Finding the Right Balance

Jonathan Paredes
Jonathan Paredes takes up ballet in his never-ending quest for perfection

Jonathan Paredes may not quite have switched the tuck for a tutu but the Red Cliff Diving World Series champion is hopeful dipping his toe into the world of ballet can give him the edge this season.

Temporarily swapping his more standard pike for a plié, the 28-year-old has been trying out new moves at his ballerina wife Noelia Villarroel's Madrid studio.

Aimed at improving his prowess off the series' diving platforms across the globe, it is all behind his bid for a successful title defence in 2018 which begins at Hell's Gate in Texas on Saturday June 2.

"What we are trying to do is to try get more flexibility, stability and good posture of my whole body," he said. "This is like a personal challenge for my teacher and myself."

The 2017 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series champion has been training with his ballet teacher, Antonio Chamizo. Photo: Tim Ahlfeld/Red Bull Content Pool.

Paredes took his first tentative steps in ballet shoes at Noba Danza in the Spanish capital, starting with two sessions a week, each one lasting two hours.

More accustomed to hurling himself at break-neck speed off high points along the series calendar, he has found his new fitness foray infinitely tougher.

"It's really hard," he explained. "I'm using muscles that I've never used before in diving and it hurts... a lot."

By his own admission, it is not the Mexican's first foray into ballet having tried it out for the first time as a six-year-old. Any suggestion, memories of the dance form might quickly come flooding back has proved wide of the mark.

"I totally forget everything but I want to take it as a challenge and also reach other details in my sport," he said.

Paredes edged out Gary Hunt in a thrilling season finale to the series last October when the six-time world champion Briton failed his final dive of the season in Chile. Paredes unleashed the hardest dive in his repertoire for title No.1 of his career.

But of his title defence, he warned: "It will be harder. Every year, the guys are stronger and stronger. It will be a big battle until the end."

Watch the season opener LIVE in Texas

This event will be LIVE on June 2 at 3:15 PM CDT (8:15 PM GMT) on www.redbullcliffdiving.com, Red Bull TV, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, & Twitch. Red Bull TV is available on connected TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices and more. Find out more at about.redbull.tv

On Friday June 1, action from the first rounds will be streamed live on our Instagram channel.

If you miss the event or simply want to watch all the action again, the replay will be available on demand a few minutes after the event.

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