Back on air after a three year hiatus, the new series of Dancing on Ice sees Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby welcome a host of stars including Donna Air, GBBO’s Candice Brown and Corrie’s Antony Cotton take to their skates as they learn how to not only skate, but how to pull off some tricky dance moves too.
Under the guidance of professional ice skaters, they're judged and critiqued on their skills by Jason Gardiner and Diversity founder Ashley Banjo along with former DOI coaches Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.
One of the show’s long-standing professionals, Dan Whiston, who is paired up with TV presenter Cheryl Baker, took some time out of his busy training schedule to tell us how he stays fit both on and off the ice.
Dancing keeps him fit – and happy
“Alongside ice skating, I teach Zumba classes regularly which is so much fun! Dancing to music, whether on ice or not, releases happy endorphins in your brain which even after the most stressful day you will not be leaving my class without a smile on your face, but be warned you will be worked hard.”
He’s been ice skating for over 30 years
“I’ve been skating for more than thirty years now - that makes me feel ancient - but it really does feel like yesterday since I first stepped foot onto the ice for the first time. I turned professional when I was 18 so I have been dancing on ice in front of audiences for over 20 years.”
He thinks fitness is an individual journey
“It’s a very individual journey and not everyone enjoys exercising. I think you need to have an end goal in mind, a beach holiday and wanting to wear that swimsuit you’ve never dared is always a good one. Then it’s a case of breaking the whole journey down into smaller steps.”
He swears by fitness classes to build confidence
“Since I started teaching Zumba, I’ve met a lot of people who have told me they struggle to go to the gym, they find it intimidating or unwelcoming, but joining something like a Zumba class with other like-minded people means they get to increase their fitness levels whilst having fun and making new friends. So many of my Zumba class have lost inches off their waistlines and I see their confidence building week on week which is very rewarding for me, but you need to shop around to find the class or exercise programme that suits you.”
He likes a hotel gym when on the road
“Being on tour is so much fun. We tour the UK and perform the show twice a day which in itself is a great workout. I also like to work out in the hotel gym and catch the odd fitness class when I have time. I try to avoid a lot of bread. Bread is the devil! I love it, but I only eat it at weekends. I also like to control my other carbs by regulating them and making sure that I have a balanced diet to go with my fitness regime. Refuelling your body is very important. Remember to be kind to your body and it will be kind to you.”
He believes balance is key
“Everything has to be balanced with health and fitness. I’ve heard of people starting a gym program or a diet plan and over doing it within the first couple of weeks. They may have spent too much time in the gym and got bored or made their diet too boring and strict which has led to them jacking the gym in and getting a Kebab on the way home. By keeping your health and fitness routine balanced you will have a realistic gym plan with goals which you will look forward to achieving week by week. Don’t be afraid of treating yourself to the odd takeaway especially if you have done well with your eating plan.”
He thinks you're never too old to try ice skating
“You are never too old to start ice skating. Enquire at your local ice rink for details on their learn to skate programme. Often ice rinks run an adult learn to skate programme which is a great way to get started. From there, if you get the bug for ice skating the natural progression would be to inquire about private lessons.
“Over my time on Dancing On Ice I have seen lots of adults get to a fantastic standard on the ice and also make great friends along the way. It take guts to get out there on the slippery stuff for the first time but with a bit of coaching and support, it really is wonderful to watch somebodies skating skills and confidence grow.”