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Motivation

Break Your Routine, Fitness, Live More Awesome, Spotlight, Things To Do, Try Something New

The Wonderush Spotlight: Kelechnekoff Fitness

Kelechi Okafor is awesome. She’s been listing Twerk Werkz classes on Wonderush for months, and getting fantastic reviews in the process. This week she opened her very own fitness studio in London, which means she’s now in an even better position to help people all over the city to have the kind of really positive workout experience she always aims to achieve. We can’t wait for our first visit to the brand new Kelechnekoff Fitness, but in the meantime we sat down for a chat, because we love doing that with people we think are really cool:

How did you get into what you do?

I can’t remember actually getting into dance because I’ve always danced from a young age.  It was very much a part of my West-African culture. I started teaching others to dance as a form of fitness six years ago when I realised that people want to enjoy themselves as they get fit.  Not everyone wants to “feel the burn!”.

How would you describe your teaching style?

My teaching style is firmly rooted in loving everybody I encounter and assisting them on their fitness journey in the way that makes them most comfortable. I always say that my only rule is that we don’t use the word “can’t” in a class, because we can do anything we put our passion into.

Why would you recommend your activity?

I would recommend Twerk Werkz because it really does work! It gets you fit, gives you a cute booty and puts a big smile on your face.

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

People are always surprised to find out that my favourite genre of music is actually Country & Western. Maybe I’ll start doing country music fitness classes and combining my passions!

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at work?

When I’m not at work, I like to read poetry and watch really terrible reality TV. Sorry!

What’s your favourite part of London? Any places you’d recommend there?

My favourite part of London will always be Peckham.  I grew up there, and its vibrance is what I always miss when I travel to other places. I love food and would definitely recommend “Obalende Suya” for Nigerian-inspired grilled meats and tasty dishes.

If you could try any experience in the world, what would it be, and why?

The experience I would like to try most in the world is probably crossing a really high bridge connecting two mountains somewhere in Asia. I imagine that being so high would be terrifying but I would also get to experience breathtaking views (if I don’t pass out from fear!).

What does the future have in store for you?

The future is exciting! My studio “Kelechnekoff Fitness” has just opened, and there’ll be loads of classes focused around shaking your bum or climbing a pole.  The studio is in Clapton and I’m really looking forward to the experience of bringing my super Fit Love ethos to East London.

If you can’t wait for your first trip to Kelechnekoff Fitness you can book Twerk Werkz, Pole dance, and all kinds of other cool stuff by visiting Kelechi’s profile on Wonderush.com.

Fitness, Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Spotlight, Things To Do, Try Something New

The Wonderush Spotlight: Hackney Hiitsters

We couldn’t really claim to be the fittest bunch of people at Team Wonderush. The most exercise we used to get was joking about how one of us never really gets to the gym, despite meaning to. However, our fitness levels are starting to change since we met the Hackney Hiitsters. Their HIIT workouts are hardcore but fun, and the group itself is friendly and encouraging (definitely necessary after about five minutes of work). In fact, they’re so great we couldn’t resist finding out a little bit more, so we spoke to Shelley, their awesome founder:

How did you get into what you do?

I have always been into fitness from a young age. I the studied it at College then went on to University to gain a BSc in Sport Science. From here I started my fitness career as a Personal Trainer at David Lloyd getting involved in many group exercise classes along the way.

How would you describe your teaching style?

Motivational and encouraging all the way.

Why would you recommend your activity?

Our classes effective and full of functional and fun exercises.

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

I can play the Ukuele.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at work?

Socialise with friends and fitness of course!

What’s your favourite part of London? Any places you’d recommend there?

Stoke Newington has had my heart from the beginning, Church Street is a magical place.

If you could try any experience in the world, what would it be, and why?

If it can be out of the world? It would to visit the moon and experience space, the unknown excites me!

What does the future have in store for you?

With working at Premier Training I teach students to build their own business. When they ask me my plan, my reply is always ‘going global’!

