SUKANYA CHELLAPPA swirls to traditional Carribbean music to feel lighter and fit

With the Valentine’s Day fever on, I have been wondering how to make my day interesting. When a friend suggested that I could dabble in a few Jazz sessions before the V-Day, I immediately sprang to flirt with the idea.

A quick check on the Wikipedia gave me a fair knowledge of jazz before my sessions. I learnt that “jazz is a classification shared by a broad range of dance styles.”

Prior to the 1950s, jazz dance referred to dance styles that originated from African American vernacular dance. In the 1950s, a new genre of jazz dance—modern jazz dance—emerged, with roots in Caribbean traditional dance. Every individual style of jazz dance has roots traceable to one of these two distinct origins.

I tiptoed to Blaze dance school and met Mr. Balaji, the dance instructor, who instantly briefed me: “Learning jazz helps to relax one’s mind and body. Also, it is a great way to sweat out in an enjoyable way as it involves the co-ordination of every part in the body. The health benefits are also immense as it helps in strengthening bones and muscles without hurting one’s joints, tones up the entire body, improve one’s posture and balance, increases one’s stamina and flexibility, reduces stress and tension, builds up one’s confidence, and provides a great opportunity to meet people.”

I brazed myself to learn the steps for the day but all I was told was that since I am a beginner, I have to put up with only warm-up sessions for three months. The session comprises 139 warm-up techniques and 65 types of different stretches.

Well, the information made me a tad disappointed. Nevertheless, I took up my warm-up and stretch-up sessions that involved straining myself from head to toe. Then, I did the ‘air stretching’ and the ‘ground full stretch’ where I had to raise my legs to a 180 degree without bending my knees and stretch my legs to the ground respectively.

The class reached the finale as it was well past an hour of intense workouts. But I am hopeful that one day I would swirl around to the strains of music and feel like an accomplished a La Elvis Presley!

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