THE BASICS: “Dance Like a Star” Seen On Screen Fitness promises. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Think; dance teachers to the stars, feeling like you’re auditioning for FAME but actually getting a right proper workout in the process. It’s easy enough to follow if you’re uncoordinated, but challenging enough to make you feel like you’re performing in a musical.
Their classes take place in several locations in London, meaning lots of class variety and a funky pop-up feel. We took a class with Leighton Sharpe who I was very excited to learn stars in one of my favourite ever music videos!
THE CLASS: Hugely famous YMCA Club was the home of “Sweat”- the Tuesday night Seen On Screen class myself and Erin recently found ourselves in.
The session was in full swing. I looked around. Yep, this is definitely the most pained set of faces I’ve ever seen in a fitness class in my life. 4 minutes into an arm workout, not a single face in that studio was able to hide the pain any longer.
Looking in the mirror at each other’s screwed up faces, excrutiated giggles rippled through the all-female class. We were definitely bonding over the pain caused by our quite frankly sadistic instructor, Leighton.
I jest, he was an utter delight, but it was definitely apparent that our twisted faces were tickling him as he urged us to keep pulsing our triceps for 20 more seconds.
We felt instantly at home when we went into the studio. People were joking, hugging, and chatting to myself and Erin excitedly, even though we were brand new. I felt really, really welcome. More jokes as we took the register. Leighton was engaging, people made room for us, the buzz was pretty special.
We began. The music, OH THE MUSIC. You know that song that used to make you go “YESSSSSSS!!!” and drag your girls onto the dancefloor. Ok, now combine that with the song that makes you shake your thang in your bedroom mirror. And then add a dash of song you sometimes hear when you’re walking down the street feeling fierce and like you’re in the opening credits to a movie.
THAT. That was the soundtrack, ladies. Leighton was at the front, moving like he just stepped out of Fame, and we were ROCKING it. It was absolutely pumping, and despite making us endure up to 5 minutes straight of isolated exercise, the music made us grit our goddamn teeth and diva it out.
Yes you read that right too, a whole track was spent on isolated exercises. Think 5 minutes non-stop arms. Then legs. Then abs. Then bum. Each body part was screaming, and our gurning little faces were doing our best to control the “gnnnnrrrrrrrrrrAAAAAAHHH!” noises that I think were forming in each of our lungs by the time minute 3 of each track passed.
The best bit was, the class started with some high intensity stuff which initially made me think “yeah, I reckon this should be a doddle!” I take it all back, Seen On Screen. I take it all back.
We warmed down, a few girls left, and a few arrived- time for class two: Stretch!
I think in my sweat-snobbery, I wasn’t sure how much I’d enjoy this bit. After the sweat though- it was absolutely, unoquivically, glorious. The music came down a notch or 5 and was soothing while still being pop-py. We spent up to 5 minutes in some of the first poses, lying on our backs with our little legs up against the wall. The stretching became more dynamic as the class progressed, but it didn’t reach beads-of-sweat-forming status, instead just giving us a reeeeeally deeeeeep stretch out.
Sweat it out, stretch it out, float outta that place with a smile and some limber limbs. I didn’t even know the YMCA gym existed, but it’s huge, it’s exciting, and it houses Seen On Screen Sweat & Stretch on a Tuesday night. You gotta try this out, ladies.