The explosion of the Pineapple Dance Studios documentary onto Sky 1, has got everyone talking about dance (and Louis Spence) again. I’ve been a fan of the studios ever since I took dance lessons at school, but always felt a little intimidated by them, as if you needed a licensed pair of pointe shoes to gain entry. What the programme has shown is that any ability is catered for, so with renewed enthusiasm, I took myself along to a Wednesday Hip Hop (Fusion Funk) class with Stuart Bishop, and a beginners ballet class with Susan Zalcman.
The studios are the largest in Europe, with 200 classes a week and 80 teachers. Dancer and choreographer Stuart bishop was my teacher for the lesson in Fusion Funk. As everyone filtered in, I must admit I was a little nervous (or was it adrenaline?) No need to worry however as Stuart, and everyone in the class, was extremely welcoming.
If, like me, you think other people in the class might be checking out your moves, you will soon realise there is actually no time for that. The focus is on executing the moves and enjoying yourself! No amount of pounding the boring old treadmill could equal either the enjoyment or sweat levels I was experiencing. Dance can easily become a passion, and for many people at the class, it was also a talent. The class covered all levels, so amongst the looser limbed, there were also many first timers to dance (and I was somewhere inbetween).
Remembering to breathe has always been a challenge for me whilst exercising (I always hold my breath), but Stuart had an amazing way of explaining the moves so I could just feel the movement and let it go. An extremely talented choreographer and dancer, Stuart works for the Rudeye dance agency and has choreographed for lots of TV shows and music videos including So You Think You Can Dance? and Kate Nash. The two main things I learnt from Stuart’s class: 1- You don’t have to be a member of Diversity to come to a hip hop class at Pineapple 2- Anyone can dance, the more you let go and enjoy it, the more benefits you will receive.
Rudeye, The UK’s no.1 professional dance agency
Pineapple Dance Studios, visit their homepage for a full list of classes : www.pineapple.uk.com