Fitness Friday

The only reason I haven’t posted one of these lately is because my workload kind of took over and stole away from my blog-time, not because I stopped working out.. just, you know, in case you were wondering.

Thank you Sam for hosting this fun link-up!

So last time I mentioned that I still hadn’t made it back to dance. Well guess what.. 3 weeks into Uni I finally finally finaaaally made it back. And it felt AMAZING.



I went to Barre a Terre and my favourite Jazz class. I haven’t made it back since (I wanted to go on Monday but had to finish an assignment and then somehow ended up staying home eating tofu then I wanted to go tonight, but ended up socialising too much during the week and now need to work on catching up with EVERYTHING… but going once is already a start, right?)


I was so so sore from dance that I considered not going to stretch. But I did. And it was painful – lesson learned. Note to self: your ukrainian trainer does not understand the concept of pain and will not let you go back to doing basic splits because that is “kindergarten” and only 2 + blocks for over stretching is acceptable. Oh well….


The usual Bodypump class (still loving it) followed by kabocha eating and napping. Now you know why my assignment took over most of Monday…^^



I still love my SLC sweater. I wear it over my sports clothes or when I am out with the munchkin. It’s so soft and comfy! Need to get a UZH one 🙂 #collegeswag


Rest day – assignment writing. Next Monday I am planning on going though! Pinky promise (especially because the next assignment’s deadline isn’t until Tuesday so I can def leave the house for an evening class or two)


Same old, favourite dance class 🙂 and a delicious dinner at Tiffins, just fyi 😉


I had meetings for the Media and Communications “Fachverein” (English translation suggestion?), so didn’t make it to dance.. but I am now part of the party and event committee 🙂 go school spirit!


I had so much energy and decided to dash to Bodypump because I wasn’t sure if I would make it today. I am going to a party hosted by the psychology department’s “Fachverein” and wanted to get some work done because my concentration span on Thursday let me down BIG TIME while trying to read… so much so that I actually choreographed for an hour or so to clear my head. Plus it was a beautiful day and I took Seti for a few walks to load up on some vitamin D.

We’ve been doing the new release for about a month now at pump so I decided to finally increase my weights: 11 kg on both sides for squats, 3 kg increase, 3-5 kg for chest (I switched in the break from 5 to 3, we were using free weights), back: 6 kg, 2 kg increase, biceps: 2.5 (not free weights which is tougher) and shoulders: 2.5 kg, 1.5 kg increase. The shoulder track is the last and most deadly as my arms are basically dead after 5 minutes of bicep work.. but it is not as painful anymore so I am definitely getting stronger! Fun fact: I was standing in between to mega muscle men and squatted almost the same amount of weight and lifted only 1-2 kg less… I received a high five at the end from one of them 🙂 talk about #girlswholift

Now I am off to finish summarising a lecture and then I will be getting ready to leave 🙂 Have a wonderful Friday!

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo




Funky Fitness Friday – ZRH

So I had orientation yesterday! I was quite surprised by how well my friends helped me prepare for university these last 2 weeks, as I actually already knew most of the info they told us and had done most of the things on their checklist. I was really relieved they showed us around the various university buildings as the Media and Communications campus is spread all over town… so it will definitely be an adventure getting from one class to the next! Among the people I had met, I felt like the super nerdy girl who was way too prepared, for whenever I asked the others about the books we had to buy or the courses they were taking, I received loads of confused glances, eye-rolling or pleas for help. Honestly, that gave me a slight boost of confidence, I guess 🙂 (don’t want to jinx it though!) Oh and also, I am not too worried about getting “distracted” from my studies as there were like 5 guys among the 600 girls….. some of the girls were really nice, and I already know who I can go to class with next week! Always good to have a study buddy for the first week 🙂 Workout-wise I’ve been trying to fit in as many classes as possible these last few days. I still didn’t make it to my favourite dance classes at Tanzwerk, but I plan on going tonight. I was going to go yesterday, but chose to spend time with some of the girls from my classes and later with my best friend instead. Also, I definitely need to cut back on partying, as my body really has not recuperated at all from this last half-year, and I don’t seem to be able to bounce back as quickly the next day anymore… weird development as I never used to have this problem, but I am taking it as a sign that I need more sleep and general “me-time”. Good thing school is starting on Monday 😉


Bauchtraining (yawn) and MAX. After falling in love with Les Mills CX Works, the standard for a good ab session has been set pretty high. I went to a class here titled “Bauchtraining” (ab work) but it was full of crunches with no breaks for 30 minutes. Les Mills taught me that there are so many other ways to train your core, and I frankly found the class to be very “behind the times”. I was very disappointed. The MAX class afterwards was fun though. It was basically a 30 min HIIT incorporating the step and various different muscle groups. There wasn’t much strength involved though, like as a cool-down as in Body Step, but it was good to do cardio for a change.


