Darcey Bussell has enjoyed the highest level of fitness as a ballerina. The Strictly judge shares her new way of dancing to stay in shape – and it’s easy to follow in her footsteps
1. Brisk morning walkies at 7.30am for 30–40 minutes with my two spoodles (English Cocker Spaniel and Toy Poodle cross) kickstarts my day and gives me focus. When I was a classical dancer, I had a lot of structure to my day and I still like routine.
2. I love getting out of the house as I get cabin fever quite easily. I go to a lot of meetings in London by public transport and I always walk up escalators. My girls and I also travel around on adult scooters and we ‘walk’ the dogs on our bikes. I don’t go to the gym…
3. Injuries don’t affect me now as long as I keep moving. If I stopped, they would – knees, ankles and back are problems for classical dancers. On the diet front, I know eating healthy fats is good for my bones. I eat a lot of avocados and oily fish and I’ve always taken cod liver oil supplements for my joints. I’m careful about iron and B12 intakes, too, so I don’t get tired.
4. I’m passionate about endorphins! I crave the buzz I used to get when I was a dancer. I’ve created new dance classes called DDMIX with choreographer Nathan Clarke – they’re full body workouts to music, based around two to five-minute segments of seven to nine different dance styles (such as Bollywood, Greek, samba, jive, charleston) in one fun 45 to 60-minute class. You can do classes at venues or online. I get bored quickly with exercise but this is fun, rather than a chore, and I do a class once or twice a week.
5. I keep my diet varied, and I encourage my two teenage girls to do the same. I tell them to keep it simple – there are no quick fixes. I never count calories. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for me. I like decent bread – and eat carbs in healthy portions. But if I have an event coming up and want to look good in a dress, I’ll switch to having soup in the evening and stay off bread for a week or two – it helps me get a slightly flatter stomach. I rarely eat red meat because I went right off it when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, who’s now 16. I might fancy a small steak now and then, but mainly it’s
chicken and fish.
Learn more about Darcey’s DDMIX, find a class near you or check out online classes at diversedancemix.com.