The lights are dimmed, the disco ball is spinning, the disco lights are flashing and the music is pumping … it’s SOPHIE RITCHIE DISCO BARRE
Describe your morning routine …
I wake up at 6.50, write down my dreams in my journal before I forget them then make myself a Redbush and Rude Heath almond milk tea. Since I’ve stopped drinking coffee, this is my new addiction and I have about 6 a day. I make my daughters breakfast and lunch and try to keep the morning calm as we rush to get her out of the door at 8. I usually have an hour to myself then where I will meditate and then make myself something to eat.
What first drew you to barre?
I started Pilates when I was pregnant 12 years ago and loved it. I decided to train in it after my daughter was born because I found it difficult combining my previous job New Business in a very advertising agency with a little baby. I wanted something more flexible. I discovered barre about 5 years ago and it was love at first try as it combined my love for ballet and Pilates with other forms of exercise I’d always practiced, like the Lotte Burk method and New York City ballet method.
What do you do for ‘me time?
Me time is time spent in nature, meditating or trying to fit in some yoga. Or dancing and listening to music.
Do you find much time for your own practice?
I don’t exercise as much as I like or should. I don’t have a lot of time and can find it hard to motivate myself. I come up with barre moves in my head and try them out and I try to take online Pilates classes and will take a yoga class whenever possible.
What motivates you?
Music motivates me. And my daughter.
How important is movement and practice?
I was obsessed with ballet as a little girl and my mum used to take me to watch at the local ballet class before I was old enough to attend. Dance is the greatest form of expression and I still prefer to do it on the dance floor. Ever since I got into house music when I was 15. I’ve also been into fitness – ever since the Cindy Crawford workout video!
It is important to practice and when I first started teaching barre I was practicing and making up moves all night, but now they are in the bible in my head and I am in the process of getting them written down.
What do you eat on average in a day?
If I’m leaving early, breakfast in muesli with bee pollen, cocoa nibs and blueberries with almond milk. If I’m working a bit later I trend to have a brunch of scrambled tofu, turmeric with onions and green pepper on toast. Or hummus on sourdough.
For lunch I often grab stuff from The Grand Howl and Rehab, both on Well St.
Dinner I eat with my daughter. Fish, veg and potatoes, pasta or a quinoi salad. Or if I’m being lazy a roti from the Roti shop or a falafel kebab. I gave up meat a year and a half ago and would like to eventually be a vegan.
I don’t like teaching on a full stomach, but if I’m hungry I’ll grab a banana. I know I should eat afterwards, but I’m usually rushing back and then I just wait until dinner. For a snack I might whizz up some hummous and have it with carrot sticks.
If you could send out just one message to your students, what would it be?
One message: Find an exercise you love and then you will stick with it. Simple, really. I’m in the wrong industry, probably, because I don’t like preaching about stuff related to my job. I created my class so you would FEEL like a dancer and get totally immersed in the music and forgot how hard you were working.