Back in the summer of 2016, I auditioned for the world tour of West Side Story. That same afternoon, got a call from the producer, offering me the job. When October rolled around, I embarked on a year-and-a-half long journey around the world in an experience I will never forget. There were many special things about the experience, and one of those is that Energetic Juniors was a part of my world journey every step of the way.
An Uncertain Beginning
When I first told Bonita I booked this tour, she and I had a moment of hesitation, wondering if I would be able to continue writing newsletters from around the world.
Then we quickly dismissed that hesitation and decided to charge forward as we had been since I started working for EJ in 2014.
Each month on tour, I continued writing monthly newsletters, editing trainers videos, creating videos of my own, and contributing to the EJ blog. I wrote articles from Muscat, designed visual templates from Shanghai, edited videos from Paris, and managed blog content from Istanbul.
Some Important Things I’ve Learned
One thing I have learned while on tour is that our relationships are one of our most valuable assets. I have connected with so many people around the world, but my connection to Energetic Juniors has stayed strong all along.
Additionally, my journey around the world as a dancer and a performer has highlighted the importance of developing a physical habit and sticking to it. At Energetic Juniors we talk about establishing a healthy relationship with exercise and maintaining that relationship throughout life. Doing a dance show for 15 months has been an enlightening experience for me physically. I have learned:
–The importance of warming up
–The importance of rest
–The importance of sleep
–The importance of cross-training
–The importance of attitude
And I have also learned how to work through (and with) injuries in order to stay moving and working even when my body is not 100%. Many times over the course of the run, I thought back to the phrase we say at Energetic Juniors: “If you rest, you rust.” While some rest is necessary, it is easy to just stop if your body is not working 100%. I thought about that phrase every time my body or brain (or both) was not feeling up to performing West Side Story for the 200th(-plus) time. But I got through those 356 performances with only one call-out because of that little EJ mantra. It helped me more times than I can even remember.
My Energetic Juniors story started well before tour, and it continues still today. EJ has helped me keep moving, even when the lazy or tired side of my brain was telling me to rust. And because of that, I don’t plan on rusting anytime soon.
Joe Bigelow is an actor, dancer, and IYCA-Certified Youth Fitness Specialist.