Why working singers should work out

Exercise has always been a big part of my life. I was an athlete, gymnast and professional dancer before I became a working singer and as I transitioned from one discipline to another my body changed – along with my fitness routine.

The biggest shock to my system came when I moved from dancing to singing. It may surprise you, but I didn’t realise how much exercise I was doing as a professional dancer – until I stopped.

As a dancer, every rehearsal and gig was a fitness class where I toned my entire body without thinking about it. That all changed when I started singing professionally. Even though many gigs incorporated dancing and choreography, it still wasn’t enough.

With life as a professional dancer, and the free workout, over I had to make time to stay in shape. It was a struggle, but I knew I needed to think about my physical health as well as my vocal health. After all, being healthy physically is vital to maintaining good vocal health, and feeling strong and agile is important for any stage performance.

Life as a working singer is physically demanding; we are an integral part of the show, and often perform choreographed routines while singing. Even with my dance background, it’s not easy to incorporate moves while thinking about vocal phrasing and breath support.

Life on the road also presents its own unique challenges: the schedule is hectic, your sleep patterns are off, and when you arrive in a new city you never know what kind of gym you’re going to get, if you manage to get one.

Thankfully, there are many ways a singer can work out. Whether you are a travelling singer or tend to work locally in your city social media is your friend; Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram are flooded with fitness enthusiasts sharing their “get fit” secrets.

Before I left Los Angeles a few months ago to support Robbie Williams on The Heavy Entertainment Show Tour, I was doing ballet, yoga and hiking, and making use of the Nike Training Club app on my iPhone. Now I’m on tour, I’ve turned to my two fellow BVs Nayanna Holley and Sara-Jane Skeete to help me stay fit and meet the daily demands of touring.

Who are my fitness partners in crime? LA based Nayanna has worked as a backing singer on American Idol and The Voice and toured with Selena Gomez, Sheryl Crow, Robin Thicke, Allen Stone and Johnny Hallyday. Her YouTube channel, The Practice Room, provides insider tips on singing, auditioning, the music business and health and wellness for the working musician.

London-based Sara-Jane Skeete is an experienced BV, and has worked with Michael Jackson, Kylie Minogue, Mika, Annie Lennox and James Morrison, to name but a few. Join us on as The Working Singer’s Workout.

The Working Singer’s Workout

Article By: Denosh Bennett

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Denosh Bennett is a Canadian-born singer, dancer and artistic director with two decades of experience in the entertainment industry. Her versatility and broad résumé has led her to tour as a dancer and/ or backing vocalist with many international artists including Faith Evans, Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys, Drake, Whitney Houston, Robbie Williams, Demi Lovato and Rihanna.