On April 29, Broadway alum James Brown III joins tennis champion Venus Williams as a coach on her Instagram Live workout series.
Williams began her series as a way to keep herself active as tournaments and sporting events have also been shut down amidst concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic; she also aims to encourage others to stay active while under quarantine. She hosts #CoachVenus Monday through Friday at noon ET and invites guests to lead her new fitness regimens. For Cardio Dance Workout Wednesday, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child star Brown will be her coach.
A huge tennis fan, Brown has been connected with Williams through his father’s mutual friend. Over the years, he has been seated in the Williams sisters’ box and begun to forge a relationship with the athlete.
“I will definitely get her heart rate up, get her moving to music, and hopefully by the end of it, she will have a fun combo of a dance that she can rock on TikTok and maybe start her own VenusWilliams Dance Challenge,” he says. “I want her to have fun, work a bit hard in a different capacity than she’s use to, and just laugh. It’s definitely a way to get people at home watching, to get off the couch and engage, as well.”
Williams may not be a professional dancer, “but she’s obviously an incredible athlete with a lot of soul and rhythm and huge lover of the arts and movement,” Brown says.
Prior to their workout, Williams will chat with Brown about his experience on Broadway and as Bane (and the movement captain) in Harry Potter. “Harry Potter was very much a part of our generation’s world; [we] grew up reading the books and seeing the films. So it’s only natural that she would love the Wizarding World and the Harry Potter franchise,” says Brown. “She’s also a big fan of Broadway and the arts in general.”
Williams is a four-time gold medalist, tying the record with Kathleen McKane Godfree for most Olympic medals won by a tennis player male or female. She holds 49 singles titles, including seven Grand Slams, and was the first African-American woman to hold the No. 1 ranking by the WTA in the Open Era.
Her #CoachVenus workouts invite a special guest and follow her theme days: Motivation Monday, Tennis Tuesday, Cardio Dance Workout Wednesday, Full Body Strengthening Thursday, and Flex Friday Burnout. Follow along on Instagram at @venuswilliams.
Brown's Broadway credits also include Wicked, The Frogs, The Color Purple, The Little Mermaid, Memphis, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Ghost, Rocky, Frozen.