👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Hi, my name is Gabriela Cantos Realpe. I am a professional dancer and I work as well as a PT for kids/adults. I am original from Ecuador but I grew up in The Netherlands and now I live here in Spain.
My passion always has been dancing and later on I have been learning a lot of things like: PT, healthy lifestyle, working with kids, meditation, coordinating/organizing events, administration work, PA, PR, aerialist, etc.
I am a positive and happy person. I am always driven to learn and try new things to make me a better artist or human being. I guess that is my Ecuadorean/Dutch mentality, work and learn whatever I can to be better and to always have a backup in any work area.
I started as a young kid with gymnastics and later on, around my 15th birthday, I started focusing on dancing.
I had to chose something new because I felt like gymnastic was not the same like in Ecuador, training every day for four hours. I kinda missed that so I started a new challenge.
I started dancing in this local dance studio and after a few months being there, I auditioned to be in their demo team.
The demo team is a team where we perform for shops, events, etc. I loved it but after a few years there it was getting bored and I needed something new.
Then I met someone else that had more experience with being an artist, traveling, tTVshows, gogo dancing, etc.
Around 18th or 19th years old, I left the other dancing school to join this dancing group called Delusion Dancers. There I learned a lot and I have had so many beautiful experiences traveling, being background dancer for artists, video clips, modelling, TV performances, etc.
I never thought I would ever want to do all that but it just came in my path and those wore the best experiences ever.
After that around 2010, I had a bit enough of the same routine so I decided it was time for a new adventure. I had a good life don’t get me wrong, working at Fitness First for five years, having shows every weekend as a background dancer for T Spoon and time for myself. But it was time for something new.
My mum moved to Marbella, Spain and I thought let´s go, without thinking I just decide to move and so I did.
When I worked in Fitness First, I grew a lot in different experiences. Like on the training floor for PT (PT Australia), Less Mill classes and administration work. A lot of things that I still use for my own work.
Spain is totally different then The Netherlands, other mentality, everything mañana mañana and a lower level of expectations but the weather is amazing, lol.
It was hard to start here to be honest, after three months here and no job and home with my mother, uff it was not easy.
When I made the choice to move back because nothing was happening, I got a phone call to work in Corte Ingles as a shop assistant. Not my thing at all, but better something than nothing. To be honest, it was the worst work ever in my life, I can´t just work selling clothing. Not my thing, so I only lasted for three months.
After that I preferred to be jobless and find something more in my area, so I started sending my CV to all gyms to work there as a PT and receptionist and slowly, slowly it was working for me.
Payments here are much lower than other countries so that was a big change for me, but we have to adapt to the situation till something better comes along.
Later, I started to work in different places until I met someone in a TV program show and finally I started my dancing again. Now I am a self-employed where I work as a PT and in a combination with my dancing acts.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
First of all, I am not a gym kind of girl. I believe working with your own weight gives better results for my clients.
Because everybody is different and we all have different goals. It depends on that what we train.
I am a healthy eater and I have a sometimes a chaotic season when I have to do classes, performances and trainings. So that can be draining, but with some supplements in combination with healthy food and sleep, I try to keep myself going.
My normal routine for my own session:
- Warm up 10min, cycling or cross trainer machine
- Fit ball exercises
Depending on what I need to train that day, I use different exercises.
In my gym bag, I always have a towel, water sometimes with a bit of lime inside, my elastics and a jumping rope.
For me the best workouts are with the elastics, you can train and define your body really good. I normally train alone or sometimes with a friend that is also a PT. We share information and new exercises.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
I think the best thing to do is not to think too much about going to the gym or not going. Just do it because when we start going, the mind forget about not going. Don’t think, just go and just do it like Nike says.
I believe it´s something you need to do for yourself if we are talking about training and healthy lifestyle. At least 1 hour with a good training is more than enough depending on the goals you have of course.
I don’t go every day to be honest, I normally go 3 times a week max 4, if I don´t have show´s or clients that week.
My aerial training is already a total body workout, so on that day I don´t do much more except maybe stretching or cardio. It's important to balance everything.
When you are injured or drained it's better to keep it on a low training schedule. We need to recover properly because otherwise it will take longer to go back and do everything. So if you think, think rational for a healthy choice of your body.
I have been injured a few times and in the middle of shows and to be honest it was hard. Because with performance you can´t just cancel it last minute because of an injury, so it’s hard sometimes to make a decision.
If my injury is really bad, I find someone else to cover for me and if I have something that I can still go on, I go but try to do as less in order to not use that injured arm or part of my body.
It's important to know your body really well, that will help you in situations like this and many more.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Well, today with this Corona situation is hard from one side not to be able to work (paid). Especially here in Spain where there is a bad economic situation and people can´t spend money on these PT training. Understandable.
So what I do is, I give free dancing classes to woman. To make them feel more sexy and just to have a great time at that moment.
With the kids I haven´t been able to do anything but I am talking to the moms about organize something.
Further I am training at home with water bottles, elastics and dumbbells.
Keeping myself busy, to be honest it’s a perfect time to reflect on ourselves and our goals. My goals now at this point is, love yourself more.
We are always rushing to places to work and we forget many times to spend some alone time with ourselves. Just to relax and to breathe, to not think about work or anything.
