Hattie Grover is a force to be reckoned with. She's a breakdancer who teaches Circusfit, Commercial Dance, Ripped & Stripped, Hardcore, Thigh High, BadAss and Metcon. Phew! "There's something so rewarding about leaving a class knowing you gave it everything you had, and more!"
You’re currently being trained to teach Circusfit, Commercial Dance, Ripped & Stripped, Hardcore, Thigh High, BadAss and Metcon – how has this been for you?
It’s been awesome! I have loved getting down, getting my sweat on and taking part in the classes. You are never done mastering your craft, so in my opinion the training is never over!
What’s the most interesting new skill you’ve learned in the last few years?
Without a doubt it's been training to become a CircusFit instructor with Hester Montgomery. Circus is a skill I have been meaning to get into for a while because it requires physical attributes that I've developed over years through my dance training. I would spend my days head standing, hand standing or cartwheeling if I could, so why not take hanging upside down to another level? It can be such a challenge, but that's what I love about it. You become fearless without even realising it, because you’re so focused on nailing the skill. Hester has been such an inspiration and I'm so grateful to be a part of her amazing Circusfit Aerial Fitness instructor team. If you haven't tried out a class yet I would urge you to do it!
Do you have a favourite out of all of them?
It's so hard to pick just one but I love Circusfit, because it's one of the most challenging and rewarding classes I have taken on. I'm so keen to learn more!
What makes you unique as an instructor?
There are so many instructors I really respect who share a similar area of expertise. I guess being a female breaker makes me a minority, but I would love to encourage and motivate more woman to get into the dance style! It requires a lot of persistence and determination, but there are so many incredibly strong woman out there! Why not?
How can people expect to feel when leaving one of your classes?
E-N-E-R-G-I-S-E-D! I know it may sound weird given the intensity level of the classes I will be teaching, but there's something so rewarding about leaving a class knowing you gave it every you had, and more!
What has been the most enjoyable part of joining the Gymbox team?
Meeting the incredible team whose classes I have been privileged enough to shadow! There are so many different disciplines and specialties under one roof and I’ve only sampled a few. I can't wait to try more classes, particularly the ones I know will push me out of my comfort zone.
You have a first class honours degree in dance, from UEL, tell us about that?
When you commit yourself to something you love you put your whole heart into it, and that’s what I was lucky enough to be able to do for three years. The course embodies all of the stylistic influences I feel passionately about and it was fascinating to learn their history and technique.
You’ve been dancing since you were 3. What is it about dance that has connected so deeply with you?
I fell in love with the music first if I'm honest! I was a bit of a classical nerd in my early years as I found the music so emotive and captivating it naturally it made me want to move. That's why I started ballet. It is such a great foundation to have under your belt, but my passion for dance really blossomed when I was introduced into the Hip Hop scene. It was like a whole new world and I was completely re-inspired by all of the mind blowing styles that fall under the umbrella of term. Breaking is one of the styles that has really stuck with me because I love how physically challenging it is. There is nothing half hearted about a training session, you literally give it everything you've got. I still watch b-boys and b-girls who do stuff I don't even think is physically possible! It's insane!
What do you think about when you're dancing?
To be fair it changes all the time... sometimes I think about the music or the routine, but most of the time I think about the connection. How one movement flows into another. Over the years you realise that part of the art in dance is making it look easy, when you know it's not! So sometimes I have to think about my face, to make sure my expression doesn't look constantly strained!
Is dance escapism for you?
100 per cent! Contemporary dance is my outlet because there are no rules, no limitations, just dance. I am free to draw upon all of my stylistic influences and just express how the music makes me feel. I have a dance quote by Martha Graham tattooed on my back which summarises it for me perfectly: "The body says what words cannot."
For those who think they can’t dance, is there a way they can still enjoy what it has to offer, even if they have two left feet?
Of course! Don't think about it, just move, all it takes the right track! Try not to think about dancing a specific way, or looking like a specific person. Give it all the energy you got!
Instagram and Facebook @Hattie.Grover