Ever wondered what it was like to bust out your best moves whilst on your period? We hit shape-throwing mecca Move It 2017 to speak to a group of amazing dancers about boobs, bodies and how they feel about dancing during their time of the month…
You were BORN warmed up. You’ve got canned heat in your heels, groove in your heart and every move Beyonce’s ever performed in your repertoire. Here are the things that every dance fanatic knows to be true.
1. You are first on every dancefloor. Even at weddings. Occasionally ahead of the happy couple (it’s fine, you apologised).
2. As a result you spend a lot of time doing your patented ‘beckoning your mate onto the dancefloor’ dance.
3. Followed by your ‘dragging your mate onto the dancefloor against their will’ dance.
4. And sometimes the ‘just dancing AT them aggressively while they stay sitting down’ dance.
5. You see any large open space as an opportunity to fling yourself around. Your friend’s parents’ garage. The school hall after hours. Airport departure lounges. Shopping centres. The supermarket.
6. Especially supermarkets, actually. Something about the combination of bright lights and shiny floors makes every aisle feel like an invitation to discreetly practice your stag leaps.
7. You can throw shapes with a full drink in one hand and a sausage roll in the other, without losing a single drop/pastry flake.
8. Every year means a noise complaint from your neighbours when Strictly’s on. Meanwhile your mum still hasn’t forgiven you for everything that got broken when you tried to paso doble with the tablecloth.
9. Official dance routines just kind of go in by osmosis, then burst out of you unexpectedly. You have no memory of even learning the whole of Gangnam Style, but apparently it happened.
10. You and your sibling had an official routine before you’d even seen Ross and Monica’s version (and the lift at the end is 10 times more impressive).
11. You can turn anything into a signature move. The on-the-phone dance. The putting-your-hair-up dance. Your drinking-a-cup-of-tea-and-putting-your-socks-in-the-wash dance is a masterpiece of contemporary expression.
12. You’ve made friends with every DJ in town, but have been officially banned from communal party playlists after the ‘three solid hours of Beyonce’ saga.
13. The only time you’re missing from the dancefloor is when you’re standing under an air conditioning vent, fanning yourself with a folded up band flier.
14. You injured yourself twirling round a lamppost on the way home from seeing La La Land. The third time.
15. Put your hand down at any point on your bedroom carpet and you’ll find either a kirby grip or a rogue bun net.
16. You can’t walk down wide flights of stairs without practising your Broadway-style kick steps.
17. When it comes to exam stress, you know that GCSE revision is NOTHING compared to the fear you might have forgotten to pack your toe protectors for your Grade 5 ballet.
18. Your extended family sat through a ‘show’ choreographed by you every Christmas and Easter for about 10 years. Ok, 14.
19. Your biggest life ambition is to one day nail a jump split.
20. Despite it being written nearly 30 years before you were born, deep down you believe that Dancing Queen by Abba is somehow about you, and have told people this.
21. You regard your hair as a crucial prop. Stand back, everyone.
Ever struggled to find exercise that felt more like, well, fun? More like a night out? We have the solution. Dance classes are a great way to fit exercise and fun into the same 45 minute window. No more of this pounding the pavement nonsense or dribbling those basketballs hullabaloo. As wise woman Lady Gaga once said: just dance! Gonna be ok, dada doo doo. Just dance.
We hear you, Lady G. Inspired by shape-throwing mecca Move It 2017, here are the dance trends we’re most jazzed about trying this year.
You know this one’s legit because it was created by professional dancer, Juliu Horvath. It combines spiral movements and breathing to improve balance, strength and flexibility, but all without jarring your joints. Don’t be put off by the intense-looking machines, though – while Gyrotonic was originally dubbed ‘Yoga for Dancers’, it turns out you don’t have to know how to do a perfect pas de bourrée to enjoy the class.
Hate exercise classes with tyrannical teachers and competitive classmates? We hear you. But Dance Cardio is different from other classes, this one is actually designed to be fun. It feels less like a dance class and more like you’re busting a move on the dancefloor with your mates. Plus, with this class your life can look like one of those films where you and your besties all happen to pull out the same dance routine, as if by magic. Thriller, anyone?
