This week, we’re featuring athlete, personal trainer and dancer extraordinaire, Yolanda Burke. Currently performing in The Lion King in the West End, Yolanda also works as a group class teacher at Third Space, London’s luxury health club.
She was gracious enough to find some time in her hectic schedule this week to talk to us about what it takes to live your dream and fuel the extraordinary. Read all about the training, lifestyle and dedication of a professional dancer and explorer of movement.
Find her on Instagram @yolanda_matara.
What is your training routine like?
As a dancer, I really enjoy just moving and I don’t currently have specific training goals — apart from staying fit for work. I’ll vary it up depending on how my body is feeling. Performing in the show has to take priority, so although I love high intensity training I have to be careful not to ‘beast’ myself and make sure I’m working correctly to avoid injuries. I like to do some yoga too, as I find it quite calming, but sometimes I’ll just take 10 mins to move and stretch on the mat, which has a similar effect for me. It also really helps counteract any tension that can build up from resistance training, as well as everyday life too.
Generally speaking though I do have some prehab exercises that I’ll do every show day. I used to train 5 times per a day, as I enjoy doing more regular short sessions. But more recently I’ve scaled it back due to my work schedule — so now it’s usually 3 or 4 times per day. I also really enjoy going to classes because training in a group environment can be more fun, especially on those days you’re lacking motivation.
We’re all so curious about Third Space. Can you tell us a bit about the classes they offer?
They have a great selection of classes available and some great instructors that are both motivating and knowledgeable. There really is a class for everyone and for all levels — from your high intensity style classes and body conditioning, to yoga, meditation and calisthenics. Classes really are a great way of making training fun and getting everyone moving.
You seemed to have moved towards callisthenics. What inspired that?
I love callisthenics and the idea of mastering my own body weight. I think it’s because at heart I’m a dancer, so I love the movement element and that you can make shapes — essentially art with you body.
How has Athletic Tea played a part in your routine?
The Perform and Energise teas provide me with a more calming boost at the beginning of my day, or just before a show, and they don’t leave me feeling dehydrated in the way coffee does. The Energise Cocoa + Ginger is my current fave, as it smells sooo good! I’ll also have a Recover tea on a night after work, to help me wind down before bed.
What do your 2019 goals look like?
My current goals are really about maintenance when it comes to training. Saying that though, I’d definitely like to really nail the muscle up as well as some more levers! I have a particularly busy work schedule at the moment with some really exciting things ahead, but it means my schedule differs each week. This can make it tricky to be consistent, but I think the key is to keep training part of your habitual routine so when the motivation dwindles (and it does for everyone!), you’re still disciplined enough to keep things going. For me, it’s really about making time for myself, to work on myself — like a form of meditation, really. So I always try to hold on to that.