Sweden’s Lucy Wildheart set aside ballet shoes to embrace boxing gloves ten years ago. It was a huge decision for one who was already making waves on the dance floor, but since that switch she has never looked back even as the 29 year old aims to take down Amanda Serrano on her way to a world title.
The saying that no knowledge is a waste is also playing out as her professional record of eight wins and one loss is aided by her fantastic footwork thanks to her dancing prowess.
“Everything is about the legs and feet if you can move your feet, you can’t be hit,” Wildheart told Reuters ahead of her bout with Eva Cantos on Sept. 17 at the Civic Hall in Grays, some 20 miles (32km) east of central London.
“Everything is about footwork and leg strength, and that’s something I have a lot of from dancing,” she added.
In her late teenage years, Wildheart was an enthusiastic member of a huge Swedish dance scene where young and old alike gather to dance in pairs, with the “bugg” (an early Swedish variation of the Lindy Hop) and the foxtrot particularly popular.
Wildheart discovered boxing while working as a personal trainer, and when she began studying dance full time she quickly realised her two passions had a big overlap.
“I knew it would help my boxing, improve my footwork and balance. I applied to a dance course and got accepted, the first year it was around 30 hours of active dancing every week ballet, contemporary and jazz,” she said.
Wildheart was accepted into Sweden’s Ballet Academy, but believed her future lay in the ring.
“I decided to move to England because I got the chance to focus more on boxing and to choose a little more what I wanted to do. Since then, I’ve only really danced at home,” she said.
“To be really good at boxing, there’s a lot of things you have to be good at. Coordination, strategy, fitness, you have to be strong, explosive and they’re the things I’m interested in, the science behind it,” Wildheart enthused.