Last week I managed to catch up with the fellow Blackpool born Dan Whiston, who became a household name from his 10 year stint on the ITV series Dancing on Ice.
As a professional ice skater, business man and Zumba teacher, who better to quiz on fitness, nutrition and career mindset?
You started ice skating at a young age, what was it about the sport that appealed to you?
As a little boy I used to go and watch my sister skate and was totally in awe of her. My Mum and dad put me on the ice for the first time when I was 7 years old at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, I remember taking to it like a duck to water – with my mum and dad struggling to get me off the ice afterwards. It was always a dream of mine to be in the Hot ice show which is the resident show at Blackpool ice arena, which I later skated in.
How long can it take you to come up with new routines, and where do you get your inspiration from?
I am always getting ideas for new routines for dancing on ice and can be inspired by the smallest things. I tend to sleep with a pen and paper by my bed as sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with lightbulb ideas.
Ice skating requires such a high level of fitness and strength, especially if you want to be at the top of your game, what training do you do on and off the ice to help improve your performance?
It is very important to me to keep a high level of fitness on and off the ice. I try to go to the gym as often as I can and 5 years ago I became a qualified Zumba teacher, this in turn keeps me very fit and motivated and I love getting to meet the lovely people that join my class.
How do you effectively fuel your training sessions with your nutrition?
I like to have as much protein as I can whilst I'm training/ working out, including protein shakes. I also find it really important to refuel straight after training. I think it’s really important to have a balanced diet remembering that good food is fuel to your body.
What’s your favourite meal you love to cook?
I am very lucky to have a lot of people around me that are great cooks. However when I do get chance to cook, a personal favourite of mine is Chicken Kiev, sweet potato fries and vegetables smothered in salad cream of course!
What’s your fitness jam? Footloose
Fave food? Ham butties (loads of salad cream!!)
Fave sport? Ice Skating (of course...!!)
Fave way to sweat? Skating!
How would your friends describe you? Loyal, Funny, Caring and Naughty!!
What has been your biggest obstacle in your career and how did you overcome it?
Tearing my hamstring days before our opening show one year in dancing on ice! Luckily, due to our amazing physio team on the show, I made a speedy recovery ready for our first weeks performance.
With your media work, numerous businesses and fitness classes how do you effectively manage your time and find the right balance?
In terms of my businesses, I am very lucky to have great business partners and an amazing team of staff behind us to keep everything running smoothly. This in turn allows me to concentrate fully on Dancing on Ice while the show is on and also my Zumba and fitness classes when it’s not.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
I often find that the people that you surround yourself with reflect the quality of your work. I work in an industry where I am surrounded by extremely talented people who motivate me and inspire me constantly.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
Winning Dancing on Ice 3 times and performing in the Royal Variety Performance have to be my greatest achievements so far...
What has been the best advice you have ever been given?
Don’t only be left with your last weeks pay cheque, invest wisely!
Whats your favourite thing to do to help you switch off and relax?
I love catching a good horror film at the cinema with family and friends.
Whats your favourite place in the world and why?
Blackpool Prom... as it takes me back to being little and it’s miles and miles of beautiful coast... no place like home.
What are you currently working on and what can we look forward to next from Dan?
I have recently qualified as a fitness Pilates instructor, which I am really enjoying teaching. I am also in talks right now with Dancing on Ice 2020... so watch this space!!
And I for one definitely am watching that space!