If you fancy an amazing workout check out Hackney Hiitsters and get booking! You’ll ache tomorrow, but you’ll thank us later.

Photo credit: Ed Reeve
Break Your Routine, Fitness, Live More Awesome, Spotlight, Things To Do, Try Something New

The Wonderush Spotlight: Hotpod Yoga

Picture the scene: You’ve been at your desk all day, people have been annoying you, you’ve got a niggling ache that won’t go away. Sounds like most weekdays, right? We’re not really into that, and our friends at Hotpod Yoga aren’t either. They’ve made it their mission to make hot yoga accessible in order to help everyone work out the stresses of life in the city. We’re all over that idea so we sat down with Nick – Hotpod yoga teacher extraordinaire – to find out more.

How did you get into what you do?

It took me rather a long time to discover yoga. I was suffering from achey joints and a back that clicked and clunked all the time due to poor posture and bad habits I had developed over the years. I had seen chiropractors, osteopaths and physios but nothing helped; so I embarked on searching for something else.
I tried a number of yoga studios but felt that even those classes weren’t effective, and it was only when I tried hot yoga that things fell into place. I came out having never felt so good; worked, cleansed, and my muscles and joints felt open and mobile. I was hooked.
I started going more and more regularly, once a day for a 3 – 4 years. Soon I realised this was what I wanted to do; give others the experience I had discovered and to make others feel as good as it made me feel. That was the beginning.
I trained as a yoga instructor and taught part time, however, it was teaming up with my old school friend Max that changed the picture – who had a similar entrance to yoga as I did. We wanted to bring yoga to the 99% of people who had never done it before, to appeal to those who see yoga as something far-fetched and other-worldly, and bring it down to earth so that everyone can gain the benefits of the amazing practice – this is how Hotpod Yoga started.

How would you describe your teaching style?

How I view teaching is keeping it really simple, as if talking to a child. Not in a patronising way, but so that the students who come really grasp what is happening and why, so that things are clear.
Our classes are a little intense with the heat and movement so I try to make people as comfortable as possible with a little light heartedness (bad gags basically!), but the important thing for me is to try and make sure that those who are fresh to the class/environment grasp it and feel amazing, so that they really see and appreciate the benefits of it.

Why would you recommend your activity?

The way Hotpod Yoga makes me feel – my mind calmed, my body worked, open and strong; ready for whatever the day may bring – is second to none. Its a gamechanger of an experience which I would recommend to any body – and mind!

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

I am terrified of space. Outer; not personal.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at work?

Believe it or not – yoga! And, of course, seeing friends, discovering London, festivals, travelling, riding my motorbike, learning, learning more, learning even more about myself and the world around me.

What’s your favourite part of London?

I really like walking along the canals and discovering cafes overlooking the water – my most recent favourite being the Towpath Cafe.

What does the future have in store for Hotpod Yoga?

This September, we are going to be offering City workers a chance to supercharge themselves and their workdays, with the introduction of 20-minute power classes at One New Change. The classes have been created in a bid to combat sedentary – a ‘disease’ which now kills more people each year than HIV – whilst simultaneously providing a time-efficient way for office professionals to reach a physical and performance high.
We’re partnering with The Grange Hotel who offers their sauna, spa and shower facilities, and One New Change retailers offering discounts on food and beverage options post-class, the Power Lunch Series promises to be the most immersive, effective lunch hour London has ever seen. So if you’re in the City and want to have a revitalising lunch break, book a session here.

If you can’t wait to climb into that inflatable and get down to some serious yoga, you can find Hotpod yoga classes on Wonderush. We’ll see you there!

