Category Archives: Leicester

I love… New Year

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There’s only one day to go until 2013 and I’m really rather excited.

Not only we have a cracking party at my parents house surrounded by lovely family, eating fabulous food and consuming a tasty tipple (or two) but I’m really lucky that I’ve got so much to look forward to in the New Year…

Things are settling down (of sorts) in my Part-time ‘normal (?)’ day job; I’ve got a fair few things in the pipeline with regards to the dancing side of my life; there may even be time for a short holiday somewhere warm too 🙂

Here’s just a few of the dancing projects that are coming up…

Monday

1-2pm(Jan & Feb) Adult Tap Classes at St Andrew’s Hall
4-5pm NEW Children’s classes at the DanceFit Studio
   

Tuesday

1:30-3pm NEW PE Class at St Mary’s Fields Infant School
1:30-2:30pm (June & July) NEW Tiny Dancer at Embrace Arts, Leicester University
7:30-9pm NEW Advanced Ballet Classes at Dance Leicester
   

Wednesday

7:15-8:15pm BalletTone Classes at the Dance Fit Studio
   

Thursday

1:30-3pm (Jan & Feb) NEW PE Classes at Mayflower Primary School
1-2pm (from March) Adult Tap Classes at St Andrew’s Hall
   

Friday

3-4pm After School Club at St Mary’s Fields Infant School
   

Saturday

early morning time tbc! Zumba without music at the Ceeda Centre
   

Sunday

Day off ? Although being self employed this doesn’t really exist, does it ?! 🙂

Plus, I’m going to be working towards a GNVQ Level 2 in ‘Exercise to Music’

As you can see there’s a fair few things going on, but there’s always space for more – get in touch at abdance@ntlworld.com

It’s going to feed my love of stationery quite nicely with diaries and calendars to make sure I know what I’m doing, where and when; and folders with routines and registers and coursework for the ETM 😀

I hope you have a fun-filled and prosperous 2013 too xx

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I love … Christmas!

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It’s been a while since I’ve been in touch but what better topic than Christmas?!?!

The preparations for this Christmas have been a little differnt for me this year for a couple of reasons:

  • Being Part Time in my ‘normal’ job (is there such a thing – that’s another blog post in it’s own right!) has given me more time to prepare
  • And being the Christmas Shopping Fairy has made me feel even more Christmassy than usual.

If you don’t know about the Christmas Shopping Fairy then let me get you up to speed…
I’m not a parent but lots of my firends are and I know how hard it can be when you need to go shopping with the little cherubs, never mind Christmas shopping which is on a whole other level in terms of pressure.
So I had the idea that parents could drop their children with me on a Saturday afternoon and have a few hours to themselves to go shopping/have a cup of tea/go to the hair-dressers/go back home/whatever they need while we dance and sign and make stuff all with a Christmassy theme.

I even featured  In the Paper (Leicester mercury More Magazine) on 1st December 2012.
It’s been really good fun, and I don’t know about the children, but I’ve certainly slept well when I’ve got home!!:

  • we’ve made paper chains, posters and decorations;
  • we’ve played traditional games like hunt the thimble and wink murder;
  • we’ve sung songs and made up dance routines to some pop as well as Christmas music.
Paper Chains made by the Christmas Fairies Dec 2012

Paper Chains made by the Christmas Fairies Dec 2012

Merry Christmas made by the Christmas Fairies Dec 2012

Merry Christmas made by the Christmas Fairies Dec 2012

This Saturday will be the last one (22nd Dec) and we’re going to be singing and dancing to a few new songs as well as all of the songs we’ve used in the last few weeks, and we’re going to make Christmas cards – all of the tissue paper shapes are cut out and ready to go.

Spending time with the children has really given me time to think about what’s important, all year around, but especially at Christmas.  For me that’s spending time with friends and family and having a good time.  It really doesn’t need to cost lots of money to show people that you care for and appreciate them.

I’ll sign off now and wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year
xx

I love … Running

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Who’d have believed it??  A ballet dancing vegan running the best part of 5km in 29 minutes??!??!

There was a very good reason – Race For Life, a ladies-only fundraising event since 1994 for Cancer Research UK, the country’s leading cancer research charity whose aim is to ‘bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.  It won’t happen in our lifetime. But, if we stand united it will be achieved.’

Here are the before and after pics – we’re looking good in both but can you work out which one is which?? 😀

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Considering we did little/no training we (me and a few of the other ladies from the DanceFit Studio) all did brilliantly well and should feel proud that we’ve been part of a team raising money for such a great cause.
It was hard reading the messages on the other participants’ backs, but it just spurred you on.  That, along with all of the fabulous people who came out to cheer us on.
We were really lucky with the weather this time too – it’d had been postponed twice (June and July) thanks to the sogginess that was the British summer this year.

It’s not too late to sponsor us, just click the link.  Here are just some examples of where your donations will go:
£10 – 300 slides for microscopic study of the cancer cells.
£30 – 250 petri dishes to help understand cancer.
£123 – a cancer information nurse for one day.
£1,000 – running a laboratory for 22 days to help improve treatments allowing children to survive in the future.

Here’s a statistic that got me thinking – ‘every 2 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer.’  That means in the time it took me to run the 5km almost 15 people had been told their lives were never going to be the same again.  Kinda makes you stop and think, doesn’t it.

I love … Bunnies

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And who wouldn’t?!?

Their little faces, bright eyes and wiggly noses.  They each have unique personalities and are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.

