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Dust off your legwarmers: Disco Dressage has arrived

Pull up your legwarmers and unearth your headbands — Disco Dressage has arrived.

The brainchild of coach Anna Hawkins, a combination of dressage to music, quadrille and rider dance moves comes to Hadlow College in Kent on 27 September.

Anna told H&H that having had children, and worked in media for some time, she wanted a creative way to launch her return to coaching. With her love of dancing, and her now six-year-old son’s interest, she thought there was a way to bring the two together.

She ran a pilot, to the Greatest Showman soundtrack, just before lockdown, and was pleased with the response.

“My best friend, Philippa Lane, had built an amazing indoor school in Sussex, and gave me the hire for free, then a lady who runs a local riding club said she’d take all 30 places,” Anna said.

“It was brilliant. I was so nervous as I hadn’t taught for five years, but it was great fun, and the riders’ feedback was brilliant.”

Anna said the sessions start with a guided warm-up for horse and rider, which for this month’s clinic will be to one of the minor songs from Fame.

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Then, she will teach the riders a routine to the main film soundtrack, using a dressage floorplan, with professionally choreographed upper-body rider moves.

Fancy dress is an option, to get into the spirit, and a photographer will be on hand.

Anna hopes to not only run more sessions but also to expand the concept.

“It’s accessible to all levels, and pretty much all the riders were smiling by the end of the pilot,” she said. “I think it’s got potential to be useful for other coaches as well as me; I don’t want to go too fast but I could train other people to deliver it.

“I think there’s an opportunity for the industry, to offer coaching that’s vibrant and dynamic, and helps people enjoy their horses.”

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