Spotlight On Inspiration: Debbie Moore OBE

Pineapple Dance Studios LogoDebbie Moore OBE is the founding business woman behind Pineapple Dance Studios – and its associated clothing brand – bringing accessible, open classes to dancers all over the capital. Now aged 67, she shows no sign of slowing down.

Moore began her career as a model at the age of 15, gradually entering the dance and health industry following disruption to her modelling career. Following the closure of the only dance studio in central London, Moore was inspired to create Pineapple Dance Studios from an old pineapple warehouse in 1979.

This was not all Moore accomplished, as a pioneering business woman. She went on to launch the Pineapple clothing range, inspired by the dancers in her studios and their unique ways of customising and accessorising their clothes to accentuate their bodies. As a result, Moore became the first female Chairman to take her company public on the London Stock Exchange when Pineapple became a public company in 1982.

Moore was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours List following her continuing to strive to achieve the best for her brand. Her book, ‘The Pineapple Dance Book’, an insider’s guide to the world of fitness and dance was published in 1983, and ‘When A Woman Means Business’, offering business and lifestyle advice based on her own and other female entrepreneurs’ experiences was published in 1989. This book in particular was reprinted in Chinese in 1999, as an inspirational guide for Chinese businesswomen.

Moore is a ground-breaking force in fighting for success, in both the business and performing arts sectors: 2010 also saw the Sky One observational documentary series ‘Pineapple Dance Studios’ aired in the UK to fantastic success, winning the Royal Television Society Award for Best Features and Lifestyle Series. The series went on to air in several countries, including Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Norway and Singapore.

Debbie Moore is certainly a force to be reckoned with!

Dance Classes Discusses

Dance Classes Discusses

Dance classes around the country are not few and far between. Dance is becoming increasingly popular, as a result of commercial television shows, and more recently, the Olympic Games.

Open dance classes are on the up with over 200 classes a week taking place at Pineapple Dance Studios in Covent Garden for example, also featured in a television series on Sky 1 complete with jazz pants, cropped tops and urban dance sneakers. Other open classes taking place across the capital include The Place, Danceworks and Studio 68.

In addition to this, many dance students attend weekly technique classes with the view to take examinations with their dance school and progress through the ‘dance ranks’, trading in leather practice ballet shoes for pink pointe shoes. Many dance students dream of one dancing upon a vast stage in a feathered tutu, and others of becoming teachers themselves, correcting the leotard-clad young dancers before them and embarking on a variety of techniques. These techniques are similarly seen in the open classes of less formal institutions, without the commitment.

Despite one class option being slightly stricter of uniform than the other, both offer dancers the chance to engage with their passion, be it classical ballet, tap dance, jazz dance, musical theatre, and everything else in between. Both offer the chance to progress through the increasing levels of the technique in order to both challenge them and achieve goals as dancers. Whilst these goals may not differ in themselves, classes all over the country and even the world offer dancers the great opportunity to engage with likeminded individuals and teachers, reach their potential, and most importantly to have fun. Whether dancers are kitted out in the world’s most prestigious pointe shoes or ten-year-old jazz shoes, the power of dance unites all these dance students in one love.

Has Zumba Got Your Number?

ZumbaMany dance crazes throughout the years have come and gone, yet with a programme boasting over 12 million participants in 2011; Zumba looks like it’s set to stay.

With classes taking place in over 110,000 locations in 125 countries, it is clear that Zumba has taken the fitness and dance world by storm, utilising dance styles such as salsa, hip hop, and tango.

Zumba Fitness emerged in the United Kingdom in 2001 as a global fitness phenomenon following its huge success in Columbia. Its popularity demanded an increase in Zumba instructors, leading to the creation of an instructor training programme, mirroring that of the Royal Academy of Dance.

Where Does This Leave Dance?

As a fitness regime, Zumba is renowned for its catchy beats and vigorous workouts but appears to be marketed as a strand of the dance sector. If course the links between Zumba and dance are inextricable: leotards and jazz pants are suitable for any Pineapple Dance class, for example, be it Commercial Jazz, Lyrical or Zumba.

The influx of Zumba throughout the world may insist that it is now categorised in the same way as other dance forms used to keep fit. Zumba is without a doubt equally, if not more, accessible than the RAD and other dance training programmes.

The easy-to-follow moves and international rhythms provide an intense workout, but there is no evidence whatsoever that places Zumba on par with dance aesthetics, or the formalities of alternative teaching practices. Additionally, the shift towards the popular culture of Zumba may complement the rise in the increasingly fashionable dancewear. The urban dancewear, for example, is ideal for Zumba practice and getting around afterwards, with its dance sneakers-come-fashion trainers and dance hoodies verging on the couture.

If you haven’t tried it, give Zumba a go!

Photo: Universitetssykehuset Nord-Norge (UNN)