First published on 16 Mar 2012. Updated on 24 Apr 2013.
Sydney Dance Company instructor Rebecca Devine thrusts her arms up vigorously then pauses to think how best to explain it. “Imagine you’re shaking out your bedspread…”
The city’s premiere contemporary dance company doesn’t just perform: it also holds classes open to the public in the studios under the Wharf Theatres – 70 of them a week. Time Out tried out a contemporary class focusing on technique, stretching, deportment and relaxation. The routine is simple and the teachers add layers of difficulty so you can work at it on your own level. It’s a solid workout at a relaxed pace, with a modern soundtrack including Lana Del Rey, Seekae and Sleigh Bells. Helpful similes like the ‘bed spread’ make the movements easy to follow.
If you’re looking for a class that’s a little more fast paced try your hand (legs, feet and hips) at jazz or hip-hop classes. The music is as loud as a nightclub (think the pop icons; Madonna, Britney, Rhianna), the stretches bop along quickly to the beat and the choreography is snappy and slick – it’s like starring in your own music video. Theatre lovers can get their showtunes hit at Broadway jazz classes, and ballet classes are offered too for traditionalists.
What sets these sessions apart from your average ab crunch or slogging it on the cross-trainer is freedom to express yourself while getting your blood pumping. Book your class online or just rock up; full change rooms and showers are provided.
Sydney Dance Company
The Wharf, Pier 4, Hickson Rd, Sydney 2000. Various times. $17-$20. Daily.