Rest day from one night out. I was shocked how tired and weak I was feeling..


Stretching class: making mega improvements with my splits IMG_1654 Sunday:

Rest day, travelling back from Geneva


I had all the best intentions in the world to start going to dance today, but just couldn’t muster up enough motivation… I made a pre-workout snack of egg whites and cottage cheese, but my stomach felt uneasy after and I just didn’t feel energetic. I went to town and bought protein powder and Kabocha instead. I’ve pinned a few recipes for protein energy bites and hope to make them this Sunday. I know that oatmeal is a great pre-workout snack, but I’m trying to find higher-protein and less filling alternatives for when I just need a boost.


After not falling asleep until 3 am (apparently there was a full moon) I was still able to get up at 8 and go to Body Pump. We got to do quite a few tracks out of release 91! It is deadly with a capital D! In release 90 I was at a point in my training where I was able to increase the weights to 12.5 kg (either side) during squats. Now my legs were on fire with all the “bottom-half” squat-repetitions and had to decrease the weights again. Also, the triceps track is a killer… push ups, dips and using the overhead disk…. This release should definitely take my training to the next level! In the evening I went to a fixed-schedule dance class. I’ll be trying to go to this class (and Saturday’s stretch) as much as I can, and have marked it in my calendar throughout the semester, so that I have a bit of a fixed workout schedule. I will also try to always go to at least one Bodypump class, but will pretty much wing when exactly. Also I plan on spontaneously choosing dance classes (on either Monday, Wednesday or Thursday) and trying to go to crossfit twice a month with friends.


Bodypump (release 90 again, so increased my weights as I know this release by heart). I wanted to go to dance today, but saw my favourite teacher wasn’t there. She won’t be there today either sadly, but there are more classes I enjoy going to today than on Wednesday so I plan on going anyways.


I had wanted to go to modern, but didn’t take my dance clothes with me to orientation (I’m “special” enough as it is with all my hyper-active, totally open talking…didn’t need to be a pack mule as well 😉 ). By the time it was over, I didn’t have enough travel time to go home, eat, pick up my clothes and go to dance by 5.30 pm, so I decided to hang out with some friends instead.


Today I plan on going to Barre a Terre, jazz, and possibly urban contemporary. Let’s see if I actually finally make it for a change. I really wonder what is holding me back… Now I am off into town to buy some last-minute school supplies and more kabocha squash (I just roasted the second one I had bought and have eaten too much already) and bananas, as I am planning on doing another smoothie-packed day tomorrow.

Have a beautiful day and go check out Sam’s blog for more fitness fun 🙂 !

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

Funky Fitness Friday

The countdown has started: One more week until I finish my internship, leave Munich and return home, one more week until I get to go to my favourite dance classes, and slightly over 3 weeks until University starts.

Exciting times people, exciting times 🙂

Now since I haven’t been able to go to any dance classes in the time I spent here (I couldn’t find any schools near the office and any classes after 7 pm), I really upped my workouts and discovered a new-found passion for weight-lifting and Les Mills. I also set a goal to join CrossFit in September, which I am currently not sure about as it is making me feel slightly overwhelmed.

Every single time I have mentioned my fitness journey on here, I told myself I would write a more substantial, weekly workout post and mention how my body, strength and endurance have changed… but I kept on pushing it back. Weekends were cherished with time spent with my friends and less devotion to the blog, and before I knew it, it was Manicure Monday again and I still hadn’t shared my excitement for Body Step or Body Pump (let alone actually posting my manicure on Monday 😉 ).

