Coach: Dave Durante
Accolades: NCAA All American (Stanford University)
Multiple x US National Champion
2x World Team Member
2008 Olympic Team Member
Current Occupation: co-owner Power Monkey Fitness (Fitness Educator)
What's your favorite cue to give when you are teaching handstands?
I teach the handstand station at Camp, so I love speaking on the importance of working on handstands on a regular basis. Hard to pick one cue! I like to impress the importance of being able to create correct body shapes for higher level skill development (Phase 1 of PM Hierarchy of Gymnastics Skills). This means more core specific work and more mobility each training session. Along with that, helping people understand that working on handstands does not mean you have to get inverted. Especially for beginners, there are a variety of ways to be training handstands that remove the fear factor that can creep in when getting inverted for the first time or without a spot.
Favorite Camp Memory:
Too many to list! One memory that will always stick out is watching the campers get on the bus back to the airport after Camp 1 was over. There was a lot of emotions from the campers and coaches and I wasn’t expecting it. Let me know that not only did we provide a great week of education, but also a memorable experience. Knew we had something special when I saw those campers leave camp after that first one.
What is one piece of advice you would give someone who was just starting their fitness journey:
Choose something you enjoy doing so you can be consistent. Your fitness journey should be fun and something you look forward to doing!
What would you tell someone who was hesitant to come to camp?
We’ve had over 1000 campers come through camp so far. Ages ranging from 15-80+. Skill level ranging from never having picked up a barbell or done a handstand all the way to Games Champions. About 30+ different countries have been represented. There have been plenty of campers who were hesitant when they arrived and left having experienced one of the best weeks of their lives. Camp is about inclusivity and creating a welcoming environment no matter who you are!
What station would you keep coming back to at camp?
I’m biased towards handstands so I’ll take that one out. I really enjoy all the stations for different reasons, but I like coming back to the rowing station. I always seem to learn something new, especially because rowing is such a weakness for me.
What challenge do you want to overcome?
Not sure if it is a challenge to overcome, but I am constantly on a mission to become a better coach. I try to keep learning so I can provide the best experience to my clients and the campers.
What does success look like?
Success for me is seeing people grow as athletes and do things they never thought they would be able to do. I love growing the sport of gymnastics and helping to bring my passion for the sport to people who didn’t grow up with it.
What's something new you've recently tried and loved?
Golf. I have picked it up during the pandemic and have loved it. It’s been fun to be a beginner at something and take some baby steps towards proficiency.
Who are your heroes?
Gymnastics heroes: John Roethlisberger for his work ethic.
Jair Lynch for this style, precision and artistry.
Blaine Wilson for his competitiveness.
I’ve also always looked up to my brother Marc. He is incredibly creative, thoughtful, and one of the smartest people I know. He’s always been a great role model for me growing up and still to this day.
Any Party tricks?
Freestanding keg-stand 🤸🏽
Favorite movie quote:
“Calmer than you are.” -Walter Sobchak from the Big Lebowski
What's the weirdest job you've ever had?
When I was in my early teens I bounced on a trampoline outside of a surf shop in my beach town, Belmar, NJ, to get people in the store. I would have bounced trampoline for hours each day anyway, but it was nice to get paid for it too!