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Odd Pursuits

A chance to find your own bizarre penchant

Written by . Published on July 12th 2011.


Odd Pursuits

Knickers

FOR the crafty folk who have already mastered the tote bag and the cushion cover, fear not! More exciting things lie ahead at the Make Lounge. Aside from the aforementioned (if you’re a beginner), they currently offer knickers-making workshops. In a sewing class that might make your gran blush, you’ll create one pair of thongs or briefs in class, and go home armed with patterns and instructions to create more of the same and try out some boy shorts too. You’ll learn everything down to inserting elastic, creating a bow and using an overlocking machine to finish it all off. One can easily see this hobby becoming something of an addiction, which is a relief: no longer do you need to wait for the twice-yearly sales to get your fix of new pants, and you can keep yourself far more entertained than queuing at Marks & Spencer or La Senza.

Mexican Wrestling

Had it up to here with downward dog? Sick of swimming? How about you have a go at Mexican wrestling? Lucha Libre, a Mexican institution since 1933, has gained widespread popularity in recent times, through the Jack Black film Nacho Libre and tours like the 2008 one, where some of Mexico’s most popular wrestlers came to London for a one-off at the Roundhouse. However, Lucha Libre is more than just running around in a colourful mask. There is intensive circuit training involved to help build muscle endurance and cardiovascular fitness. Still, it is also a performance, so get ready for the intricate acrobatics that make Mexican wrestling unique, combined with techniques from the English and Japanese wrestling traditions as well. There are regular and guest instructors, including some directly from Mexico, all there to hone your skills. You’ll be breaking quite a sweat, even before you put on the mask.

PedibusPedibus

Pedibus wine tasting

Oenophilia is a well-respected attribute these days, but a small few of us might feel a bit lazy for just lounging about with a bottle and a big meal.  Next time, sit around a table with friends and strangers on a people-powered tour through London. Bring your own snacks and soft drinks, and Pedibus will provide the wine. If that’s not enough, they also do parties, reserving up to four Pedibuses at once for you and your friends to cycle those empty calories away. This is also a great evening out if you want to actually catch up with that one friend who hasn’t quit smoking yet, since there’s no need for them to run outside if they want to light up. For the less refined, beer is available, and don’t worry about the temperamental London weather: if things look bleak, you can just pedal your way to a pub.

Burlesque Baby ClassBurlesque Baby ClassBurlesque Baby

Instead of the same old salsa classes, why not nourish your inner diva? Burlesque dancing is now in vogue, and the number of schools sprouting up all over London proves it. Burlesque Baby claims to be London’s oldest of these schools, however, and both the school and its teachers have weathered the ebbs and flows of the dance’s popularity. Students can take up to four separate classes, first learning the basic art of burlesque, and later creating their own persona, all culminating in a graduation performance at the Va Va Voom Club. Burlesque is perfect for something sexy (and a little more elegant than those pole-dancing classes we’ve all heard about), and the benefits are many. Next time you want to buy pretty, nonfunctional lingerie, you can justify it with, “this is for class!” And if you take the knickers-making course too, you can even start making your own costumes.


Private TuitionPrivate Tuition

Circus classes


Fly through the air with the greatest of ease at London’s Aircraft Circus, located in the Hangar Arts Trust, where you can get flexible and fit in the most interesting positions.  The school is run by professional acrobats and offers the full range of skills necessary for any trapeze artist and wannabe carny. Many graduates have gone on to perform with their teachers or with other groups. If you fancy catching some sun while getting a workout, Gorilla Circus School, the ‘other’ circus school in London, holds their classes in outdoor locations during the warmer months. Working with any level of flexibility and strength (student ages range from six to 78), you’ll learn how to swing, be caught, and eventually perform advanced tricks. Cirque du Soleil might not be calling just yet, but sweating over some flips and a tightrope definitely beats wiping sweat off the bench press at the gym.

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