Ballet for Boomers and other Beginners starts Nov 7!

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img_1960-cropWoohoo! By popular demand I’m launching an Easy Ballet Class in November.

Mondays 7:30-8:30pm, November 7 to December 19, 2016
DSN Drop-In Dance Centre, 236 Dundas Street, 2nd floor
Fall special: All 7 classes for $70, or Drop in $15

Come out and experience the joy of ballet! This easy class is open to beginners, boomers, and aspiring bun-heads of all kinds. Men and women are welcome, no previous experience required.

In this fun and flowing class we’ll focus on creative expression while moving with poise and grace. A gentle workout for both body and brain that will challenge your memory with patterns and simple choreography. Bizz will guide you through basic ballet technique and positions of the arms and legs. You’ll learn barre and centre work, as well as port de bras (arm movements) and traveling steps. There will be no jumping in this class and only minimal turns.

What to wear? Leggings or yoga pants that show your feet and ankles, with a fitted top or leotard. Ballet shoes are recommended but not required. Skirts may be worn as long as they don’t restrict movement.

Questions?  Contact bizzvarty@gmail.com

Time to get your ass (and your sass) back to class :)

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Get-your-ass-back-to-class-Sept-2016Whoa! It’s September already!

Come and get your ya-yas out with some yoga and pilates, some deep breaths, a few good swears and a lot of laughs! I’m look forward to welcoming some new faces into our zany fold this fall.

Basement Fusion classes will resume on Wednesdays from 6-7pm, and Saturdays from 11am-noon. Classes begin September 7 and run through December 10, and there will not be a class on Saturday Sept. 24th. Prices are as usual: $15 to drop in, 4 for $50, or 8 for $80.

For anyone interested in getting their groove on, I am also teaching Contemporary Dance on Thursdays 6:30-7:30pm at the DSN Drop-in Centre (236 Dundas St). This is a class for adults of all levels, and beginners are definitely welcome. Drop me a line if you have any questions, or get more details here.

 

In the Basement – That’s where it’s at!

In-the-basementHi all,

The next session of classes in my basement studio will begin next week and will run for 6 weeks this time around. For anyone with unused pre-paid classes, the extra weeks should give you a chance to use them up (I’ll send a separate email to let you know if you have any).

Here’s what you need to know:
-Wednesdays 6-7pm: May 18, 25, June 1, 8, 15, 22
-Saturdays 11am-12pm: May 21, 28, June 4, 11, 18, 25
-Prices: 4 classes for $50, 8 for $80 or $15 to drop in

Please note that you don’t have to wait for the beginning of a new session to join in the fun, just send me a message when you’re ready and you can get started!

Feel free to pass this email along to anyone else you think might be interested.

Finally, a heads up that there will be NO CLASSES between June 27th and July July 10th. I will be preparing for and recovering from this year’s FLUX Dance Festival www.fluxdance.ca.

See you soon!
Bizz

PS: Do you know that Etta James song “In the Basement”?

April-May Class Session

Sass-to-class.jpgBring your sass to class!

We’ve been having all kinds of fun in the basement studio! The classes are a gentle-yet-challenging combination of yoga & pilates. All levels and experience are welcome, and I can always offer modifications if you are healing from an injury or something just doesn’t work for your body. Singing along to the soundtrack and swearing are encouraged (it’s good for morale!) 

Join me for another 4 week session in April-May:

Wednesday Fusion 6-7pm will run from April 20 to May 11.

Saturday Fusion 11am-12pm will run from April 23 to May 14.

Fees Four classes for $50, or eight for just $80! Once a class is running, you may drop in for $15. More details on the Class Schedule page.

Classes require at least two students to run. Any cancellations will be posted by April 18th.

WHY FUSION?

Sidebar 10WHY FUSION? All forms of movement are connected. What’s called temple pose in yoga is also known as a grand plié in second in ballet. What pilates instructors call spine flexion and extension is the same movement yogis call cat/cow. Mixing all the movement styles I have learned into my classes is only natural, because it’s what I do in my personal practice.

A little of this and a little of that is one way to find balance in my body, and each movement discipline has important lessons to teach. Yoga’s steady breathing, pilates’ focus and flow, and dance’s opportunities for expressing emotion all blend beautifully together.

The word fusion allows me to mix and match the elements that work best for my students, and challenges me to find new ways to move. Sometimes I add a little tai chi, or a strength training exercise. Sometimes I invent something new while experimenting between styles.

Fusion is my way of celebrating the infinite possibilities contained within our human bodies. Try it for yourself with one of my Fusion Quickie videos.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHevIJoNSPc]

WHY DANCE?

modernWHY DANCE? Helping us get around in space is one of the primary functions of our brains. To move is to live, and to move rhythmically is very human.

Our brains love patterns, and even the simplicity of walking left foot, right foot, left, right, brings us joy. It is incredibly hard for me to imagine not dancing, especially after 25 years of training.

Even when injuries prevented me from participating in the advanced classical forms I was used to, I still found ways to move to music. I swayed in my seat, I danced with my arms, I let emotions move through my body and direct it in space – even if I had to move very, very slowly while I was healing.

roll downExpressing yourself through movement doesn’t require years of training, just the willing suspension of self-consciousness. Although I’ve always enjoyed complex movements, anyone can enjoy letting the music guide them into a groove.
I often teach simple movements from my dance training in yoga or pilates classes because they feel really good no matter what your level of experience. Rolldowns are one of my favourites, and you can learn about in this video.

WHY YOGA?

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ffb081d2dc2f2c5706997c322bcd17d3WHY YOGA? I’ve been practicing yoga since before I was born. Apparently my mom thought the unitards were cool, and joined a class so she could wear the outfit.

She claims to have used her pregnant belly (aka, me!) as a bolster to lean on while practicing Upavistha Konasana (wide leg forward bend). Her impressive collection of yoga videos, plus her strong encouragement, inspired me to start my own practice as a teenager.

As an adult, I found out that the benefits went way beyond stretching. I use yoga breathing techniques to calm, energize or clarify my mind. As a dancer, I was always drawn to the more active, flowing styles of yoga, but I have learned there is equal value in stillness.

People sometimes ask what kind of yoga I teach, and that’s a tricky question. I’ve come to think of yoga not so much as a thing that I do, but as a way that I do things. That’s not to say I don’t practice classic poses – I do! Since they were designed to help a person practice the HOW of yoga, they are an easy way to get to my calm centre. And I apply the principles of yoga to all my movement practices. I breathe deeply, I aim to balance strength and softness, and I seek out moments of stillness even when I’m in motion.

joy of yogaMy yoga teacher training, plus my long injury history, taught me how to modify and adapt poses so they would be do-able by any body. I love finding ways to make yoga work for everyone.

The first yoga video I ever owned was Sarah Ivanhoe’s Joy of Yoga, which you can try here on youtube.