Paulette Delcourt: Madonna for Super Bowl MVP!
Making it to the Super Bowl takes some strength and conditioning, but maybe not the kind you think.
This year’s Super Bowl was one of the best displays of athleticism I have ever seen.
I’m talking about Madonna.
At 53 she’s been entertaining people for over 25 years—over five times as long as the average NFL player’s career (you can Google that) and she’s still going strong.
Underneath her blond extensions and leather breastplate was a well-conditioned athlete. With the backlighting and dry ice effects, maybe you didn’t notice she easily scaled her movie-set bleachers in high heels and lacquer leggings.
I watched in amazement as she crouched down to the floor—bent her knees way beyond 90 degrees—and got back up under her own power. I wouldn’t attempt that without an aide or a Life Alert.
While Madonna has faked the ability to sing since 1984, one thing is for sure: the woman can dance. She put on one heck of a show, surrounded by dancers of even greater talent.
Did you see the dude who did the splits? Standing up?
I struggle to understand why dancers aren’t celebrated for their athleticism the way football or baseball players are. Does banging into another human being, throwing an object; or hitting a stick against a moving projectile make a person a better athlete?
Unlike football players, dancers don’t have to double their size with intimidating pads and helmets. In fact, despite their larger-than-life stage presence, most dancers are quite diminutive. They’re small, and strong— it’s like watching an ant lift a giant breadcrumb: we watch in wonder without thinking about "how did they do that?" We just know it's cool.
By virtue of being artists, have dancers closed the door on fame and fortune? Are they the unsung heroes of the fitness world? I not only believe so, I know so.
To illustrate, try this quick fitness test. Are you as fit as a dancer? Disclaimer: don’t try this stuff. Don't even think about it.
1. Stand up tall. Bend your knees and prepare to jump. Jump vertically drawing knees towards your chest. Do not land on your knees or face.
2. Do the splits.
3. Run at full speed. Leap in the air and jump into the splits. Do not land on your knees or face.
4. Stand still. Lift your right leg straight in front of you at 90 degrees. Stand there long enough to sing Yankee Doodle. If you haven't collapsed like Jell-O, switch sides.
What? You didn’t pass? Don’t worry. Try yoga (I'm an instructor), Pilates or ballet—any of those disciplines will help your strength and flexibility. There are studios in Elmhurst, Geneva, Riverside, La Grange, Western Springs, Hinsdale, Westmont, and Clarendon Hills.
It doesn’t hurt if you jog to class either.