Interview with Annie Foulds
What different types of dance have you specialized in as a professional dancer?
From the age of four to eighteen years old, I loved to dance. I studied, tap (Ipswich), ballet, Jazz and contemporary dance.
What did a typical work week look like?
It would depend on the job. If I was going to a fashion show, it would be an early start, travel to the venue, wait around, rehearse, make-up and hair, then the show. If it was a casting day where we go to see photographers or designers, it would be the toughest. This was a hectic day and quite stressful. We would go from one place to another within a time frame; being late is not an option! No make-up, clean and heels! I could do at least four or five in one day.
What kind of diet helped you stay both slim and energized?
I have a high protein diet: fish, chicken, turkey, prawns, etc. I always have vegetables with my dinner and drink plenty of water. I have two cups of coffee in the morning. I also enjoy a good plate of chips before or after a marathon or long run! I like to be quite good during the week and slightly more relaxed at the weekends. But, you know, once you have a good healthy plan, it is hard to want junk food!
A ballerina told me that 'dessert' is a skim milk and diet coke milkshake. Are all dancers under such extreme pressure to stay thin?
Yes, when I think back to my dancing days, it was very important to be as thin and light as possible. For the spins and lifts.
Did your career require you to travel frequently? Where has it taken you?
For many of my friends, yes. But no, not really for me, because I trained from four to eighteen years old in Suffolk. When you are ready and passed all your dance exams, you then go on to professional stage school in London and then graduate and go on to find work. Regrettably, I did not follow this path, although I had the talent to do so. I did take one audition, but I wanted it so badly that I made myself so nervous and messed it up. They even asked me to dance again, but I was so nervous. I didn't take another audition. However, the training, discipline and knowledge I gained from performing in the local theatres and stage schools has been wonderful and helped my career enormously. I believe you are born things - I was born to run and dance!
What is one of the most memorable shows or performances you’d taken part in?
The most memorable performance was my school production of 'Grease;' my parents came to every one. But on a higher level - performing and being on stage with Prince at the O2 Arena in 2007 was absolutely amazing!
What is a common misconception people have about professional dancing?
That dancers all have an eating disorder and are generally unhealthy. We don't and we are not. We all start very young and we train for three to six hours a day. Yes, we do watch what we eat, discipline is important.
Why did you decide to leave the dancing industry?
I would never had left, not really. It is part of whom I am. But, I was very young and I found the rejection quite hard to take at that age (I was sixteen). If it was me now, it would be a piece of cake! It was quite honestly my life, but I remember being so upset at one audition, only one, that I almost stopped at the point. However, I also had a huge passion and gift for running and that is where I decided to go in the end.
Tell us about your career as a fitness model. How did you get started?
After dance, I decided to go back into the sports world. I went to a fantastic gym in Covent Garden called Jubilee Hall. At the time, it was amazing - it was full of dancers, actors and models. A few famous ones now. I remember there being a real buzz about the place. So it was very easy to find out what was going on and where, the latest auditions, etc. My first job was modelling for Puma and then magazine covers. A good friend of mine, Khan Bonfil, got his first acting job in a Bond movie and went on to star in many more movies, like Star Wars. He recently passed away. I had a features in a men's magazine Untold and the front of Timeout magazine with a fitness feature. I then went on to do a fitness show, Miss Galaxy UK.
What is one of the most interesting shoots you’ve done?
Well, they are so varied. I recently worked on a great campaign with SweatyBetty on the FlyFlexFlow workout. I created the Fly and Flex sections of the workout, pod cast, video, and photo shoot. Really great fun!
What do you find to be the most challenging part about working in the modelling industry?
Running from one casting to another and waiting around for hours.
You are also a sought after personal trainer. What kind of clients do you train?
I train private clients exclusively. However, I love to work with everyone - super fit (Ironmen or women, tri-athletes, runners), to the unfit, big or small, young or old. I think every single person should have good health. I am a strong believer in all the benefits it gives you. Therefore, I am now working on more group sessions and online workouts.
What is the most important piece of advice that you give to your athletes?
Stayed focused. Learn to become mentally tough as well as physically strong.
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Annie Foulds is a former professional dancer who has honed her skills in the health and fitness industry though years of varied training. An athlete, fitness model, dancer, fitness competitor, ultra runner and not to mention a mother, makes Annie a trainer in demand. Read more about Annie, her qualifications, and her training services at Annie Foulds Personal Trainer.com.