Break Your Routine, Live More Awesome, Spotlight, Things To Do, Try Something New

The Wonderush Spotlight: China Exchange

Sometimes there are days when we all need a little bit of inspiration, and there are only so many motivational quotes you can read, before you start to get a tiny bit bored. So what else can you do? You could stalk the people you admire online (we strongly discourage you from doing that in real life) or by up half of the ‘self help’ section of the nearest bookshop. Or, you can get yourself to China Exchange. As part of their Prudential series of speakers they invite people with “extraordinary lives and achievements” to take to the stage, talk about their experiences, and to answer questions. We’re talking people like Gwyneth Paltrow, Tessa Jowell, and Jude Law in their most recent season. With other activities like Orchestral Concerts and their upcoming wire rabbit making workshop they’re also offering you the chance to step out of your comfort zone and expand your horizons. Or, to put it another way, China Exchange are great, and we love what they’re setting out to do. As such, we couldn’t resist catching up with Becca, their co-ordinator, to find out more.

What’s the story behind China Exchange?

China Exchange had a royal opening in February 2015. Set up by Sir David Tang in the old BT Telephone Exchange building, China Exchange is a Chinese cultural exchange charity in the heart of Chinatown. Our aim is to host activities and events that stimulate a greater understanding of, and curiosity about China’s impact on the world. Hopefully I don’t need to explain why China is important (it’s the second largest economy, stupid!) and we think that having access to a better understanding of the country and culture is a positive thing. We don’t shove China down anyone’s throat – instead, we hold dance, concerts, exhibitions, pop-ups, talks and lectures, some focused completely on China and some not. We keep what we do accessible – most of our tickets are £10 and under. It’s a wonderful environment to be in!

Who is the best guest you’ve had for your Prudential Talks?

That’s a tough question! I’ve had 3 favourites so far: Alain De Botton, Gwyneth Paltrow and Cherie Blair. Each very different, and each incredibly inspirational, empowering, funny and warm. We get such a wide variety of speakers for the Prudential Series that there really is something for everyone.

Why would you recommend your activity?

I would recommend our activities because they offer an affordable way to experience new things and hear from extraordinary people.

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

I can whistle and hum at the same time!

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at work?

I like to try different beers (I’m definitely a ‘craft beer’ head), watch live music and try new things. As it’s summer now, I’m making the most of beer gardens!

 What’s your favourite part of London? Any places you’d recommend there?

I love my local area, Peckham Rye. There’s a brilliant brewery called Brick Brewery and you can get the best burgers in London there (honest!) from Slow Richies.

If you could try any experience in the world, what would it be, and why?

To go to india and stay in a national park and see a wild tiger! And then eat all the food.

What does the future have in store for China Exchange?

We’ve got an exciting summer and autumn of events coming up! The Prudential Series will take a break for August, but will be in back in September with the likes of Joanna Lumley and Sarah Ferguson. We’ll host The Battle of the Noodles – team Italy (AA Gill and Giorgio Locatelli) Vs team China (Ken Hom and Sir David Tang). In September it’s the Chinese Mid-Autumn festival, which we’ll be celebrating with music and classes. Don’t miss our wire rabbit making workshop on Saturday 17 September, too!

Break Your Routine, Live More Awesome, Things To Do, Try Something New

7 Activities for competitive people in your life

We all have competitive people in our lives, but they can be hard work sometimes. The competitive contingent of Team Wonderush are a nightmare when it comes to playing any kind of board game and we don’t care who knows it. It doesn’t mean we don’t love them, but sometimes us not-so-competitive types just want to relax, and it’s really difficult to do when the person we’re with is trying really hard to show that they can be more relaxed than us. We get it. You’re great. So, when all you want in life is to tire out the people in your life who are trying to outdo you, here are some events you could try sending them to:

Gamepad Summer 2016

Put a competitive person in a room full of games consoles, and it’s very likely that you won’t see them for a while. It’s even more likely that you won’t see them for a while at Mayamada’s Gamepad Summer 2016. There’ll be actual, organised competitions going on all day, as well as a cupcake-based Euro 2016 prediction system, which all sounds like a competitive person’s dream.

