by Isolde Allen
The Freefall Summer Intensive is the perfect combination of dancing, yoga, socialising and relaxing. This year as usual i walked into the studio and was met by a group of friendly faces, some familiar and some not (yet!), stretching hamstrings, rolling out muscles and getting ready for the weekend ahead.
Once everyone had arrived and got settled we began the first day with a yoga class from Sioda Martin. For me, yoga as a warmup before a long day of dancing is the perfect combination of awakening the body and also finding the connection of the mind and the breath, something which I feel is very important in a dancing and learning environment. It also allowed for a little bit of calm before the storm that arrived in the form of Rob Mennear! Rob’s class was a highly energetic physical class which everyone really threw themselves into! as one person left in the feedback at the end of the weekend – ‘Rob’s class made me feel like a monkey with wings!’, which i thought was a brilliantly accurate description!
Next we had a really exciting class with Lotte Dekkers in her style of Flying Low technique. I had
never done flying low properly before and i absolutely loved this class ! the energy was so high
and everyone seemed to be smiling the whole way through! I particularly liked that we were encouraged to look around the room at the people and the studio whilst dancing, as i sometimes feel i can get very internal when learning new material, so its good to break that habit. In the past i have found coming in and out of floor quite hard, so doing a class that is completely based on this concept can sometimes be quite nerve wracking. But as always its great to push yourself and give yourself new challenges. When i reached the end of the class i felt so much softer coming in and out of the floor and the feeling of achievement is so good.
Victoria Fox Markiewicz finished up the day with a strong empowering class based around repertoire from her company TRIBE ’s new production. Learning rep from a company is always so much fun because its usually very personal to the choreographer/ teacher. Vix’s movement was earthy and strong and really came from the gut. I got a huge sense of female empowerment, and felt i was able to push the technical aspects i had learnt in the earlier classes to find a strong quality of movement in the rep.
The following day consisted of more of the same. It was actually really nice having the same teachers on both days as it meant that we were able to go a bit deeper into their movement language and i could also work on things i felt i hadn’t quite got the day before ! Overall, the whole weekend was so much fun, and i left feeling suitably knackered. Grace, Charlotte and the rest of the team sure do know how to put the ‘intense’ in intensive !