Well, now is the time that will change. Better late than never, right? And I figured, while I am still not spending time twirling away at dance class, I would revamp “Funky Friday” and change it to “Fitness Friday” for the time being. (And seeing as I have fallen in LUUURV with the gym, you will probably be seeing a few posts along with dance posts when I am back in Zürich as well, with emphasis on university/fitness/life balance.) I am so glad Sam from Pancake Warriors decided to host a Fitness Friday link up! Great minds think alike: the timing couldn’t be more perfect! So after reading my week of fitness, head on over to her blog for more sporty fun 🙂

Fun fact: I told my favourite Les Mills instructor that I was leaving in 4 weeks, and he said he can’t believe the “happy sunshine girl” was not going to be there every Monday and Thursday motivating the class with smiles despite the intense cardio hour…. #sadface, yet it gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling. Going to the gym 3 times a week and staying true to your favourite classes really gives you that “home away from home” feel… I mean even the frequent class-goers are talking to me and asking me about my weekend now, and have invited me to their post-BodyPump hangout with protein shakes and Prosecco (too much fun by the way.. these people are a hoot and a half and have the best stories)!! It took 4 months for friendships to form and now I have to leave… 😦 But it’s nice to know that my happy and smiley personality doesn’t go unnoticed and that most of them are planning on visiting my fav gym in Zürich soon too 🙂

Mmmkay, lengthy, explanatory intro is down.. so without further ado, here is this week’s workouts:


Fueled by a banana and peanut butter I powered through two amazing workouts: First I found my “chi” in Body Balance before pumping my heart rate up in the Athletic version of Les Mills Body Step.

The athletic version is shorter and has 3 High Intensity “athletic” full-body circuit tracks instead of the more dancey “party” tracks of the usual class. I actually really prefer the athletic version of the latest release and hope I get to do it again before I leave.

I opted out of the Body Pump class after because I managed to make it to the early-ish Balance class. In lieu of the weight-training based class I decided to quickly work my inner- and outer thigh muscles, shoulders, biceps and back on the machines. I chose the machines that trained as many muscle groups as possible, so only had to switch 3 times! 🙂

Sidenote: my heart rate monitor died on me during the class 😦 But I think this could be a great experiment for me to learn to work out “just for fun” and to meet my goals – not for “burning calories”!


Les Mills CX Works, followed by the last 30 minutes of Body Attack (both classes start at the same time, but I like the extra emphasis CX Works puts on core and lower-back strength).

If I am really feeling dedicated, I use the 30 minutes before the next class (see below) to do a HIIT run on the treadmill. This would normally involve a very short warm-up jog, as I had just done an intense class and wouldn’t need much more, followed by intervals of extremely fast sprints and recovery jogs. Sometimes I also throw in a steep walk in between the sprints. Since I only mildly enjoy treadmill work, I always search for an excuse not to do it… so when a workout buddy asked me to join her for the last part of Body Attack I was all in 🙂


Then I did Body Pump. I love the trainer on Tuesdays – he is so much fun and pushes me to work harder each and every time because I am there quite frequently. This means he will sometimes give me this look when we are putting weights on the bar, as if to say: “You can do better than that”. This time for example he came up next to me during the squat track and laughed at my attempt to attach as many 2.5 kg plates to my bar. He suggested to just go for 20 kg next time… yeah right, since when does 5 + 2.5 + 1 + 1 add up to 20? I might get there eventually, but squatting for 5 minutes with 20 kilos on both shoulders is definitely no joke, so I am currently happy with my “total” of 20 kg (FYI you are meant to increase your weight to double or triple of your warm-up weight)


This time I also increased chest, shoulders and triceps by 1.5 kg 🙂 Slowly making progress!

