Rayver & Maja: Dancing their way to fitness
by: Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit
They have practically danced their way to stardom. I am referring to Star Magic talents Rayver Cruz and Maja Salvador. They have been dancing together since 1995 as part of the “Ultimate Dance 4” on the Sunday show ASAP of ABS-CBN together with John Prats and Shaina Magdayao. Although the name has since been changed several times, Rayver and Maja are still part of the dance mainstays of the long-running variety show.
Experts as they are in dancing, their acting prowess is, of course, another part of the well- rounded talent enhancement that has since been a trademark of Star Magic. In a few days, the family of brilliant talents will converge at Shangri-La Hotel for the annual Star Magic Ball. This year is extra special though for Johnny Manahan and Mariole Alberto as the talent agency celebrates its 20th anniversary.
In a recent photo shoot, we marveled at how Rayver and Maja can dance without music. Fluid moves, unrehearsed yet very entertaining choreography enthralled all of us watching. In between takes, we asked them a few questions.
PHILIPPINE STAR: Was there ever a time when you were too skinny or fat? How did you overcome it?
RAYVER CRUZ: Yes, I was a skinny kid until I was about 13. I was slightly rounded then. But when I grew much taller at 15, I got skinny again. It was only when I reached 19 that I started bulking up. I overcame that by exercising. You have to be committed to build muscles.
Do you have a sport? How often do you play?
RAYVER: My first sport and only one up to now is basketball. I really love playing basketball. I play on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays afterASAP. Often with Xian and Gerald. I play every time there is no work.
How often do you work out?
RAYVER: I try to go to the gym thrice a week, but sometimes I only get to go twice. I will admit that sometimes I do get lazy, but I really try hard not to let go of the thrice-a-week schedule. I try and go even for 30 minutes.
Do you have a favorite workout?
RAYVER: I like doing exercises for the arms and chest. I guess because my body responds well, I mean I find it easier to build those parts.
How important is exercise to your career?
RAYVER: It is extremely important to us in showbiz. Roles are harder to get when you don’t look good on screen. If you are too skinny, it doesn’t also register well. I have to look my best. And that takes commitment.
Do you have a special diet?
RAYVER: Not really. I eat anything and everything though I try to stay away from pork. When I do eat a lot, I try and burn them the following day. I guess it also pays that I dance a lot.
When we got our turn to ask his dance partner Maja our questions, it was no wonder that it centered on running. Maja won the Gawad Urian Best Actress award for her role in Thelma, a movie directed by Paul Soriano about a lady who used her gift for running to improve the life of her family.
How do you keep fit?
MAJA SALVADOR: Dancing is part of my workout, as well as running. When I hit the gym, I run 3k on the treadmill, then do my ab workout. I also swim and play badminton when I have the time. I like variety in my activities.
Do you have a sport? How often do you play?
MAJA: Running was part of my training for Thelma. I even had to join marathons for it. Since Matteo (boyfriend and fellow Star Magic talent Matteo Guidicelli) is now a triathlete, I join his training from time to time. His swimming coach is also my swimming coach. When he runs 10k, I run 3. The only thing I don’t do is bike.
Do you have a diet or special eating plan?
MAJA: That I have lots of (laughs)! My sister and I had a bet. She said she could lose 20 pounds in one month. And she did, following a diet based on blood type! I was intrigued so I followed it also. It was effective for me, too.
Do you have cheat days? Do you give in to cravings?
MAJA: Yes. I eat what I crave. I am just conscious not to eat too much of it. Plus I compensate by burning it the following day. I crave sweets.
Your work involves a lot of traveling, how do you maintain your weight?
MAJA: I actually lose weight when I travel! I guess I am so conscious that I will gain weight when I travel that I end up not eating much. I only go for protein, eat eggs and bananas.
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Special thanks to photographer Lambert Pangilinan and Star Magic’s Thess Gubi.
*The above post was publish under the author’s column “Well-Being” last August 28, 2012 in the Lifestyle section of the Philippine Star