Rhys Boorman ran a 7-week fitness programme designed to get us back to dancing fitness. Here are two reviews. The videos of all sessions are on this Playlist: Return to Dancing Fitness 2021 (Playlist)
Tina Boyle writes:
“This course started with the live session on 21st March (see my review), followed by 5 weekly videos to follow by ourselves and finished with a live session with Rhys on 2nd May. Congratulations to everyone who followed the course, I’m sure all of you will have seen improvements in your level of fitness.
“Rhys recorded warm up and cool down videos for us to use with the exercise videos. The weekly videos were well presented and clear to follow, with Rhys providing 2 levels of difficulty so that individuals could go at their own safe pace. I stuck to the ‘easy’ level throughout because I have never used a gym or done a course like this before and I didn’t want to over do it. Some of my muscles complained lots after the first live session core exercises (to be expected!) and in fact they were still complaining by the first video, hence the decision to go down the easy route. I left out 3 of the core exercises that week but had a go at them on week 3. By week 4, I was feeling happier and rather chuffed at realising that I was indeed making progress. Hurray!
“Pauline (our Morris Fed. President) also did the course – well done Pauline! She told us that the ‘flutter kicks’ exercise was her nemesis. It took me several weeks to manage the flutter kicks but my nemesis is the ‘Russian twist’ with feet off the floor. I haven’t managed it yet! I am sure that we all have particular ones that we find difficult so lets keep up the routines, master these difficult exercises and make even more progress.
“The live sessions were recorded and the videos are on the Morris Federation playlist so they are all available for us to continue using. It will help us improve and then maintain our dance fitness.
“If you didn’t do the course, or dropped out for whatever reason, then how about giving the course a look? I recommend it.
“Thank you Rhys for all your time and effort to present this course for us. I have benefitted from it and, judging by other peoples responses at the end of the last live session, many others have enjoyed it and benefitted from it too. Thank you also Morris Federation for organising this course and providing the opportunity to rewatch and follow the live sessions and videos.
“If you didn’t do the course then take a look, have a go!
Review by Tina Boyle of Furness Clog Dancers in Ulverston, Cumbria
Maureen Cutts writes:
Seven weeks ago, 14 members of Milltown Cloggies, hoping to soon get back to weekly practices, registered with Rhys’ programme to try and eliminate some of our lockdown flab and inertia.
“Not all of us managed to complete all the sessions, and some even have alternative ways to exercise regularly but everyone who took part felt the benefit of the sessions.
“It was impressive the way Rhys focussed on core strengthening and power exercises, tailoring the programme very specifically to Morris dancers’ needs. We appreciated the way he adapted in response to feedback and his pacing of the sessions so that you really felt you were making progress. Small details, like ensuring his trainers were a contrast to the mat so that you could see his feet clearly, showed how much thought and care Rhys had put into his planning. We all found the sessions hard, especially the last three sessions, where the rest period between exercises was reduced from 30 to 20 seconds, but also really enjoyed all the sessions. I’m sure that we will continue to use the warm up and cool down routines regularly and some of us may even continue to do all the exercises, now that we have felt the benefit over the last few weeks.
“Perhaps even more important than the physical gains of joining in the programme is the feeling that we are all a part of the Morris community, through this time of enforced separation. Hearing that our friends in the USA were up at 5 am to join in the zoom session and joining in the many other workshops and tutorials that the Morris Federation have organised, make us realise that there is a way through the pandemic. To quote Ian McMillan in his lockdown poem of hope “Here is tomorrow / In yesterday’s sweat.”
“The Milltown Cloggies would like to join with all the sides which took part in extending our sincere thanks to Rhys Boorman and The Morris Federation for their magnificent efforts to give us such an excellent programme. Your hard work is very much appreciated.
Review by Maureen Cutts of Milltown Cloggies of Dukinfield and Stalybridge in Greater Manchester
Donations from participants raised money for Mind: https://www.mind.org.uk/donate