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Fighting to stay fit!

By Noa Mokhnachi

Did you ever want to try out boxing but couldn’t really afford it? well, you can now attend free classes in London.

On Tuesday 9th of May, the activewear retail Sweaty Betty partnered with a local Personal trainer to offer their customers a free boxing class in their Fulham store to introduce them to the boxing world.

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The event was run by Carly a Fulham based boxing teacher with over 15 years experience in the health and fitness industry. Ladies of all levels and ages were invited to attend the class followed by healthy advices given by the Sweaty Betty staff and goody bags with Chia Coconut water and healthy treats.

“Carly told us that she wanted to ran a free class to introduce women to boxing and we were more than happy to partner with her. Plus it was free, normally boxing class are very expensive, it’s a great way to try out boxing without spending a fortune,” said Bethany Thomas, 24, assistant manager at Sweaty Betty.

The class lasted for more than an hour and hosted more than fifteen guests. The attendees, all females, were ranged from 20 to 40 years olds with different boxing levels. The atmosphere was in full swing and Rihanna’s songs were shaping the rhythm of the boxing movements.

“I had never done boxing before and I have always been hesitant to buy classes because I found them so overpriced especially around Fulham so to be able to try out for free was a great,” said Monica Gilbert 24, investment banker assistant. She also explained that the fact that it was women only made her feel much more comfortable and powerful.

Sweaty Betty isn’t the only activewear offering classes; Lululemon also offers free yoga classes in their stores. It is a good opportunity for the stores to attract new customer who will hopefully purchase items or at least come back to browse the selection.

CHECK OUT OUR FACTS ABOUT FEMALE BOXING:

Capture d_écran 2017-05-11 à 19.40.32

source: piktochart made by NoaMokhnachi

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events

Black Women Conference celebrates its fifth year

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By Youna Kabongo

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The Black Women Conference brings together women of African, Asian, Arab and Caribbean descent living in the UK.  Now in its fifth year, the conference is a mix of debates and workshops surrounding issues of life away from the motherland.

This year, the theme was all about “Celebrating the Achievements of Women of Colour”, hosted at the prestigious University College of London on Saturday May 6th.

The Programme was divided into two discussion panels. The first was a heated debate on women of colour in the creative industries and education, followed by a debate about women of colour excelling in sports and business.

On the topic of lack of black lecturers in education, Dr Nicola Rollock, Deputy Director of the Centre of Research in Race and Education at the University of Birmingham said, “Around 4.5% of black academics are professors, so if you are black you are least likely to be a professor. These appalling figures needs to change. We need more people going into higher education and choosing this field as a career.”

Answering a question on the constraint from the system to allow a black-only community. Imriel Morgan, Chief Executive of the ShoutOut Network, brought the whole room into tears announcing that she is on antidepressants trying to keep it together.

“When we are trying to make a change, the system will come at us, the instrument of state fights against our solidarity,” she said.

“Giant like Apple iTunes tried to swallow us up for setting up a black British podcast, she added. It is really hard when you picture who are going against you. You just have to be resilient.”

UK LGBT Black Pride Co-founder Phyll Opoku-Gyimah shared that white LGBT communities came against her for trying to set up a Black LGBT organisation.

“You will think that people who went through discrimination will be more understanding, but no!” she said, later receiving a standing ovation after announcing that she politely declined her Majesty the Queen’s offer of an MBE title for her service to black people.

“I could not accept a reward from the very people who have persecuted us and continue to refuse to acknowledge colonialism as a bad thing,” she said. “I should not be made to feel greater because the Queen recognised what I am doing for my people.”

West End Harry Potter and the Cursed Child actress Cherelle Skettee shared her feelings of loneliness as a “blactress”, being the only black person in most of her movie casts.

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Cherelle Skettee

“My reading list is a bunch of dead white guys so I feel the need to create a network which differ from my working environment to keep sane. I reach out to other black actresses for advice and I have a group of friends, I meet regularly just to talk and laugh,” she said.

Actress and personal pole and Twerk trainer Kelechi Okafor stole the show of the second debate with her introductory dance move. She brought a more relaxing mood to rest of the evening, urging everyone to exercise in order to release adrenaline and stress. According to her, exercising is 20% physical and 80% inner soul.

 “It was a really amazing day! So many things made sense when you realise that other people are experiencing the same as you,” said Relationship Coach and Author Ivona Gordon.

“This is what we need to revive solidarity between us, it was a positive atmosphere very enriching,” said Family Psychotherapist Liz Mensah.

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And now, here come the Dreams…

BY HANNAH LEDDEN

The lights go down, the curtain goes up and a dream 11 years in years in the making is about to come true. Dreamgirls has finally hit London’s west end ‘and I am telling you’ it’s one to watch.

The Savoy theatre has been transformed into 1960s America, to bring the Oscar award-winning film and Tony award-winning Broadway show to London. It’s hard to find many people who haven’t heard of the musical phenomenon or at least sung along to the soundtrack – and it’s even more difficult to find anyone who doesn’t walk out of the theatre a die-hard fan.