I also increased the squat weight to 12.5 kg on both sides, but immediately regretted that because our trainer mixed up the songs…so it wasn’t the track I had been doing for the last 6 weeks (which I totally knew I could increase on because 10 kg were getting too easy). Nope, it was a really tough track with quite a few ultra-low squats… my legs were on FIRE! FYI: Trainers might start mixing the tracks after 6 weeks because new training plans are only released every three months! This keeps things more interesting, but also slightly tricky from a weight-selecting point of view…

After class one of the girls who always takes the same classes with me on Tuesday asked if I wanted to do some CX Works Core with her, as she had missed the class.. I was more or less dead, but was honored she asked me to be her “trainer”. I knew most of the moves, as I seemed to have picked them up quickly after years and years of learning choreography as a dancer, and used fun songs on my phone. She said I was really motivational and INTENSE and that I should definitely look into teaching because she would without a doubt take my courses… so I had yet another “warm fuzzy feeling” moment… question is: when should I train to become a teacher and when would I teach…? decisions… decisions…


After eating my dinner of peas, carrots and kidney beans at my desk at work, I head to my dance class. The first hour was an open class, where you could work on anything you found needed more attention. The second hour was a strength class, specifically created for dancers – it was tough, despite my improvements in BodyPump. This just goes to show that dancers don’t really need to go to the gym… they’ve got enough strength training in their daily routine. It also showed me that it is time to return to the dance studio and start cross training more 😉


I took a rest day for 3 reasons. 1) my monthly membership had just expired and I didn’t see a point in renewing it for 1.5 weeks. 2) I absolutely had to go to town one last time before leaving Munich. This led me to find a Froyo place 5 minutes from my apartment… I am kind of glad I only just discovered that 😉 3) I finally wanted to actually get some sleep (didn’t work…at all.. ended up watching Weeds and getting hungry at around 10.30)


A sort of forced rest day, as I will be spending the afternoon in the train back to Zurich munching on my favourite Mango Curry one last time…

(last) Saturday

Stretching class designed for dancers. I am making MEGA improvements with my splits and back bends! Must remember to take progress pics! I am now using a block to get >180 degree angle in the splits… crazy, but doable and not as painful as I thought!

(last) Sunday

Rest day. Loads of much-needed sleep and replenishing my rice-cravings 🙂

This weekend I will be going to the stretching class again, a body weight strength class and Body Pump!

Have a great Friday! I’m just about to leave the office and schlepp my über-heavy, laundry-filled suitcase to the train station. ONE MORE WEEK TO GO!

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo


Funky Friday – HipHop Minus the Swag

You know how when you claim to have been dancing HipHop since you were seven, people assume you are really good at it? Well, there came a time where I started to believe that I was good at it myself too…

Jazz Hands!

Jazz Hands!

I always stood at the front left. In performances I was placed centre stage. Mothers walked up to me and complimented my skills. Little kids stared in awe. These few affirmations led me to believe a career in dance could be quite probable. My dream of dancing for Michael Jackson constantly grew. When that was no longer possible I imagined myself the owner of a world-renowned dance company..



When I left for New York, I left knowing I was at my best. Nothing could stop me – not even pure contemporary lessons and no more hiphop. I would return just as much a star!

developé with a plié

developé with a plié

I hadn’t danced hiphop since before my departure, in July.

My perception of my talents shattered this past Monday.

IMG_0591Yes, I might have mastered the hiphop style of that specific choreographer; but that’s also the only style I know. On Monday I attempted to try a new style, a new teacher, a new studio. Full of spunk, believing in myself, knowing I’m actually not bad, I entered the room in my Sarah Lawrence Tank and cute polka dot pants.

Never did it dawn on me that I actually might suck at other kinds of hiphop… 

The warm up was fine, full of basic movements I was already familiar with: There was the wave, isolations, second position pliés – the works. I was feeling good, confident, myself. Contemporary and jazz are all great and all, but hiphop was the only dance I ever really felt comfortable in and it was amazing to finally be back at it…until we got to the choreography, aka my predestined meltdown.



Some would say, it’s a new teacher, so I need to get used to his way of teaching before I can really get in to it. Agreed, that is important. But in this case specifically, I don’t think my movement mess-ups were due to the choreographer merely being a new acquaintance. No, I think my mishaps were more along the lines of “I have lost my swag, my coolness, my inner gangster, my hiphop-y-ness”… it wasn’t a good day.

I realised, by never ever testing the waters elsewhere, I had just plunged head first into a battle I could not win. 13 Years of only one hiphop style is a biggie. You don’t mess with that. And I did. Oops.

Back stretch..

Back stretch..

