“The Virtual Classes are great for anybody who wants to get moving, dance and have fun.”
After moving to North West Queensland just over a year ago, dance lover and Virtual Studio member Savannah McDonald has finally been able to reconnect with her favourite hobby and fitness regime through the Virtual Studio. Savannah chatted with us about the therapeutic benefits dance has on her life, and why she’s thrilled the Virtual Studio is here to stay.
As a little girl, I would dress up in sparkly tutus and leotards and twirl around the house. When I was about six, my parents signed me up for ballet on the weekend and after school and I fell in love with it. I just couldn’t get enough, I loved the music, the movement and the costumes, and the end of year concerts were always so exciting.
In the beginning, I danced because I had so much fun doing it, then as I got older, I kept dancing because it’s so great for my fitness. I also find focusing on how I’m feeling and moving to a piece of music at the end of a long day at work really therapeutic. When I’m focused on the placement of my body, keeping my legs straight and arms bent, pointing my toes as far as they will go and maintaining turnout, there isn’t space to think about anything else and I love that.
I usually take two or three classes through the week and then on weekends I start my day with a class or two. I mostly attend the Ballet classes since it’s my favourite style of dance, but I also join the Body Conditioning, Pilates and Contemporary classes too. There is such a great variety; sometimes I choose a different class just to try something new. I tried Hip-Hop for the first time a couple of weeks ago and I had so much fun.
One of my favourite classes is ballet with Victor Zarallo and Mia Thompson. Their advice is that in ballet you are always moving and always growing, even if you appear to be standing still you should still have energy moving through every point of your body. This has helped with my balance and overall movement flow.
I log in, say hi to my teachers and then we dance for a whole wonderful hour. I focus on my body, my movement and the music and it’s such a welcome break from thinking about what happened in my day. Focusing on what I’m doing in the moment means there is no room for unrelated thoughts, and that opens up space for me to just have fun!
The biggest advantage for me is that I can participate in a class at all! I moved up to North West Queensland for work about a year and a half ago. It’s a beautiful part of Australia to live in; my backyard is a bit like a Bob Ross painting, but the downside is that being so remote it was a little tricky to keep up hobbies like Dance. Thanks to the Virtual Studio I can attend classes, practice my technique and get feedback from teachers. Especially in times these, it’s been great to connect with other people who love dance too.
The Virtual Classes are great for anybody who wants to get moving, dance and have fun. There is a great variety of classes for all skill levels, fitness levels and dance style preferences. Whether you want to use the Virtual Studio to stay active, improve your skill and technique or try out a different style of dance, there is something for everybody
You just have to go for it! I started off paying for a few individual classes here and there, and pretty soon I’d subscribed and was doing at least four classes a week! The beginner classes are heaps of fun and the teachers are always happy to explain and break down movements for you. You don’t have to turn your webcam on if you’re not so sure but it’s great to get feedback from your teachers if you do. I’ve improved so much; you’d be surprised at the progress you see after just a few classes.