My Date With Pineapple by Abimbola Victoria Ayininuola
The avid dancer in me never tires of finding new ways to fuel my addiction for the art of movement. So when I heard through the grapevine that the world renowned Pineapple dance studios was offering an open day filled with over 30 free dance classes taught by some of the best choreographers in the industry , I cleared my schedule , polished my Nike high tops , fluffed up my afro and got prepared for the best day in Pineapple Dance history.
For those who don’t know about Pineapple, it was founded by Debbie Moore in the location of an old pineapple warehouse in Covent Garden, central London, in 1979, hence the name Pineapple. It serves as ever dancers’ haven offering more than 200 classes in a week ranging from contemporary to Michael Jackson style dance to Zumba. The philosophy behind the creation of Pineapple Dance studios was to break down the elitist barriers surrounding dance, and make it available to everyone, from the absolute beginner to the advanced and professional dancer.
The open day began at 11am on the 22nd of July, as I arrived to the studio the queue was ridiculous, spanning all the way round the studio up to the train station, but I have the patience of a monk and decided to wait it out. The turnout was overwhelming filled with complete beginners to professionals in the dance industry. One thing I would say about dancers is our fashion sense is off the wall and filled with color and crop tops , basically at Pineapple anything goes. The first class I was recommended was “ Rudeye – Fusion Funk” , Rudeye are a coveted dance agency in London specializing in nu skool hip hop and LA style street dance. The class started off at a normal pace with a gentle warm up , then a few stretches and the routine was choreographed to Cheryl Cole’s addictive single “Call My Name” and within the blink of an eye they sped up the counts , making me nearly fall over , overall a good class , clear direction and a lot of fun to those who are looking to start out dancing. I found the level too simple for me so mid way I found myself doing my own thing and altering the choreography a bit.
The next class I attempted was “ Anthony King- Michael Jackson Style” , I regularly attend Anthony’s classes and I find MJ tunes addictive so I was glad he was putting on a class for the open day, tired from the previous class I decided to hang out at the back of the class to be more of an observer than a mover and shaker, but my plans were foiled as Anthony spotted me and dragged me to the front of the class to serve as an example to the rest of the group, talk about pressure. The warm up for Anthony’s class was military style jogging , star jumps , and high knees , I was already exhausted .We did a routine to “Bad” , the routine was amazing as everyone really got into the spirit of it and we all got to perfect our high kicks and the moonwalk.
The final class I had to try was “Lil J - Street Fusion”. Lil J has been in the industry for quite some time and at 4”6 , yes 4”6 , she is one of the best specializing in contemporary, break dance , street and Jazz .I enjoyed this class thoroughly because compared to the other two classes , this class was more about perfecting technique and hitting certain beats within the song , so I would say this class is suited more for the intermediate dancer with some past experience. Unlike the other classes we didn’t have a set song for the routine, we did different songs at different paces which, even for me I found challenging at times. The only negative I would say about the class was it was so packed I couldn’t execute the moves properly and people who had no idea about what they were doing were positioned themselves in the front totally ignoring good dancer etiquette which is allowing the good dancers in front of the class so people who aren’t too sure can follow them.
Overall I would say I had an amazing day full of dance and sweat, the choreographers were amazing at their craft, generally polite and such an inspiration to me .I only wish I had more time to take part in all the other classes they had on offer, for me attending 3 out of 30 classes is pretty dreadful but I blame that on my other dance auditions and the last minute Olympic dance session I had to do. So if you are ever in London and are addicted to the art of movement like I am , you must go to Pineapple Dance Studios, there is a class and a level for everyone so you never feel out of place, I just cannot wait to set my feet in the dance studio again.