This never occurred to me while learning ballet, dancing jazz or rolling around in modern. There I always seemed to come to terms with the fact that “I was better at hiphop, I’m only here to have fun and not be amazing, I have more experience in hiphop etc etc”. I also always went to different teachers and somehow managed to cope. Knowing my “true calling” was actually more urban-based helped me keep my head up when I was stuck doing one pirouette in ballet while the rest was twirling 3. Monday changed everything. Monday told me that maybe I should rethink things…

I found myself suddenly feeling better in jazz.

Is a more classical path my actual calling after all? Maybe. But I will give myself one more chance and will brave the hiphop class once more, only this time I’m making sure to “swag myself out” in baggy pants, Adidas trainers and a gold chain necklace… superficial hiphop style might help me out a little 😉

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

Funky Friday: I walk through life En Pointe!

Backlights off, stage lights on, the floor trembles from intense bass. The crowd roars as the show begins. Adrenaline floods my veins, sweat beads on my forehead. We dance, the focus of attention, high with pride. The hours of strenuous practice were worth it.

Exhilaration of performing is one aspect of dance, my passion for 14 years. Starting with classic ballet at 3, continuing with the more urban hiphop at 11, and adding modern, jazz, tango — everyone calls me dance-crazy. I find myself randomly practicing new moves, regardless of my surroundings.

Picture waiting for a bus and starting to rhythmically head-bop to some music.This meager bop becomes a roll of the neck and shoulders, then a rippling reaction in your arms, initiating a body wave, infecting the rest of your upper body with a Cambré, finally echoing in your feet, throwing in a rond de jambe here, a Moonwalk there or even a pirouette.

I’m not befuddled by my dance-outbursts because I walk through life en pointe.


Funky Friday

Today is Saturday which means that yesterday was Funky Friday!



So far we have looked at music and what choreography means to me. Today we will take one step away from my personal affiliation and dive more into the stone cold facts. Let’s take up music one more time..

So let’s say you’ve done the grueling task of finding your music. That’s checked off your list; vital part number one is done. So now what..? Well, it’s time to create! And depending on how you wish to perform your piece there are various ways of setting forth…


1. You are choreographing a solo for yourself. You must know the choreography, no one else matters.
2. You are choreographing for others

OK so choreographing for yourself doesn’t take much more than your brain and great memory, and maybe some pens and paper to help you out. You decide how it should be and can adjust your moves accordingly. No one will be around to contradict or criticize – you are your own boss.




But most choreographers don’t work that way. Most choreographers wish to create for the masses, i.e. get amazing dancers to learn the routine and dance, dance, dance the night away in front of thousands and thousands of people. They want their name known, not so much as a dancer, but more as a choreographer! I am different that way, I’d rather do both, create and perform, but that’s just cause I MUST be in the spotlight… which we will deal with another time…;)



Let’s assume you are trying to choreograph for others. Your students must be able to understand and translate your vision into their own moves and display what you want to see to the pointe (tihiii 🙂 )

You shrug and think that’s simple, cause all you have to do is stand in front and show them what to do, right? Well maybe you’re right, but in my experience it is tough! I don’t think that’s just me…

Teaching a Tango/HipHop

Teaching a Tango/HipHop

I’ve been told that I’m a total fuzzle head. My brain goes haywire when it comes to dance-creating and I’m always 5 steps ahead rather than being at the actual move. That’s not very productive when trying to explain what my choreography is. So working with me is..well..difficult.

Oozing with ideas which is technically good, can easily backfire. These random thoughts don’t always go down well with normal human beings. Somehow they are unable to understand the craziness of what is also known as my brain. When they don’t get what I want and they aren’t performing what I had envisioned I get frustrated. Painstakingly so..

..meltdowns might happen..



Impatience and unorganized thoughts do not go together, so in my experience of my previous choreographic conundrums, I have learned some vital old-man wisdom: write down your thoughts and organize them before even considering to teach other people. Sure, if you get a spontaneous idea during a class, be my guest and incorporate it into the existing choreography. Just make sure the base of the choreography is well prepared and ORGANISED! Don’t keep wanting more and more and more, the others don’t have that wide an attention span to take in all your creative info..

Exactly how to organise your thoughts we will look at next time 🙂 Until then,

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

Funky Fridays

Tomorrow means three things: 1. I get to see Prince live in concert. 2. I’ve gotta finally clean up my room 3. I get to see Natalie Cole Live at Sunset tonight.. Oh and one more’s the weekend!




