I’ve met people over the years who tell me they don’t dance. It makes me a bit sad. Keep on dancing is one of my mantras for life. For one, our bodies need to move for our physical and mental fitness and dancing also happens to be great fun. It can be easy to take ourselves too seriously and dancing is a great way for us to kick back and release the mojo. Last Friday, Charlie and I were invited to check out the new Family Hip Hop class by Step it Up Dance, launching with a brand new format across Edinburgh for ages 18 months to 5 year olds. Step It Up Dance is an award-winning urban dance company based in Edinburgh teaching a wide range of styles including Breakdance, Hip Hop and Acro Dance to tots to teens.
As we walked to drop Bonnie at school before we set off, one of her friends said to Charlie ‘but dancing is just for girls’. To which he responded ‘no way’. Phew! My wish is that he never stops dancing. For one, watching him dance and do his wee bum shuffle is one of my favourite things. The classes promote enjoyment of music, movement and basic hip hop dancing within a safe and encouraging environment. The dance teachers are fantastic and great when it comes to motivating and praising the kids and it was a nice bonding experience for Charlie and I. The Family Hip Hop classes have been introduced for younger children to interact with parents as well as with each other. I think this is really important. I am massively into quality moments with the kids, as I know these are the times we will remember. I remember dancing with my parents. I remember the good times. I have forgotten about the times they were busy working instead or running around mad juggling all of their tasks. We forget the finer details but we remember the moments of magic. For me, these moments don’t come from our racing minds. They come from being present. Dancing allows us to express ourselves in our own special way and it can also be a time to seek a bit of inspiration as we escape our worries and get lost in the music and let loose. Beautiful minds are free of fear and when music is involved, my mind is beautiful. Charlie looked absolutely perfect to me on Friday morning. He was laughing, he was dancing and he was completely in the moment. It was pure magic.
The team also showed us some techniques for strengthening and stretching the legs which Charlie loved.
The team at Step it up Dance deliver a unique brand of Hip Hop and Breakdance classes to thousands of children every week across Edinburgh. This includes within nurseries, schools and communities and they also host birthday parties and active holiday camps. The lovely Niki , the lady behind the brand, has worked hard to build a like minded crew who are clearly bursting with energy and passion when it comes to dance and that came across to me from the moment we entered the class. Charlie can be quite shy sometimes but he settled in very quickly. I think Step it up Dance have created something really special for kids.
Raising awareness in terms of what we can do to keep our children and young people mentally healthy is something that I feel passionately about. The key advice is as follows –
- Eating a balanced diet and cutting down on sugary, processed foods and caffeine.
- Regular exercise.
- Time and freedom to play, indoors and outdoors.
- Being part of a family that gets along well most of the time. For this to happen, us adults need to look after our mental fitness.
- Going to a school that looks after the well-being of all its pupils.
- Taking part in local activities for young people.
- Getting a good nights sleep.
Yes, time can be as issue. But I think its important that we take time to schedule in fun and face to face contact. The job list is never going to go away, as is the housework. We need to get away from the autopilot. Charlie and I came home with a fabulous goodie bag, which also included a delightful print from Wee Blue Coo.
It’s a pleasure to have Niki on my podcast this week (episode 52) for a fantastic discussion about mindset, marketing, achieving our goals and turning a vision into a reality. You can tune into it here.
To book a dance class, see timetable here.
Keep on dancing and do it like nobody is watching, it’s much more fun.