Sherrill Williams



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Work 1-on-1 with Dane, host of You Booked It.


EP 171: Dr. Sherrill Williams (autogenerated)

Dane Reis: [00:00:00] you booked it. Episode 171. Okay. Let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Sharelle Williams. Are you ready for this URL? 

[00:00:13] Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:00:13] Yeah.

[00:00:14] Dane Reis: [00:00:14] Oh, right. right. A lifelong lover of the performing arts. Dr. Sharelle committed most of her life to studying dance. After losing 90 pounds, she blended her love of dance with wellness by receiving a doctor of physical therapy degree from New York university.

[00:00:31] Shortly after she founded leg-up fitness and wellness, a concierge fitness and physical therapy practice leg ups, client credits include. the first us national tour of Aladdin Hamilton Lizzo, John legend, complexions, contemporary ballet, and more. Dr. Shapiro is a passionate advocate for dance, injury, prehab, and rehab, and loves helping dancers around the U S virtually and in person, Cheryl, that is a quick one.

[00:01:02] Intro of who you are and what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself, fill in the gaps and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.

[00:01:14]Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:01:14] of course he said, I am dr. Cheryl Williams. I am from a cute little city called Largo, Florida. Um, most places people have never heard of it as a VIX biggest place is Tampa, but I am currently calling New York city. My home. I am also a dancer. I stole my heart first. And when you don’t know that I actually was a studio manager for an arts conservatory.

[00:01:44] I was a nonprofit and yeah, it was really great and fulfilling. I got to give scholarships to youth in underserved neighborhoods that got to take classes in dance. Acting visual arts, the tography videography. It was really cool until I, you know, moved to New York and I got my doctorate. And now I am here taking care of the beautiful artistic community, you know, a lot more pre COVID of course, um, I’m mobile or concierge, which just means I come to my clients’ homes.

[00:02:23] I’ve come to rehearsal studios, wherever you need me. 

[00:02:28] Dane Reis: [00:02:28] Yeah, very cool. Love it. Well, let’s dig into this first section here and Cheryl, look, I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone?

[00:02:42]Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:02:42] Okay. So I’m very Southern and in the South, but you know where you grew up in the church. And so, uh, there was, uh, a lyric in a song and it just says the storm won’t last, always. That’s my favorite quote.

[00:02:57]Dane Reis: [00:02:57] I mean, it really does put some perspective into things. And can you expand on that a bit on how it’s really worked its way into your life?

[00:03:04]Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:03:04] Um, yes, of course. I mean, for me, My quote, unquote storm was a physical therapy in a way. Not because, you know, it’s hard or school was hard, but because it was difficult being taken away from dance and the artistic community for like three years. And so I was like, this is my whole life. And then it’s like, you, you maybe have.

[00:03:30] Time for a class maybe, but I was very much into academics and getting good grades. And so I, I sort of felt like I had to push the arts out of my life a little bit. And so I just had to remind myself, like, it’s not going to be, I’m not going to be in school forever. I’m going to get back to my roots. I’m going to get back to my love, which is dance.

[00:03:53]Dane Reis: [00:03:53] yeah, very cool. and because you, you know, Had that perspective too. Hey, I just got to focus on this for a moment. Now your whole career is about the arts and helping those in it and  helping people create long careers and get back on their feet, you know, shoot injuries happen.

[00:04:12]Right. So it’s brilliant, right? You’ve you’ve come right back. It’s not, you just had to take a pause.

[00:04:17]Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:04:17] Oh, yeah, but I, I can’t lie. It was hard.

[00:04:20] Dane Reis: [00:04:20] Yeah. I believe it.

[00:04:21] Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:04:21] It was so hard, man.

[00:04:24] Dane Reis: [00:04:24] I believe it,

[00:04:25]Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:04:25] You know, I feel like a part of you. I mean, I mean, I know artists can eat even like with COVID, right. We’re not in the studio or not on. Stage, you know, I hope this doesn’t last for three years, but you know, for my three years

[00:04:38] Dane Reis: [00:04:38] Yeah.

[00:04:39] Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:04:39] it was an interesting ride.

[00:04:42] Dane Reis: [00:04:42] Yeah, for sure. Good. And let’s get into this next section here. And Cheryl, of course you are a professional in the entertainment industry.  I’m a professional in the entertainment industry. And I think that you would agree that this can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest and personally emotional industries in existence.