Dreamgirls, the West End show
Dreamgirls has taken over the Savoy Theatre until November 2017. Image taken by Hannah Ledden

Amber Riley, of Glee fame, brings the same level of stardom to the stage as Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson did to the 2006 blockbuster film. The shivers down the spines of every audience member throughout Turner’s performance is undeniable and it was hard to find a dry eye in the house.

Sonia Friedman, owner of the production company behind the West End version, showed her happiness at Riley joining the cast at a press event before the premier of the show: “ I was left with goosebumps, tingles and tears when I heard Amber first sing two of the iconic songs. London is very lucky to be the first to see her Effie.”

Deena, Effie and Lorrell take the audience on a glittering journey of friendship, achievement and betrayal in the coming of age story of Deena Jones and the Dreams. A story that many can relate to  – even if they’re not superstar recording artists.

Chloe Wilson, 20, from Colchester waited years to see the hottest ticket in town. “I grew up loving the film and I was surprised with tickets to the show today,” she says. “It was just as good as the movie, maybe even better because it was live and right in front of us. I’ve only just left and I’m thinking about the next time I can come to see the show again”.

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A keepsake from the best show in town. Image by Hannah Ledden

All the things that made the film, and original Broadway show, a musical masterpiece are brought to life 6 nights a week. Costumes with sequins and boas, every smash hit with an audience left singing along and characters everyone loves, and hates.

Maria Scofield, 49, was also in the audience this week. “I hadn’t particularly heard about the original show or the film before but I love going to the theatre and I was told this was one to watch. As far as west-end shows goes, it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen.”

Whether you’re a life-long fanatic, or newbie to the vocal talents of the Dreams, a night at this show will leave you mesmerised and pleading for an encore.

Location of Savoy Theatre
Location of the Savoy Theatre. Map courtesy of Google Maps

Dreamgirls the West End production is at the Savoy Theatre until November 2017.

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STANCE’s hidden hotspots for Summer 2017

BY HANNAH LEDDEN

Summer season 2017 is fast approaching, and while many have had their calendars planned months ago with festivals and barbecues, there is always the chance to find some hidden gems

Thousands of people every year stand over their computers and rush to be the first in the line for tickets to the top festivals of the year. Glastonbury, V Festival and Latitude are among just a few of many people’s summer traditions. However, rising costs and crowds have prompted many to ditch the masses in favour of some of the smaller events the UK has to offer.

Liverpool International Music Festival

One of the main drawbacks to the larger events on the summer calendar are the rising costs of tickets. This festival brings big names but a very small price. In its fifth year, and growing in popularity since its first season, LIMF offers free events and ticketed gigs at a small cost of £19. Evie Knapper, 16, from the Wirral is one of many fans.

“The fact the main event was free was obviously one of the main things that attracted me, but it has become so popular around here – everyone who can, goes along.”

Another difference between LIMF and the classic festivals is despite being a three-day event, there is no option to camp. This leaves more options for a smaller event to book popular acts such as 2017 headliners Katy B, Gorgon City and Corinne Bailey Rae.

“I was surprised by the big names that were at the festival, especially because it was offered as a free event,” said Evie. “It was nice to see smaller music acts as well that I hadn’t heard of but now I love.”

LIMF takes place on the 20th-23rd July 2017

Sefton Park, Liverpool
Location of LIMF. Courtesy of Google Maps

2000Trees

The cotswold hills form the backdrop for this three-day festival which aims to create a full experience for its campers. Named by the Guardian as one of the best small festivals, 2000Trees is a fully formed rock and indie event with a crowd of 5000.

Andrew Rea, living in Cheltenham and a co-founder of the festival, highlighted what he sees as being so special about the smaller music events. “Small festival organisers care about their events so much more. Visitors are loyal because they know everyone is ready to enjoy the best weekend of the year and everyone works really hard behind the scenes.”

It seems the atmosphere at smaller festivals is a main reason behind people choosing to venture into something new during the summer each year. Andrew argues that this vision begins with the initial idea behind the unique music events. “Small festival organisers have an independent spirit and do it for love, not money.”

2000Trees will take over the cotswolds on the 6th – 8th July 2017

Upcote Farm
Location of 2000Trees festival. Courtesy of Google Maps

End of the Road Festival

Set in the countryside of Devon, End of the Road was created to combine its founders’ favourite musicians. No VIP areas, and an atmosphere suitable for all, from the young music lover to families with children; this festival seems to be the best of both worlds.

As well as headline music and comedy acts, End of the Road includes workshops and film screenings to suit all tastes. Top of the bill at this year’s event includes Father John Misty as well as Mac Demarco and Bill Callahan.

It all kicks off on the 31st August – 3rd September 2017

Larmer Tree Gardens
Location of End of the Road festival. Courtesy of Google Maps

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