Teaching at Gym4U is one of the highlights of my week - such a lovely bunch of people. We've been dancing to a great Bollywood mix including Chhaiya Chhaiya, Titli and Radha...and we're starting a new routine tonight! (I'll keep it a secret for now)...
If you're local to Colchester (or even if you're nearby) then come along and join in with the fun! Every Monday evening, 8-9pm at Gym4U (Peartree Road, Stanway). You'll love it, I promise!
Alongside the weekly classes, I have been lucky enough to be invited to lots of Barnardo's Children's Centre's to teach Bollywood Dance to the little ones. What a great experience! I'm always decked out in bright colours with my jingly bells around my hands and feet - and the kids love it (as well as the parents!) :D It is so rewarding to see young children engage in the activity; they love stretching and wiggling to the music. It is great to be able to give them a taste of Indian culture; visually and through the lively music. Even the really young ones (some just a year old) are entranced by the sights of the movements and sounds of the bells and music. It is a truly rewarding experience...and I'm always exhausted at the end of it :P
One of my favourite workshops this year has to be when I spent the day teaching at Parsons Heath Primary School - my old primary school! It was a fantastic blast from the past going back into the same old (yet quite new) building, bringing back many great memories. I spent the day with the lovely Year 4 group, who were so attentive and eager to learn and take part in the activities. What a pleasure to teach :) I talked to them about Hinduism and Indian culture - they were super at acting out the story of Diwali, having a go at Gujarati script writing and designing their own beautiful Rangoli and Henna patterns. And there was, of course, lots of dancing involved too! The children had a go at Bollywood, Bharatanatyam and traditional Gujarati folk dancing. A fun-packed day with a great bunch of people - couldn't have asked for any more.
So last week I was contacted by Tim Allsop from The Young Persons Theatre Project who asked if I was able to teach Bollywood Dance to some of the students...what an opportunity! I spent Saturday afternoon at the fab Jerwood House on the waterfront in Ipswich, which is home to Dance East. I taught 3 sessions; 7-10 years, 14-18 years and 10-13 years. Although I had been told that not all of the participants were dancers, I can honestly say I could hardly distinguish between the dancers and non-dancers! They all did took part and did a fantastic job. We danced to lots of routines including Jai Ho, Maahi Ve, Radha and Subh Hone Na De. They are all Bollywood heroes! I was so impressed by their ability to take on board what I was teaching instantly, and make such great improvements in the short time that we spent together. I had a brilliant time and hopefully will be able to teach them again sometime.
And the dancing hasn't stopped! With plenty more workshops, classes and performances (including a wedding!) coming up, I seem to be constantly jigging along to one tune or another, with a great big grin on my face.
It's times like this when I feel so lucky that I am able to do what I do. Onwards and upwards!