[00:05:05] And you know, you know, as well as I, that in order to create and have a successful career in the arts, like you’re having now takes a lot of dedication and hard work. And while yeah. There’s an outrageous amount of fun in fulfillment, doing what we do. There are also our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures.

[00:05:24] We’re going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through. So tell us, what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it.

[00:05:36]Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:05:36] I have to say. Finding the time to speak with dancers and an artist to truly learn what they need while I was studying and physical therapy school. Right. Because what they teach you in school is cute, but it’s not the person. Right. Right. But it’s not like the person you guys are people it’s textbook foolishness doesn’t work. I’m treating a human being and I need to know how you feel. So. I would be, Oh my God. In and out, NYU schedule was very strict. And so I like sneak out the back and leave class early. I never forget we were in class and the program is very small. And then my class is very tight knit.

[00:06:27] So I’m like leaving a pharmacology class early in my classmates. Like Sharelle where are you going? Meanwhile, I’m like, Be quiet. And I got the opportunity to speak with, um, Troy Powell, who was the artistic director of Ailey too. So I’m like trying to get my books so I can get over to Alvin Ailey, American dance theater.

[00:06:51] And I’m just like, how can I make it work? You know, I just went, it taught me to be creative. And do you think, figure it out when you, when you want to reach a goal and you know, your mission, you know, that’s what it taught me.

[00:07:03]Dane Reis: [00:07:03] Yeah, for sure. And I’m so glad that you talk about, Hey, I’m treating people here because I think it’s very easy to. Just read the textbook and you, but when you go to apply it in real life, like, like, hold on, this is so difficult. This is something that well it’s finally people, dancers for instance, are coming out with dance, specific workout routines and things like this, because what ends up happening is if you go and get like a personal training certificate, uh, or certification then? That’s great, but you really want a lot of that trains you to do is how to be generally fit or to, but if you really follow that, what often will happen is that you’ll get a bit too big, but too muscly than what you’re trying to look for. People want to be maybe a bit more lean, but really strong.

[00:07:48] How do you do this? And then dancers are such high performance athletes that. How do you treat that as opposed to say someone who plays a football or basketball, you know, there’s, there’s more finesse in the movements and what we do. So I love that you’re asking those questions and you said, look, I need to know this.

[00:08:06]Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:08:06] yes. And actually to your point, like when I was studying, you know, we would watch videos of football players and baseball players and soccer players, and slow have slow Mo’s and they’ll ask you, okay, what do you see? Right. Or this person is in pain and injured. How do you think that happened? What do you think would go wrong?

[00:08:30] You don’t get that in PT school for dance. And so I kind of had to create that on my own. Like I I’m on everybody’s Instagram and I’m looking at your videos and, and when you guys are posting, you know, clips from your shows and I’m sitting there and I’m. Analyzing, you know, the movements all of the time and say, Oh, what’s missing.

[00:08:54] Or how could this person be stronger? Or, Oh my God, I went to, you know, this show, they are doing this movement a thousand times, what could go wrong? And how can I prevent something, you know, bad from happening or an injury from happening.

[00:09:10]we don’t appreciate the society.

[00:09:12] Doesn’t appreciate the arts. Like it does, you know, traditional quote unquote sports, you know,

[00:09:18]Dane Reis: [00:09:18] yeah, for sure. But thank goodness for you and really being passionate about that and diving into that because it’s so important. I was in a show called Jubilee in Las Vegas and beautiful show, but there’s a lot of repetitive motion and it was killing my hamstrings. Right. And I didn’t really know what.

[00:09:38]To do necessarily besides stretch and rollout and some strength training, it was, it was hard. Right? What I needed was someone like you to go, right? This is such a repetitive motion, It’s not necessarily a difficult, crazy, intense motion, but the re the repetition of it is what broke everything down and knowing how to fix that is invaluable for us.

[00:09:58]Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:09:58] Oh, yeah. So yeah, I just love watching y’all too. That brings me joy.

[00:10:05] Dane Reis: [00:10:05] all right, well, let’s move on to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time you realized, yes, I am going to be in this entertainment industry for living, or maybe it was, yes, this is what I need to be doing in the industry. Tell us about that.

