Magazine article Dance Magazine

Francesca Romo: The Gallim Dancer Strengthens and Centers Her Body with Gyro

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Francesca Romo: The Gallim Dancer Strengthens and Centers Her Body with Gyro

Article excerpt

Though she trained classically at the Royal Ballet School in London, Francesca Romo always loved "getting dirty" in her weekly Graham class. Now, she must be both lithe and strong to capture the quirky athleticism of choreographer Andrea Miller's work for Gallim Dance. When she first started dancing for the Brooklyn-based troupe in 2007, "My energy output was immense," says Romo. "Sometimes I'd go home and I wouldn't be able to hold my head up, my neck would hurt so much." But over the years, she's learned how to keep pace. The key? Gyrotonic[R] and Gyrokinesis[R].

WHY GYRO HELPS

Gallim's dance style requires Romo to be both "soft and available, and have flexibility and strength at the same time," she says. A certified Gyrotonic[R] instructor for the last two years, Romo uses Gyro to get her body warm, integrated and grounded before rehearsals. Even just 20 minutes of Gyrokinesis[R] (the version practiced on a mat and chair, without special equipment) at the beginning of a hectic day is an ideal warm-up strategy when she's facing six to eight hours of very physical work.

Because much of Gallim's work is asymmetrical, Gyrokinesis[R] helps Romo combat long-term overuse problems by working both sides of the body the same way. "In fact, after Gyro I can better understand what it means to move asymmetrically," she says. The internal focus also gives Romo that extra dose of calm to attack the day's choreography anew, returning equilibrium "not just to the body, but to the mind."

ROMO'S REHEARSAL FUEL: CHEEZ-ITS

"I eat absolutely anything," says Romo. …

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