Karaoke Rumble

Perhaps the competitive person in your life is more of a performer? Lucky you. Fortunately there are events like Karaoke Rumble in existence, which can help them to exercise every facet of their personality as they compete to stay on stage for the longest time in a room full of booing. You could even quietly join in with the booing, if you felt like it. They’d never know, and you need a release too.

Quiz -n- Chips

Sometimes you want to arrange something special for your friendly local competitive person, and that’s when interesting locations come into play. After all, who wants to go to a boring quiz night when you could go to one on board a ship? And, on board none other than Sir Francis Drake’s old ride. It’s a great way to make a competitive person feel special. Or more special than they often think they are anyway.

Assassin’s Hunt

This event doesn’t expressly state that there’s a competitive element to it. However, there are teams, and there’s a murderer, and there’s running around after clues, and I think we’ve all met a competitive person who could take a no-necessarily-competitive event and add that little extra something. Even if the only competition really is between teams and a murderer, that’s still pretty high-stakes.

Yacht Retrotainment

You remember the thing we were saying about rooms full of games consoles? And remember the thing we were saying about (to paraphrase an earlier point) boats being better locations than dry land? Well. This marries both of those things to create the boat-based games console event of every competitive person’s dreams. That ought to keep them occupied for a while.

Last Man Standing

How have we got this far through a list of competitive person activities without including a quiz? Well, strap in, because that’s about to change. This is a quiz. It comprises true/false questions (good winning potential for probability fans) and on-stage challenges, which range from Swingball to “drop ‘n’ pop”. It’s basically a steady, balanced diet for the competition fans in your life.

Snooker Coaching

There’s nothing competitive people like more than showing that they’re better than everyone else at something involving skill. Ping Pong is a prime example at Wonderush HQ. But snooker is definitely up there too. By learning to play properly not only will the competitive person in your life pick up an actual skill, but they’ll be able to double up by also competing over who is the fastest learner. It’s a great way to tire them out.

Break Your Routine, Fitness, Live More Awesome, Spotlight, Things To Do, Try Something New

Wonderush Spotlight: London Dance Company

The London Dance Company are awesome. Instead of the same old workouts they offer super-fun activities in a range of unexpected settings. Barre at the Bar, anyone? We really like people who shake things up and try new things, so we couldn’t wait to catch up with Aaron, who created the London Dance Company, and find out more:

How did you get into what you do?

Believe it or not, I used to hate dance! My dream was to be in musical theatre, and it was when chasing this dream that everyone told me that as a boy in this trade I needed to be a triple threat – I had to be able to act, sing and dance. I failed the first time I applied for a performing arts school but this was the push I needed to raise funds myself to realize my dream and so my love of dance began. I trained as a professional dancer at one of London’s top performing arts schools, Laine Theatre Arts. After graduation I was lucky enough to go to America and perform in three shows iBroadway, Celebrate The World, and Boogie Wonderland. When I returned to the UK I was asked to choreograph for a production company, alongside beginning to teach a few classes in and around London, and also coordinating and running dance workshops for all ages across the UK. I fell in love with what I do, the variety, the places and meeting great people and haven’t stopped since. I have worked and accomplished so much since college and I love building my brand. Recently I’ve travelled to China to teach at three ballet institutions and also Italy where I taught a three day Disney on Broadway workshop. Currently I run three of my own classes and also teach at Pineapple, London Studio Centre, Dance Works, and  some of London’s top gyms and fitness centres.

How would you describe your teaching style?

There is no point coming to a class if you’re not going to reap the rewards, I therefore make sure every part of your body gets a workout yet you also have fun. All of my classes are different depending on the style of dance; Zumba is high energy (some have been known to call me crazy) and a complete body workout. Being a professional dancer I use choreography to your benefit which actually provides you with a great core and muscle engaging workout. Barre is a class run at a slower steady pace, but don’t think it’s a breeze or any less of a workout as I use the techniques from ballet and put them into an easy to follow workout which caters for everyone, from the absolute beginner right up to the professional. After all, we all would want to have the strength, stamina, and body of a professional ballet dancer.

