Fitness: BalletBoyz's Movement Warriors classes; Christmas gift ride; SnoKart Kabin bag

 

Join the club: Ballet boys

By Luke Blackall

Not so long ago, starting a series of ballet yoga class for boys might have seemed like a questionable business plan, but the new Movement Warriors classes at Studios 52a in Kingston upon Thames, are packed.

The courses' popularity might be helped by the fact that they are run by BalletBoyz, the internationally renowned male dance company. Since being put together by dancers and artistic directors Michael Nunn and William Trevitt in 2001, BalletBoyz has performed internationally and been featured on TV and film.

The Movement Warriors classes are for various age groups, from the under-fives to 10 to 13 year olds. They can then graduate to the contemporary dance fitness classes for teenagers.

"The stigma has gone – dance is now cool, it is not just for girls but for boys too," says Karl Morgan, one of the teachers, and a former West End musical theatre dancer. "Half my pupils will turn up in a football kit; they come off the pitch from football practice straight into the studio for dance class. Street dance has helped change the image of dance and reality TV dance shows have made it more accessible. Everyone wants to dance!"

Morgan says that he uses themes such as 'space' or 'superheroes' and high-energy games to help engage the boys, while he fuses classical and pop music with basic ballet techniques, as well as simple jumping and changing direction exercises.

"My little boys come into the studio and see the grown men rehearsing next door and think, 'I want to be like that when I am older'," he adds. "'I want to dance for a living'."

Cheapskate's version: tell your child to Jane Fonda-along to your 'Billy Elliot' DVD

52a.co.uk

SnoKart Kabin bag, £84.99 SnoKart Kabin bag, £84.99
The cyclist: Christmas gift ride

By Simon Usborne

It's a question I get asked fairly often at this time of year: what do you get the cyclist in your life for Christmas? For some non-cycling gifters, the challenge can be as tough as that which greets, perhaps, a misguided husband in search of lingerie, or a grandfather sent to the Furby aisle at Hamleys.

Cyclists were traditionally viewed as another breed, you see, and their paraphernalia as niche as cycling itself. What do you buy the trainspotter in your life? More specifically, the trainspotter with a particular interest in certain types of trains. I dunno, a pencil?

I have in my loser's cycling drawer under my bed, behind the leg warmers and assorted mitts and spanners I need, a gift stash of stuff I really don't, but don't have the heart to throw out. Nor do I have the heart to identify them, so I asked some buddies for bad-present anecdotes.

As cycling becomes more fashionable, the challenge has thankfully reduced, but there were still lots of replies (bells, mainly). I'll conclude with one from Toby that also serves as an easy answer to the central question.

"A girlfriend who said she wanted to support my hobbies bought me a kickstand, reflectors and a bell. The store had said they were important safety devices... I feigned thanks for 10 minutes before she said she was joking and that if I took them back, they would exchange them for a gift voucher. I proceeded to buy a Garmin 500."

Modern gym rules: Smell

Sniffing seats after spinning class is never acceptable. Even if it's your own

Gear: SnoKart Kabin bag, £84.99

A carry-on bag designed for ski boots and more that has wheels and won't fall apart? We'll raise a glass of schnapps to that.

Takin' it easy: 'The baby frame'

By Larry Ryan

On a recent familial visit I witnessed the horror of child rearing. Obviously the kids are lovely and all that but sweet Jesus, does it look tiring. At one point I was put in charge of the buggy and couldn't help but think that despite the exhaustion, it was also nice to have something to rest myself on while I walked. For me, the baby stroller is the acceptable version of a zimmer frame for those requiring no walking aid but who nevertheless remain determined to take a load off in the pro-leagues.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

    £25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

    Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

    £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

    £25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

    £25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie