I can join a live online class in the morning and/or in the evening at home or do a streaming workout in my own time and it is all over within 30 to 45 minutes (depending on the class), after which I can immediately shower and get ready without having to negotiate bus and tube times. Sleek is a complete workout in itself and there is no need to supplement it with pilates and/or yoga. It can be complemented by other classes/techniques, but it is optional as  it is totally effective on its own.
Take dance classes, for example. They are fantastic but they are not enough for fitness, because the emphasis in a dance class is on learning the dance technique. As an older woman who also models I need to pay attention to my body and stretch it and flex it without forcing it into anything, to avoid injuries.
Since I started sleeking my core has strengthened, my balance has improved  and to me that is very important.

Photographer: Pete Muller. Model: me

I would follow a fitness programme regardless of modelling. I used to work out even in my pre-modelling days and no doubt I will do so post-modelling too, when I decide to change career once again - I go with the flow.
Whenever I try to explain why I pay attention to fitness not everyone gets it. It's nothing to do with looks, it is to do with how I feel in my body. The body needs to be exercised, just as it needs to be nourished and kept clean. Most of all the  exercise has to be regular. I am sure everyone can spare thirty minutes everyday for this?

No comments:

Post a comment