First timer’s guide to… Alternative dance
5 RHYTHMS, MANOR HOUSE
This class is meant to help you achieve ‘transcendental euphoria through dance’. The least you’ll come away with is a funny story. A friend of mine recently went along to a class in Kentish Town and had her foot licked by a half-naked sweaty bloke. The Manor House lot knew better than to taste my feet.
The website tells you to get there early for a warm up, so I dutifully spent 20 minutes stretching my hamstrings as the teacher/DJ played what I can only describe as ‘astral echoes’. Others lay face down on the floor, eyes closed – probably warming up their spiritual hamstrings.
STEP TO IT
‘The invitation is to listen to your body; so move your feet and let your mind be still.’ And so it begins.
In many ways this felt like the worst nightclub I’d ever been to: god-awful tunes, no booze or drugs and the lights are on. But I didn’t worry about making a dick of myself because no one else did. So I moved, danced and jumped but I did not writhe.
Half way through, we were encouraged to start ‘vocalising our emotions’. For the record, it wasn’t me meowing. It was soon after this that a young woman took the foetal position in the middle of the room and sobbed.
At the end, we were invited to sit in a circle, join hands and ‘share whatever came up for you.’ It’s not appropriate to reveal what was shared with me in Manor House that night, but it was beautiful. (5rhythms.com)
What would you like Jamie to try next? Tweet us @BalanceLDN
Stop for a moment. Look up. When you’re feeling hemmed in by life, a spot of cloud-gazing is an unbeatable way to restore serenity. There’s a childlike sense of playfulness to it – projecting your own terrestrial shapes (a top hat here, a sleigh there) on to nature’s ultimate big screen. What can you see floating by?
Calm by Michael Acton Smith is published by Penguin Life, £6.99