Whether you’ve got fantastic rhythm, or two left feet, we’re going to help you find your groove. Balboat, ballet, ballroom and other traditional forms of toe-tapping fitness have received a major facelift with a new generation of dance taking the world by storm.
We’ve got the rundown on the moves you need to make your own with some fabulous dance fusions.
Bollywood Kathak Fusion Dance: Pioneered in New Plymouth, this new flavour of Indian dance sees traditional Indian choreography paired with contemporary, upbeat tunes with a good dose of Bollywood thrown into the mix for eclectic measure. It involves plenty of over the top animated movements and works everything from the face to the feet.
Lyrical Dance: This is all about expressing yourself. Resembling ballet and honouring the technical elements of classical ballet, it loses its conservative streak by paying homage to the fluid and freedom focused aspects of jazz, comtemporary and modern dance. It’s based on choregraphy as well as self-interpretation of a musical beat with emotion leading the way.
Zumba: Perhaps one of the most famous exports of the 90s, Zumba blends hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue and mambo. It remains a viral fitness programme with approximately 15 million people taking classes across the world every week. Capable of helping participants burn up to 600 calories per session, it targets the abs, thighs, arms and muscles throughout the body.
Clubbing collectives: Inspired by the nightclub scene, people throughout the world are taking their cues from sweaty dance parties to meet their fitness needs. Live DJs and disco lights inspire you to dip a little lower and bring those knees just that little bit higher for those who want to seriously let loose without having to stay out quite so late on a school night.
Hula hoop dancing: A total body workout that offers a great level of fitness, hula hooping is as much fun as it is a recreational option. Set to music, hula hooping is a complete core workout (cue the killer abs!), activating some 30 muscles in and around your body’s core, but the best part about this is the fun factor, with hooping classes offered at many gyms and dance fitness studios.
Molly Chapman was four years old when she donned her first pair of tap shoes and clicked her way across the floorboards. Born and raised in Dunedin, Molly grew up in a family that was, and still is, very involved in musical theatre. “My sister plays leading roles and directs musicals in Dunedin, and my brother acts and directs too.”
Molly taught tap in Dunedin and continued to teach it when she moved to Christchurch, aged 22. Her love of dance was passed onto her son, Hayden Withers, who graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in 2014, and is now New York based, and wowing audiences at Off Broadway. “Hayden’s my
inspiration,” Molly says.
The birth of Molls Dolls came about when the mother of a young girl she taught suggested Molly take a class for adults, as well as preschoolers. The same mother also suggested the name Molls Dolls.
It was while attending a Masters Games event with a softball team, which Molly says was enormous fun, that she became aware that the Masters had a Dancesports category.
She returned home with a plan in mind and wasted no time in putting out the word she was looking to teach tap to adult women. She set up a dance studio in her home and in 2015, Molls Dolls were up and tapping.
In 2016 they competed in their first Masters Games in Dunedin. “Our team comprised six ex-tap dancers. We were in the Formation Team section of the Dancesports and the crowds loved us so much that we returned home wearing silver medals!”
Fired with such a win, Molls Dolls headed to the Masters at Wanganui in January 2017. “But this time there were 11 of us (three teams) and we came away with Gold and Silver.”
On Waitangi weekend of this year, Molls Dolls competed at the Masters, again; by now the three teams had grown to 21 dancers, aged from 37 to 69. They made a clean sweep, with the red and silver team winning the gold medal, the blue team taking out the silver, and the black and gold team getting bronze. They also got the silver medal in Show Dance.
The girls are super industrious when it comes to fundraising. “From May to August we make up to 300 dozen cheese rolls, per run – we’ve even made over 1,200 dozen!”
Next up for these indefatigable dames of dance is the Masters Games in October at Timaru and Wanganui in February, 2019. “We’ve also been invited to an Australasian Competition called Follow Your Dreams, with a qualifying competition in Christchurch in August. If we qualify then we’ll be heading to Melbourne in January 2019.”
Molly says her dancers inspire her and have brought so much fun into her life. “The girls give me so much joy. I don’t think I would have survived the hard times without them; they make Molls Dolls!”
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