Toning and stretching at the barre feel equally great ❤️❤️ #totalbarre #stottpilates #merrithew #merrithewhealthandfitness #essentrics #barre #barreworkout #teacherlife #teaching #fitness #fitgirl #instafit #liveaction #fun #plies #legs #hips #toneitup #stretch #lovemyjob #lovewhatyoudo #montreal #plateau #studiobizz 💜💜
Barre, or Barrecore, worked its way into some of our hearts (and feet) last year, but this year it’s really going to EXPLODE. Figuratively, of course. Barre’s a graceful blend of ballet with pilates and yoga that helps tone muscles, improve your flexibility and make you strong af. Tutus optional.
Guys I'm going to be in SINGAPORE this May and I wanna see you! Last time was unforgettable – all 4000 of us plié squatting under the sun ☀️ and sweating our faces off but not caring because we were all so happy to be together. 👯Let's do it again. I'll be at Fitness Fest 2017 on May 20-21 teaching #POPPilates and #PIIT28!!! 💥 Get your tickets at fitnessfest.sg (link in bio). I know some Singapore POPsters were trying to get people together to purchase the discount group tickets, so please connect with each other in the comments to save some 💰. Oh yeahhh…and do you want me to bring @popflex_active with me to sell at the event?!?!? Love you! ❤️
If you’d rather do your workouts in your living room than perform to imaginary crowds, there’s still a dance workout for you. Pop pilates was developed by YouTube fitness guru Cassey Ho and is a delicious cocktail of pilates, dance and awesome tunes. The channel, Blogilates, features hours of free exercise videos as well as really useful nutritional advice, so it’s not surprising it already has over 3.5 million subscribers.
<The #aerobics #dance of the night with my new #choreography 🙌🏻> Woho!! Typ aaaaaaaaa så underbart ROLIGT 😜 stämningen var på topp på kvällens pass, tack till alla som kom 💥 🎀 #fitness #gym #workout #weightloss #viktminskning #viktnedgång #hälsa #health #getfit #aldrigvila #getfitdontquit #teamjustcheck #träning #gruppträning #actic #dance #dans #sdfribergworkout
The 80s called and they want their leg warmers back. Aerobics is making a comeback, but apparently high cut leotards and sweatbands are no longer required. More high-intensity than other dance classes, aerobics improves coordination and agility and gets you super fit, super fast. Plus you get to listen to greats like Michael Jackson and Madonna while you’re at it.
Oh balls! Ed Balls has finally been voted off Strictly Come Dancing, and I for one am DEVASTATED.
Not just because he was the best bad dancer they’ve probably ever had (his Gangnam Style will go down in SCD history as one of the bravest and most memorable pieces of choreography ever conceived), but also because I think he set a great example to us all.
Here’s what we can learn from Ed Balls’ time on Strictly…
It really is the taking part that counts
Ed was never going to be the best dancer on the show (that award goes to Danny ‘SNAKE HIPS’ Mac, obvs), but from the first episode – when he nervously took to the floor to perform a genteel waltz – he was dedicated to learning, improving and generally putting his best foot forward (literally). And I think it really paid off. Yes, there are better dancers in the show, but I doubt many of them have made as many happy memories as Mr Balls.
Practice really does make (something sort of close to) perfect
OK, let’s be honest, none of Ed’s performances were what you’d call ‘perfect,’ BUT you can’t deny his dancing technique did improve as the series progressed. So no, none of us will be able to master absolutely everything we turn our hands to (I, for one, am still an abysmal violin player despite EIGHT YEARS of lessons – sorry mum!), but if you keep at it, you will at least improve. A bit. Probably.
Dad dancing is underrated
As I watched Ed enthusiastically fling Katya round the dancefloor, I was reminded of the many times I’ve hit the dancefloor with my own dad (usually at family weddings or Bar Mitzvahs), and realised that those are some of my fondest dancing memories. The lesson? Never ever pass on an opportunity to two-step with your pa. Yes, you’ll probably both look slightly ridiculous, but it’s a small price to pay for the #mems.
