Body Love + Us = A Magical Brew

It sounds cliché, but the universe has brought us together.  Ok, let's be honest.  Prefab has bought us together.  

A couple of weekends ago, Clair got in her mighty Corolla (aka Pinot Noir) on a road trip up north to do a Shut Up & Dance class at the most recent retreat held by Courtney Durr and Abbey Palmer from Body Love.  We had both been following each others' journeys and heard about how each of us were kind of...well... girl crushing on each other!  So we finally took the plunge and asked each other out.  We had a coffee at Prefab (we're so predictable) and talked about what we do and were mutually inspired.  It became clear our heads (and humor) were in similar places, so we were stoked to be asked to give a class at their retreat last month.


The sky was pink when I arrived and the place felt like home; it had that feeling you get when you detwirl the towel on your head and let your hair be free.  A place to unwind after teaching two classes and after a long journey (though it wasn't so much the driving, rather the effort it requires to sing any power ballad)!  My mind was suddenly at ease.

I was greeted by Abbey and Courtney with cuddles and excitement and suddenly I was rebooted.  I stepped into the house (which was just as epic inside as it was outside) and met their mothers who were having a natter and a glass of wine together on the sofa.  I felt welcome immediately.

I hadn't really thought past arriving at the retreat.  I imagined I'd plonk my bags down and go to sleep straight away but no, no, no.  Suddenly I was meeting 15 women and I was like: I am NOT missing a thing.  The ladies who sat around the table had been strangers to each other only two days ago but to me it seemed as though they'd known each other for years.  This is the effect Body Love has on you.  You're comfortable.  At ease.  No pressure or worries about who, what, when or how; and thank god for that because next minute we're in the living room giving 'warm fuzzies' (if you don't know, get to know) and getting down on fondue together.  Throughout the evening I went through an array of feelings from scared to nervous to excited and inspired; it was special and if you've been thinking about wanting to go on a weekend retreat - stop thinking.  Just book in and go.  You have nothing to loose and so much to gain.

I slept in a cute little cabin with Abbey and Courtney which was hilarious - we had only met a couple of times, and briefly, but we felt like we had known each other for years. 

8AM was our meeting time for the next day.  I was so nervous!  Everyone always asks me why I still get nervous after 15 years of teaching.  The answer is because I really care about doing a great job.  It's not because I don't think I can do it, it's more that I really want everyone to get the best class possible.  

We sat outside together, taking in the beautiful garden.  The sun was shining when breakfast was served; tiny little pots of porridge with delicious fruit and granola and then BOOM!  The full works; eggs, toast, tofu, avocado... You name it and it was there.  My nervous belly couldn't handle any food but I wasn't about to see it go to waste to I plated up and put it to the side to save it for after the class.

To the local school hall I went.  Setting up with the intention to bring Beyoncé to their lives.  We sweat, we giggle, we thrust, we strut, we jump...  Everything that happened in that hall, in that moment, stayed in that hall.  It was special.  Really special.

I want to say a huge thank you to Abbey and Courtney from Body Love and everyone on the retreat that welcomed me and joined in on the dance class (even if it was totally out of your comfort zone).  Those of you who decide you want to go on a retreat and actually do it and book yourself in, get involved in things you know are out of your comfort zone and prepare yourself to make friends with strangers...YOU are the reason I get up everyday with a smile on my face.  So thank you!


Words from Clair.

Check out this cool video of the shenanigans (feat. us!) here.

Abby Damen