Monday, October 3, 2016

Dancing and stretching in London

Rambert Dance 

I just spent three weeks in London. During that time, I rediscovered my love for movement and dance. When I was strolling by the river Thames in Southbank, I saw a poster for dance classes by the Rambert Dance company. I got curious and checked out their website for class information. 

I always refer to it as a past life... In my past life, I danced. I danced A LOT! A typical day in NYC would be wake up, get dressed, go to dance class, get home, quick shower, eat lunch, commute to the schools/community center/studio, teach dance, commute, eat dinner & prep for rehearsal, commute, go to rehearsal for a couple hours. A tiring but rewarding life. 

I inspired young underprivileged students to dance, choreographed, worked with amazing dancers, created dance pieces that would perform and tour the festival circuit.  There were hours of administrative work as well and hustling of jobs to make sources of income. It was a struggle but I felt like I was making a meaningful life. 

The National Gallery

During my time in London, I took contemporary dance and ballet classes at Rambert Dance and Greenwich Dance. If you are looking to take some dance classes in London, you can visit either of these two studios or check out Danceworks with their proximity to Selfridges and Bond Street station.

Rambert Dance offers classes in the evenings and it's good for people who work regular hours. The classes there are mixed levels of students who have no dance background to those that have danced when they were younger to people like me who have danced professionally but are focusing on other aspects of life (for now). 

Greenwich dance has professional dance classes in the mornings but they also have other class offerings for the dance enthusiast. 

Danceworks has a convenient location in the highly populated shopping area. The studio has a more class offerings available and different level classes with different class timings throughout the whole day. 

I'm also a fan of yoga especially restorative yoga because it's such a relaxing and meditative experience yet you are stretched out so you feel like you had just gotten a nice Thai yoga massage without the heavy price tag. I also like regular vinyasa or flow yoga. I had been walking about 8-12km a day in London and my shin splints were begging me to get stretched out so I searched online where to take yoga classes. 

I found Frame in Shoreditch and they have other locations as well but since I was staying near Shoreditch, I opted to go to these studios. I'm so glad I did because it was such an amazing space! The graffiti sign art to an alleyway that led to an entrance. I felt like I was going to an underground rave or club or speakeasy bar! The studios inside were built under a railway bridge. Big loft studios that host yoga, Pilates, fitness classes and a small room with gym equipment. The cafe in the reception area also has juices and coffee. The fridge is stocked with healthy food, smoothies, etc. I was there about an hour early and there was wifi so I just hung out in the lobby area until the class. 
I will definitely come back and take more yoga classes here. 

The yin yoga class I took felt really good to stretch my limbs out and there were even some challenging moments that required deep breathing and concentration. I vowed to not go so long without taking a yoga class or deep stretch session again. 

Come dance with me! Alaine's Contemporary Dance class

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