Have you ever wondered what a Physie Champion gets up to in the off season? What does a physie girl do when she doesn’t have her weekly class to attend?! Here is a glimpse of what Caitlin Mewett has been doing in her time off.

What is your physie story?
I began Physie at the age of 6 at a local club who was looking for girls to join their teams. I started half way through 2006, so competing at Junior zone was a very last minute decision. I was lucky enough to make it to Homebush that year and surprised to come away with a National Fifth place!
At the age of 9 I decided to give Physie a break and focus on my dancing, however three years later in 2012 I picked it up again! I have been participating in Physie since then and enjoyed every bit of it!
From 2016-2018 I also began to teach Physie at a local club, and found helping students so rewarding and special. This year I have especially enjoyed using my dance knowledge and background to help others with their Physie Technique. I was fortunate enough to be asked by my teacher Emma Sadd to teach some of the students of Figtree. I loved investigating which dance exercises and training methods could help improve the students ability to perform their Physie syllabus.
I also loved being apart of the BJP Physie At Home Training Package this year. Being able to share my dance training by putting together a “contemporary routine” for other Physie girls meant so much to me. I also loved sharing the effective ballet exercises I was practising at home to keep my technique in check while in lockdown.
From weekly classes, to Junior zones and nationals, to teams, to Opera House years, I have so many Physie memories I’ll hold onto forever. 

 What’s your earliest physie memory?
My earliest memory would be my first ever Physie class! I was 6 years old and very nervous. I had done dance classes before, but marching and Physie positions were very foreign to me. I remember going home after that first lesson and teaching the rest of my family how to march and shouting “heels together on the corners” haha!

What’s the most important thing that you’ve got out of physie?
The most important thing I have learnt from Physie is to perform for myself and no one else. To not worry what the other girls on the floor look like and to focus on my own work. To not stress about who is in the audience watching or care what others think of my ability. To acknowledge and accept my weaknesses but know how to indulge in my strengths. To focus on the process and not the outcome…

As a performer, do you have a favourite routine that has stuck with you over the years? Why is it your favourite?
My favourite Physie routine I have performed would be the seniors 2019 contemporary. As a 19 year old it was the first year I could perform the contemporary. What stuck out most was the lyrics for me, and I attached with the routine from the very first lesson. Each time before competing that year, I would listen to the lyrics and establish a true connection. Therefore when on the floor I found it easy to perform an authentic expression of how the routine made me feel. I was also fortunate to make it to Grand that year, so I was able to perform this routine twice on the Opera House Floor!!

What did your physie preparation/routine for 2020 look like when NSW went in to lockdown?
As I was completing a full time dance course 5 days a week also online, I struggled to do Physie lessons on zoom as well. Instead I found other ways to strengthen my Physie syllabus: Yoga and Pilates I found helped hugely with my strength and control in the floor drill and exercises. Both of these practises made me feel more confident in balances, more flexible and made me appreciate each individual position in the Physie routines. Explosive training of movements like squat/ box jumps and burpees helped with my endurance and my capability to perform at maximum effort for a longer period of time (this came in handy for State Finals). Listening to the contemporary music and finding which parts of the song stood out for me and how can I reiterate this in my movement. Finding different spaces to practice my Physie work in (loungroom, backyard etc), to keep it fun and interesting!
Lockdown also re-taught me the importance of practising the syllabus by yourself and letting it sit in your body for a while. I think this allows us to find our strengths and weaknesses in each routine and find the way our body best performs them.

Who and what kept you motivated throughout this difficult physie year?
My Teacher Emma for sure was one person that kept me motivated throughout the year! She made sure zoom classes were available, she kept in contact with us all the time, she kept classes fun and exciting and overall she made sure Physie was a nurturing outlet for us to escape the craziness that was happening in the world.
The girls at class each week would also keep me motivated! The support each girl gave each other made the craziness of everything happening outside the studio seem less scary.
This year taught me also that I have to be my biggest motivator, in and out of covid times! At the end of the day you have to be your own biggest cheerleader, competitor, supporter and motivator. 

Give us 5 words that explain how you feel when you do physie.
Exhilarating , Strong, Empowered, Excited and Proud