Name: Meave Noonan
Which dance and/or yoga classes do you attend at the studio and how long have you been moving with us?
I’ve been attending Retro Workout classes for the last couple of years, and previously I did some contemporary dance classes. I’ve recently brought my mum Susan along to Retro Workout and we enjoy going to class together.
Did you ever take lessons as a kid?
Yes. Mum enrolled me in jazz ballet classes at around the age of 4. From then I was hooked – dance class became the highlight of my week and it is to this day. Growing up, I was a student at a few dance schools around Geelong, learning jazz, contemporary and tap dancing, and I loved performing in yearly dance concerts at GPAC and other venues. I took dance as an elective at high school right through to VCE level (and Lyndel was my dance teacher in Year 12).
Why did you decide to take lessons as an adult?
It had been a few years since I’d taken any classes and I realized there was this massive hole in my life. I had a yearning to move my body and learn choreography and when I got back into it, it was like I’d never stopped.
What is your favourite part about movement classes & how do they benefit your day to day life?
Dancing for me is an instant mood boost – I step into the studio on a Thursday night for class and leave my worries at the door. Dancing is also a great way to exercise – we work pretty hard in the Retro Workout, but because we’re having such a great time, we hardly notice how puffed we’re getting.
What is your least favourite part?
The only downside is that there are not more opportunities for dancing in the busyness of life!
Who/What is your dance/yoga/movement inspiration?
Jen Backwell is a pretty amazing teacher – we’re both former students of another dance school called New Beginnings, where the teacher was Simon Vowles, who had some of the coolest and most suave moves influenced by Michael Jackson, Janet and many others. Fortunately, Jen has remembered a lot of Simon’s choreography and when she brings it out, it’s very nostalgic and such fun.
What advice would you like to give to those who want to start a dance or yoga class at The Loft?
To not be afraid of giving a class a go – whether you’re dipping your toe in for the first time or returning after some time away. The studio has a really welcoming vibe. People of all sorts of backgrounds and abilities are dancing alongside each other, with none of the competitive or snobbish atmosphere that you might get at other dance studios. Dancing is absolutely one of the best ways to exercise – physically it’s great for your strength, endurance and flexibility, and a huge benefit to your mental health. When you’re moving your body to the music and feeling that rush of endorphins, there really is no better feeling!