How did you think up ‘Barre at the Bar’? Why would you recommend your activity?

We at The London Dance Company love to try new things and think outside the box. We want customers to have fun and some people can feel intimidated in gyms and dance studios. Basically, it’s not about the barre – it’s about you so this is where Barre@the Bar came from. For the class all you really need is something to keep your balance and rest your hand on, so what better place than a bar? Everyone loves a bar! Therefore, we have just taken the traditional ballet class and set it up with a modern twist in a relaxed and accessible location for everyone! If you’re looking to tone sculpt and just have fun then this is the class for you!

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

1. I was born with a hole in my heart

2. When I was younger I was regularly on Eastenders and The Bill, playing a thug. When you meet me you won’t believe it!

3. At the age of 21 I travelled from Alaska all the way down the west coast of America to Antarctica (Canada, America Mexico, Peru, Panama, Chilli, Argentina)

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at work?

I love traveling and sightseeing so jumping on a train; whether it’s to take a walk along the Thames, going to Richmond, Greenwich, or going further a field out of London and just picking north, east, south or west of the UK for a few days. I just see where I end up and what different cities and towns have to offer. Or, even better, I love jumping on a plane and travelling to another country – I love to explore!

What’s your favourite part of London? Any places you’d recommend there?

So many to list but my top three places in London are: Sunday evenings @ Dirty Martini, Pineapple Studios (I go every Tuesday and Thursday to train and keep up on my game, Pineapple is thriving with talented individuals and is a great place to network), and finally I do love London’s Parks: Hyde Park, Richmond Park, St James, Chiswick Park, Holland Park – they all have their own charm, appeal and individuality.

If you could try any experience in the world, what would it be?

Would have to be to fly a plane!

Break Your Routine, Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Music, Popular, Things To Do, Travel, Try Something New

5 Ways to kick start festival season

Festival season (By which, let’s be honest, we basically mean ‘Summer’) is nearly upon us. It’s a few glorious months of fields, camping, music, mud, and floral wellies. With tickets getting booked up super-early in some cases, it can be hard to contain the excitement when you know you’re going, and after a while it stops being enough to simply spend every day at work shopping for fringed waistcoats and denim shorts on ASOS. Luckily, we have a few ideas for place you can go to kick off festival season sooner rather than later.

Campfire Club

Nothing says ‘it’s nearly festival season’ quite like sitting outside listening to acoustic music by the light of a campfire. The fact that the weather is, all of sudden, warm enough to make events like this possible; and that the whole thing takes place in a secret location is just icing on the festival-esque cake.

Festival Headbands

If you’re going to a festival or seven this summer you’re bound to run into someone wearing the exact same flower crown as you. After all, there are only so many designs in Accessorize. But instead of buying one, how about making one yourself? You can also wear it to the office to really show off your crafty credentials.

Thom Foole’s House Party

Thom Foole’s House Party has been booked for appearances up and down the country this festival season. It features character comedy, music, games, and all-around debauchery. However, if you’re not destined to cross paths with them at some point in the Summer they’ll be in London, and you should be too.

Festival of The Spoken Nerd

A festival season double whammy (in that they are performing at several festivals this Summer and also have ‘Festival’ in their name), Festival of The Spoken Nerd mix science and comedy brilliantly. Their shows are perfect for graph fans, or indeed anyone who likes their comedy a bit more interesting than usual.

Swing Patrol

Swing Patrol will be celebrating festival season at Wilderness in Oxfordshire (as well as holding the London Swing Festival this weekend). They’ll also be able to teach you some awesome new moves that you can take away and use at every festival you attend. That is, provided your wellies don’t get stuck in the mud, of course.

So, are you excited about festival season? If you’re heading to loads of them this Summer we hope you have a fantastic time. If you’re not, you’re in luck. With a Wonderush Unlimited membership you’ll still be able to get out and about and doing awesome stuff all season anyway.