What I miss the most from this situation is the beach, that smell of sea water, that peace, your feet touching the sand. Well that is for me just my Zen moment of the day. I did try to go many times but there where time that I did not have time.
Now we have all the time in the world but we can´t go outside here. Just for the supermarket, pharmacy or hospitals. So five weeks now inside and I can´t complain.
There are moments when I get bored but then again, I am trying not to think too much about it because it’s a Global situation and it’s what it is. Living day by day.
My goals now are finishing the things that I never had time for and trying to read about knowledge and the human body. So later when we can all go out, I can have a different approach to my work experiences and myself.
In five years, hopefully, I will have my own place to do my teaching and coaching for more people that wants to live a healthier life.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
Like I was telling before in another question, it’s important to listen to your body. There are some people that recover faster and are others that takes a little bit longer.
I normally listen to my body a lot because it´s my instrument for my work so I can´t get injured.
I am 35 and I am doing ok so far, thank God. I have had rehearsals for a show that I twist my foot or something and I was not available to work so that really sucks and it´s not good for the clients as well.
If I have a pain or injury or just for a relaxing moment. I normally go to my physiotherapist. Depending on how bad it´s, I do what he tells me to do.
For example: Put on heat or cold, massage once a week, acupuncture, not stretching or not boxing for a few weeks, etc.
Like I said, I work with my body, if I don´t take care of it then what is the point. So I listen to the advice I get and also to what I feel it’s best to do.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I don´t do diets, I have never done anything like that besides a diet to clean my stomach. I have never done drugs and I have never been drunk in my life. I am quite healthy as you can see.
In the university of sports (CIOS) where I got my diploma, they were really strict about about sport and drugs and healthy living, so I took that really serious.
I know and I have been told that I need to see a nutritionist for my high seasonal work because sometimes being so busy, I need some extra food or vitamins to keep me going in a healthy way. I use natural stuff, now I am starting to use Forever, it´s a product based on Aloe Vera.
So let´s see what it will do to my body.
I eat almost everything, from meat (no pork), fish, turkey, bio fruits and vegetables, dark chocolate, sometimes cookies, etc.
I have only one problem and that is the lactose. I can´t have lactose, but I also try to avoid most of the products that are lactose free because they are worse than the normal ones. Like 0 coke etc, you will be better off to have all the regular stuff than all those where they say are 0 sugar etc.
I stopped drinking bubble drinks for a long time and that has helped me a lot. I drink more water, coconut water, juices or smoothies, tea and coffee. I know coffee is not that great for you but max 1 a day, is just something I can´t take out. I just love the smell and taste.
When I have been in a busy period, like the summer season here because Marbella is a seasonal place to live, sometimes my body ask for a happy meal or something in that area.
I believe our body needs a bit of everything, not every week or daily of course but once in a while you can have, how we call it, a cheating day.
For supplements, this is what I normally take (not all at the same time):
Keep the balance in your food, body and workout.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
Well, I read books about the human body, like the anatomy. I think the human body is fascinating and I also read books about spirituality. I believe the body and the mind needs to be in balance to create in what you believe and what you want to achieve in life in any area.
We have Dorian Yates and his wife Gall in our gym so we have some examples that motivates us and where we can learn from them.
Further there are some people on Instagram or in other gyms that are really good and I learn from them.
I think with social media these days, you can find anything you want to learn and do. So the only thing we need to do is find what is best for your body.
I always say better to start slow with things and to do them good then later run and you have to start again from 0. Baby steps, everything in their own time.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
Find a good workout for your body and for your level.
Please don´t try to act like the big man/woman and do stuff just because others are telling you or because your friends are doing it.
Every human body is different so what will work for me, it doesn´t mean it will work for you. Try first and if you see it´s too much go back to basic and do things one step at the time. It´s about doing the exercise good and not fast, so you don't get injured.
Find the PT that goes with what you want and what you feel. Trust your instinct in that, make sure you have all the information about that person and what they have done before you blindly start working out with them.
Set your goals and give yourself a motivation to achieve everything you want in life. One step at a time, it´s not a competition.
Love yourself more because with that you have to deal with it the rest of your life. If you wanna make a change go for it but don´t do it alone. We all need someone to push us, even if it’s your PT or your family, husband whatever. All so you know you are not alone in this.
If you are alone in this, remember for who you are doing it: for yourself. To be better, to be happier and to live a happy healthy lifestyle.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
To be honest right now, I have no clients because of this Corona situation. It´s not easy but what can I do, I don´t believe it´s fair for me to ask money for classes when we are all in this together. It´s not just me but a Global thing.
When you have steady clients and they have already paid in advance, of course you continue with the work you were doing through zoom, whatsapp or whatever social media you are on.
I am doing my dance classes on Instagram but because more men are starting to follow it and it´s a woman only class, I am going to switch to Zoom.
Next to that, I post the home workout that I have been doing and people are free to see if it´s something they are looking for to train.
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
Like I was telling before, finally I have internet at home so I can finish my website where I never had time to finish it and now I do. So that is coming soon.
Thank you for your time and hopefully something I said has helped you.
💬 Gabriela Cantos Realpe quotes
Gabriela shares some great, motivating insights in this interview. Feel free to share these quotes on your Instagram, Pinterest and so on 😍