Things are changing rapidly in Canberra as we work together to keep our community safe….
That’s right, you can now Brunchercize—and it’s as fun as it sounds.
The brainchild of burlesque performer and dancer Rainbow, Brunchercize is held once a month at Canberra Dance Theatre in what Rainbow calls “the brunch hour”, with the aim of working up a sweat and getting those endorphins going pre-brunch.
“Brunchercize was inspired by that desire to build connection, community, fitness and joy through dance,” says Rainbow.
“I wanted to create a dance class where people shake off the worries of the week, feel connected to others and enjoy dancing for dancing’s sake. The idea is you come along, work up a sweat and leave feeling good and ready for a good brunch!”
Exploring a diverse array of monthly themes—from Go-Go dancing to, 80s Christmas Pop, and 70s Disco—Rainbow says Brunchercize is an inclusive and welcoming environment where the main aim is “to help people find the joy in dance and maybe expose them to different styles they haven’t tried before.”
Brunchercize sessions are essentially a “relaxed dance class” that includes a warm-up and cool-down across 75 minutes, with tickets ranging from $20 for early birds to $25.
The next two Brunchercize events are on Sunday 11 April (Songs with Dances) and Sunday 23 May (80s Pop) and while movements taught across the class are combined into a routine by the end, there’s no previous dance experience required—or expectation to nail said routine.
“The class welcomes everyone,” says Rainbow. “We all have the ability to dance and this is your time to dance freely. Oh, and there is a lucky door prize drawn at the end—what would a dance party be without a lucky door prize?”
Having launched in November 2020, Rainbow says the idea of Brunchercize was sparked by dance’s ability to connect people during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
“I danced a lot while we were in isolation…all via online classes with people from around the world. Dancing with others (even virtually), helped me feel connected and less alone, as well as providing me with other physical and mental health benefits.”
While Rainbow trained as a classical ballet and jazz dancer from a young age in Newcastle, she gave up dance in university because “at that time, you only continued with dance if you were going to be a professional dancer”.
Fast-forward a decade and Rainbow discovered the art of burlesque through Liz Lea, former Artistic Director of Canberra Dance Theatre, and began taking classes. It wasn’t long before Rainbow was taking to the stage, scooping Runner Up at Burlesque Idol Canberra 2016 after her first-ever solo performance.
For Rainbow, dancing gave her “a voice”—and allowed her to bring her creativity to the stage.
“Burlesque allows me to express feelings and ideas I sometimes struggle to express in words. I get to be bold, confident and commanding on stage which is not how I am in everyday life where I am known for constantly apologising and trying terribly hard not to be seen,” she explains.
“I also love it because it enables me to connect with people through dance and performance. My goal when I perform is to entertain the audience so thoroughly that they forget the worries of the day for a few minutes and to bring them joy.”
If Brunchercize sounds like your cup of mimosa but Sunday mornings don’t work well for your schedule, Rainbow has some good news.
“In April we are continuing with our free weekly Wednesday 12 pm Lunchercize class in Garema Place as part of the City Renewal Authority’s Renew You Classes. These classes are similar to Brunchercize, but they run for an hour and but there is no lucky door prize. Next week’s class is Go-Go where we will be learning moves to Proud Mary.”
When: The next events are Sunday 11 April (Songs with Dances) and Sunday 23 May (80s Pop)
Where: Canberra Dance Theatre, 1 Kingsley Street, Canberra
More information: facebook.com/Brunchercize
Photography: Art Atelier Photography