Archive for September, 2011

OrangutansI’m all over the place in the next month – I have a week in New York with work, it’s going to be a great week, lots of work, and hopefully a lot of play as well. Then I’m back for a few days before heading off to Borneo for a wonderful adventure holiday and to see these chaps>>>>

HURRAH. Life is pretty good, but somewhere in there I have to get, erm “beach-ready” and “mountain fit” for the Borneo bit (we’re attempting to climb Mt Kinabalu, which is no mean feat). So with a hectic work and travelling work schedule, I’ve been trying to fit in my fitness regime. The gym has gone out the window, and I hear there is a fitness centre at the NY hotel, but seriously, is that going to happen?!? So I’ve had another idea. I’m smuggling Jillina in my suitcase. I’m quite into her Hip out Shape Up DVD at the moment -the short 20 minute bursts of dance work outs just about suit my time poor life and attention span!

The statue who shimmies
So she’s coming with me to the Big Apple, we’re going to dance together in the mornings.. or.. OK, maybe the evenings after work, or perhaps more likely when I return back from the pub after a beer. Ahem! Anyway, if I get sick of her I may also smuggle that bloke from the Zumba DVD as well, although I don’t want to freak out my hotel neighbours. We’ll see, at least if I can’t climb Kinabalu, I may be able to do a decent Saiidi hip drop at the top!


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After years of longing for an “Advanced” bellydance course to come to Oxford – one has arrived! After a little gentle persuasion, the wonderful Gwen a.k.a. Minnie Cerise has brought her wonderful “Advance your Dance” series of monthly workshops to a little studio in a far flung corner of Oxford. Yay!

I’ve been looking forward to this class for AGES and Gwen, aka Minnie, did not disappoint. The sold out class assembled on Sunday and did a wonderful long warm up, reacquainting ourselves with our muscle groups, including some suspiciously aerobic reminiscent side leg raises, stomach crunches, and the hilarious, but difficult, buttock squeeze exercise. Yes, it was hard work, but as we were told – one difference between Advanced dancing and just having done it for ages, is the ability to add muscle quality movements into the dance – not just waggling your skeleton around (eee…).

Minnie Cerise Bellydancing and BurlesqueMinnie was hilarious, helping us get to grips with concepts with numerous side splitting analogies, such as “through the serving hatch” and “stirring with the wooden spoon”… I leave the translation into moves to your imagination! Brilliant. Much laughing, face pulling, ab crunching, rib isolating and shoulder blade sinching later, we were all well-worked and smiling and hungry for more!
What a great couple of hours – spent in good company, all working on our wonky flexibility, wobbly balance on toes, and crazy claw hands when concentrating (or maybe that was just me). I really feel it’s precious to have the time to focus on the basic technique again, but really focusing on specifics- challenging, informative and fun (and plenty to work on ahead of next class, next month!)

Now we just need to persuade Minnie to make this a regular gig 😉

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