Let me introduce you to Flower and Petal…

The mummy bunny

Flower likes lying against the edge of the run for some reason

The baby bunny

Petal looks soooo little here

I collected them from the Leicester RSPCA in April 2011.  Flower is mummy bunny.  We’re not sure how old she is and since it’s not polite to ask a lady her age I’m sure no-one minds.  Petal is baby bunny, born on 31st January 2011.
Their names came about after watching a well known children’s tv show with my nephews (aged 1 and 7 at the time) and one of the popular characters was singing and dancing.  My 7-year-old nephew suggested Daisy but my friend’s daughter is called Daisy so we agreed on Flower and then Petal.

They live in a large wooden hutch which I’d hoped would fit in the shed, but I was wrong – we couldn’t even get it through the door!  So it is outside, against the fence.  I invested in brackets and padlocks to keep the foxes out, then in the winter of 2011 bought an insulating blanket and water proof cover since it was a bit on the chilly side.

As I write this, they are playing out in their run, nibbling grass and dandelion flowers, and running around like lunatics.  Some people call this ‘pop-corning’ or ‘binky-ing’ – I’ll try to get a video of them in action.  In the mean time, here’s a couple more photos of them.

I’m a member of the RSPCA and they have an article or two that will interest bunny owners; one about their new campaign Hay Fever and the other giving useful tips for their diet.  Both of which are well worth a read.

I love … Stationery

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Did you ever get really excited about going back to school after the summer holidays?

I did, every year, not because I was looking forward to learning new stuff or wearing my new uniform (although they were good), but just because I had a new pencil-case, filled to the brim with new pens and things!  I used a Parker fountain pen (other manufacturers are available) and underlined everything in green, rather than red which I thought looked a bit aggressive?!

These days I still have a thing for pens.  But it’s expanded to note books of all shapes and sizes with various patterns – probably stemming from my love for covering my text books with old wallpaper.  I also enjoy decorating folders now that I’ve discovered sticky-backed-plastic!!  Then there’s the whole dividers, plastic wallets and getting things in order.

One of my favourite parts of one of my previous office jobs was going through the stationery catalogue for routine orders of paper and paperclips etc as well as setting up new desks with in-trays, pencil pots, files, furniture, you name it.  There was nearly always something on each page that took my fancy.  Imagine my delight when in another office job when I found they had a label maker!!  I was in my element and the office was tidied and organised to within an inch of its life.  I’m not all that offended when people compare me to Monica from Friends 😀
Update – 12th Sept 2012
My friends know me so well!!

I love … Teaching

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I’ve loved dancing for longer than I can remember and there’s something special about sharing that love with other people, regardless of the their age, gender, ability etc.

I love teaching the different age groups as it reminds me of the basics which are often taken for granted once you’ve been dancing for a while, and it helps me to improve as a dancer since without the basics you have no solid foundation to your technique.  This works well in classes as we have a mixture of abilities and experience.  The new people are shown the basics while the experienced people are reminded of them allowing everyone to progress.  Teaching children and adults makes you vary your vocabulary to ensure everyone understands you.

My husband, Mark, is convinced that one of the reasons I enjoy teaching so much is that I’m bossy and like telling people what to do!!  I don’t think he’s far from the mark, if I’m honest, but I like to think that I ‘tell people what to do’ in an encouraging way – come along to one of my classes and let me know!!

Tiny dancer is a great chance for a cute-fix.  Under 4’s have brilliant imaginations and no inhibitions.  Their little faces looking up at me with a mixture of amazement and fun, and occasionally ‘what are you doing?!’ is the best part.  Closely followed by watching them learn to skip (that could be an article in its own right) and developing their uniqueness.

Ballet Tone is a (slightly) grown up version of Tiny Dancer, for adults using everything I’ve learnt during my study of ballet.  Concentrating on strength and flexibility of the main muscle groups helping with core strength and posture.

In terms of favourites, tap comes second only to ballet.  It’s fun to teach as you can make up age appropriate poems to help to remember the rhythms for the steps and in a large class we can make the noises between us :-).

Zumba really is a party where I get to choose all of the music and create a hard work out which no-one notices as they’re having so much fun.  Even if a move doesn’t quite go to plan, no-one minds in the slightest – if anything it adds to the fun laughing with each other (which works your abs too)!

I love … Dancing

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The first post on my blog had to be I love dancing.  Where do I start?!?!

just a few of the words that spring to mind when I think of dancing

create a wordle for yourself at http://www.wordle.net/

As a little girl I was desperate to learn to dance and nagged my mum, as I only I know how, until she gave in!

Whilst learning to dance I focussed on the techniques of the different styles from ballet, tap, character, national, disco (freestyle), modern through to theatre craft, and was always told I had ‘beautiful feet’, but found it harder to perform (show off) as I was afraid of getting the feet wrong if I got too cocky!  Over time, my confidence grew along with the love, allowing dance to be a full body experience.  Now, as an adult, dance is my life.  I wouldn’t be without it and it means so much more than pointed feet, clear tap sounds and the like.  It’s a combination of the music, movements and the wonderful people who you share the classes with, that I lose myself in the dance and the moment every single time, whether as a participant or a teacher.  Learning and perfecting the movements and routine, increasing strength and flexibility while enjoying myself, there really is no better way to spend an hour or two than dancing both in class with others, or even at home/in the garden!

If you want a taste of what I mean, find yourself a dance class.  If you live in Leicester come along to the Dance Fit Studio where I do some of my teaching or contact me for the latest details of what I’m up to.