A funny and awkward situation that seems to be more frequent for me at this point now that I’ve been dancing for nearly 10 years and traveling across the US for events, is meeting dancers in person that are in YouTube videos I have memorized from top to bottom. It’s especially awkward when that video was from 2013 and you meet the person like 6 years later and became Facebook friends with them 3 years prior. You can’t be like “Hey man! Remember that aerial you pulled off during the Medium round of the Canadian Showcase at CSC 2013…that was sick!!”
I didn’t do that when I first met Bill Ewanick, who dances in Ottawa, Canada, but I sure as hell thought it when we first interacted in person LOL! I don’t really have a better introduction about him, just that funny story that occurred in my head. Bill and I talk strongman lifting and share random and funny exercise-related things. My favorite but least favorite is this troll job here with this video, which I’ll explain the significance of at a later time. Enjoy reading about the dance and lifting adventures of Bill Ewanick.
Years dancing: 15 (in September)
Years resistance training: 7
So I lift AND dance fast!
What are all the dance related activities that you do in your scene (locally, nationally, internationally)
In my local scene of Ottawa I coordinate the DJs for the weekly dance at the Ottawa Swing Dance Society. I am also a team member and coach of various projects with Side Street Swing, one of the local dance schools. Every year, I DJ and coordinate DJs for O-Town Showdown (which is awesome and you should all come!). I train regularly with Shannon MacGillivray and we compete all over when we can. It’s been a very fun and fulfilling dance partnership! Lastly, I wrote an article a while back about the more marginalized musicians in the history of swing.
Fitness accomplishment you’re most proud of:
I deadlifted a car for the first time in competition!
What are your favorite exercises to do?
A lot of them! Movement in general I find enjoyable.
Top one is definitely squats. There’s something very primal about squatting. The feeling of going for a personal best, walking out a weight heavier than you ever have before. It feels like your legs are shaking uncontrollably, and a voice in your head is just screaming “THIS IS TOO HEAVY. YOU CAN’T DO THIS”. And then you take a deep breath and do it anyway. It’s scary because you can actually get hurt, even with a good spot.
Deadlifts are also king. There’s nothing like holding onto a heavy ass weight in your hands. We’re all about numbers, so deadlifts are great since it’s usually the largest. I don’t find them scary at all, since you can always drop the bar if it isn’t working out. It’s just fun!! Plus, I can say I deadlifted a car, so that’s pretty cool.
Otherwise the sport of strongman/strongwoman has a lot of fun exercises. Heavy farmer’s walks are great for conditioning and grip. Sandbag carries are a real testament to your grit. And circus dumbbell just looks so cool.
What got you into resistance training and Why?
Wanted to get into better shape for partner dancing. I like having plans, so going to the gym and doing whatever didn’t appeal to me. I knew of powerlifting and strongman from seeing it on YouTube and they seemed like fun. I looked up powerlifting programs (Starting Strength) and started there.
Funniest workout story?
Can’t think of anything specific. We’re usually trying dumb exercises and other horrible conditioning stuff just because it sounds fun. I also once tried to do the Shim Sham while holding onto 130lbs in each hand for a Lindy Bout promo
What are the differences you’ve noticed in your day to day life and dance life since you’ve been resistance training?
I’ve discovered how much fun it is being strong. Aerials aren’t easier, I still need good technique, but the margin for error is much greater. It has been a challenge keeping up cardio endurance with all the extra weight I’ve gained. I’ve had to plan a lot more hill sprints than I might otherwise if I wasn’t a dancer.
What piece of advice or encouragement do you have for those who are interested in resistance training but are apprehensive?
See if you can find a lifting-focused gym, and see if they offer coaching. I train with Hyperforce Athletics and I’m much stronger than I would be otherwise without them pushing me. Getting someone to coach you through the lifts at first is really helpful to get your confidence up. Most people serious about the iron game are really excited to share it, so you should find lots of people will want to help you if you just ask. Once you’ve got the basics without hurting yourself, keep to an established program and work hard for at least six months before trying to modify. Consistent work on a mediocre program is much better than no work with the perfect program.
If you’re having trouble getting started, start with the smallest habit you can create. Every morning get up and put on your workout clothes. Then start going to the gym just for 15 minutes. Then for 30. As long as it takes to get into a habit. Willpower won’t save you, only discipline will.
It’s very important to seek out people stronger/better than you at your goals and train with them. It will really push you to work hard and succeed.
I hope you enjoyed getting to know about Bill as a dancer and as a lifter. There are still plenty more dancers that will be introduced in this series, let me know if you’d like to have more series like this but regarding a different subject. Also, if you’d like me to explain the significance to Mambo #5 and why that is a troll move.
Thank you for reading, and thank you to all of the dancers who have been active on my like page on Facebook . If you have any questions, feel free to comment here or message me through the Lindy Fitness page on Facebook. If you’re interested in seeing how fitness coaching can work for you, email me at Lindyfitness2014@gmail.com. Thank you again for reading, and looking forward to next time.