Break Your Routine, Fitness, Live More Awesome, Sports, Things To Do, Try Something New

12 Things that’ll happen to you at bootcamp

A couple of weeks ago, a small delegation of Team Wonderush members hit up the guys at GB Active to try out their bootcamp sessions. Now, there are loads of bootcamps out there. In fact, while we were in Green Park we were working out with at least four other bootcamp companies around us. But we were doing ours with a legit member of actual Team GB, so we knew we were special.

It’s only natural for the mind to wonder a bit when you’re exercising, and in the course of our daydreaming (and/or hallucinations due to our physical unfitness) we put together a list of things that will definitely happen when you do a boot camp for the first time.

  1. No matter how much you think you can’t go on, you will always manage to go on.
  2. “You will always manage to go on” does not mean you won’t complain. You will definitely complain.
  3. You will find out that you are less fit than you think you are.
  4. It will be super-tempting to decide that it looks like it’s going to rain and just leave. Don’t do that.
  5. You will feel very smug if you can do more press ups than somebody.
  6. You will finally realise what resistance bands are used for.
  7. You will learn that they are for torture. Resistance bands are used for torture.
  8. You will want to show off at some point. You will show off at some point.
  9. You will regret not opting for the easier level exercises when you definitely should have done that.
  10. You will be happier to spend time in a tent than you ever have been in your life. Because at least it is not planking.
  11. You will be planning your humblebrags and fitness-based jokes for the next day even as you start to suspect you might die.
  12. You will suddenly discover, about twenty minutes in, that the endorphin high is a real and brilliant thing, and you will vow to chase it forever. After a brief pitstop on the sofa, anyway.

If we’ve whet your appetite you can try out a GB Active bootcamp session through Wonderush here. Hope to see you out and about at something awesome soon!

Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Things To Do, Try Something New

6 Things anyone can do to impress their friends

Saving face is very important in this day and age. As young people in a big city we constantly feel the need to impress everyone. And, yes. That’s not great. But Team Wonderush have decided that it is what it is. If everyone else is out to impress then we should be looking to join in – even if it’s just for the purposes of appearances. As such, we’ve come up with a list of ways we plan to dazzle everyone at our next meeting and/or social event. Get ready to be amazed:

Do some magic

Picture the scene: You owe your friend some money. Your friend asks you for the money. You hand over the money. Except that, instead of just handing it over, you pull it out of their ear. Because that isn’t annoying at all. Or maybe instead of that you learn actually-good tricks from an actually-good magician like Jerry Sadowitz, and really impress your friends, rather than just being a bit annoying.

Show off your physical prowess

You know how everybody loves a bragger? Impress your friends by telling them exactly how many press ups and squats you did last night. Maybe you could also keep them updated about the number of calories you’ve burned. Or, instead of being a total show-off, you can just casually mention the fact that you were at bootcamp training with actual Team GB athletes last night and let their imaginations do the rest of the work. They don’t need to know that you actually thought you were going to throw up a little bit.

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Break Your Routine, Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Popular, Things To Do, Try Something New

5 Ways to get yourself onto Britain’s Got Talent

Britain’s Got Talent is back on our TV screens and all is right with the world. It’s been around for ten years, and that’s insane. That also means that someone watching every episode has probably spent approximately 200 hours sitting in their PJs on Saturday nights. The contestants we’ve watched in those countless hours have proved that, with a little bit of practice, anyone can get to the kind of level that makes Simon Cowell’s jaw drop. Whether that’s for good reasons or bad reasons is case-dependent, but it’s memorable either way. While some contestants have gone on to bigger and better things, the majority were thoroughly normal before they went on the show. It’s totally do-able. And here are some activities you could try that might see you starring in Britain’s Got Talent 2017 (you know, if you feel like giving the PJs, sofa, and wine a break for a little while next year):

Salsa

Sure, you might not necessarily be a great mover at the moment, but that could change in a year. You don’t need to have always been a pro to kill it on the dance floor. You might just remember this couple who proved to all of us that age really doesn’t matter once you’ve got the moves:

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