Ian Garside enters the studio as an old friend would enter your house, and not just because he is already a veteran visitor of ProDance Leeds. Ian has the virtue of getting people quickly on board, due to his open and straight forward personality. If he wasn't golden blond, one would think that his character is Latin rooted. He is more than a funny lad though. In his lessons he creates a playground, a space for the assistants to 'play' and get dirty. As children in the park, Garside's intention is to distance the dancers from their own judgement which usually holds them back. Loosing consciousness of the self allows the mind and the body to play for real.
The class begins with a throw-catch game, which opens up the body-mind synchrony at the same time that brings the focus of the group together. The game speeds up gradually until it has everybodywarm and ready for the next step. Then we move to the side of the room to start crossing the space through exercises that will take us from the floor to up standing. Ian's floor work stays simple but very precise. He is thorough in his practice and so he wants the dancers to be, we work on refining details. Once standing, the playfulness continues with a jumpy phrase that later on gets linked with the previous floor material.
Ian encourages the assistants to increase or decrease the complexity of the exercises depending on personal and professional necessities. The class is a brilliant opportunity to keep daily practice up through the 'easiness' of a child's mind. Definitely a great way of starting the day in a sweaty and smiley way.
Anna Cabré-Verdiell Bosch