To listen to whilst reading

Hello, hope you are well and are looking forward to a HOT June.   Temperatures are set for 28 degrees!!  London + sunshine = good times.

 First of all I want to thank all of you who came to the first ever Disco Barre Live on Saturday.  There was a great vibe at Danceworks and you hot chicks certainly raised the temperature as well as the bar(re) in the studio.  That extra half hour of intense moves  will have given your usual exercise routine a little boost.  I'm looking at venues and collaborators for the next one, so watch this space.  

Is it just me or or are we becoming obsessed with the pursuit of happiness? Is our quest for it making us less happy?  I have read every self help book going on positive thinking, the law of attraction, becoming magic etc etc and whilst I am a firm believer in most of what they say, maybe we need to chill out a little bit.  We need to experience the bad times to appreciate the good and life is about balance, right?  Maybe it's healthier to strive for contentment most of the time, plus, isn't it only psychopaths that experience no negative emotions at all? 

In the past couple of years I've tried many different types of meditation, Reiki healing, with the amazing Josie Daniels of Eleven Healing, who I see regularly and have gone a bit more extreme and experienced an intense Kambo ceremony.  Just last week I had the most incredible Chi Energy Release Massage with Ollie at The Refinery, which I can't recommend highly enough.  

But there are simple things we can do to keep us on an even keel.  Everyone knows that when we exercise we release endorphins, the happy hormones, which lead to a feeling of euphoria, help control our appetite, release different sex hormones, support the immune system and reduce stress.  And obviously and more superficially, when we feel confident in our bodies, we can't deny that we feel a million times better in ourselves.  Let's face it, that's why most of us exercise.  

Now you haven't got a soul if you don't like music.  Whatever floats your boat, nothing can evoke more emotion than listening to music you love.  There has even been recent studies claiming that listening to really sad songs makes you happy (hence why I attached my favourite cool down track and sad disco song, You and I by Madleen Kane).  But disco? Wow, it's pretty subjective, but I know it makes me happy.Every.God.Damn.Day.Of.My.Life.  

So the conclusion?  Disco Barre makes you happy.  





Grace Jones at Paradise Garage, Keith Haring

Grace Jones at Paradise Garage, Keith Haring

Does anything embody  fun like disco music?  And if you find the exercise that you're doing fun, you're more likely to stick to it, right?  I know it's a tough class.  Really tough at times, but it works doesn't it?  You get results fast.  And when your legs are shaking and you feel that you can't hold the position any longer, just close your eyes, feel the burn and imagine you're in Studio 54 or The Paradise Garage.  

Man, I don't think there's a club in history I would rather have been at that than the Paradise Garage.  That club and it's resident DJ, Larry Levan, epitomise everything that is wonderful about disco music - no judgement or discrimination and friggin good music you can dance to. 

So how is it that I have never seen this documentary before?  Thank you SO much Olivia Efstathiou for introducing it to me.   I shed a few tears of joy and sadness and I really recommend you watch it (below) if you love the music from that era as much as I do.

It's about the West End Records boss, Mel Cheren, who was the financial backer of the Garage and who discovered Larry.  It's a bittersweet tale  with some of the best disco tracks ever made (lot's of them played to death by me at Disco Barre), but it also reminds us of the brutality of the AIDS crisis in the early 80's that wiped out a lot of the gay community, including Larry Levan and ultimately Cheren (although he survived until 2007).

Also featured heavily is the track that inspired me to create Disco Barre, Work That Body by Taana Gardner (produced by Levan).  One night I was lying on my living room floor listening to it loud, having just completed my gruelling barre training at Barreworks, Richmond and the concept and the name just popped into my brain.  I trade marked it the next day! Apologies for playing it so often for our warm up, but I just love it sooooo much.

So here it is is for you to enjoy again ;) XXX