Hey, how are you doing? Sorry I haven’t posted in a while – I’ve found it hard to find the motivation to write, despite having lots to write about and trying to make THIS year my ‘Year of Writing’ (last year didn’t really work out…). So here’s a brief run-down of what I’ve been up to:
Tap Dance Standards Workshops
I recently attended a trio of tap dance standards workshops on Zoom, hosted by Sole Rebel. I literally jumped at the chance to learn some classic repertoire! I told you about the first one, Leon Collins #53 in my last post, and the next two were Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson’s King For A Day, which I absolutely LOVE, taught by Old Kent Road’s Avalon and Buster Brown’s Laura (some of which I’d learnt at Tap Dance Festival UK in 2019), taught by Old Kent Road’s Ryan. Thankfully recordings of the class and of the full routines were provided, so I can continue to work on these in my own time. I’ve just signed up to the next trio of workshops, which will be focusing on improvisation, musicality, rhythm and body percussion, which will be challenging and amazing!
In February I signed up to a ‘Couch to 5K’ writing challenge called Wake Up Your Writing, where I received a timed writing prompt by email every day for a whole month. Unfortunately I got to day 5 and gave up…*sigh*…BUT, I still have the emails, so I am going to pick up where I left off: “Pick a character you know and love and make them do the thing you always wished they would”. I’m going to have a think now about which character I want to write about 🙂
BOP Jazz Workout
My SO and I are still working from home, and while it can be too easy to flop on the sofa in the evening, one thing I have been motivated to do is the BOP Jazz dance workout every day after work. I think part of it is the feeling of stretching and lengthening those stiff muscles after a day at the desk, and the other part is the wonderful chilled jazz music that accompanies the workout. It’s a manageable bit of cross-training. I also like the fact it’s more of a body conditioning and stretch class than a bouncy cardio workout, which I really have to be in the mood for! (BOP are the London-based Body of People Jazz Theatre Company, and the founders, Dollie Henry and Paul Jenkins have written a fantastic book called The Essential Guide to Jazz Dance, which is on My Must Reads list).
Thanks for reading!
How are you staying motivated at the moment?
Today I finally made myself go to the gym at lunchtime – YAY!
I’ve been wanting to do some strength work for several months now, due to my left knee being a bit achy and creaky during this past year of doing rhythm tap classes. I suspect it is to do with weak muscles around the knee, so I had given Pilates classes a go, but found the time constraints too much to fit it into a lunchtime. Oh, and the teacher was scary and always late!
Solution: buy a PAYG gym pass and do a 25 minute workout and stretch session at the university gym across the road.
I am choosing Tuesdays as gym day so that I have a rest day in between that and Thursday’s tap class. Hopefully I can turn this into a weekly habit and not give up when I don’t feel like it.
The gym was nice and quiet today, so no waiting for free machines – bonus! I started with a 10 minute aerobic warm-up on the cross trainer using a varied terrain, followed by a selection of weight machines, including the leg-press. I finished up with a ten minute seated and standing stretch session on the mat.
I am also massaging both knees every evening with my homemade sports massage oil, which contains peppermint, cypress and lemongrass essential oils.
Let’s see if I notice any difference this Thursday…
*My inspiration is a lady in her 80s (you wouldn’t believe it though!) who comes into my office once a week to help with some admin and she gyms and swims 5 times a week!*
After saying it for some time, I finally picked up my 5kg dumb bell weights at the weekend and pumped some iron! Yes, I love resistance training. I prefer it to cardio. Running? No. Body building? Maybe!
I decided to try and find a dance warm-up or workout on YouTube that would be doable on a daily or every-other-day basis as part of my intention to get back into some form of cross-training:
I found a Jazz class warm-up on YouTube and did that a few times. That was VERY good in terms of stretching and core work, and it wasn’t too long. My abs were burning.
There was another one I tried without verbal instructions. The music was calming and atmospheric, the filming was in black and white, really enjoyable… and then it kept cutting to the next exercise without any transition! So one minute we’re lying on the floor and suddenly we’re standing. Also, it didn’t repeat on the other side of the body, so I had to play it through again to achieve the balance. I won’t discount it for that reason though and have added it to my playlist.
I also had a go at a Sweaty Betty ballet workout featuring Flik Swan & Victoria Marr of Sleek Technique. I only just about got through the warm-up and I was done – it is hard work! But you do get results if you stick with it. I have their triple box set on DVD, which I had started reviewing on the blog, but it is so full-on that I ran out of steam. Hopefully I’ll review the third and final DVD in that set at some point in 2018…
However, once the weekend was gone and the busyness of the week took over, I haven’t done anything since, besides running through the tap routine for tonight – doh!
- Which do you prefer to throw yourself into, cardio, resistance or maybe both?
- How do you stay fit and flexible between dance classes?