Ladies and gentlemen, forget the gym, forget going for a run – if you’re only doing (or failing to do) one bit of exercise in the week, let Ceroc lead the way to your new sustainable regime.
If you don’t have time to read this note (I have a feeling it’ll be a long one), check out www.ceroc.com for more information. In the meantime, here’s the word from the horse’s mouth on what it’s like to be a newbie at a Ceroc night. Note the use of ‘night’ over ‘lesson’.
I hate the gym and I hate the outside world, so I figured I needed some sort of keep fit class. Inadvertantly stumbling onto Weight Watchers and discovering Ceroc earned you more food points, I thought I’d check it out. The above website pointed me towards a regular event taking place on a Thursday night nearby, appealing to my lazy not-liking-to-travel-far nature. Having read all the FAQs and other information available, I went expecting a structured dance lesson with a bit of free time at the end.
Arriving at the church hall armed with my already completed membership form (downloadable) and small fee I breezed in, was given a membership card and a dvd with all the beginners moves on. At this point there were only about 8 people there – would I be dancing alone? By 7.30pm there were about 30 people with plenty more arriving through the night, relieving my concerns. Important note: no-one made a fuss out of me being a beginner. Huge benefit. Means you feel on a par with everyone else in the class instead of having your incompetence pointed out.
Quick note: I thought Ceroc was going to be like keep fit utilising dance moves. So wrong. It’s more like a jive or lindyhop or salsa dance. Very social.
The coach was great – friendly yet not overbearing and demonstrated all the moves on the stage. Excellent man:woman ratio with the women moving along the men in turn. In 45 minutes we covered just THREE moves. Perfect. Not loads to remember, but plenty to practice, ending up with a smart looping routine. And it was informal – no-one pointing at your feet and telling you you’re going the wrong way. If it goes with the flow, it’s all good. While the intermediates started their lesson (by now there being at least 50 people there) 7 of us went upstairs with two instructors to review what we’d just learned.
With extra attention from the instructors we were all fluidly working through the routine by the end of the extra 45 minutes. It was great having the opportunity to hone where I should end up after a spin and practice with others. Then back downstairs for the ‘Freestyle’.
By now I’d been dancing an hour and a half. The previously well lit church hall had now turned into a proper party – decent disco lighting in a darkened room, a table with water/pop and a window with tea/coffee. Everyone was going for it, beginners mixing with intermediates, people spinning here and there and everyone just having a damned good time. An intermediate asked me to dance. He was really good at leading and so he made me look like I was a professional, spinning me here and dipping me there. Magic.
But this is the thing – it didn’t feel like I was going there to keep fit. It felt like I was on a night out. Everyone is friendly and no-one is left out or, equally important, hassled. It’s a brilliant concept, and you don’t get lost if you miss a week as you learn new moves each session. I will be cancelling my gym membership this week. And investing in a plaster collection for my little toe – it’s going to be hard pressed every Thursday from here on in.
I attended the Ceroc night at St George’s Church Hall, Muswell Hill, N10 3AH.
Sessions are Thursdays with beginners 7.30-8.15, intermediates/beginner revision 8.30-9.00 and freestyle until 10.30pm.
?8 per session, ?2 membership payment on your first visit, ?6.50 if you’re just there for the freestyle.