Interview By Andrea Slivkova
Photography By Matt Puttock, HipShot Photography www.hipshotphotography.co.uk
Since its opening earlier this year, dance studio Mizz Twisted Cherry has established itself as an ambassador for alternative fitness in Ross-on-Wye. Founded by Natalie Morgan-Dew, this independent studio has been offering classes in pole fitness and aerial hoop, burlesque and chair dance but also adult gymnastics, stretching, contortion and pole silks.
Additionally, you can pop in for some Bollywood, showgirls and circus skills, and certainly for that one activity we should all do more of – stretching. Whether you simply need to stretch out your achy back muscles or want to learn the splits, you will be in good hands with Natalie and her team.
The classes cater for all levels, (so no, you do not have to be an acrobat to attend!) and there are classes for juniors too, for example hoop. The only thing left to decide is whether you prefer to learn in a group, a workshop or one-to-one. By all means check out the new timetable on the website but even better, stop by to meet Natalie and her expert team who will make sure you will learn at your own pace and enjoy the journey.
“I used to be the kid at school who was bullied for being overweight, ginger and an outcast. I had no fitness level and no interest in physical activity, I was scared of going upside down, I couldn’t climb the rope in PE. I am living proof that anyone can do this.”
Natalie, how has the new studio been received?
The atmosphere in each class is brilliant. We have new clients coming in every week and recommending their friends and family. We welcome everyone and aim to put clients at ease, so any nerves or apprehensions are laid to rest as soon as they walk in. We give them support, encouragement and confidence.
Which classes are turning out to be the most popular?
Pole fitness has always been and still is the most popular – our two classes on Tuesday and Friday are always full, so I have added an extra class to our timetable. Aerial hoop has become a firm favourite, while adult gymnastics, flexibility and contortion classes are gaining popularity as participants are achieving their goals of learning the splits in a matter of weeks.
Any notable achievements among your clients?
Many of our clients tell me how being here gives them confidence – not only in class but also in their daily lives. Their achievements translate into being healthier and happier within their homes, social and working lives. A number of our clients are now joining our display team, Twisted Industries. We perform at charity events, fetes, fayres and private functions, but also enter competitions within the chosen disciplines all around the UK.
Your team of instructors is impressive. How did you pick them?
Luckily, my father Terry Morgan is a qualified higher performance coach and a qualified gymnastics judge. All the pole and aerial instructors are my former students so I was able to hand-pick those with very specific qualities and train them to become part of our team.
Yours is the only studio in the area offering adult gymnastics. Tell me more…
My whole family have a background in gymnastics – my twin sister started gymnastics as a child and the Monmouth club became her second home. My father started helping out at the club, then he took his coaching and judging qualifications, and he has since become quite well-known as a coach in this area. He coaches world champion tumblers in Gloucester and still helps coach Karen in Monmouth. My twin sister and I helped run Usk School Gymnastics Club with him when we were teenagers and we both achieved assistant gymnastics coaching qualifications with the British Amateur Gymnastics Association (BAGA).
Although there are a lot of opportunities for children to practise gymnastics locally, there were no classes for adults. Yet I knew a lot of former gymnasts who wanted to keep training, be it maintaining flexibility or learning contortion, for example. That’s why I decided to set up a gymnastics class for adults at my studio.
We get quite a few people here who feel they missed out when they were children so now they want to make up for it and relive their childhood so they learn general gym and flexibility, or contortion. It’s very rewarding to watch the clients learn things they did not think were possible. It’s simply wonderful!
What are your plans for the future?
First it’s the launch of the new timetable, and with it a few new classes to meet the demand. We have added extra Drop-in Hoop classes, Beginners Hoop and Twilight Pole. Our carousel horse has just arrived back from the workshop so we can now offer one-to-one lessons on this, so it’s all very exciting.
On 1st July we have Sarah Scott visiting the studio for workshops. She is a celebrated pole star and she will be teaching workshops for beginners as well as for advanced level so anyone can book.
I hope our studio will continue building its reputation locally as the place for alternative dance and fitness, while also establishing itself within the wider aerial and pole community. And of course, we will keep performing. Our display team will continue to entertain at charity events, fayres, fetes and private functions.
Finally, what would you say to those who may be thinking of trying out your classes, but perhaps don’t feel confident enough?
I get many enquiries from ladies saying that they would love to try, but they worry about being too big or having no upper body strength. I would like to say that everyone is the perfect size to start our lessons! We welcome everyone regardless their shape, size, age or gender. The lessons will help you build up strength and fitness, just give it a go. Our friendly and supportive environment will have you hooked and you will never look back. I used to be the kid at school who was bullied for being overweight, ginger and an outcast. I had no fitness level and no interest in physical activity, I was scared of going upside down, I couldn’t climb the ropes in PE. I am living proof that anyone can do this!
5.00-6.00pm Junior Aerial Hoop
6.15-7.15pm Beginners’ Aerial Hoop
7.30-8.30pm Twilight Hoop (Mixed level)
6.00-7.00pm Beginners’ Pole Fitness
7.10-8.10pm Inversion Pole Fitness
8.15-9.15pm Twilight Pole Fitness (Mixed level)
11.00am-12.00 Daytime Pole (Mixed level)
(You are welcome to bring along toddlers up to age 3 if you have no childcare)
12.15-1.15pm Relax & Flex
1.30-4.30pm Private Lessons / One-2-One available
6.00-7.00pm Aerial Hoop: Routine (6 week course)
7.10-8.10pm Pole Gym & Happy Hour Pole Practice
8.15-9.15pm Twilight Pole Fitness (Mixed level)
6.00-7.00pm Burlesque & Showgirl (6 week courses)
7.15-8.15pm Adult Gymnastics
8.20-9.05pm Flexibility & Contortion
6.00-7.00pm Spinny Pole
7.00-7.45pm Pole Divas
7.50-8.50pm Twilight Pole Fitness (Mixed level)
11.00am-12.00 Junior Hoop Routine (6 week course)
12.15-1.15pm Happy Hour Pole & Hoop Practice
To book a class online and to find more information about classes, one-to-one tuition, workshops, party & experience packages, please visit the website or contact Natalie Morgan-Dew.
A Thank You OFFER
To thank our local community for their ever growing support, we are offering £2 off Beginner Pole Fitness and Beginner Aerial Hoop. Quote BEGPOLE or BEGHOOP when booking online.
Mizz Twisted Cherry Aerial & Alternative Dance And Fitness Studio
Chase Industrial Estate, Alton Road, Ross-on-Wye HR9 5WA. Tel: 07920 119 490
Facebook: Mizz Twisted Cherry