by Alessia Salambene
Beth Nicely has dedicated her life to the pursuit of both fitness and performing.
But it took her first professional job for her to realize that fitness was integral to a career on Broadway, “When I understudied Peggy Sawyer on the 1st National Tour of 42nd Street, I would do the dances in the wings as much as I could and also sing her part while running on a treadmill. I knew I needed to be in stamina shape if I ever went on.”
In addition to her successful Broadway career in shows including Something Rotten!, Bullets Over Broadway and Spamalot, Nicely is a Master trainer at a dance-based fitness studio, Body By Simone.
“My friend, Sarah O’Gleby, recommended me for the job at Body By Simone,” says Nicely. “That’s what motivated me to be interested in training. I’ve always liked working out and I loved Simone De La Rue’s method. It has kept me strong and injury-free.”
What’s incredible is how much Nicely trains on top of her current show, performing in the Broadway company of Chicago. Not only does she go to rehearsal and do a show at night, she teaches four hours every morning, six days a week. “I foam roll every morning and warm up my feet/knees and stretch at least 30 minutes everyday post working out for recovery.”
A mantra that sticks with Nicely about her fitness career from a friend Matt Allen is, “‘You must be stronger than your show.’ I’ve kept this as my mantra ever since he said it to me. It’s SO TRUE. Not only do you have to be stronger than the show you’re in to prevent injury, BUT I truly believe there is no way you can perform to your fullest if you aren’t in shape enough for it.” This a mantra that many people can take to heart if they’re at the start of their journey or somewhere far into it.
Nicely has some words of wisdom for performers who are just getting into the world of fitness. “Be patient with yourself. Strength and stamina don’t come in a day, a week, even a month sometimes. The most important thing to do is be consistent with your workout.”
Nicely makes an excellent comparison to performance and auditions - “It’s the same as when you audition, don’t compare yourself to others or dissect everything you did wrong in your audition. Stay consistent and you will find yourself stronger, better and living the best you can - on, or off-Broadway!"