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10 Steps To Follow When Planning a Hen Party

We know that planning a hen party (especially for your best friend) can get very stressful. It doesn’t matter if you’re a first timer or an experienced bridesmaid, the pressure of doing everything just right can really get to you! To offer a helping hand, we’ve comprised a list of tips that will help you organise a hen party that will go as smoothly as possible.

1. Set and monitor your budget


How much is everyone willing to spend? Once you set a budget, make sure you include everything in your spending. Are you thinking of going out of town? Check how much transport is going to cost. Are you going to be drinking heavily? Put in costs of water and a breakfast to help with the hangover the day after.

Extra tip: make sure you collect the money from the party girls ahead of time. You will be thanking yourself later when you don’t have to remember who still owes you and how much your bank account is suffering!

2. Remember – you’re doing it for the bride

Let’s be honest – finding an activity that everyone will enjoy is near impossible. Especially if you don’t know the whole group! That’s why it’s important to remember who the party is for – the bride. Make sure you’re doing something she enjoys and the other hens are sure to go the extra mile for their friend.
There are exceptions, of course. If someone is deathly afraid of heights, make sure you listen to them before you book tickets for a helicopter ride!

3. Organise transport

especially if you want it this fancy

Trust me, you will be glad that you pre-booked a taxi back from the club once you’ve danced all night in high heels. Think about how cool you’ll look when you’re walking through a train station with a fan of pre-booked tickets in your hand. Organised is the new sexy!

4. Set a time schedule

It’s a clever idea to communicate to the group what is happening and when exactly it’s happening, too! I would advise either creating a google doc with detailed timings, or set everything up in iCalendar. That way everyone can have an easily accessible time schedule for the whole hen event! If everyone knows when exactly you’re moving from one place to another, you might not have to count the people repeatedly throughout the night.

5. Look after everyone

There will be guests that come to the hen party alone. There might also be the bride’s mother or mother in law (I KNOW!). It’s important that you keep them in mind and try to mingle and check on them so they are not left out from the fun. You’ll get extra brownie points when you act like the best host you can be!

Extra tip: Have an ice breaker – make everyone recall their fondest memory with the bride to be so that everyone gets to form a bond with the rest of the group.

6. Keep your audience in mind


Speaking of potential mothers being present at the party – make sure everybody is comfortable with the willy straws and the strippers you’re thinking of hiring. If the girls are a wild bunch, then by all means, go crazy! Just make sure you don’t plan an activity that will make attendees feel uncomfortable.

7. Ask for help if you need it

As I’ve said before, I know that planning a hen do can be very stressful. Ask your friends for help if you need to clean something up, herd the girls or gather the allergy information when you’re planning the dinner. Nobody will mind giving you a helping hand!

8. Prepare for the day after


Will you need to book a few rooms at a hotel for the exhausted party people? Will you need to have some aspirin and a few bottles of water to fight the collective hangover? Those questions will appear to be very important when you wake up after the hen night. It’s useful to prepare everything you need in advance to save you some stress!

9. Don’t go over the top with planning

This might seem like silly advice, but it’s important that you leave some room for mingling and enjoying each other’s company. If you create a very strict plan, you might find that there is hardly any time left to have some simple fun! Remember, the most important thing on a hen party is that the bride gets to spend the time with her best friends. All of the activities are just that – activities.

10. Have fun!


Finally, remember that you’re a guest on the party as well! Make sure you have some fun and everything else will work itself out. Especially if you’ve planned it in advance. Have a good one!

Dance: the Ultimate Exercise

If you’re in the majority (85%) of people without a gym membership and a regular exercise regimen, you probably are used to feeling a little guilty when eating a whole tub of ice cream, or after spending the entire week sitting at the desk at work. And just like me, a few weeks ago when you were almost late to work and was breathing heavily after running up the stairs, you thought to yourself ‘gotta finally do something about my stamina’.

Why do we not do anything about our stamina, then?

The popular forms of exercise all suffer from similar problems: they’re boring, require a lot of financial and time commitment, and you do not see results as quickly as you should. At least those are the reasons I always cancel my membership a moth or two after New Year New Me’s decision.

Gym is boring.

