BY: MAGGIE PARKER
The go-to side-hustle for Broadway performers used to be waiting tables. Now, it’s teaching fitness. It makes perfect sense. To survive rigorous performance and schedules and still be standing, fitness has basically become the fourth threat. There’s something for every body taught by masters of the Great White Way. So if you wouldn’t mind looking like a Chicago ensemble member, join us in these workout classes. We’ll be in the back, panting.
FOR THE SWEAT ENTHUSIAST: Albert Guerzon
Albert Guerzon has performed on Broadway in Escape to Margaritaville, Honeymoon in Vegas, Ghost The Musical and Mamma Mia. He’s also a Flywheel Sports and Barry’s Bootcamp instructor. “Church, athletics and music has taught me to ‘work hard pray hard,’” he told Fit For Broadway in 2014. “It’s tricky with an 8 show week but I love me a good Insanity or T25 workout.” He’s also a fan and practitioner of hot yoga, which he thinks provides both a physical and mental detox simultaneously.
IF YOU DON’T LIKE TO ‘WORK OUT’: Shelby Finnie
Shelby Finnie is currently performing in The Prom on Broadway. “I started doing theater when I was 4 years old and haven’t really left the stage since,” she told Broadway Spin. “I only recently (about two years ago) started to think of fitness as more than just a tool to benefit my dancing, and it has positively influenced my whole life.” Now, she’s a trainer at Body By Simone, a dance cardio-based boutique fitness studio in Chelsea. “I fell in love with it after my first class,” she gushed. “As a dancer already, it really pushed my own fitness and cardiovascular health to completely new levels while also being a lot of fun. I hate feeling like I’m ‘working out,’ and although it’s intense—the trainers do almost the entire class with everybody—it’s so rewarding to teach and I always walk out of class feeling rejuvenated.”
FOR THE DANCE LOVER: Taeler Cyrus
Taeler Cyrus is a Broadway dancer who has appeared in Hello, Dolly!, An American In Paris and After Midnight. She’s also danced with Beyoncé, Mariah Carey and Kanye West. When she’s not dancing onstage, she’s teaching barre. “I first got heavily involved in fitness when I was dancing in Chicago,” the FlyBarre instructor told Fit For Broadway. “The company I was with at the time, River North Dance Chicago, was an extremely athletic company. The women were all strong and had great physiques and it was the motivation I needed to hit the gym on and off tour.” When she moved back to New York City, she realized that she loved taking classes and it was a natural fit for her to move into teaching.
IF YOU LIKE CANDLES AND POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS: Robert Pendilla
Robert Pendilla is a SoulCycle instructor who is also a swing in Kinky Boots, which he’s been with since the original cast. He’s also working on a new Broadway hopeful called The Heart of Rock & Roll, featuring the music of Huey Lewis. While performing was his first passion, competitive sports have always been a big part of his life. “I was always on a team or in a league,” he told Broadway Spin. “I later turned to fitness as a profession after realizing how much I enjoy group fitness classes and finding great value in the guidance I got from my personal trainers.” At SoulCycle, he felt right at home. “I was already passionate about spinning, but when I discovered SoulCycle, I realized it was the perfect union of my love for fitness and musical theater.” He teaches all over Manhattan but mainly at the East 63rd Street and Bryant Park studios, “which makes it easy to get to my show at night after class.” He loves the community at SoulCycle. “My role at SoulCycle is to make sure everyone finds something positive to take away from their ride, and that they’re happy and safe while they’re in my studio.”
FOR THE MAMA-TO-BE: Khori Petinaud
Khori Petinaud is the founder of Little Sprout Fitness, just finished performing in Rent Live! on FOX and will appear in Moulin Rouge! on Broadway this summer. For her, fitness came first. “Before I was ever dancing or acting, I was playing basketball and tennis,” she told Broadway Spin. “My dad wanted me to be the next Serena Williams so I was into tennis pretty heavily before I started taking ballet. “Now, I take private clients regularly and I have my own company, Little Sprout Fitness, where I specialize in training pre and post-natal clients. It’s a boutique style fitness method mixing barre, pilates, yoga, belly breathing technique and labor training, which was specifically created to take on the needs of today’s pregnant woman.” Her interest in prenatal fitness sparked when she noticed that many pregnant women were left to fend for themselves in standard classes. Her focus is twofold: First, to “empower women to train for the biggest marathon of their lives” and second, “to use corrective exercise to undo common muscle imbalances often exacerbated by pregnancy.”
IF YOU STILL OWN TAP SHOES: Beth Johnson Nicely
Beth Johnson Nicely is currently in Chicago on Broadway, and is a master trainer at Body By Simone. She also founded POP TAP, a tap dancing fitness class choreographed to pop music. “I wanted to make it relevant,” Nicely told The Associated Press. “Everyone knows the songs and it’s just a cool juxtaposition to put tap with different contemporary songs.” The class costs $10, and is for intermediate tappers. “I think everyone in class will tell you it feels like creating and doing something special and fun,” said Nicely. “Moving your feet, relieving stress, getting positive feelings.”