The most common excuses that stop people trying Highland Hustle …
“I’m too old” “I’ve got two left feet”
“I’m not fit enough” “I can’t dance”
“I’m totally uncoordinated” “I’ve got nobody to go with”
“I don’t like classes, they are so intimidating!”
Sound familiar? So, what is a class really going to be like?
It’s the normal dance-class setting – less intimidating than a gym… so normally a dance studio or local hall, where you will find me or any of the other Instructors standing at the front.
A class is normally 45 minutes long. It starts slowly and builds throughout. The warm up always covers basic moves and will break them down so that you learn the moves gradually. It doesn’t matter whether you have danced or not. With a little patience almost anyone can do it.
After a few tracks there is always a group track. Think a ceilidh, with the social interaction but no need to touch a sweaty body or hold hands here!
Throughout the class there are lots of intensity options from zero intensity when your feet literally never leave the ground together all the way to a full on, high intensity workout.
And age is so not a barrier. If you can do a Gay Gordons or Strip The Willow – you can do a class.
One of the last tracks is a high intensity, sweat inducing number but there is always the low intensity option to go for and absolutely no pressure.
What I tend to find is that members opt for all options – while some may feel fitter, some maybe more tired that day etc..; the thing is, it’s YOUR workout. Do it for You. And dance like nobody’s watching… because they are not. Everyone is concentrating on their own moves.
There’s a wee bit of toning during class (but this is also peppered throughout the class too) and always a cool down at the end.
The music ranges from anything and everything. Modern, upbeat to full on cheesy 80’s and 90’s to a bit of rock from Biffy Clyro to the odd bagpipe or Scottish track from bands like The Red Hot Chilli Pipers to Skerryvore. There is no typical Highland Hustle tune or genre of music but there are a lot of Scottish influences and singers!
So who is the typical Highland Hustler?
Quite honestly, the ranges of ages and ability are huge and that is what I love about it.
My own class ranges from a lovely couple in their 70’s (neither have danced before) but they do brilliantly and are such an inspiration to others. On the other hand I’ve got young 20 somethings who dance and jump alongside them too. Many of my own class members don’t have a dance background before but I know that lots of other classes have returning dancers too.
A new feature of some classes for 2018 will also allow you to bring a child with you to join in. (Please check with class leader first).
So, what do you get out of a Highland Hustle class then?
Certainly a cardio workout and based at the level you need. A bit of a tone up for abs, legs, butt and often the arms and back too.
However, I’d argue that one of the biggest benefits is the social interaction that the group tracks have. The aim is that people come to the class and get a laugh with our class members in a really relaxed and welcoming space.
The sequencing, concentration and uplifting atmosphere of the class does wonders for the spirit and mood. There is also more and more evidence of dance helping with long term memory or the preventative effects medically for diseases such as Alzheimers.
So, what are you waiting for?
If you really need to build a bit of confidence first, there are Highland Hustle DVD’s to try at home. The music, structure and overall presentation of the DVD’s are really different to the classes but they can be a good starting point or a good way to supplement your class by doing more at home! Buy a DVD here or try the online streaming versions here.
Finally, if you can’t find a class near you and know someone who is full of fun (or wants to be full of fun and needs to build a little confidence) send them this direction and they can start to lead their own class!
If Highland Hustle is impossible for you with a small child then why not dance together at our Highland Hustle Tots classes?
All the best for the year ahead and hope to see you at a class soon!