One session and I’m out

That is, until last year. I realised that I was exercising for the wrong reason. I would exercise to be fit, but other things (that are more fun) would always get in the way. So I decided to make exercise fun. And that’s how I started my fitness journey with dance. Now I go there to have fun and get fit in the process (not the other way around)

Here are a couple reasons why dancing is the ultimate form of workout:

Dance gives you energy

1. It gives you energy

  • Two forms of exercise in one – dance provides both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. You work on your cardio during the fast-paced moves, but you also strengthen your muscles when you’re holding a difficult position, creatively use your body weight in movement or even lift a partner.
  • Always new and fresh – you can never get bored of exercising through dance. You learn and come up with new moves and combinations. It is ever challenging both physically and mentally. Even the same steps danced to unique styles of music and to a different rhythm make you work out various muscle groups.
  • You can get creative – that is an aspect often forgotten about in the work out world. With dance, you can let the creative juices flow and, more importantly, you expand your creative horizons. As much as it is a physical activity, it is strongly connected to your emotions. You live out your fantasies in dance and that is something not many people can confidently say they have an opportunity to do.
  • Get more flexible and elegant – Dancing improves your flexibility, which in turn strengthens your joints and muscle stability. Added bonus: unlike running, dance with a good instructor doesn’t have a negative impact on your knees! Instead, with the newfound flexibility, you’ll learn to hold a beautiful posture and will move with improved elegance and grace. (I’m trying to say you’ll feel more sexy and be more sexy).
  • Finally, dance makes you move in all directions as opposed to other forms of conventional exercise. Yes, it might tire you out faster than running, which will make you think it’s not as effective. But think about it:

If Running is like finding your way down into an underground station late in the evening, Dancing is like finding your way down into the underground station at 6pm with £0 left on your Oyster Card and 3 rounds of drinks already in your system. It makes you burn more fuel, concentrate on the task at hand more and be deservedly proud of yourself when you manage everything flawlessly. Not to mention you’re giggling to yourself throughout the whole thing.

Difference: dance doesn’t give you anxiety like the Central line does

So, when you’re thinking of burning calories after this coming Christmas – choose something New and Different. Don’t get stuck with a gym membership you never use again: try something else! Maybe that will work better.

The Age of Excess

 

How do you remember the look and feel of the 80s? It’s probably an overload of bright colours and patterns. Everything, including the hairstyles, seemed to be just so loud and big! Why did the exaggerated style of 80s look like that, though?

The origins of ‘the essential 80s look’ go back to the Memphis Group founded by the Italian designer Ettore Sottsass. The reason behind their colourful, bold art is most likely defiance against the modern style. The Memphis Group decided to follow postmodernism instead: a rebellious attitude towards authority, preconceived ideals and aesthetics. The Memphis Design became synonymous with the style of the 80s: putting together patterns, geometrical shapes and colours that were so far considered clumsy, awkward and wrong.

If it hurts your eyes, you’re doing it right

Since it became incredibly popular, the style of excess seeped into fashion, entertainment, architecture, as well as any product design you could imagine. Patterns on top of patterns, exaggerated shapes, even the settings were in conflict with the objects.

Something doesn’t belong here…

The louder the outfit, the better

One day I’ll get this dream car of mine

Surprisingly enough, it even found its way into human emotion! The popular thing to do was to exaggerate everything. From sports (I mean, this workout video is crazy, right?) to portrayals of people on the TV screen. I’m sure you’re all familiar with over the top scenes so popular in the 80s:

And then the 90s rolled in and the Memphis Style became awkward and silly. As it usually happens with going against the stream, the style of the 80s did a complete 180 turn against modern art. And then another turn happened and minimalism became a thing. Now, as we step into the world of Internet and individual expression, the 80s is making a comeback. After all, what better way to show your individuality than to scream with your hair, your outfit and your attitude? And that is exactly what the 80s were so good at and why we love them so much today.

The beautiful effects of (occasionally) going wild

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard was ‘listen to your body’. Eat when you’re hungry, sleep when you’re tired, party when you’re stressed… What was that? You haven’t heard that last bit before? Well. Let me share some SCIENCE with you.

Disclaimer: not an actual photo of our office today.

Let’s talk about relaxing in general, first. This one should feel obvious after a while of consideration: relax is healthy. Necessary, even. It’s proven to reduce stress, improve your mood, let you sleep better and it even has a positive impact on your memory. Further, if it’s active zen time you’re participating in, that will positively affect your physical health. Additionally, if you chill socially, it will strengthen your relationships on top of everything else! Remember to make a habit out of rewarding yourself for hard work. Jog, take a bubble bath, play sports, read a book or dance with your friends (Definitely dance. HINT HINT).

