BELFAST CITY CENTRE’S FIRST DANCE-FITNESS STUDIO OPENS
Dance fever has come to Belfast as the city centre’s first and only dance-fitness studio opens on Fountain Street offering an eclectic mix of fitness classes that take inspiration from various genres such as hip hop, burlesque, ballet and Latin. Also on offer is a jazz and ballroom style workout designed by Strictly Come Dancing professionals.
Opened by local dancer, gymnast and businesswoman Erin Lyle, Aurora Studios puts the fun back into fitness with high intensity adult dance classes that tone, build strength and improve flexibility. Taking a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, the studio also offers classes in yoga and Pilates. Located on Fountain Street, the studio was previously home to one of Belfast’s most well-known dance halls, Maxims, which was renowned for its Wednesday night jazz evenings during the late 50s and early 60s.
I’ve never been a gym kinda gal always preferring a scheduled class and an instructor who can keep you right and make sure you get the most out of your exercise. After joining Aurora Studios a couple of months back I’ve quickly established a regular routine with Erin’s Dance Fit Cardio – a brilliant workout with a fun dance twist, and Yoga with Sharon – a great way to unwind after a day at the office. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly and there’s always a lovely smile to greet you.
I was invited along to their taster evening with fellow bloggers so I decided to take the opportunity to see what the other timetabled classes had to offer. The evening began with prosecco, perhaps to loosen us up!, and healthy snacks to re-energise after the demos. Yes, we were encouraged to participate and sure why wouldn’t we when the routines are so much fun!
After welcoming us all Erin told us about the studio and the classes on offer:
““Dance is one of the most enjoyable ways to get fit and it also has many positive health benefits including improving flexibility, endurance levels, and even emotional well-being… Aurora Studios is a place for anybody to work out, whether you’ve trained in dance before or have never set foot in a dance studio. All the classes are taken by fully qualified instructors who get to know the customers, making the studio one of the most friendly and welcoming places to get fit.”
The demos began with rebounding, a workout on small trampolines. I exerted myself more than I had planned to but it was so much fun! It wasn’t a class that was previously on my radar but after giving it a go I plan to work it into my schedule. Other demos included Ballet Fitness with instructor Hannah, Burlexercise and Dance Fit Cardio. All use fantastic routines and when you’re busy shaking your booty or having a laugh in the mirror you forget you’re also working your muscles too – you will be reminded the next day though!
It was a lovely evening chatting with the staff and instructors and with so much enthusiasm for what Aurora Studios provides from all attendees I’ve no doubt I’ll be seeing a few familiar faces about the place.
Aurora Studios is open Monday to Saturday, you can pay monthly (£35 – worth it if you want to go twice per week), or pay as you go from £4 and book online. For more information on classes and timetables, visit auroradancecompany.co.uk or connect with Aurora Studios on Facebook or on Twitter.