Coming back to our time, the late 20th and the start of the 21st centuries, there is much on offer for women who want to dance: ballet, flamenco, hip hop, tap dance and much more. They all instill in the participant the self-assurance to move to the music - solo.
So why then did I develop Ladies Solo Dance in 1994? Firstly, to provide women without much dance experience access to the beauty of dance. Without the benefit of a childhood background of dance, starting out in any of the classical dance disciplines in adulthood would be, at the very least, extremely difficult. Modern dances like hip-hop attract a younger group, mostly teenagers and women in their twenties. So what about the thirty-plus group who perhaps have no background in dance but would love to move to the music - where do they fit in?
Secondly, to provide women with the skills and confidence to dance solo. Living in the world of partner dance, I also became acutely aware of many women wanting, waiting, hoping to dance but being entirely at the mercy of a man, a leader, one who had the power to grant or deny her the joy of moving to the music.
Also, I noticed that, although, many women wanted to workout i.e.: keep or get fit and supple, develop their core strength and improve their posture. Training in a gym did not appeal to them. I found that often women enjoyed the elegance of the Ballroom dances and the high-energy cheeky and seductive moves of Latin American dance. That is then what initially motivated me. I started by developing a small programme for women I knew. I developed movements for the women to work with their bodies and balance, solo, to achieve a good workout and have fun. The enthusiasm, referrals (the group doubled and tripled within a few months) and the absolute delight encouraged me to continue developing and enhancing Ladies Solo Dance.
Adding fun elements of current pop and golden-age moves was a natural progression. Also including props like hats, walking sticks and scarves in the choreography adds to the variety and challenge of the different sequences. Ladies Solo Dance is creative and innovative, at the same time remaining true to the technique of the dance.
Separating groups into Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Show Dance levels as well as having different workouts for younger and older women, gives students the opportunity to work at their own pace in a joyous and non-threatening environment.
All women have a challenge and a beautiful set of moves to dance on their own. It is a programme whereby women learn to dance, solo, not only the steps of Latin American, Ballroom and Argentinean Tango but also the technique and style of the particular dance. Add to this arm styling, direction changes, formations and team dance and you have an exercise of beauty!
Why do different types of women from many different walks of life enjoy the power of Ladies Solo Dance?Quite simply for the sheer joy of the movement, the excitement of performance, the challenge of the workout, and, yes, for some, a valuable reiteration of their value and femininity.
This, I have found, is often the case when women have undergone challenging life experiences such as menopause, depression, loss of a partner and empty nest syndrome. It is humbling and encouraging for me to know students who have endured breast removal or hysterectomy and tell me that Ladies Solo Dance played a significant part in reaffirming their femininity. Ladies Solo Dance offers women a creative outlet, a terrific workout and the freedom to express without fear of failure.
Articles by medical practitioners can be seen in media with increasing regularity, recommending dance as a therapy for a healthy heart, healthy body and a healthy head! Can dance solve all our maladies? That I don’t know. What I do know for sure is that Ladies Solo Dance is the ultimate fun way for women of different backgrounds and abilities to share, empathise, communicate, socialise and simply feel good about life and each other. Especially for women between the ages of 30 and 81 - Ladies Solo Dance gives just the right dose of confidence, balance, fitness, posture, posing and fun!
Ladies Solo Dance is a big part of my life - and my life is in part Ladies Solo Dance. This blog is an extension of Ladies Solo Dance and it’s all about joy, exploring new options, taking chances, reliving some magic moments in our lives, reliving some of the not-so-great memories and turning them into a learning experience!
We have so much to offer each other and ourselves, to enrich, entertain and simply celebrate this adventure called life.