FEATURE: Fitness in Quarantine
Updated: Jun 5, 2020
Geraint Heaney, a 25-year-old ballroom dance teacher at Cariadance, has recently started a one-month fitness challenge on YouTube, where he promises that it is possible for everyone to stay motivated in spite of the country’s lockdown.
“Becoming less active in lockdown resulted in my fitness getting worse, so I decided it was time to make a positive change. I began the one month challenge vlogs in the hope that I could inspire and encourage other people who feel the same about fitness to join me and exercise each and every day for a whole month.”
The dancer touched on having body insecurities, mentioning in one of his vlogs that he always wears jumpers in the summer to hide his body. Asking him about this, he explained that the reason he said it was to talk about insecurities and negativity in a positive manner.
“I’ve struggled to get into some clothes that I’ve never worried about getting into before. That definitely has given me motivation to get fit again and I hope my vlogs can give others the same boost in starting their own fitness journeys.”
“My videos aim to show the everyday person who has never really gotten into fitness, struggling though exercises, moaning and hating lots of them! Most fitness tutorials show people with perfect gym bodies working out, which I think can be off-putting for the everyday person. So I hope my videos can be relatable and encouraging for others who have never really exercised and don’t know where to start.”
For the dancer, this is his very first vlog series and so far, he hasn’t had any negative feedback from people. He described: “I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the movie 'Run Fat Boy Run,' but everyone always roots for the underdog, and likes to see a journey... so I think for that reason, my videos have been really well received.”
Geraint also talked about his business, Cariadance: “The name 'Cariadance' is derived from the word love - and a love of dance and those you share a dance studio space with, is a part of the companies ethos.”
“I set up Cariadance by myself in 2017 and now have three amazing colleagues who teach classes with me, offering classes for children, adults and the LGBT Community in Cardiff, Caerphilly and Bargoed.”
Amongst his colleagues at the dance school is Finlay Bayliss, who runs Buzz Trampoline Park in Llanishen. Geraint said that the two have been friends since they won the British Junior formation championships together in 2009.
Speaking about Finlay, he said: “I started the business alone, but now having the support and collaboration of Finlay has really allowed Cariadance to grow and thrive, and also take the pressure off me so I can find a better work life balance.”
Apart from that, the dance school owner expressed his concerns in terms of the crisis that the Coronavirus pandemic has caused to his business. Since the start of lockdown, Cariadance has had to put its classes on hold. Heaney’s weekly thirty hours of dance have been reduced to only three hours. However, he launched an app for Cariadance, to offer dance tuition to people at home. The launch of the app was due to release in September 2020, but luckily he was able to push it forward, enabling an opportunity to people to learn from the comfort of their homes. The app is available on the Google Play Store and can also be used online at www.cariadance.co.uk
Going from physical to digital classes is a big change for the students. As for the ballroom dancer’s existing students, they found it hard to adjust to staying at home and adapting to a new way of learning. Nevertheless, some of them have preferred learning online. According to the owner, if someone’s stuck on a movement, they can pause the video or rewind, whereas in real life, they have to stick with the pace of the class, whether it’s too easy or too difficult for them.
The dance styles on offer on the app vary from Ballroom and Latin to Contemporary and Commercial. Furthermore, warm up videos, yoga tutorials and workshops for older people who wish to keep moving, are also available.
Geraint Heaney shared a message for the people that are completely unmotivated, stuck at home and doing nothing: “Everyone at home should take the first step on your fitness journey, then after that, the next. While I’ve got an end goal in mind, so often I think we fixate on that goal and what we expect from ourselves in that time that it holds us back.
"On my one month challenge, I’m taking things day-by-day, and approaching each day as a new opportunity to progress and a new challenge. I think taking things one positive step at a time is the best advice I could give as its changed the way I approach my own personal fitness and wellbeing.”
The ballroom dancer seems to enjoy challenging himself in fitness, competing with gym enthusiasts and proving everyone that they can get fit regardless the Coronavirus outbreak.
Stay tuned with Geraint until the end of his one-month challenge and see the results for yourself!
-Charles Stylianou (@iChad6)