Tuesday, 3 March 2015


No - not that kind of fusion
On Monday evenings I normally take Fiona Noonan's ballet class at Hype in Sheffield. This week my friend in Bradford said she would like to join me. As Sheffield is a bit of a trek from Bradford we decided to look for a class a little nearer home. We called Northern Ballet and they offered us fusion,

Now fusion to me is a process by which two or more atoms collide at very high speed to create a new atom and unleash a lot of energy. It is how the sun or for that matter a hydrogen bomb works. Somehow I didn't think that was what we would do at Quarry Hill this evening.

It was only a partial misdescription, however, for we certainly released a lot of energy. Maybe not quite as much as the sun or even an H-bomb but quite enough all the same.

We were shepherded up to the 4th floor which is part of the building usually occupied by Phoenix Dance Theatre and ushered into one of the studios. Our class consisted of about 20 women nearly all of whom were a great deal younger and fitter than me. We had a good instructor who walked us through each of the exercises before she played the music.

The class seemed to be very like Fiona Noonan's ballercise: that is to say a combination of aerobics, pilates and ballet.  We started off with a warm up beginning with running on the spot, bending our legs, skipping, then lunging to the right and lunging to the left.  She followed that up with some cardio exercises which included deep pliés in parallel, first and second, side bends and various other sequences and required quite a bit of concentration. Then we went to the barre where we tried several relevés, fondus and ronds de jambe. Afterwards we returned to the centre for some jumping which is always the best bit of a dance class for me. Then some tendus using resistance bands to build up our strength and improve our balance. Finally some floor work which I am sorry to say I couldn't quite finish. Some deep stretches and then it was time to go home.

I enjoyed the class very much and my friend did too.   She is 19 years younger and could keep up with the pace much better.   I was quite stiff at the end of the class but nothing like as stiff as I had been after my first contemporary class.   And also much less bruised.  I am still sporting shiners on both knees and elbows from rolling about on the floor.  it's great to try other styles of dance and other classes.  Maybe jazz next.

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