When one of London’s leading dance companies, Seen on Screen (SOS) invites you to join them for an International Women’s Day special dance class, alongside a promise of wind AND smoke machines, and even goody bags to finish with – what can a girl say no to?!
Ok, so I say the above with a pinch of salt because actually, whilst I like to think I’m the kind of girl who would love to get sassy infront of a wind machine, in reality, I’m SO not that kind of person. (Well, not when sober anyway). I mean, I WISH I had that confidence but, after being described by my own family as a ‘hippopotamus in a tutu’ during my junior ballet days, needless to say I’ve never quite felt like a headline dance act (bar after a few vodkas/tequila shots).
Nonetheless, with founder and CEO of SOS (Seen on Screen), Bonnie Parsons, having founded her business on the basis that dance should be available to everyone, Seen on Screen Dance Classes welcomes all abilities, delivering a space that is anything but exclusive. After working with the likes of Florence & The Machine, Kelly Rowland, Professor Green and Seal – to name a few – Bonnie took her experience, and passion for the industry, to make dancing more accessible to women everywhere. Described as an antidote to low self esteem, low confidence, negative body image, anxiety and stress, I was rest assured that I needn’t have the confidence of Beyonce as I walked in, but I definitely would as I walked out!
What we did
Turning up last Monday night at the Southwark venue, I was pleasantly surprised to find a good number of fitness friends had also come to join the session, and surrounded by their smiley positive energy, I immediately I felt much more comfortable. As we walked into the studio we met our instructor – the incredible sassy Bonnie Parsons herself – who immediately put on the music, dimmed the lights, took us through a warmup, and got us into the main event – the routine!
In the spirit of International Women’s Day, tonight’s class was focused on empowerment… so what better routine to learn than Little Mix’s Power, right?! Everyone’s guilty pleasure, Bonnie took us all through a full choreography, breaking down the routine into bite size segments to ensure it was accessible, easy to learn… and mega fun! Showing us the correct way to body roll, hip roll, hair whip, twerk – you name it – “you got to be unapologetically sassy!” Bonnie shouted to us! With a final 15 minutes to go, it was time to finish rehearsing, and go full out with the routine ‘on tour’. Paris, New York, San Fran, London – four performances, four times to slay that soundtrack!
So, what was the final verdict? Did I find my inner Diva and smash out that dance routine like nobodies business?! In all honesty, no! I wasn’t great at the routine. I wasn’t able to move with quite as much flow as the pro’s, I struggled to remember what was next in the routine, and I definitely choked on my own hair at one stage of the hair flips. But you know what? I was literally having SO much fun that I didn’t care, not one little bit. And turns out, I wasn’t the only one messing up…. But as Bonnie told us, “I doesn’t matter if you do the wrong move, aslong as you just f*ing OWN it!!”. And so we did.
Would I return? 100% – in fact, I’m already booking in my next class as we speak. Aside from the very obvious physical benefits of dance, it was interestingly the ‘mind’ part I feel I benefitted from the most. Aside from the huge confidence boosting effects, what I loved about learning the routines at Seen on Screen was the amount of brain power required to actually remember the routines – concentration being something I very much need to work on. Flitting from the fitness studio, into work, glancing at our instagrams as we rush onto the tube, the art of being mindful is a thing of the past…. at least for me anyway. Rather than sit and force myself to concentrate on a puzzle or book, I’ve finally found something to test not only my brain power, but my fitness, confidence, and overall wellbeing at the same time. And you can’t say much fairer than that!
Who’s it for: Literally, anyone and everyone. The timetable is packed with different classes – from Sweat (a more cardio based routine), to Barre (pilates/dance/yoga fusion), Pop, Commercial, Hip Hop and Stretch – meaning there really is something to suit every taste, every fitness level, and every dance capability!
How much: Classes start from £15
Where is it: Seen on Screen dance classes are held at six different studios across London – including Angel, Farringdon, Tottenham Court Road and Southwark.
Where to book: Visit www.seenonscreen.dance for more information.
Hannah Fuller works for Adidas and is always found at the latest London fitness venue. She’s a train hard, eat hard, kinda gal, with a big love for activewear. Follow her on Instagram here. See more of her blogposts here.