PHIL HULFORD​
'The more you can work on yourself, focussing on your strengths and becoming hyper aware of both your mindset and the words you use has a GIANT impact on the way children grow.' 

Father of two. Freelance performer, teacher and influencer.

Phil spent a decade on the road as a performer in Hofesh Schecter Company

YouTube: Phil Hulford

IG: @phil_Hulford

What was the most challenging aspect of working in dance and being a parent for you?

Building a life of balance where there is both fulfillment in what you do and lots of time for play with the littles.

 
What support did you feel you had from work when your partner was pregnant?

I had 2 weeks of paternity leave, Hofesh Shechter Company were incredibly accommodating, the childcare issues at times was a nightmare and often we were given a lot of grace in that area!

 

What support do you feel you had on paternity leave?
Honestly, I can't remember. It was a blur of overwhelming emotion and exhaustion.
Was there anything that may not have been in place that you felt could have been useful?

No.

 

Do you think being a dancer/ working in the dance industry made you think differently about your partner's pregnancy/recovery?

Yes absolutely. The knowledge we gained about self-care especially when it comes to physical recovery (for Hannah) and managing rest was critical. 

 

From your experience, what advice would you give to an expectant parent regarding leave?

Cook and freeze as many meals as you can before the birth!

What changed most for you on your return to work?

The next level tiredness and learning to manage that. Hearing people who did not have kids complain that they were tired was enlightening and actually helped me not complain about it, it kinda made me feel like a superman!

Does parenting help you in your work?

Yes. It deepens the emotional connection to any work I do. I have a more tender heart and am far more graceful regarding making mistakes both with others and in myself.

 

Does dance help you in your parenting?

Hmmm, YES it does! We have regular dance parties at home, the boys are EXTREMELY good with their bodies and physical awareness. It has also massively helped with our energy and fitness to raise insane little boys who don't stop till they are asleep!

Do you know of any resources that already exist for parents who work in dance?

No I don't, but I haven't looked. 

 

Anything else you think would be worth raising?

The more you can work on yourself, focussing on your strengths and becoming hyper aware of both your mindset and the words you use has a GIANT impact on the way children grow. A parents healthy mind is like a support stick for a plant, it encourages the right growth even though the fruit of labour may not be visible for a while.

More about Phil

Phil trained at The Place (Contemporary Dance School) and met choreographer Hofesh Shechter and toured fo 10 years. Toward the end of that time his wife had their first kid. He started his journey into the film industry (2016) acting, playing creatures and stunt performing but mostly being a full time dad! He still performs at a high level and offers workshops in mindset, natural movement and flowstate. He has a HUGE ambition to impact as many people as possible to recognise the power within them and exactly how to use it to achieve greatness (not just in performance). 

Images: Pari Naderi, Pierre Tappon, Ben Broomfield

Copyright Lucy McCrudden 2018