May 25, 2022
This week on 5.6.7.EIGHT, Aleksandra speaks with Liz Bayley, a seasoned professional dancer whose interest in sports injuries birthed a career as a physiotherapist for some of the world’s top shows. Liz was a professional dancer for 15 years, performing all over the world. Liz went on to work as a physiotherapist in the West End on shows such as Hamilton, Wicked, The Wizard of Oz, Singing in the Rain, Shrek, Matilda, and Jersey Boys. Liz holds a master’s degree in physiotherapy from King’s College and, now, serves as the physio for The Lion King. She also owns her own private practice.
Liz Bayley loves dance and
dancers. In fact, on the podcast, she expresses love for both the
artists and the artform multiple times. However, in her own career,
her love for dance was inhibited by her experience with lingering
injuries. Now, Liz is in the business of elevating others’ love for
the craft by teaching them to take care of their bodies. On the
podcast, Liz discusses her current endeavors and shares some
extremely practical advice on how to prime your body to do the hard
work of dance.
”What I liked about physical therapy was that it was still helping people. But rather than the mental health, it was the physical health. And as it turns out, there’s lots of psychology in physiotherapy. So my [psychology degree] does really complement my final career choice really beautifully.”
”Dancers are known for being fit and healthy. And, in general, they are compared to the average office worker. But for what they do, they’re probably not as fit as they should be.”
”Dancers must supplement their dance training with cardiovascular work — high intensity training … Try to think more like a sports person. What do they do for their training? They tend to do agility work. High intensity cardiovascular work. Strength training in the gym.”
”There’s a lack of education, generally, around what it takes to really be strong enough to be a performer.”
”One of the best things about working with dancers? I adore the people. They’ve got lovely energy. They’re very empathic and emotional. They tend to be very kind and very funny, which I love.”
”I’m not at all afraid of change. I’ve never worried about making a decision and it potentially being the wrong one. Because I always feel like you can change it.”
Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:
3:19: Liz discusses why she pivoted from a 15 year career in dance into physiotherapy.
5:22: Liz explains what her current career as a physiotherapist looks like, including her run as a physiotherapist on multiple Broadway productions in London.
7:21: Bayley explains why some dancers get injured more often than others.
11:40: Liz shares some advice for dancers on how to better avoid injuries, including some pre-show exercises and practices.
15:40: Bayley explains how dancers can avoid getting bulky through weightlifting.
18:50: Liz discusses how her professional career would be different if she were to do it again, knowing what she knows now.
22:35: Liz describes the importance of mental health in athletes but, specifically, for dancers and performers.
24:45: Bayley explains her rationale behind some key decisions she made as a dancer.
29:16: Bayley looks ahead in her career and discusses her excitement as she moves into more of a teaching role.
31:22: Liz encourages dancers to love what they do even more by taking care of their bodies.
Bullet List of Resources –
Liz Bayley Physiotherapy