Home' Scoop : Scoop 52 Winter 2010 Contents healthfeature
Many little girls dream of
becoming ballerinas, so it s
no great surprise that the
Perth School of Ballet is running more and more
classes for adult beginners who dabbled in ballet
when they were growing up.
Principal Simone Jackson-Pike says ballet is the
strictest form of dance but once you have the basic
foundations they can be applied in many other
dances. Beginners learn all the basic techniques
and movements of classical ballet, starting with
a really good warm-up stretch, moving on to bar
work and positioning. And yes, in case you were
wondering, you will be doing plies and pirouettes.
"All moves are done with the legs in a turn-
out position, or rotating outwards from the hips,
which is the position you maintain during the
entire class," says Simone.
At the Perth School of Ballet beginners can try
a free class and move on to other classes. Both men
and women can participate and all you need are
ballet shoes and comfortable, fitted clothing.
Ballet is not a cardio workout but it does
increase flexibility, toning and coordination
and helps core strength, says Simone.
Students range in age from 20 to 50 and the
class atmosphere is "friendly but without much
chit-chat, because teachers focus on giving you
a good workout", she says.
WHERE: 443 Scarborough Beach Road, Osborne Park
COST: Free initial class for beginners then $15
hourly or $600 for unlimited lessons over 10 weeks.
CONTACT: (08) 9203 6175,
Jazz defines many dance styles from Broadway
to Old School, but the most popular style these
days is Commercial-style (like you see in video
clips). Fiona Scott, principal at All That Jazz
Dance Studio, says all styles have a strong classical
base to them and require flexibility and the ability
to gel different movements to the music.
All That Jazz teaches theatrical dance styles
from jazz to acrobatics and beginners of all ages
can rock up to a class, enrol in specialised term
classes or have private lessons with or without a
partner. Wear clothes you can move freely in and
shoes that allow you to stretch your feet in the
more technical classes, though sneakers or bare
feet will suffice for many classes.
Fiona says jazz is excellent for general fitness,
flexibility, strength, agility, balance and good
posture. "The harder you work the more benefits it
has," she says. "Always start with the basics so you
can learn everything as you progress to the harder
work. Remember, if at first you don t succeed try,
try, try again! Dance styles keep changing so there
is always something new to learn."
WHERE: 3/949 Wanneroo Road, Wanneroo
COST: Classes range from $5 to $15.
CONTACT: (08) 9404 7400,
Tap will help you develop leg muscles to rival
Madonna s fish-netted pegs and give you an all-
over fitness boost -- all you need is rhythm and
the desire to make music with your feet (not to
mention a tolerance of noise and your own sweat).
Melissa Sgro, principal at Dance Fusion in
Morley, says the studio s rhythmical tap classes will
challenge your feet and co-ordination with tapping
concepts inspired by traditional choreography
(think Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire) through to the
diverse funky styles (think Tap Dogs and Stomp).
"Our classes teach exceptional technique,
rhythmical training and musical appreciation with
a new groovy flair," promises Melissa, adding there
are classes for toddlers to seniors, male and female.
You don t need a partner but, due to the popularity
of the classes, numbers are limited, so book ahead.
There is no dress code but you ll need tap shoes
(available in dancewear stores). Melissa says tap
provides an excellent aerobic workout and hones
muscles in the thighs, buttocks, calves and ankles.
"It s also great for balance and co-ordination," she
says. It offers a great chance to socialise as well."
MOVE IT: (Clockwise
from right) Burning up the
floor at a hip hop session;
Ballet students show their
graceful moves; A tap class
beating out the rhythm.
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