How many times have you watched your favourite dance reality TV star sashay across the length of the stage up in the air, just dangling by cloth? How many times have you wished you could accomplish that same feat? If you live in Doha, then you’re lucky. Brava Studio has just opened its doors to the public and we find out the studio is giving lessons to anyone. “Our classes are open for beginners and no basic skills are required for classes. Anyone who is interested in learning dance and aerial arts is welcome,” says co-founder of Brava Studio, Fiorella Otero.
Brava Studio provides the community in Doha with high quality dance and aerial arts education. Simply put, super-cool air stunts are not all you can learn at this school – the staff can teach you everything from street dance and ballroom to salsa and tango forms of dance. “We teach a wide variety of dance styles. We offer ballet, contemporary, ballroom, salsa, tango, swing, Broadway and street styles such as hip hop, popping, waacking, commercial dance, afrobeats and heels. We also offer dance fitness classes such as cardio Latin and barre. In aerial arts we offer aerial silks, aerial hoop, stretching and tumbling classes,” explains Otero.
Brava Studio has meticulously picked some of the best dance educators in the business and you can choose your instructor based on their specific skills. “You can be rest assured that you are getting excellent education because all of our instructors are formally trained professional dancers and aerialists who have extensive experience in their fields,” Otero tells us during a quick catch up.
Federica Liuzzo, an aerial arts champion, began training in rhythmic gymnastics at the age of six and competed for 17 years now. She specialises in silks, hoop, trapeze, corde lisse and straps. Nicole Neolove is a street dancer and afro beats and contemporary professional choreographer who started her journey in award-winning hip hop dance company, Boy Blue Entertainment, in London. She has also taught in internationally-recognised performing arts schools such as the BRIT school and The Movement Factory, so rest assured you’re in good hands. Martin Rycroft specialises in ballroom, salsa and tango and you might recognise him from season four of Dancing with the Stars Middle East as a finalist. He’s also taken his talent to the big screen in Bollywood.
We’re already considering ditching our fitness classes for these lessons. In any case, dancing comprises a whole body workout, and it’s fun. “It is a great form of exercise because it provides you with both aerobic and anaerobic movement which our bodies need to be at their healthiest, and it helps you with balance and coordination. It is not only good for your body but also your mind because it helps reduce levels of a stress hormone called cortisol,” says Otero. This is probably why dancing makes you feel happy and more relaxed.
Aerial arts classes are also a fantastic workout. They are great for improving upper body and core strength as well as shoulder strength and stability. “While taking part in an aerial silks or hoop class you can burn between 300 to 400 calories per hour.
Aerial arts are also good for your mental health.
In a silks or hoop class you are placing trust in yourself while you are training at a height, so mastering the skills can help boost your self-esteem and create a real sense of achievement,” says Otero.
Aerial arts class
We probe about what a typical class feels like. It starts with a warm-up according to Otero. “The teacher will then go over technique and, in certain dance classes, teach choreography. The warm-up is very important to make sure your body doesn’t sustain any injuries,” she explains. After that, the teacher goes over the different conditioning exercises to train students to learn how to climb the silks and hoops, learn wraps and poses. The maximum number of students in a silks class is eight, ten for hoop, stretching 15 and ten for tumbling and hammock each.
There’s some serious talent in between the walls of Brava Studio and there’s absolutely no reason you shouldn’t be in on the action. In fact, we have some additional exciting news. We’ve confirmed with the Studio there are no prerequisites for a beginner’s aerial class and no weight or height limit.
So, see you there?
QR85 (per class), QR800 (ten classes for two months). Open daily 9am-10pm. Parcel 12, 22 La Croisette, The Pearl-Qatar (4002 2000).
WHAT IS IT...
A dance studio with high-quality instruction
It’s fitness with an element of fun and you learn a new skill