I have been dancing for as long as I can remember, from Ballet and Tap when I was a toddler, through to modern and jazz, and to street dance and hip hop, which I started over a decade ago now. Yet, I had never visited the world-famous Pineapple Dance Studios in London until a few days ago.
A couple of months ago, I spotted an advertisement for an exclusive Zest magazine event at Pineapple and instantly booked a tickets for me and a girlfriend. I'm so glad that I did!
On arrival at Pineapple, we did a quick change into more suitable attire before heading up to Studio 79 for a series of 30-minute dance masterclasses.
I'll start by saying that this is the best Zumba class that I have ever taken. Carly was an amazing instructor; as well as being incredibly welcoming and friendly, her energy (despite having a broken wrist!) was contagious and I loved that she gave a brief introduction to a few of the routines to aid our understanding of which dance styles were incorporated. The class was so much fun and such a great workout, if you're ever looking for Zumba classes in London, Carly's sessions come with my highest recommendation!
Having recently tried a barre workout for the first time, I expected my legs to be burning and shaking my the end of this session (note: this means you're doing it right!), and Charlie definitely didn't disappoint. Don't be fooled by the small, simple movements, this type of ballet-inspired workout is challenging. The isometric movements target muscles that you forgot you had; my hip flexors in particular have been sore for days! As well as using the barre, the class included some great floor-based exercises (I recommend you bring your own mat, unless you like the smell of feet...) which really worked the core muscles. In my opinion, barre classes are a brilliant workout for anyone, especially as you don't need prior dance experience. A must-try!
In this session, John taught a short piece of hip hop choreography which was awesome. However, my favourite part of this class was the long warmup incorporating plenty of basic movements and lots of house steps (I will master loose legs one day...). To me, it is so important to master the bare bones of dance before moving on to more complex choreography so I absolutely loved this.
As well as having lots of healthy snacks and refreshments throughout the afternoon, everyone was given a voucher to redeem a free Pineapple vest top in the store and a goody bag stuffed with amazing (and delicious!) products. I think the event was great value for money at £25.00 a ticket and I can't wait to attend another!
While we were in London, I couldn't resist a trip to the Nike store just around the corner where I purchased a sports bra in a gorgeous shade of blue (my favourite colour to workout in) and some training shoes that I can't wait to workout in.
Overall, I had a pretty perfect day! Not only is dancing a great cardio workout, but it works your muscles in so many different directions. I haven't found any dance classes in my area that have been suitable for me to attend for a while now and the awesome classes at Pineapple made me realise how much I miss it. However, for a really long time all of the exercise that I did was dance and aerobics based so I'm really pleased that I had some time out to mix up my training because there was no better feeling than seeing a strong and toned body reflected back at me in those usually-daunting, floor-to-ceiling studio mirrors.