[00:10:25]Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:10:25] Oh, so I worked with a choreographer named Charles Smith jr. Wonderful guy. He had a company or has a company called strictly for the ladies? I believe it was, I think it was like 20 to 30 ladies. And he did a, almost like a summer workshop that ended in a company show in 2019. And I spent the entire summer.

[00:10:56]With these ladies showing up to rehearsal, you know, giving consults, you know, if somebody is like in the middle of rehearsal and they go down or something’s bothering them or pinching them, I’m right there. They can come over there and talk to me. I taught workshops to help them even get through this intensive because he was we’re.

[00:11:17] Killing them, you know, and I just, I loved being there in the rehearsal space day in and day out when they finally had their show and I saw how the woman had grown. That’s when I was like, this is it. I can’t be any place else, but right here in the studio or in the home with these artists, like, I can’t be boxed in some traditional clinic.

[00:11:45] It just doesn’t feed me, feed me,   

[00:11:48] Dane Reis: [00:11:48] So good. And I want to piggyback on that real quick and talk about your number one, booked it moment. Walk us through that day. What was going on in your life? And what about that moment? Makes it your favorite book? That moment

[00:12:04]Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:12:04] Okay. So I’m going to say this, which kind of goes both with the medical side and the artistic side, going back to that whole idea of like, Artists objective. Right? So you can have it, but at that choreographer, the person that’s in charge, you know, you don’t have, I don’t know, blonde hair, blue eyes that day, you didn’t get it and you go home and you’re like, Oh my God, I can’t dance.

[00:12:26] I suck. But you know, it was really that you were five, four, and they needed someone. I was five, six. You have no idea. Right. So on the mound, on the medical side too, you can kind of get imposter syndrome and you can kind of be like, Oh, Do I know what I’m doing. Oh, I’m not sure. You know, I’m new, whatever. And so.

[00:12:41]My book did moment. I was in Florida doing a rotation. And for me, I was waking up at like six in the morning I was working out. I would be to work at eight I’d work till four I’d have like an hour break or so. And then I go see my own clients from like five o’clock until, so. You know, I finished my clients, I get home and I get a phone call from a previous client that I had in New York before I left, um, Florida left for Florida, you know, due to COVID and he calls me and he’s like, Oh my God, I’m in so much back pain.

[00:13:17] When I breathe, it hurts. And all I can do is just lay on the floor. So we hop on a zoom call. And I do an assessment with him and I write up a program and email it to him and, you know, that’s it. It’s five days later and I’m on his Instagram story and he’s outside doing the wop dance, like leg hitting his face, dropping down into his splits.

[00:13:54] I texted him. Back pain, like five days ago. He’s like, yeah, I’m feeling better. And that’s when I was like, Oh, you’re good, man. You thought you didn’t know what you know, just, you know exactly what you’re doing. This guy after five days is back dancing and you didn’t even put your hands on his body and you did the consult through zoom.

[00:14:20] You’re good.

[00:14:21] Dane Reis: [00:14:21] So cool. Yeah. That’s amazing. Love that. And let’s take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And it’s a weird time, right? Where it’s this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?

[00:14:43]Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:14:43] Oh, yes. COVID, that’s a whole pandemic. Well, right now, right now I am continuing, you know, to treat and train in a COVID friendly way in New York. I am definitely looking to reach more people outside of New York and. Really doing a push for, you know, online connection and training as well and continuously just.

[00:15:15]Finding ways to prepare dancers for the next step. I like to say, you know, getting ready for act two, right? Cause right now we’re in this long intermission, right? With COVID act two is coming so let’s, let’s get ready and let’s stay ready so that when we, when we are open and Broadway is back up, we don’t have any issues because I don’t know if the artists.

[00:15:42]You know, singers dancers, but, you know, I don’t know if they realize how deconditioned the body really gets just kind of sitting at home and we even, you know, we’ve had classes in the, in the homes, but it’s still not. To the level that we were doing, you know, when the world was, or when Broadway was open and we were doing eight shows a week and era, you know, for like my college kids taking, you know, 10 plus classes a week or, you know, whatever it may be.

[00:16:11] So I, you know, I’m really all about, Hey, let’s prepare for act two. And as far as you know, how the entertainment industry is moving forward, I really hope that in this time, artists are seeing the importance of cross training and seeking quality body maintenance. And that’s outside of insurance companies because you know, something I love to preach to dancers is that insurance companies, they don’t care about you doing eight shows a week.