The amazing Natalie Cole, who even sang a tribute to my idol, Michael Jackson!

The amazing Natalie Cole, who even sang a tribute to my idol, Michael Jackson!

Another week has passed. My, oh my doesn’t time fly.. the days seemingly end at lightning speed between my hours at work and my frequent training afterwards. It seems like just yesterday I started my intensified program and finally, 6 months later, I feel like I am making actual progress in dance.


Despite dancing ballet since I was 3, I only ever went to class once a week until a few years ago when I started to go 2 or three times. I was never amused by the technique. It was so rigid and disciplined that it was more the creative side, choreography, that I fell in love with. And it’s this love and its development I wish to bring you closer with in today’s post.

young me at a ballet performance

young me at a ballet performance, source: operah0use balletschule

Starting very young, I began to develop a bossy personality that would force lead my friends to perform numerous shows filled with twists and turns to the latest Spice Girls song. This tendency to create dances walked with me, hand in hand, throughout my life. It is probably one of my most important traits, something that truly makes me, me.

Upton house performance...notice the red slippers :D

Upton house performance…notice the red slippers 😀

In pre-primary, as mentioned above, my friends and I would dress up in costumes and perform a variety of moves we learned in front of my mom’s camera. As a first grader I choreographed to ‘Bring it all back’ by S club 7 for my whole class (20 children I believe) and we performed that at a mini play back show in front of parents and the rest of the school. In retrospect, I think this was my big break as a choreographer, because a few years later I was even asked to create a dance for the school’s 10 year anniversary!
It was around then that I started to enjoy HipHop dance more than classical ballet. By that point I had already taken 3 RAD ballet exams and had upped my lessons to twice a week, which is sadly still amateurish and not enough to become more professional. I also took street dance classes at school, which I really enjoyed, and decided that I wanted to pursue that style more.

My mom found a hiphop teacher near our home, where I – to this day – dance every single Thursday. Initially as a beginner, gradually improving and finally joining the performing ‘show group’! In HipHop I found an easier way to express myself through choreography; the steady beats of the hip and current songs were more inspiring than anything classical for me as a teen, and I used much of my ballet basics to improve the quality of my moves.



HipHop remained a much more constant activity than ballet. I grew tired of the finical need for perfection in ballet and no longer had the patience or discipline to work on my technique. I drifted further and further into the more relaxed world of urban dance, deciding to combine it with a newly learned tango rather than better-known ballet (which would’ve been such a cliché anyways!) for my senior thesis. It was then – while practicing for countless hours and wanting ultimate perfection for my own performance – that I realized my discipline in dance was back. My ambition for perfection had returned. That’s when I started to frequent the ballet studio more often, trying to make up for lost time.

Attitude with a Plié

Attitude with a Plié

And with this newly found necessity to have outstanding technique, my longing for urban hiphop is slowly leaving, being replaced by jazz dance and modern, swapping sneakers for pointe shoes… weird how that happens..

Recently I took things even further. I realized that in order for me to become the choreographer I one day hope to be, I knew I had to successfully complete my ballet training first. No more choosing jazz over pointe, modern over barre.. what use is a beautiful choreography if it cannot be performed to it’s full potential because I am lacking the proper basics? I have a new goal in sight and will be giving myself a year to achieve it.

Tombé in to fourth position, after a pirouette

Tombé in to fourth position, after a pirouette

My goal is not to become a prima ballerina. Neither is it to be a jack of all trades. I wish to choreograph, to create, to intertwine various dance styles, incorporating moves from everywhere while remaining inspired to pursue my passion. As soon as I feel there is a force behind my dancing, a ‘I must’, then I will reevaluate things again and ask myself whether the path I chose was the right one.

Ultimately this is what I wish; to master many styles, but remain joyful in doing so, and gradually create choreographies dancers will love to learn. My dream is to see my name in spotlights, my routine on stage, screaming audiences clapping and smiling…and I believe that my first step in achieving this is to build a proper ballet basis to grow from.

So bear with my people, while I try and get my arabesque higher, my turn-out wider, and my back-bend deeper and stay tuned while I continue down my path to becoming – what could have been – one of Michael Jackson’s choreographers 😉 (he is one of my all-time dance idols!)

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo