Sunday, 8 February 2015

DIGITAL WORDS / Seen On Screen Dance Review

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After turning 25 late last year it suddenly dawned on me: "Oh wait. Maybe those dreams of becoming a pop star aren't going to come to fruition. Shit."

As my hope fully crumbled around me and I realised that by the time Britney Spears was my age she had already released five albums, completed four tours, married twice and had her public meltdown (with her resurrection to follow). I've skipped all the good stuff and gone straight to the burn out!
However, just as Britney rose from the ashes of 2007 to the splendor of her 'Womanizer' return, I too am fighting back. And it all begins (and perhaps ends) with some kick-ass dance training.

Seen On Screen Dance is the answer to my private prayers. SOS provide the dance classes of my dreams. Running a comprehensive timetable of sessions across London that teach all-level wannabe pop stars the choreography of their idols, SOS is an accessible, affordable, and above all, fun fitness option.

For my inaugural class I signed up to learn the footwork of the moment - Bruno Mars' 'Uptown Funk' routine. The hour-and-a-half class was a sell-out and hosted at Rambert on the South Bank. The large class of 99% female attendees varied in their dance experience - from the shy girls, initially, hiding at the back, to the sassy pros throwing in extra hairography down the front. As well as marveling at some of the other gals' moves, a key tip I picked up was that the thing to wear to these classes is leggings, a vest top, lightweight trainers and a checkered shirt tied around one's waist (that last detail is crucial. I felt oddly moronic for not thinking of such an accouterment beforehand).

After a quick warm up to Mark Ronson, Mystikal and Bruno Mars' 'Feel Right' it was straight into learning the first few phrases of 'Uptown Funk'. Teacher Elliot was impeccable - he kept the class well paced so everyone was always on their toes but picked up on when we needed to revisit any quick paced moves. Plus, any teacher who uses Jack McFarland and a drunk Tina Turner as reference points to enhance our interpretations of the choreography is A-okay with me. He also encouraged the already very welcoming and friendly atmosphere of the class by getting everyone to sing along and sass it up as our learning progressed.

As the class drew to an end and we ran through the entire song and dance twice non-stop, there's a sense of not just personal achievement but a group enthusiasm (even amongst strangers) when the whole routine comes together in such a flawless fashion. The time goes by so quickly that even before I'm on my way home on the tube I'm already planning when I can book my next installment of SOS fitness.

Written for DISORDER

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