Laugh (at yourself) and the whole world will laugh WITH you
As the former Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls could have easily refused to go with the flow (‘the flow’ being making a complete plonker of himself on national TV), but he didn’t. He embraced every silly second of his time on SCD, and in the process, totally won over his haters. Remember this next time you walk out of a public loo with your skirt tucked in your knickers.
Dancing like no one’s watching is as good as all those inspirational posters make out
It might be a massive cliché, but if Ed proved one thing, it’s that we should all dance like nobody’s watching more often. He may have been a nervous wreck for the first few weeks, but by the end of his time on the show, Ed’s confidence had grown to the point where he was 100% in the zone and having THE BEST TIME EVER, despite the fact 10million people were tuned in. If he can do that, you can definitely let go on the dancefloor of your next school disco.
Thanks for everything, Ed.
There are few things in life that will cheer you up more than dancing.
Sure, a huge pile of American-style pancakes, an unlimited shopping budget to blow on snazzy stationery or a flirty little smile from your crush might come close. Maybe. But we’d bet that dancing around like a loon is actually way better.
Why is that? Well, because science says so. Let’s look at the evidence:
1) You have an excuse to be really silly. The world is too serious. We need more silly. 2) You’re getting your body moving. So it’s essentially exercise plus fun. Two birds, one stone. 3) Music makes you happier. FACT. And 4) sure, you can have a pretty darn enjoyable solo dance party, but grabbing your mates and dancing with them until you all fall over makes it even better.
See? We’ve proved it. We should just all constantly be dancing.
There’s nothing to stop you putting on some music and having a dance party right now. But to get you in the mood, we recommend feasting your eyes on one of these rather epic, dance-related films. You can learn some moves, listen to some tunes and then you’ll have no excuse to not get up and dance right after.
1. Pitch Perfect
Pitch Perfect is about a girl who joins The Bellas, an all-female singing group (the best kind) that decide to take on their male rivals in a showdown.
Sure, it’s mainly about singing. But you know what usually happens when you start singing? Especially when you start singing an awesome mix of songs, from Like a Virgin to Price Tag? You start dancing too, that’s what.
A rebellious teen moves to a place where two of the best possible things ever are banned: dancing and music. OUCH. So you can probably guess what happens next. A dance revolution. A hip-swaying, sashaying army of teens descend on the town and get everyone moving. If this dance classic doesn’t start a party in the living room by the time it’s over, then nothing will.
3. Dirty Dancing
Here’s another classic all about dancing. In fact, as far as dancing films go, this is probably one of the most iconic. The most memorable. The most likely to send you into a frenzy of foot-tapping and arm-swinging and everything in-between. Although if you have a soft spot for romance, get the tissues at the ready, too.
4. Step Up
Heart throb rebel Tyler vandalises a performing arts school. As punishment he has to become the caretaker of the school, which is where he meets Nora. They then become a hot, dancing sensation. Think: A modern take on Dirty Dancing. With lots of hip gyrating. Ooo-err.
5. Save The Last Dance
Another love story filled with some great tunes and lots of dancing. A talented ballet dancer meets Derek, who teaches her some brand new hip-hop moves. But does she have what it takes?! Oh come on, of course she does!
6. Les Miserables
Whack on a good musical and you’re always guaranteed the rhythm will, at some point, get you. One of our favourites is Les Miserables. Sure it’ll tug at your heart strings as well as your vocal chords, but if you’re after a good sing AND a good cry, it can’t be beat.
Are you after some dancing? Some singing? Some cheesy American high school drama? Then you need to watch Grease and you need to watch it fast. Every single track is as sing-a-long-able as it is dance-a-long-able. And the best bit is you can use it as an excuse for a bit of fancy dress too. Just decide whether you’ll be sickly sweet Sandy or super saucy Sandy.
Have you ever dreamed of being magically transported out of your current school and into a super exciting school dedicated to acting and singing and dancing and (the fun kind of) DRAMA? Well, you can live through the four main characters of Fame. This film documents their time at the New York City High School for the Performing Arts; fame-hungry, and paying in sweat.
