5 minutes with choreographer, teacher and wellness guru Chrissy Sundt
How did you get into choreography and later teaching?
I started dancing at the age of 3 (I was the child who wouldn’t sleep at nap time and instead would twirl about the room!), and went into professional Ballet training at 11 years old, completing 8 years of training at the Royal Ballet Lower and Upper Schools. Throughout my schooling and following the injury that stopped my dancing career, choreography became my focus. I have been privileged to work with anything from professional dancers from English National Ballet and the Royal Ballet, to rugby players (charitable fashion show), to children of all ages. It is always a rewarding experience and for me the creative process is key and feeds into my teaching and the development of my retreat programs.
One of Lisa's preferred off-duty activities is to exercise and stay fit, and she can often be found working out with renowned choreographer and wellness guru Chrissy Sundt. As part of our series of interviews with some of our favourite people, we took 5 minutes to chat to Chrissy about her journey to success and also get some intel on her amazing Silver Linings Retreats which are a must-do if you are serious about your health and wellness.
I started doing Pilates as part of my strength training at school and when I became injured was an amazing tool in my rehabilitation. I subsequently trained as a Classical Pilates teacher with Power Pilates New York. I also teach Barre for barrecore London and more recently completed my yoga teacher training (although I have practiced yoga since a very young age.) I think each of these training disciplines has incredible health benefits and this is why we focus on a combination of these mindful movement experiences on the wellness retreats.
What's you best industry memory?
I was dancing with the Birmingham Royal Ballet and I had to switch roles at the last minute due to another dancer being injured. I was supposed to be dancing Cinderella in Act III of Sleeping Beauty but I hadn’t tried the costume on. During the interval I had to quickly change costume but couldn’t get the sleeves of the Cinderella costume past my elbows (apparently they are ‘big’) this meant another dancer and I quickly changing roles and involved me dancing all the choreography on the other leg (mirrored from the way I normally did it)… let's just call that performance ‘interesting’!
What's your current favourite way to relax and unwind?
If I feel physically depleted then a really nourishing yoga practice and meditation are perfect. I also love to swim…I zone out completely and I love to be in or near the water. I am also really social and I love to dine out with friends or enjoy a really good film.
What's the hardest part of running your own business?
Sales….I really don’t want to ‘sell’ an experience. I feel what we do is just such a lovely and in most cases necessary, escape from the stress of modern life. I love getting to know my clients and creating bespoke wellness solutions just for them but the idea of ‘selling’ doesn’t sit well with my nurturing and creative role.
Who or what inspires you?
My brilliant clients, my talented colleagues, the wellness experts we work with, music (all genres) and nature (which is why SLR only work in magical places).
Where is your favourite place to travel?
I love to travel and go to new places and I have been so lucky to be able to travel extensively for work and fun. I love my home country, Norway, the nature is just spectacular and my recent (first ever) Safari was an extraordinary and very romantic trip. High on my list are our retreat destinations in the Bahamas and Ibiza, which are some of my favourite places in the world. I am privileged to regard them as second homes and it is a treat to retreat to such gorgeous places.
A product you can't live without?
Lisa’s amazing pro-effect luminescent base is a staple, Lancôme’s waterproof mascara (the only one that stays firmly in place no matter how much I train) and I am a sunscreen addict…I believe we need to ‘watch this space’ as Lisa may have news on this one???
Who do you stalk on Instagram... any accounts we need to fall in love with?
Taryn Toomey – the most stylish and amazing teacher and creator of The Class
Edward Watson – a friend from school and a Principle dancer with the Royal Ballet. He recently received his MBE and is an extraordinary artist and a wonderful human being.
Yogareposted – just beautiful Asanas in beautiful places
Sweaty Betty – I am a long-term ambassador of the company and I love their design and will always be grateful for their support.
Lisa Franklin – always beautiful images beautifully curated.
Chrissy's divine Silver Linings Retreats run on a rolling programme throughout the year. The next ones are:
La Granja, Ibiza: Monday 9th October - Friday 13th October 2017
Kamalame Cay, Bahamas: Friday 3rd November - Friday 17th November 2017
Friday 2nd February - Friday 22nd February 2018
For more information on the retreats head to Silver Linings Retreats.