[00:16:47] They don’t care that your till is perfect. They don’t care. If you can do five PIRO ads, they care. Can you. Bathe yourself. Can you pick up your groceries? Can you do your activities of daily living? So if you’re serious about doing more, no, that you should have a body fund and you should be saving so that you can get the quality of care that you need to be an elite, Professional, right.

[00:17:16] Professional, or at 

[00:17:16] Dane Reis: [00:17:16] I have, yeah. I have a body fund that is such a good way to put it in your right. We have to take care of ourselves if we’re going to have any kind of longevity in this career. Right. And it’s easy to, it’s easy to pass it off when you’re 18, 20 years old, right. Your body just bounces back. Maybe you get unlucky and you have to really bad an injury.

[00:17:35]Right. But. For the most part, you can, you can beat it up pretty good, and it can swing back the next day. But all those things compound over time and they get worse and worse. As you get older.

[00:17:45]Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:17:45] Oh, yes. Oh yes. And even like a physical therapist, even if it’s a massage or, you know what I mean? Just be saving. So you can have that once every, you know, once a month or twice a month, something cause you need right. The foam roller and the lacrosse ball are awesome, but they only take you so far. Just something to think about.

[00:18:09]Dane Reis: [00:18:09] Right. And it is time to move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightning round. I am going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another.

[00:18:24] Are you ready?

[00:18:26]Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:18:26] Yes.

[00:18:27]Dane Reis: [00:18:27] All right. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainment? Professional

[00:18:34]Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:18:34] Ooh, my body. I started it when I was a size 20.

[00:18:38]Dane Reis: [00:18:38] second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

[00:18:44]Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:18:44] You’re amazing. Already. Just trust yourself.

[00:18:47]Dane Reis: [00:18:47] Um, third question. What is something that is working for you right now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on? Pause

[00:18:58]Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:18:58] Saying daily affirmations,

[00:19:00] Dane Reis: [00:19:00] wow. Love that fourth question. What is your best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video, maybe a podcast or piece of technology you found is helping your career right now.

[00:19:14]Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:19:14] the ensemble plus, which is a podcast, has a mini series called injured and healing. It was great insight for me.

[00:19:22]Dane Reis: [00:19:22] Wonderful. And the fifth question, if you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry, what would you do or not do? Would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?

[00:19:39]Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:19:39] Ooh. I would have Riyadh dishes for the FSU dance BFA program, and then gotten my doctorate in physical therapy.

[00:19:48]Dane Reis: [00:19:48] there we go. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in this industry that you’d like to leave with our listeners?

[00:20:01]Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:20:01] you don’t have to be the best. You just have to keep showing up and stay consistent.

[00:20:07]Dane Reis: [00:20:07] Yes. Consistency is everything. It’s the little things every day that make the difference.

[00:20:13]Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:20:13] Yes, 1000%.

[00:20:16] Dane Reis: [00:20:16] yes. And to wrap up this interview, Cheryl, it is time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?

[00:20:27]Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:20:27] Yes, you can find me on Instagram at lack of fitness. I am on Facebook. Um, I can, it’s just Sharelle w my website is www dot leg-up, or you can reach me at any of those places. And yeah, I still have a few openings as far as training goes. For performing artists. So, or if you just have an issue with your body and you want to talk, I’m always open.

[00:21:02] Please reach out.

[00:21:03]Dane Reis: [00:21:03] and for everyone listening out there, I have put the links to everything. Cheryl just said into the description of this episode. So you can easily connect with her and also be sure to share this podcast with your fellow entertainers, coaches, teachers, arts, and entertainment educators, and anyone, you know, you know, aspiring to create a career in this.

[00:21:25] Industry you booked. It is the number one resource of expertise on how to actually create a successful entertainment career. It is integral to helping them succeed in helping you create a better, more fulfilling career in this wild and crazy industry. If you enjoyed this episode, hit that subscribe button.

[00:21:44] So you don’t miss the next one. Sharelle. Thank you so much for being here, sharing your insight on the physical therapy body awareness side of this industry. It’s so important. Thank you for being here

[00:21:56]Dr. Sherrill Williams: [00:21:56] Thank you having me. I so totally appreciate it.