Part of the reason why I’m not the size of a house (even though it feels like it sometimes) is that I try my best to keep fit or at least enjoy myself through a decent run-around. Until my knee failed me after having BLC I was all about the running and as you know, swimming is still part of my regular work-out schedule, but also in there has been boxing (which is awesome and I really recommend it if you need to get your fitness back quickly) at Left Hook Boxing Gym in Shadwell and then there is dance.
I LOVE TO DANCE.
I can’t dance.
But I don’t care. I just let myself dance like no one’s watching, whether that be at a wedding, a Zumba class, out with my friends or just hanging out with BLC on our weekends together. The louder and cheesier the pop music, the more I’m there. It seems fitting that I write about dancing my way around London as my last post before I take a break from blogging for a while (I say the summer, but we’re in England, that summer may only be a few weeks, it may be longer).
So when I discovered that Frame does antenatal fitness classes (BLC is going to be a big sister later this year~) and they don’t freak out when faced with a bump in the room at their other classes, I was all over it like a bad rash.
For about six weeks now I’ve been attending Frame’s 80’s Aerobics, Get Leggy, Beyonce Music Video and Frame Bumps classes. I generally only make it there once or twice a week but it has made a difference to my life. It makes me happy but also, I ache for days after so it must be good for toning those muscles, ridding one of the dreaded summer chub rub (some of you will understand what I’m referring to here, apologies for TMI~).
I love it. Get down there. It’s not full of hipsters like you’d expect a gym in the heart of Shoreditch to be; it’s full of people of all shapes and sizes/fitness levels who enjoy their fitness classes taught by world class instructors with amazing taste in music.
Here’s a tiny snippet of Frame’s Dance Fit classes:
But I just wanna dance like this…
Frame was actually on my London Bucket List. I am determined to make it to some more classes taught by West End dancers before we pack the family up and leave the UK some time in the next year or so. Frame hits that spot every week but I wasn’t expecting to also be taught by a former West End actress the art of burlesque at a recent blogger evening.
Though not something I’d ever considered doing, I was too curious not to attend a class taught by The Cheek of It at Cafe de Paris, especially after I saw the infamous West End institution (celebrating 90 years of operation this year) on, ahem, Made in Chelsea a few weeks ago. Out of sheer curiosity and bribed to attend with the promise of delicious House of Cuckoo cupcakes (they were amazing, I may or may not have have eaten three~), I walked on down to Leicester Square (still my least favourite part of London) and learned all about the history of this art form born out of satire.
First of all, I didn’t know that burlesque is actually satire. It started with the ancient Greeks and the Victorians took it on in their own form (it was a regular part of the East End’s Wilton’s Music Hall‘s line up back in Wilton’s heyday) – all using it as social commentary. It then moved to the States where it became somewhat raunchy, then Playboy turned it into an extension of it’s genre – hence you find American and British styles of burlesque are very different.
I found The Cheek of It’s class funny, sassy and quite enjoyable. I didn’t leave as a seductress or wanting to do more but I learned loads and totally applaud those who use it as a form of female empowerment. I actually found it quite a workout and finally know how Beyonce gets some of her moves.
I must admit, I wasn’t overly impressed by Cafe de Paris – especially after I heard the host of the evening swearing away on his way out cursing the mobs of people wanting his picture, almost shoving the poor pregnant girl (that was me) to the wall on his way to the dressing rooms, then being forced to leave the premises to hail a cab (basically thrown out by the bouncer while trying to get my 3G to load as they don’t like customers waiting at the front entrance, CHEERS FOR THAT CAFE DE PARIS, if you’re going to do that then at least allow free wifi inside). Cabaret just isn’t my style or sense of humour and as I said, Leicester Square on a Friday night is my idea of hell on earth – but I do think it would be a fun ending to a hen night.
However, I’d recommend The Cheek of It if you’re interested in learning another form of dance from a West End performer and ending an eight week course of it in front of an audience at Madame Jo Jo’s. The teacher was ace. She was really funny, a fantastic teacher and it was a highly entertaining class. Speaking of Madame Jo Jo’s, Lorde performed there last year and when I saw her at the Brixton Academy last month, I realised she also loves to dance like no one’s watching.
There’s something for everyone in this city. You won’t find such a range of options anywhere else on earth. I love that I can attend an 80’s aerobics class and get Cindy Lauper stuck in my head for days, or learn the art of something new in the West End.
And on that note my friends, I am going to dance my way into a summer vacation away from blogging (which I need after 10 years of blogging weekly in various guises) and spend the extra hours gained to hang out with Mr Man and BLC, my two favourite beings in the entire world.
Here’s Christopher Walkin dancing like a legend.
Frame can be found at 29 New Inn Yard, Shoreditch EC2A 3EY. They also have a branch in Queen’s Park. I pay around £10 per class and it is worth every penny.
The Cheek of It has a range of classes that take place all over London. I was a guest of The Cheek of It for their blogger evening and also received £20 cab fare for the ride home with Hailo‘s black cab taxi service.