He Makes Me Feel Like Dancing, A Conversation With Mike Peele

New York City-born Detroit-raised Mike Peele has been dancing all of his life.  The Choreographer/Dancer and Artistic Director studied film while in college but his true passion was dance.  Peele has appeared in the many movies including Drumline, Stop The Yard, Madea’s Family Reunion, and Step Up3D. He has shared the stage with a plethora of top notch stars such as Destiny’s Child, Ludacris, Madonna and Nicki Minaj. In 2011 he released his first DVD entitled “Dance Hip Hop Now-Clean Style with Mike Peele.” PrideIndex had the pleasure of e-interviewing Peele as he was leaving the country for a week long sabbatical of eating, relaxation and time to reflect on his blesssings.  He talked about his work, life and workout plan.

PRIDEINDEX: Your favorite quote is “work hard to get there and work even harder to stay there.” How do you apply this in your own?

MIKE PEELE: Well I work hard and I do mean hard. (LAUGHS)   I know that no matter how hard you work or how much work you put into your career, relationships, friendships, and family you have to work even harder to keep it going!  We sometimes get settled in our lives when we think we have reached a particular level but I like to keep things going and set new goals for myself. You’re  only as good as your last gig is what people say.

PI: Your resume uses key words such as “actor,”  “choreographer,” and “instructor” but not “model.”  Why?

MP: I am blessed in the fields of acting, dancing, and directing. I love what I do and try to stay in my lane. To tell you the truth I don’t look at myself as a model.  I have never liked some of my features growing up. Nowadays I am okay with what I look like and owning what I have. (LAUGHS) My mom say’s I’m a beautiful man, but you know mothers will tell you anything.  (LAUGHS)   I do like my smile.

PI: Where were you professionally trained as a dancer?

MP: I was never professionally trained! In Detroit there were no dance studios that I knew about. So I really did not take a dance class till 2003 but I have been dancing all my life. I was what you would call a street dancer.  I would dance you under the table in a club, at school and anywhere. When I started taking classes on dance I learned how to be more disciplined. Growing up I observed many artist, choreographers and people in the entertainment industry. I t I studied by watching their work.

PI: Any influences?

MP: My mom is a major influence; she was acting in plays, a dancer, in the choir, cheerleading, always gave 100% and never gave up.  So that’s where I got my drive from. Other influences on my style were  Michael and Janet Jackson, George Michael, and of course Debbie Allen.  My acting influences are Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Mark Walberg and list goes on.

PI: Tell us about your diet and workout routine.

MP: I love to eat so I don’t really do diets: however  I do eat healthier. I have days when I cheat but I stay away from fast food. I only “diet” days before an upcoming photo shoot or a project where I have to take off a shirt. I eat small meals about 6 times a day. I go to the gym twice a day, every other day with rest periods on Saturday and/or Sunday. I try and switch up my workout routine to shock my muscles so I  never get bored.

Here’s my routine

I begin with  10minutes of stretching exercises.

Then 30minutes of cardio exercises,

and another 10minutes of stretching.

Followed by  an hour working. It may consists of working on my chest and quads or calves then triceps or biceps and then back exercises.

And lastly I do a 30minute Ab workout.

PI: Most guys of your fitness level and muscular build aren’t as flexible as you are. What do you do to stay limber and flexible?

MP: I make sure that I’m constantly stretching which is very important in my line of work and just important when you’re into fitness. The more you do it the better you’ll get. You don’t  want to be one big muscular stiff that really can’t move.

Pi: How much do you  bench press?

MP: I think the last time I checked I could bench press 360lbs.

PI: Have you ever competed in the body building circuit? If so which ones? If not, how come?

MP: I’ve never competed. I would always look at those guys and think to myself that I would not even place in a bodybuilding competition! However I am thinking about competing in the fitness categories at Muscle Mania and some other competitions. A representative from Muscle Mania has approached me a few times about competing. If I decide to do it I just want to do well, looking my best.

PI: Talk about some of the films and video you’ve starred in and some of the famous people you have worked with?

MP: My films include, Stomp The Yard, Step Up 3D,  Drumline and Madea’s  Family Reunion. I have also worked in music videos, concert tours  and television commercials. I have also worked with artist such as Destiny’s Child, Beyonce, and Ciara.  I was blessed to have worked with Madonna about a month after I moved to NYC earlier this year. I also completed my first featured film as lead choreographer for Korean blockbuster movie “PAPA.”  I am working on another movie called “A Cape for Maria,” which will be shot later this summer in Atlanta.

PI: What can the average person do to get into shape?

MP: If you want to get into shape follow these steps. First put down those magazines filled with pictures of beautiful people who you want to look like. Aim to want to look your very best, be healthy and do it at your own pace.  Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to look like others.

Pick up the pace. After working out regularly take it up a level higher each time you workout.  If you were to do 10 minutes of cardio shoot for 15minutes the next time you work out. Then progress to an additional 5 minutes from there.

Stay focused on your own workout!  Resist the need to worry about what everyone else is doing in the gym. There is nothing wrong with using someone else’s good looks, obtained with hard work, but use their workout successes as motivation. Don’t loose focus on your own fitness goals.

Focus on eating better rather than not eating at all. Not  eating  is not going to help you loose weight in the end, it will make you gain even more weight.

see Mike dance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wg0IhhGV7bI&feature=related