The power of the Plié

A healthy heart means a healthy mind, so when Team TMN got wind of drop-in ballet classes, conveniently located within the Dubai Media City vicinity, we couldn’t resist dusting off our tutus, leg-warmers and pumps to give it a try…

What: Drop-in ballet classes

Where: James & Alex Dance Studios, 813 & 814 Concord Tower, Dubai Media City, Dubai

When: Beginners/Improvers – Wednesday, 6-7pm, and Saturday, 10.30-11.30am, Intermediates – Wednesday 7-8pm

The promise: “James and Alex Dance Studios offer dance classes with some of the best instructors Dubai including drop-in ballet classes with expert ballet instructor, Aimée Després leading you every step of the way.”

Did it deliver? A quick taxi ride from TMN Towers, it wasn’t long before we were ready to unleash our dancing alter egos. With its exposed ceilings and minimalist décor, the studio immediately won us over with its effortlessly cool, yet unassuming interior, which wouldn’t seem out of place in London or New York. The staff were welcoming and informative, reminding us that we didn’t need to be the next Darcey Bussell in order to reap the full benefits of the class. While we opted for standard gym wear, leotards were aplenty and the studio’s dance shop offered an extensive selection of pro dance gear for budding ballerinas, so we were told.

The small, intimate class meant we instantly felt at ease, and the studio was perfectly sized for the participants to get the most out of the teacher’s dance know-how. Our instructor, Yat-Sen, wasted no time getting us straight to work with traditional barre exercises, talking us through each step of the way so there was no chance of getting lost. The class was lighthearted yet strenuous – if you have visions of a walk-in-the-park workout, think again. Prepare to perspire, lots, as Yat-Sen ensures you experience the full extent of a ballet-style workout.

The verdict: With muscles aching in the same way they would after a heavy duty gym session, Team TMN may have underestimated the power of the Plié. A great alternative if you want to disguise a work-out with something that seems less rigid, and as the studio offers a variety of dance styles, you get the freedom to mix it up as you feel fit. A bit of a hidden gem, we’ll definitely be returning – with our leotards at the ready!

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