Disclaimer: this IS an actual photo from our office

Now that that’s clear, let’s look at the implications of acting a fool in a shiny leotard and neon makeup. Have you ever felt pressured to ‘not make a fool of yourself’ at work, at school, in front of distant relatives at the table?

Whatever, I’ll check my phone if I want to, MOM!

There’s a lot of care and stress that goes into making sure we don’t do or say something silly in various situations of our daily lives. You need the time to let go and to be wild and carefree. Especially if you’re suffering a lot of wedding related panic (we know that feeling). Showcasing your silliness to your friends will greatly reduce stress. Also, once you get back in your formal wear, your mood will be much better. Sharing a wild experience with your pals not only deepens bonds. It gives you a confidence boost. After all, if you are appreciated when your filters are off, you are sure to be loved when you’re making a conscious effort about your actions. So grab your friends and get crazy! And if you happen to love the 80s, we’ll gladly organise the most entertaining therapy for you. Take care of yourself by enjoying yourself!

Look at their faces going 90 smiles per hour

Why we need more 80s spirit

The 80s is an iconic decade: it’s the time in which barriers between countries fell and people became the leaders of their own destiny. The Berlin wall was destroyed, travelling between countries was facilitated allowing different cultures to merge and bond, goods were exchanged from everywhere in the world.

This openness caused a stream of social revolutions, steps were taken towards a more egalitarian world, women gained respect and higher positions in the corporate world, with a first woman candidate running for US presidency in 1984 and Mae Carol Jemison being the first black woman trained for NASA. People of colour started being more integrated, with a general change of attitude towards Afro-American; gay and lesbian movements raised to establish acceptance and ultimately there was a buzzing sense of freedom to be who one wants to be, wherever one wants to be.

Multiculturalism grew through advertising, TV and radio, which bloomed and became accessible to the majority. A culture of glamour, excess, and ambition started flourishing giving a general feeling of hope and opportunity for everyone to reach their dreams.

So why is this relevant to the present-day world?

The contemporary scene is not very promising after 2016 brought to the world two moments of shock, with Brexit and with the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States of America. After so much has been done towards unifying the World, facilitating movement between countries and accepting all kinds of people for who they are, respecting their cultures, believes and traditions, what is happening now, why are we moving backwards?

Maybe the wave of free movement that has built up from the 80s till now hasn’t been as easy as we expected; such change takes time to be implemented in society. There have been undeniable difficulties, for the governments to support immigration, for the economy to be stable and for the goods to be evenly distributed and we have to recognise that it’s necessary to create new policies and modernize the system; but isn’t it worth to experience a little discomfort if we could have a world that is unified and open to everyone, in which all people are welcome and free. That’s what the 80s were all about. Freedom, acceptance and self-expression. Maybe, if we all worked towards being authentic and showing our true self, without trying to fit in and without judgement, we could start making a difference.

Christmas Parties

After our last team building event our 80s Christmas parties were listed by Sheerluxe as one of the top ideas  for a Christmas event this year.  If you want your team to have an unforgettable time this winter and bond while performing some funky 80s dance routines then get in touch with us to get a quote for your company event.

Apart from champagne, 80s makeover and dance-class we also offer a photo-shoot and bespoke video from your party which you can then share across the team and reminiscent in the year to come.

Make this Christmas special, celebrate with us!

 

 

 

 

Michael Jackson 80s Dance Party – 7th April 2016

Come to Reflex Bar on the 7th April at 7pm and learn how to rock the dance floor in the Michael Jackson 80s style with Reflex Dance Studios!

You will be welcomed with a champagne cocktail to warm up your inner dancer, and move on to the dance floor to learn the most iconic Michael Jackson dance moves. BUT THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING! You will then learn a proper routine to one of the Michael Jackson top hit and feel part of a proper dance production in one of the most iconic 80s venues in London! And yes, the club is reserved just for you during the dance class so there won’t be any sidelong glance from cocktails drinkers. After the class is over you can stay at Reflex Bar to mingle and show off your new dance moves until late.

Why going for a boring workout if you can keep your body fit while dancing and having fun? Come and check out our dance party and you will be energised, refreshed and excited by Reflex Dance Studios ultimate 80s dance experience!

WHERE: Reflex Bar – 17, Watling Street EC4M 9BB

WHEN: Thursday 7th April 2016 at 7pm

DRESS CODE: Ok, we won’t be picky here.. but we will offer an extra champagne top up to those that show up in a proper Michael Jackson gear.