Meet Alex. She’s a steelworker by day (yes, the actual metal). But then she’s an exotic dancer by night. She has big dreams of dancing for a living, but doesn’t have the classical training a lot of others do. Of course, she doesn’t let that stop her. This is a movie about dancing, about courage and about one badass female lead. And if you can’t swing a 15 age certificate, just watch the film’s iconic dance audition scene on YouTube for now.
10. Mamma Mia
Mamma Mia is the story of bride-to-be Sophie who is on a mission to find her real father. Which all sounds very sweet, but what makes it really awesome is it’s all told using classic songs from ABBA. You might be able to resist trying Meryl’s famous splits-leap, but you definitely won’t be able to stop yourself from singing along. Well, you could try. But you’d fail.
In the words of ABBA: thank you for the music (and the moves).
Sure, some people LOVE exercising at school. Whether it’s team games, athletics, gymnastics, absolutely bossing the bleep test – a little sporting activity during the school day can be a lot of fun.
But, whether it’s because you don’t get on with other people in your class (but now have to shower with them, hello), you’re made to do really long cross country runs in the dead of winter like something out of an Enid Blyton book, or you get all hot and sweaty before maths class when you have that crush sat right behind you… sometimes PE can suck.
The thing is, moving about is (breaking news!) really good for you. Working out gets your heart pumping, can improve your skin and does wonders for your mood. This means it’s important for your health – inside and out – to exercise, but not that it has to be boring or happen in school hours to make a difference.
Here are seven ways to work out that are about eleventy times more fun than anything that happens in PE lessons.
(NB: must also pay attention in maths)
1. Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk
We know, it sounds obvious. It sounds boring. It sounds like something you do every day anyway, doesn’t it? But adding just a few more steps here and there can actually make you feel a lot better – and there’s nothing nicer than getting fresh air after double physics. Luckily what last year we called ‘walking’, this year we call ‘playing Pokemon Go’. Have you caught them all yet?
2. Dancing queeeeen
Whether you’re at a party with a big group of friends or just rocking out in front of your mirror, dancing is scientifically-proven to be the most fun form of exercise, ever. (Well, if science is based on us asking all of our friends and them agreeing with us.) The best thing about dancing is: the more you do it and the more of your body you move, the better it is for you.
3. Walk, sprint, jog (then do it all over again)
Walking can be boring. Sprinting can be tiring. What’s the answer? Do a bit of everything! Mixing some walking with a bit of sprinting, then switching back to walking again, then finishing off with jogging gets your body really moving. It adds variety to your workout and it’s a tried-and-tested way to keep very fit. You can make it even more fun by taking a friend with you – or get good pet karma and take your dog.
4. Trampolining, bouncy castle-ing and general jumping
Trampolining is so much fun, because it makes you feel like a little kid again. Bounce around, do some tricks and make sure you do lots of laughing when anyone falls over – it’s kinda the rules. NB: this tip also works just as well on a bouncy castle.
5. It’s time to get your skates on
Roller skating is a great way to have fun with your friends, move about a lot and keep your body working – it actually takes a lot of muscle strength to keep your body balanced. Feeling frosty? Try ice skating instead.
6. Splash around
If you love to swim and doing length after length doesn’t bore you, go for it you athlete! But for most of us, it’s much more fun to dunk each other’s heads in the water and see if we can totally nail a handstand on the bottom of the pool. If you’re feeling ambitious, get your mates together and dream up your very own synchronised swimming routine. With a little bit of practice you’ll have everyone around you super impressed by your seamless moves – or it’ll just be a great thing to have a giggle about on the way home.
7. Get on your bike
That’s right, it’s time to dig your old bike out from your shed and take it for a spin. As long as you have a helmet you can explore your local area on two wheels rather than just two feet. It might be easier than walking (and it’s definitely easier than running), but it gives your legs a good workout.
Or if you’re feeling really adventurous, try a unicycle. You’ll find growing numbers of acrobatic skills classes in most areas – so if the thought of double hockey in the rain really gets too much, you can always run off and join the circus.
Image: Hailey Hamilton