I am a ballet dancer. For that reason I like to keep fit and healthy. It's important for me to stay lean too. So eating well, exercise (especially pilates, yoga, swimming and the like) are essential. Keeping things in balance and natural is important to me too, as I find that's the best way to stay healthy and happy.
On face value the venue seemed plush and luxurious...
Yet, both my partner and I left feeling more agitated and stressed than when we first arrived.
The treatement was meant to be 25 minutes long. I'm sure that we had hardly spent more than 10 minutes applying the mud-treatment upon our bodies when the showers were turned on to indicate the treatment time was complete. This involved our attendant having to enter our 'private' treatment room while we were both in a state of undress and covered in mud. This was unexpected and rather vexing at the time. As well, It all felt rather harried.
Somehow, too, due to a mix up of rooms and our feeling of distress after leaving the treatment room we didn't fully understand the proceedure that followed and thus missed out on the 'relaxation room' experience. The sauna/Steam room facilities, though lovely in appearance, had no ready supply of water and I became very dehydrated.
This really could be a wonderful spa experience, at a very nice venue. Today, though, wasn't relaxing and we didn't linger long.
As an injured dancer panic set in. I enquired in the store, while buying a few things there, about someone they could recommend to help.
David Thunder is an Osteopath who treats with acupuncture and massage therapy. He treats numerous dancers, including those at a very high level.
It was reassuring that I could explain details of technique and how they were affected by my injury and he understood completely. A dancer's world is a complex relationship of their body/mind/art, so this understanding is paramount.
He was analytical in his method and showed a deep understanding of his work. He explained the premises by which he worked so that I could leave and aide myself in my own recovery too.
Suffice to say I am 98% recovered and can get on with my auditions. Happy to be pain-free again!
The receptionist was very helpful, both over the phone when I made my appointment booking (easy-breezy) and once I arrived.
The studio and facilities were all very nicely presented though a little small. The issue I take with this isn't so much aesthetic, rather it prevented there being a greater range of equipment available for use (i.e. trapeze, thoracic barrell) than just the standard beds. Also it made full extension laterally difficult as one had to mind the person next to them.
This does have an upside, which is that the instructor is better able to see and attend to her full class.
The instructor was friendly, gave clear instructions both verbally and by demonstrating.
I would have prefered a little more attention placed on breathing and engagement of the transverse and oblique (deep inner layers) muscles groups, as this is paramount to pilates. The pace also seemed a little hasty.
Overall a good general-body workout. I would want something, for myself, more focused on core-strengthening.
The studio in Notting Hill is reasonably sized. The atmosphere was serious yet still convivial.
The receptionist was very sweet and helpful.
My instructor struck the right balance between being mindful of everyones' personal abilties and knowledge and still remaining demanding and tough (in a good way). The class was thorough and moved at a good pace, still leaving room for advancement in each exercise.
It was good to hear constant instruction about correct breathing.
Though I enjoyed the class, I need a little less quad work and more focus core-stability and flexability, as a dancer.
It would, however, be excellent for the general public to tone up and increase strength.
Essentially I asked for my hair to be styled - not trimmed. However that's really what I got. I asked if my hairdresser had any ideas. She didn't. She was very sweet but in the end I realised I came away with the same haircut plus 20 minutes of 'curling' with a straightener. It wasn't bad, but hardly rave-worthy.
I was a little harangued upon my departure to write a good review. I would have liked to, yet in fact it was this that made me the most uncomfortable.