Serena Williams Loves Dancing as a Workout During Her Off-Season: 'I Really Enjoy That'

Serena Williams talks about her off-season workouts, having a positive body image and the new tennis court she opened in Compton with sister Venus

Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

When Serena Williams gets a rare break from the punishing tennis season, she has little interest in working out. But when she has to get in some cardio, her favorite thing is a dance workout.

“I dance a lot, when I’m healthy,” Williams tells PEOPLE, after unveiling a refurbished tennis court in Compton, California, with sister Venus, with funding help from Gatorade. “It’s a fun way to get a workout in instead of going to the gym and jumping on the treadmill for 30 minutes. I really enjoy that.”

Jae C. Hong/AP

The 22-time Grand Slam winner says she tries to stay moving during her short vacation from tennis.

“Especially for me, it’s important to stay fit in the off-season,” Williams says. “I usually just do a half hour of cardio and that’s good.”

After a tough year in which she won Wimbledon to tie Steffi Graf for the second-most Grand Slam titles ever, but lost early during the Olympics and the U.S. Open, Williams is relishing getting extra time off this year.

“This season in particular I had a lot of time off, and I’ve got to tell you, I really needed it,” she says. “I really kind of needed it this last year but I couldn’t take that time. It’s a grind, it’s 10 to 11 months of non-stop working.”

Along with her busy tennis schedule, Williams also designs a full fashion line, and often shares her wares on Instagram.

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She also uses the platform to express her own body positivity, something Williams hopes younger girls see as an inspiration.

“It’s who I am, and I want people to be proud of who they are,” she says. “Too many times young women are told that they’re not good enough or they don’t look good enough, or they shouldn’t do this, or they shouldn’t look like that. Really there’s no one who should judge that except for you, and in general that’s the message that I want people to see.”

And Williams hopes that she and Venus will be able to inspire more young kids with the new tennis court.


“We grew up in Compton, and we wanted to try to give back to the community in a way that we knew how, and in a way that will really impact the youth there,” she says. “Honestly, to do this has been really great and shaped my life in ways that I never would have felt. Not everybody has an opportunity to play sports, tennis in particular, and maybe it can shape their lives too.”

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