👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Hi everyone! My name is Taylor Bradley. I am 27 years old and live in Las Vegas with my fiance, Mitchell. I was born and raised in Roswell, Georgia.
I am a professional dancer for Cirque du Soleil as well as a group fitness instructor. Additionally I work as a freelance dancer and artist.
My passion for dance started when I was 10 – I was way too uncoordinated for sports and my gymnastics career came to an end when I grew to 5’5” at age 9.
Luckily my parents threw their awkwardly tall and lanky son in a hiphop class (imagine that image for a laugh). That one class then led to jazz, tap, and ballet.
By 18 I was dancing in various film & televisions projects including the remake of Footloose, Vampire Diaries, and ABC Family’s Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song.
My passion for dance took me to the University of Arizona from 2011 to 2015 where I earned my BFA in Dance from their well known dance program (frequently considered in the top 3 dance programs in the country).
After graduating I moved to Las Vegas to dance in a several shows on The Strip including Cirque du Soleil’s The Beatles LOVE, Le Reve – The Dream, and Steve Wynn’s Showstoppers.
While in Vegas I’ve had the opportunity to open for artists such as Tiesto, Zara Larson, Two Chainz, and dance in numerous large scale corporate events.
In addition to dancing I have always loved for fitness. Pilates especially has always resonated with me as rehab from dance related injuries.
Shortly after moving to Vegas I began teaching at TruFusion, the multi disciplined, heated concept, group fitness gym backed and partnered by Alex Rodriguez & Jennifer Lopez.
4 years later and I now teach several modalities including kettlebells, pilates, cycle, barre and TRX.
The studio that was once a single location has now expanded through franchises to a 16 studio corporation in 8 different states. I spent the summer of 2018 teaching at our summer pop up in The Hamptons.
I am so grateful for our group fitness community (lovingly referred to as the TruTribe) because we support each other while continuing to push one another.
I start every class by having clients introduce themselves to their neighbors and maybe share a fun fact. You’ll always hear me say, “group fitness is fun because of the group, not because of the fitness,” and, “it’s weird to do burpees with strangers.”
When I’m not dancing or teaching I love to get outdoors and travel! Mitchell is a flight attendant so travel for us super affordable.
Additionally we’re big fans of music festivals and cruising (fun fact: we got engaged on a cruise in 2019).
Rarely will you catch me on the couch or watching TV. I love learning new skills and pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
My typical day of training routine starts with me teaching a class or two (depending on the day) between 9am & noon.
I know many in the industry are “up and at ‘em” types of people but working as a performer in Vegas I usually have shows until 11pm.
By the time I get home, unwind, and get in bed it’s usually no earlier than 1am or so. Because of that 9am is the earliest I like to teach.
After my morning classes I will usually take the afternoon to eat, get some work or chores done and sneak a nap in if I’m lucky.
Around 4pm I will head to work (with a full gym and team of athletic trainers) or go lift weights on my own at EoS Fitness.
My favorite muscle group to work? LEGS! Because my normal life is typically cardio heavy I focus extra on strength training to avoid getting too lean.
If I am off from shows or teaching I may try to take a kettlebell or bootcamp class at TruFusion.
Since my training is primarily for aesthetic and functional reasons I don’t cling too hard to a specific training program. I don’t compete so I don’t harp too much on numbers – I work out to feel good and feel confident about myself.
Plus my schedule can vary dramatically week to week depending on the season and what my freelance schedule looks like.
I get very bored with routine so I take every chance to train with different friends or try a new gym/class when I can. If I can get moving and get sweating in some way during the day I call it a success!
I definitely prioritize sleep over anything. If I have a particularly busy day or need to perform in an upcoming audition I will take an extra day off or go lighter in the gym.
I believe if you’re not getting a minimum of 6 hours of sleep per night you are doing yourself a disservice to get up and force yourself to the gym. Rest is key!
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
Inspiration. Is. Everything! If you lose track of your “why” your “what” will quickly crumble! My main aspiration is longevity.
As a dancer my job requires I push myself and my body is extreme ways. I use the gym to streamline all of the indifferences my body tends towards as a dancer – for instance, using one side to leap or turn stronger than the other.
My first goal is keep my body well and in shape to prevent injury. Additionally, as a primarily commercial dancer, keeping my body in shape and aesthetically pleasing is a must.
If you look at most any major artist in their shows or music videos chances are that they are surrounded by male dancers with incredible physiques. I use the gym to keep myself at a competitive look relative to other dancers in the industry.
Lastly, I use the gym as ME time. As a performer and fitness instructor I ma constantly giving my energy to those in my class or in the audience.
When I go to workout I focus on me and my music. Which, might I add, music is EVERYTHING! In class, on stage, or in the gym, my music is the pulse to my routine. I’m a sucker for a deep bass line and anything upbeat!
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
My training routine now has definitely evolved to fit with this crazy, quarantine, isolation life we are living!