PRICE: £15 pp (including a champagne cocktail on arrival and an hour dance class) – Booking required in advance at info@reflexdancestudios.com or 07772713601.

What are you waiting for, book now and invite your friends to come along!

 

book now

 

When the Going Gets Tough

Flashback 30 years ago to 26 February 1986. Billy Ocean’s hit “When the Going Gets Tough (The Tough Get Going)” was  at the top of the charts in the UK.

In the 80s movie adventure Jewel of the Nile, Joan turns to Jack and says,

“When the going gets tough, the tough well, I don’t know what the tough do.”

Billy Ocean, inspired by the phrase above, co-wrote with Mutt Lange “ When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going”. The track was featured on the Jewel of the Nile soundtrack, back in the days when producers commissioned original work for movies instead of recycling old hits.

Billy Ocean

Billy Ocean, born Leslie Charles in Trinidad, came to the UK as a young boy and blessed us with his music with hits in the 1970s and 80s.

He showed a lot of love with his music in the 80s and the US and UK loved him back with Ocean’s 1980s hits including: Caribbean Queen (for which Billy won a Grammy for best R&B Vocal), followed by Loverboy, and Suddenly, When the Tough Get Going, There’ll Be Sad Songs to Make You Cry, and Get Out of My Dreams and Into My Car.

To date, he’s sold over 30 million records and is still performing his classics and new works. Dates for 2016 UK Shows can be booked here. What a legend!

Music Video Banned in UK

The music video featured Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito and Michael Douglass, the stars of Jewel of the Nile, as backup singers. It was  banned in the UK because the stars were not members of the Musicians Union. The ban did little to deter success because, despite of that, it still reached number one. After all, Billy Ocean is tough.

When the Going Gets Tough, YOU are Tough!

Thirty years ago today this hit was hogging the airwaves of British radio. Fitting it would be at the top of the charts in February, because for some, February is tough! The month where you celebrate love under social obligation or are reminded that you may well end up alone and start to contemplate whether to adopt a few stray cats. If Valentine’s day isn’t enough of a heartache, people are starting to falter in their new year’s resolutions. The weather doesn’t help with grey skies and cold spells. Ugh, February! Where is spring?!

DO NOT GIVE IN TO THE FEBRUARY CURSE!

As Billy would say, “When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Gets Going”. Whether an 80s child or a fan of the 80s, hold tight to this mantra and carry on. You’re tough!

 

Absolutely Ace 80s Electric Slide

It’s Electric! Step-by-Step guide to the Electric Slide

The Electric Slide is a 80s Dance compose by easy and fun steps. The perfect tune to play while you’re learning the steps is the song Electric Boogie by Marcia Griffiths released in 1982, it was written and originally recorded in 1976 with Bob Marley.

Why is it Popular?

In the 80s the Electric Slide is a smooth, dynamic Disco Style Dance that you can enjoy performing at clubs, weddings, and other social events. Learning it is Bombdiggity and takes almost no time at all.

Anyone can do it, with virtually no training at all. The dance steps are easily converted to most genres, add to the Cha Cha Slide , hip hop and country western. Add some boots and hook your thumbs through your belt loops and you have a line dance.  Ever heard of Candy by Cameo ? It’s one of the most popular songs to perform the electric slide. So popular that enthusiasts will ask, “Do you know the Candy?” To which you could say, ‘’the Electric Slide? Yes, let me show you how’s it done.”

How To Electric Slide – Step by Step

Start on the right side

  1. Take one step to your right with your right foot.
  2. Cross your left foot to the right, bringing it behind your right foot.
  3. Uncross your feet by taking another step to the right with your right foot.
  4. Bring your left foot to your right foot and close your feet together.

 

And repeat the same in the left side

  1. Step back with your right foot, then bring your left foot to meet it.
  2. Step backward onto your right foot, then your left foot in place.
  3. Step forward with your left foot, then your right foot to the back.
  4. Once again step back with your right foot, then your left foot to the front. As you do this, be sure that your weight is on your right foot.

Quarter turn left and repeat

  1. With your right foot, take a step forward. As you do this, turn your body a quarter-turn (or 90 degrees) to the left.
  2. Repeat the entire dance as long as the group keeps going or as long as the music is playing.

For an easy online tutorial click here.

The Electric Slide is well liked because it is a simple and  fun line dance enjoyed by people of all ages. It’s so popular it is still danced today by many.

Try to learn these Flange moves and mix them with your favourite 80s soundtrack.