It was once said that one of the greatest benefits of yoga is “the inspiring…
“Subsdance is where I hope you find your home. We are somewhere where it is just about finding your something— everyone has a something, and it shouldn’t look like anyone else’s.”
“People say to me all the time, ‘I can’t come to dance classes because I can’t dance’. And I think, ‘why do you think I have a business?’, laughs Subsdance director Charlie Wan.
The studio has been part of Canberra’s dance fabric for more than a decade; born in Latin styles, but now branching out into cabaret, vaudeville, burlesque, even drag. And the thing that Charlie wants people to know is everyone can dance.
“You do not need to look a certain way. You don’t need to feel a certain way. In fact, you don’t even need to come in feeling like your most confident self, ready to be fierce and dance. All you need to do is show up and be willing to move and get excited about feeling good in your body.”
Charlie says it’s about redefining the barriers—both mental and physical—that may have kept people from trying dance, and helping them find their ‘something’.
“If you’ve ever doubted yourself, which is most people, right?…Subsdance is where I hope you find your home. We are somewhere where it is just about finding your something— everyone has a something, and it shouldn’t look like anyone else’s.”
And that’s what Subsdance’s free open day on Saturday 29 January is all about. The all-day event offers 30-minute taster sessions of the studio’s huge range of dance and fitness classes—from Zumba to Pilates and flexibility classes, Belly Fusion, Afro Beats, burlesque-based styles such as Feather Fans, Chair, and After Dark, as well as Reggaeton, Hip Hop and more. Partner dance even makes its Subsdance comeback with the sultry Bachata.
The variety of offerings not only helps people find a style that resonates with them, it’s also fun!
“It’s such a vibe,” says Charlie. “And we do get people who come for the whole day—you might find someone who’s come for Afro and they end up staying for Caburlesque and figure out that’s what they want to do, which is cool.”
Importantly, Subsdance has a real focus on accessibility, ensuring dance really is for every body.
“We are motivated to get people of all ages, all backgrounds, of all sizes, of all abilities, dancing. After working with some of my students with disability, it became clear that there aren’t many studios in Canberra actively working towards accessibility, or even remotely accessible to wheelchair users. Our studio is—and we are continually working to make our studios as accessible they can be.
“We have students from all backgrounds and abilities come to our studio, and our teachers actively work to adapt their teaching so that all of the students can participate within the classes—I guess you could call us an all-abilities studio.“
Because, at the end of the day, dance is about so much more than steps. It’s about becoming part of a community, moving your body and learning something new. And that starts with finding your something—whatever that may be for you.
“Subsdance is about choice, it’s about freedom. Rather than being like, ‘here is the cookie cutter, squeeze in’, we believe that whatever you want to do, and however you are, is enough, is perfect.”