Top Chef’s {First Anniversary}

One of our favourite partners Top Chef is celebrating its first anniversary on June 1st! To mark the occasion, Top Chef is inviting you for a full day of cooking demonstrations. Foodies, make sure you pencil this in your calendars!

Learning {Boxing}

The Champion Club ain’t no country club. If you’re expecting pristine white towels and water bottles handed to you as soon as you step off the treadmill, you’ve come to the wrong place.

Enter the club, and you can immediately smell it in the air – competition, intensity, and sweat. I walked in not knowing what to expect of my upcoming boxing class, but was greeted with a lovely taster, as I was able to watch the class that was just wrapping up before mine. The first thing I noticed? There was only one girl. Gulp.

I watched as punches were thrown and sweat went flying and asked myself if I was prepared to get a fist flung at me. Thankfully, the two girlfriends who were joining me arrived so I was not able to answer my own question before entering the ring.

Our class began with a half hour warm up on the mat. Classes are done barefoot so I highly recommend bringing socks for hygiene purposes. After the warm up was done, the class was led by one of the senior coaches Atan Canlubo who took us through the basic moves. When we were comfortable with them, we put on our gloves and paired up on the punching bags to practice what we had learned. This part of the class was an amazing stress buster, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t imagine a few faces on that bag.

For the remainder of the class we applied the basic punches and jabs on both the bag and pads. The coaches assess the level of each group, and when the group is more advanced they also add partner sparring into the training. Thankfully, our group was mostly composed of beginners.

The Champion Club is the perfect place to go if you are looking for an intense workout and no frills. Highly skilled coaches lead the classes and focus on giving you proper training and an unbelievable workout. My favorite thing is that they pushed us women just as hard as the men so we all could be at the same level.

Today I feel like I’ve been run over by a bus and I cannot lift my arms above my head, and that’s exactly why I know for sure that I will be back for more. In my book, a workout isn’t a workout if you don’t feel the need to collapse after it and continue to feel its effects for days!

{The facts}
Activity: Boxing
Provider: The Champion Club
Location: Icon Tower II, Cluster L, Jumeirah Lake Towers
Timing: Sunday & Wednesday. 18:45 & 20:00 on both days
Duration: 1h30min
Price: 60 AED
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Learning {Hip Hop Ragga}

Hip hop is, hands down, one of the coolest forms of dance. I love its raw edge, urban feel and the total freedom you have to improvise. So when my friend asked me to go along with her to try Hip Hop Ragga at Capella Club, I was more than happy to oblige.

Hip Hop Ragga differs from classical hip hop, as it focuses on Ragga Dance Hall, which originated in Jamaica. The music used is a fusion between hip hop and ragga and is extremely fun. It’s impossible to keep still when it starts!

The class’s teacher Walid is also a choreographer and Pilates instructor. He started the class off with some stretches set to the beat. After we were properly warmed up, he proceeded to take us through some choreography, step by step. His style was so fluid and funky that it was sometimes hard to keep up with him, but he was consistently aware of the group’s progress and would take time to repeat or slow things down if need be.
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After an hour, we had completed a short dance routine that looked cool when Walid did it, but more like Gangnam Style when I did. I did not expect this to be a major workout, but by the end of it we were all soaked in sweat.
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The class itself was very fun, but what I loved the most about going down to Capella Club was the ambience. The club’s owners Leah and Meryem envisioned Capella to be a place where a community is brought together by music, dance, and martial arts. When we were down there, the lobby was filled with people just hanging around, not waiting for a class but simply enjoying the music and each other’s company. Capella is truly a community club that is achieving its goal of creating its own little community.

{The facts}
Activity: Hip Hop Ragga
Provider: Capella Club
Location: Dubai Marina
Timing: Wednesdays at 8 pm
Duration: 1 hour
Price: 75 AED
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Introducing {mamacademy}

When we decided to launch The Curve, our main objective was to encourage adults to find something new to learn and remind them that life shouldn’t end at the office.

What most people forget though is that there is a job that requires you to be in the office 24 hours a day, and that’s the job of a  mother. Mums are constantly on call and put themselves at the bottom of the priority list when it comes to extracurricular spending. Anything for a mum’s own pleasure comes after Sarah’s ballet lessons and Adam’s soccer camp. Time and finances just often don’t permit these women to have the luxury to commit to learning something new through courses and workshops.

So when the opportunity arose for The Curve to partner with mamavents Dubai to organize a series of short, sampler classes for mothers to be able to try something new without the burden of long term commitments, we leapt at it. Over the last few weeks we have been working with our amazing partner providers to organize a series of one off classes that will offer mothers a chance to book a class, spend a few hours with like-minded ladies, learn something new, and have a fabulous time with no strings attached.

And so, mamacademy was born.

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We are truly excited about this new class series and will unveil more details and the mamacademy schedule tomorrow. All you mamas better get ready!

{Big thanks goes out to our partner providers}

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Motion Final Logo

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Learning {Photography}

With Instagram, everyone fancies themselves a photographer these days. With this clever app, we find more and more people posting artistic shots of…well, anything really. The ability to take gorgeous photos by simply using a predefined set of filters has not only flooded our newsfeeds with what everyone had for lunch, but also caused less and less people to learn the art of photography – myself included.

Taking pictures with a DSLR always seemed so complicated and overwhelming. I loved the results the camera would get, but asking me to move it off of auto mode was way more than I could handle. Enjoying the sound of the lovely CLICK the shutter would make was about as far as I ever got with a DSLR camera.

Because of this I knew learning photography had to be one of the first skills I would learn for the blog. If I was pushing other people to challenge themselves by learning new things, then I would start with one of skills that I was most intimidated by.

I registered for the evening sessions of Gulf Photo Plus’s Digital Photography Level One. This 8 hour course happens over 2 weeks, twice a week, which is perfect for someone with a full time job.

Students reviewing photos together

The course is mostly theoretical mixed with some practical work (and homework!). My class was taught by Khaled Termanini, a professional photographer and resident GPP instructor. His casual style was perfect for an adult class, as he maintained professionalism but never let the class feel too formal or serious.

During the first two sessions, we covered the basics – everything from terminology to the golden rules of composition. I was amazed at how simple it was to achieve amazing effects with a few changes of setting. We practiced in class and eventually were able to control the correct exposure and depth of field.

The second week became a little more technical, and we learnt some of the more complicated settings like metering and exposure compensation. Khaled also explained the different types of equipment to buy and warned us all not to buy more before we had mastered the equipment we already had. It’s not a cheap hobby after all!

Playing with sepia

Playing with sepia

By the end of the two weeks, I am definitely more comfortable with the camera I own. I do not take breathtaking photos yet, but that will take a lot of practice. Khaled’s belief is that there is no innate skill to photography, but it just takes a lot of dedication, practice, and trial & error. As a photographer himself, I found that quite humble of him to say.

I recommend this class to anyone who has a serious interest in taking photographs with a DSLR for personal or professional reasons. It is a great stepping stone to becoming a better photographer and is great value for money.

{The facts}
Activity: Digital Photography Level One
Provider: Gulf Photo Plus
Location: Al Quoz
Timing: Varies
Duration: 8 hours
Price: 730 AED
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