It’s winter, and in Switzerland that means cold weather. You might not feel like unwrapping all your layers of clothing and coming to class, but that’s exactly what you should do in order to stay happy, healthy and fit! Research has shown time and again that regular exercise strengthens your immune system so it can fight off infections plus providing a good dose of the “feel-good” chemicals serotonin and dopamine, which can help to reduce anxiety and depression while boosting wellbeing. When you exercise and get your blood pumping, immune cells circulate through your body more quickly helping them fight infections. But this boost only lasts for a few hours, so exercise needs to be regular for long-term effects. So no excuses, get shimmying and help stave off colds and the winter blues! In our newsletter we share a few tips on how to stay warm this winter plus read about some of the highlights in our calendar as we dive into 2017!

ALIA & the ZeoT team wish you a very happy New Year!

KP1: 09.01.-05.03.2017



Make sure you arrive for your class on time to warm up. When coming in from the cold, your muscles are contracted to assist in keeping your body warm, and they need to be loosened slowly before beginning to dance. Dancing with cold muscles can lead to sprains, strains and extra soreness.

A good warm up should include mobilisations of your:
Neck - Upper & lower back - Hips (glutes, hip flexors, inner thighs) - Hamstrings - Calves - Feet

Here are a couple of exercises you can try yourself.

Roll Downs – Its important to get each vertebrae moving in relation to those on either side of it to get full mobility in your spine. Make sure that you do your spinal roll downs slowly and deliberately. Feel for any points of tension and then use other exercises to release these spots. It is great to do this after class as well.

Cardio Warm Up – Jumping Jacks are a great way to get your heart pumping and blood flowing to all of the muscles that you will be using in your dance class. Mix it up with variations to challenge your coordination and involve your whole body.  Also try to jump as quietly as you can to really warm up your feet! For other cardio training ideas, why not try out our Dance Fit or Shimmy Fit classes.


Other ways to keep your muscles warm in the studio include dressing in layers. You can start class wearing a few layers to help get your muscles warmer faster but don't allow your body to overheat. Once you are moving and start to warm up, shed your outer layer. After warming up it is easy for the cold temperature in Winter to make your muscles "cold” again making them stiff and making it difficult to dance. As well as layers, leg warmers are an essential to keep the muscles warm and flexible during class. Put your layers back on when stretching during the cool down and after class don’t forget to bundle up again before going back outside in the cold.


Choosing warm foods and drinks can also really help to heat up your whole body (including your muscles) from the inside-out. Not only has ginger the ability to keep you warm, it may also boost metabolism and promote blood flow. Especially good news for dancers is that it may also help to combat muscle soreness!

Anis-Ginger Tea
1 cup water
1 teaspoon aniseed
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey

Combine ingredients in small pan. Bring to boil, lower heat, simmer for 5 minutes. Strain. Serve hot in cups. From "Lebanese Cooking Streamlined" by Emily Kalled Lovell


We will be ready and waiting for you after our Christmas break with an action packed week of evening workshops and introductory courses starting 02.01.17. From shimmies to latin moves, fan dance or oriental technique, there is something for everyone.

SHIMMY - SIMONE: Monday 2nd January // 18.30 - 20.30
LATIN MOVES - ALIA: Tuesday 3rd January // 18.30 - 20.30
CHINESE DANCE - JULIE: Wednesday 4th January // 18.30 - 20.30
FAN DANCE - JULIE: Thursday  5th January // 18.30 - 20.30
EIGHTS - LHAMO: Saturday 7th January // 11.00 - 13.00

Regular classes will begin again on Monday 9th January plus a few new classes for you to choose from.

American Tribal Style (ATS) - TRIO CORNUCOPIA: Mondays // starts 09.01.17 // 20.00 - 21.50
Dance Fit - ALIA: Thursdays // starts 12.01.17 // 09.30 - 10.20
Oriental dance technique - ALIA: Thursdays // starts 12.01.17 // 10.30 - 11.50
Ballet - LORENA: Thursdays // starts 12.01.17 // 12.00 - 12.50
General dance technique - LORENA: Thursdays // starts 12.01.17 // 17.30 - 18.50


This intensive dance adventure will be taught in three parts - Theatrical Ankoku Butoh, Slinky Modern Tribal Fusion, and Fusion Drum Solo - and will finish with a studio show on Sunday 5th February at 19.00.

This project is geared towards more experienced dancers who are ready to work intensively, participate in rehearsal with focus, and are willing to dive deep into the process of learning and creating a beautiful group work. There are only 14 places and registration closes on the 14.1.17.

For less experienced dancers hoping to study with Sharon she will be offering The Textures of Grace: Mastering Smooth Transitions on Wednesday 1st February and Drum Solo and Shimmy Clinic on Thursday 2nd February.


From Romantic Ottoman music, Turkish Waltz or lyrical floor work, Ozgen has something to suit all tastes. Why not join him to learn a fantastic flamenco skirt and fan dance or dive in deeper and spend 3 Sundays rehearsing a Romani street scene to be performed in the ZeoT show on April 30th 2017. 


As always the highlight of our year, the ZeoT show featuring teachers and students will take place on 30th April 2017. Tickets will be available by email and also this year through our new online shop. Tickets go on sale 1 February 2017.