MOVE IT 2018

Yesterday I went to day one of MOVE IT 2018 at ExCel in London’s Docklands! The exhibition hall was packed with excitable young people, dance students, enthusiasts and others. There were tons of stands with everything from theatre schools and dancewear to hair braiding, sports massage and stage makeup. The main stage was the showcase for various performance colleges, such as London Studio Centre, and there was also a cool Freestyle stage in the middle of the hall. There was also a fitness area with exercise classes, plus a new area with roller skating rink!

I was really pleased to see London Tap Jam there promoting their event and tapping away at their stand. Managed to film their host Jess Murray:

As I mentioned in a previous post, I took part in the following workshops:

Percussive Hands & Feet with Adam Buckley of STOMP

This was a class with a lot of stomping, stamping and clapping with one of the performers from the hit West End show STOMP! It was so much fun creating a rhythm using our hands and feet, and sometimes it was a bit like rubbing your tummy with one hand and patting your head with the other, but it was great! Loved it.

Tap Workshop with Syncopated Ladies

Yay! Another workshop with Maud Arnold… But this time with the addition of her sister Chloe! We did a warm up and then they taught us a routine to NERD’s (Pharrell Williams) Lemons, which they had recently performed on the Ellen DeGeneres show! OMG

It was fast, sassy and fun, plus we had to find a partner and dance towards and away from them, plus alternate with improv! Well, my partner ended up being a lady I recognised from Tap Festival UK (and she was wearing the sweatshirt)! That was also good because she was an adult – there were loads of teens there! It was great to have another go at Improvisation. Doing it in pairs made it less scary, and we did a group improv at the end, which was fun.

Finally we did a group photo, which I’m told will be shared on Instagram at some point, so I’ll look out for it. I managed to get on stage with the Syncopated sisters, and Chloe had her hand on my back, so that made my day!

My SO managed to capture some footage for me… Enjoy! 😁


Sadly I didn’t make it to Tap this lunchtime, but fear not, tomorrow I’m off to MOVE IT 2018!

I will be doing the following workshops while I’m there:

13.45 Percussive Hands & Feet with Stomp OR Tap Workshop with London Studio Centre

15.30 Tap with Chloe and Maud Arnold of the Syncopated Ladies

Now, I had originally said I was doing the Tap workshop with London Studio Centre, but I got that confused when booking with a Musical Theatre Tap workshop taking place at 10.30 in the morning and double booked the 13.45 slot – oops! So I think I’m gonna go with Percussive Hands and Feet to pick up a new skill which will help with my tap massively.

I will share all about the day (with pics) over the weekend!

I’ve also started a Tap Notebook. I love notebooks and writing and tap, so it was bound to happen! Here I am jotting down all the terms, tips, corrections, steps to practice and other relevant stuff from my tap learning. I got the idea from a Dancer’s Journal that I bought at Bloch over a year ago. It’s lovely, but unfortunately I found it too structured to fill out with what I’m doing. I think it’s more suited to full time dance students. If you don’t fit the mould, make your own!

What You Waiting for?

_20180308_162106.JPGHad my tap class this lunchtime, and all the way there I was wondering if I’d be paired up to practice with the theatre lady. Silly, right? She’s a nice lady, but as I was saying the other day, her style of tap is very different to how we’re learning and I got a bit lost when she was showing me her version of the timestep two weeks ago.

Speaking of getting lost, in this block of classes we’re dancing to George Ezra’s What you Waiting For. Unfortunately I had to miss last week’s class due to the Beast from the East (i.e. the snow) so I had missed a week of routine. However, some of the other students were saying they had to miss last week and couldn’t remember anything from the week before. I remembered the first section and then tried to pick up the next bit. It’s really not that complicated, but I couldn’t for the life of me do it. I knew what to do, but when the music came on, nah. Too quick, brain wouldn’t keep up! (R scuff-L heel-R spank-spring onto R toe & L-toe, then repeat on the left).

I have been focussing recently on not worrying  about getting things wrong, even repeatedly. I love learning and realise I am a bit achievement-driven as a person, so I’ve been trying to calm that down a bit lately and just ‘be’. Today was one of those days of getting it wrong repeatedly, perhaps more pronounced because I was in the front row and conscious our teacher could see me! I just went with it, and it was a good thing. Thankfully we got to film our teacher doing the routine a bit slower so we can practice at home (or the supermarket LOL).

Prior to working on our routine, we did some other fun things:

Six-beat Riff – like the 5, but with an(other) extra heel. We then did it double time to music! It was quite hard to stay on the beat of the music, but it helps to keep the movement smaller. It should look like you’re just out for a stroll!

Paddle & Roll – So as opposed to doing a regular paddle (heel dig-pickup-ball-heel down & repeat other side) we began with a heel drop, say on the left, and to change to the other foot after the paddle, we did R heel-L heel-R heel in an almost rocking motion). I like!

Elevation – we did a very energetic step (L drop-R side shuffle-L pickup-Land on R-change-change, repeat on other side). Was absolutely SWEATING!

Lots of good stuff to take away this week, and I must watch the video and practice loads where I can 🙂

Hope it’s been a good (dance) week for you! What will you be working on this weekend? Or are you just going to chill out and ‘be’?

Closed Third

This afternoon during a quick break at work I did a bit of work on the ‘closed third’. This is where you (try to) create three sounds: toe-heel-toe but rather than picking up the foot again (a la open third), you end with a flat foot. I even filmed it this time! It’s a bit hit and miss as you’ll see below 😂

Food is Fuel

Food is FuelAfter an interesting conversation at work this morning about eating, I have been wondering why people are so fixated on THREE MEALS A DAY. My colleague was waiting for another colleague (S) to come out of a meeting so they could go swimming at lunchtime. Her dilemma was that she was really hungry but couldn’t eat anything before going swimming. In the end, S couldn’t get away from her meeting and my colleague didn’t go anyway because she wanted to eat. I had said to her beforehand that when I am dancing, I have a snack bar or something about an hour to an hour and a half before the class. But then those words came back – “I can’t because it adds to my Slimming World points” – ARGHHHH

I’m sorry, but the primary purpose of food is to fuel the body. If a diet programme is preventing you from eating when you need energy for a task, there is something wrong. It may not necessarily just be Slimming World’s fault, because really, my colleague is also quite fixated on eating at set times and must have lunch at 12 on the dot. But then again, I do blame these point-counting or calorie-counting diet empires because counting becomes the be-all and end-all and logic goes out the window.

‘Snacking’ is like a swear-word in the minds of dieters because it tends to be linked with junk food like crisps and chocolate bars. But there are so many healthy snack alternatives to give you the fuel you need before exercise:

  • Piece of fruit (e.g. banana)
  • Fruit smoothie
  • Granola bar (homemade, even better!)
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Rice cakes
  • Wholemeal toast
  • Apple slices with a nut butter

I sometimes have half a sandwich or salad an hour before my class and the other half of my lunch when I return, along with a small green smoothie.

Don’t skip your FUEL and don’t forget to HYDRATE!



Yay – my sweater has arrived for MOVE IT 2018, which is in a matter of weeks!

Taking place at London’s ExCel, there’ll be performances, special guests, dance classes, workshops, and loads of stands to browse…Can’t wait!

This year I’ll be doing the following classes:

  • 42nd Street tap workshop with London Studio Centre
  • Tap class with Chloe and Maud Arnold of Syncopated Ladies

Got to get some learning in where you can!

The Beast

Glow in the Dark Heart Duffle Bag by Capezio

Sadly I’m missing my lunchtime tap class today because the UK has been experiencing wintry weather from Siberia, dubbed the ‘beast from the east’. Rather than join the chaos of road, rail and tube travel, plus this ‘Storm Emma’ that is about to take hold later today, I just decided to stay put and work from home, seeing as I can. Still, I do love a snowy scene!

This weekend we’re off to Birmingham (yes, another weekend away) to watch the World Indoor Athletics Championships at the NIA! Hopefully.

I’ve been practising the first part of our tap routine that we learnt last week, which strangely enough, I have been able to remember! All of it! I actually think the quick-fire method of learning at Tap Dance Festival UK a few weeks ago might have something to do with it because you’re forced you to pick things up quickly and not think about it but just do it.


Added to this I’m also trying to clear my schedule, slow down, make life a bit simpler and have the head space to remember things like routines! I’ve had my finger in too many pies lately, so I decided to make a list of all the things I’m doing or am involved in (work, commuting, my soap biz, HR studies, dancing, blogging, church, redecorating…) and then see what I can cut out, reduce or change. So far I’ve closed a blog (on Interior Design), am only doing one dance class a week rather than 2 back-to-back, and I’ve decided not to pursue Interior Design as a career (however, I will be going to a one off Interior Design Experience Day in May, where a delicious lunch will be provided ;-))

Anyone else have the tendency to over-commit? Too many classes? Too many ideas?

Always helps 🙂