Hey, how was your weekend? This weekend I ended up tidying up my garage, which is also home to my makeshift dance practice studio!
This involved sweeping the floor and my tap floor which had accumulated leaves and garden dirt. I moved my collapsible ballet barre so that it’s in my practice space – to make sure I use it for stretching. Unfortunately there’s not enough space at present to leave it up permanently.
There’s a lot we need to get rid of, so I got a big cardboard box and filled it with items to go to the charity shop or tip. There are a lot of plant pots…including pots that were left behind by the previous owners! We also need to list an old IKEA wardrobe that’s not old at all, but we have no need of it any longer.
In addition to a spring clean, I also hung some dance related art! One piece was a poster I already had of the tap legend that is Jason Samuels Smith. I chopped it down to fit a frame and hung it above the mirrors for inspiration! I also purchased a canvas of a dancer that I spotted at The Range to add extra dance atmosphere! A trip to the tip is definitely in order this coming weekend.
Before locking up, I had a quick practice of the Around The World step we learnt on Thursday!
The clocks have gone back an hour, it’s dark early, we’ve just had 2 weeks break from Rhythm Tap and I stuck to my word and DID NOT DANCE in the break! However, I did do an aerobics video a couple of evenings when I got home from work, but no intense dance workshops or anything! I’ve also just got back from an afternoon tea and spa experience, which was just what I needed.
A few weeks ago I decided to change my practice tap board for something less loud and echoey and with more space to move around and not fall off the edge, so I ordered a snap-together dance floor and I find it to be a massive improvement! Plus I can use it for other dance styles. Now to sell the portable tap board…
Looking forward to getting back to class next week ☺
During my week off work I finally got to set up my home dance studio/gym in the garage! Now I have somewhere to practise tap dance 😀👍👍
It is a great space because the people who owned the house before had installed electricity for lights and heating, plus a proper door from the garden and a window, which brings natural light. There is also plenty of light from the transparent roof.
The studio is comprised of the following:
Interlocking foam floor tiles (wood effect)
3 over-the-door mirrors (around £14 each from The Range)
Cube unit for storing dumbbells etc
Foldaway ballet barre
I had attached some red ‘Dance’ lettering to the wall above the mirrors, but it fell down and broke overnight, so I need to find a way fix it and try to attach it more securely.
The next task is to get rid of the rest of the furniture sitting at the other end of the garage!
I’m so pleased with it because I was getting kind of frustrated with having nowhere to practise other than in the corridors and toilets at work. Yay!
So my tap board arrived yesterday while I was at work, and I didn’t know about it until I got home from the Shim Sham workshop! I ripped the box open like a child at Christmas! Then the cat commandeered the bubble wrap.
It’s a lovely wooden board, heavy but portable. Might be too heavy to take in the car to Cornwall with suitcases and the Nutribullet… The bottom is mounted with stoppers so it is elevated off the ground and it won’t slip around when pounding it. I tried it with my Bloch Sync MEGA tap shoes, but they are bit too loud and I currently live in a flat, (aka apartment for USA friends!), so I might use it with my cheaper shoes that I have at work as spares that are much quieter, or even just some hard soled lace-ups.
I am really pleased with this purchase and it came really quickly, considering I only ordered it last week. Now, time to stop spending!
I’m so excited – this weekend I ordered a portable tap practice board! I actually had two expensive purchase options in mind, some new Bloch tap shoes by Chloe & Maud Arnold of the Syncopated Ladies (I was fortunate enough to take part in an Afro Funk workshop taught by Maud last year) or a tap board, which are about the same price. Then I thought about it and came to the conclusion that I already have some pretty good tap shoes (Bloch Tap Sync plus the Jason Samuels Smiths in white), but my real frustration has been not being able to practice at home in my tap shoes because I will ruin the floor (I also have a neighbour below, but he works unsociable hours so thankfully is never home in the evenings). I will let you know how I get on with it when it arrives.
On another note, I am going to start going to gentle yoga on a Friday evening at my local leisure centre. I actually used to go to that class with my SO a few years ago, but we got out of the habit. He runs for an athletics club and has recently started doing pole vault. I dance, but don’t do nearly enough stretching at the moment. We were chatting about it last night and then you wouldn’t believe it…while walking around town this afternoon, we bumped into the teacher! A sign?! So we sorted out our free drop-in loyalty cards and booked in.
I’m really looking forward to it. That particular class had mainly older members, so it was way more relaxed than the one I tried at London South Bank University, which was like an hour’s push-up class :$ It will be a nice way to unwind at the end of the week and hopefully will help with a bit of the stress I’ve been under.
How do you cross train or stay flexible? Do you find yoga or Pilates helpful?