I’ve learned to (somewhat) love running and creating body weight workouts in my living room. Of course I miss the luxury of a weight rack and teaching at TruFusion!
As I said earlier I can lean out pretty quickly but putting on and retaining muscle can be a challenge for me.
To combat that I’ve had to tried to add in more ‘work to fatigue’ body weight strength work and adding explosive plyometric to my body weight workouts (plyo pushups, broad jumps, box jumps).
Moving forward with my dance and fitness career I hope to split my time between Vegas and LA. I’ve had the opportunity to perform in some incredible live shows in Vegas but my goal is to venture more into film and television work.
I’m nearly finished with my CPT certification and I hope to train dancers specifically to help them strengthen their dancing through functional cross training.
All work things aside I am excited to get married to my beautiful fiancé sometime next year! We are hoping to tie the knot in southern California wine country around May 2021 but we are holding off on wedding planning until this pandemic has passed.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
As a dancer I have faced countless injuries. 18 shoulder dislocations, 2 knee dislocations, 1 broken foot (same foot twice), a labrum repair, countless sprains and the occasional bout of tendonidus to name a few.
Ready to be a dancer yet?!
But I owe my love of fitness to my battle scars of my career. Though I’ve always loved weight lifting it was my rehabilitation that introduced me to pilates, cycling, yoga, barre and ultimately introduced me to group fitness.
The most important thing about injuries is to NOT IGNORE THEM! No matter what your testosterone pumped brain (or old Russian ballet teacher) says you have to listen to your body when it tells you to rest or stop.
Like I said earlier sleep is the most vital part of injury prevention! I’ve found 6-8 hours is ideal for the work load I put on my body.
I’ve also learned that timing is key when I really want to push my body’s limits. I can’t to push my back squat PR in the gym when I have to go do two shows later that evening.
Sometimes this can be frustrating but I’ve realized ultimately my job as a performer takes priority. This has forced me to be a little more flexible with my gym routine without losing sight of my goals.
I’m thankful to work for a fitness studio that offers such a variety of classes. If I go hard on my upper body one day, I will supplement with a barre or yoga class the next day.
Balance is key. I try to move every day but I won’t go hard or heavy more than 3 days a week.
In addition to adequate rest I’m a big fan of ice and the occasional anti inflammatory. I’m lucky to have a full performance medicine team at my work and I frequently utilize their services for treatment but proactively and reactively.
I’m not a huge supplement person aside from whey protein after a workout and some melatonin & CBD before bed (have I mentioned I love sleep yet?).
If I’m lifting really heavy I will sip on some BCAA’s during my workout. I’m not a huge fan of pre workout as I don’t vibe with the chemically taste most have and feeling insane in between sets.
Instead I almost always down a cup of coffee 30 minutes before working out.
Lastly in the world of Instagram and #fitfam hashtags I have to keep my social media “gymspiration” at a good balance.
I find there’s a fine line between motivation and ignoring my body’s fatigue to try and look like another fitness influencer. I’m happiest when I am working out for me and my goals, not when I’m trying to be as yoked as the next person.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
Let’s talk food! If sleep is number one in my life food is RIGHT next to it! I feel both fortunate and frustrated that my body doesn’t change *too* much with my diet.
I’ve tried low carb, keto, no bread, high protein… all of the diets you can think of.
What I’ve found works best for me is eating real food in small meals throughout the day. I’m currently pescatarian as of the last five months and feel great!
I used to have chicken or beef for at least two meals out of the day but have been surprised at how energized and clear headed I feel going mostly plant based.
I’ve tried bulking and cutting but had average results. It’s hard for me to cut calories when I still have to perform in shows at night or when my freelance schedule picks up.
Also I have debatably the worlds largest sweet tooth – especially chocolate. So if anyone told me to go no sugar I would laugh.
Same goes for booze. I love my wine! In the past I’ve cut alcohol for a few months to prep for a fitness shoot and though I can get pretty cut I prefer to keep my glass of cabernet in my normal life.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
One of my biggest inspirations is my mentor, friend, and cofounder of TruFusion, Liz Steers.
Liz was a dancer for many years as a Rockette and showgirl in Vegas. Her passion for fitness has kept her healthy and moving into her fifties.
Just imagine the kindest, sweetest, petite woman in a leotard and leggings swinging a heavy kettlebell to thug rap – that’s Liz.
She is an incredible instructor and a great role model.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
My advice to anyone in the fitness world is find you a workout that you enjoy! Your workout should be something you look forward to rather than something you dread.
Don’t afraid to mix it up! Try new workouts, new gyms, new classes… keeping yourself inspired is key.
Similarly, find yourself a community that agrees with your values and can be a support system. Your gym buddies are your accountability network!
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
At the moment I am only teaching group fitness but I’m currently working towards my CPT certification and hope to start building my PT network by the end of this year!
I would love to train clients in person as well as provide fitness programs online.