West Coast Swing has a lot of NY COOL…
Years ago I saw a video that inspired me for a tango choreography I was building. Yes, it’s pretty typical to pick inspiration from others. What was special was that I’d never seen this dance before. At that time I promised myself I would learn West Coast Swing someday (I was living in Buenos Aires and there were no lessons, I checked).
So when I received the “You Should be Dancing” newsletter about their beginner West Coast workshop, I signed up without checking my calendar. The teacher, Ricardo Torres, was warm and adapted his teachings to the group of students who showed. He was very clear about the steps and kept it simple, allowing us to get through a lot in one day.
What can I say about this dance? First, I really don’t understand why more New Yorkers aren’t doing this. Why has this not blown up yet? It is the epitome of ‘cool’ in social dance.. the movements are smooth and subtle but you can play when you want, the music is diverse and jumps from pop, R&B to classic rock. So you’re actually dancing to some of the music you probably listen to. Seriously NY!! Get into this. I was feeling the movement, the steps, the vibe… but the best part? When I was able to not look down at my feet anymore and look up at my partner, I noticed he had a huge smile on his face, and remembered —
Oh yeeeah... this is what social dance is all about: Enjoying the music, enjoying the stranger in front of you and sharing a smile.
Thanks for the reminder West Coast. We so often forget how simple joy can be.
If you want to check out any of the great classes at this NY studio, sign up for their newsletter at http://www.youshouldbedancing.net/index.aspx
For the video that inspired me just get to about 0:52.. you’ll see what I’m talking about.
The Vivey team decided to take a little excursion to the Movement studio to try the workout class using Rexist360 resistance training system with Shay Kostabi recently. We just wanted to share the image that greeted us upon arrival. This is a great studio in NYC and we highly recommend it! What a fun way to get in shape, move, dance and stay positive with great people. Already looking forward to going back!
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LIVING IN VIVEY
As a fun way to celebrate the launch of our fall capsule collection, I decided to spice up my workout and share the experience with you all. Vivey is inspired by dancers and how they are effortlessly feminine… they have been doing the #Iwokeuplikethis look before hashtags existed. So in honor of my fellow dancers and ladies who inspire our collections, I invited my friends to join me and change-up their workouts this month with dance-moves instead of doing their usual gym run.
I was thinking along the lines of the new local Barre class, a little AKT action, Body by Simone, maybe some Physique 57… so I was a bit surprised when my friend Jihyun (and one of my models) said she saw a pole dancing studio near FIT, and she really wanted someone (aka-me) to go with her. Now, this wasn’t on the top of my list of dance workouts to try, but I’m not one to back-down from a challenge, so we signed up for their open-house event and recruited a few friends along the way. The studio (for all you nyc’ers) is Body & Pole at 115 W. 27th St, which offers great discounts on introductory packages, allowing you to see what fits best for you. http://bodyandpole.com/
I should mention that I had my doubts about going into a Pole Studio, but this experience completely erased all my stereotypes. The reception as you walk in the door is high energy, friendly and helpful, while the studios: pristine, well designed and spacious. Lets just say you walk in and you feel comfortable from the start. As a group of friends, we took two classes back to back. I guess we thought since these were intro 40-minute classes, it wouldn’t be too challenging. Ummmm, yea, we were wrong. Our shaky muscles and dripping sweat quickly humbled our level of fitness (we took conditioning for aerial and then vertical barre). If you think that conditioning for aerial is your typical localized workout, please be warned. You will stretch, squat, jump be pushed and you WILL sweat. This class alone is enough to give you the well-balanced workout you seek to spice up your routine. By the end of conditioning we were weary of what we’d gotten ourselves into, but went straight upstairs for the Vertical Ballet Barre class. This class uses the infamous “Pole” but more as a prop for balance as you go through a series of ballet style exercises. You’ll be on your toes and achieving your dancers dream calves in no time. Needless to say, my thighs were trembling throughout most of this class… so be ready for a serious workout.
Some thoughts from my brave girls who joined?
Caroline says that after finishing our graduate degree at FIT, this is the place she will hit to revive her interest and excitement for working out. “It was a full body workout for sure. I was definitely surprised to be feeling sore for several days afterwards…” and Jihyun left the class beaming with a smile and a “that was great!” Though as we were leaving the studio, she looks at me with her sweet innocent eyes and says, “but Celi, we didn’t actually do a pole class yet…” I brace myself, “what are you saying Jihyun, do we have to come back?” She knows me sooo well and says, “well, conditioning we can do anywhere… but… pole… well that’s unique.”
Ugh! I hate when my friends know how to hook me in.
So yes, we bought an intro to pole pass, meaning: this particular story will have to be continued…
the girls with vertical ballet barre teacher Allison. Celi (far left) is wearing the Vivey volume tank and Jihyun (on the right) is the volume tank in white.
A refreshing look at how we see and envision ourselves. A collaboration of art and real women. This is what’s inspiring us today…