We see if we can bring sexy back at a new School of SOS dance class

These sessions are open to beginners

I don’t do sexy.

My hips don’t shake, my hair doesn’t flick and I can’t sashay.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

To be fair, I knew this before I went to an “empowering” School of SOS class, which was taken by the company's London-based CEO, Bonnie Lister Parsons, at Edinburgh’s at the Pleasance Sports Complex & Gym. Still, I always thought that perhaps I would have an epiphany, and be able to unlock my Sasha Fierce alter ego. It seems not.

School of SOS

These dance-based sessions are taught online and also in various Scottish locations, including the Pleasance, but also Fife, Aberdeen and Glasgow.

Apparently, they became massive during lockdown and the company now has a multi-million pound valuation.

The ethos is that it’s a bit sassier than your average dance class, with moves for “queens” that are created by top choreographers - in this case, one of pop star Dua Lipa’s - to the latest hits.

Today, we will be dancing to Doja Cat’s Woman. I’d never heard it before the class, but now it’s in my head day and night.

We start with some stretches, and I am feeling uncharacteristically confident, even though I am pretty much the oldest and, thus, least supple, in the class. That is, apart from one other woman around the same age, who tells me she’s done fire-walking and goes to salsa classes weekly.

I go right to the back, as we unlock our sashaying hyper-confident walk. I look like an angry robot. Then we slide down the mirror. Everyone else is pouting, but I’m just worried I’m going to break it and get seven years’ bad luck.

It’s not long before we’re piecing together parts of the routine. “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes,” says professional dancer Lister Parsons, who constantly bigs us up.

We twist and turn, and drop our booties to the floor to the lyrics, “Woman, let me be your wo-man…”.

One of the side-to-side stomping moves has to be performed nonchalantly as if we were Rihanna.

As more choreography and detail is added, my brain overflows and I can only remember snippets, so I start copying the excellent dancers in the class.

Then we’re split up into two groups - Unicorns and Haggises - so one can act as cheerleaders, while the others do the routine.

Now that I’m being watched, I go to pieces, and can hardly remember anything. Anyway, I am unique in this sense. Everyone else is having a ball, flipping hair, moving sinuously, dropping to their knees and actually being able to get up again.

I’m exhausted, so I slip away after two hours. As this was a workshop take on the classes, and they usually only last an hour, I feel that I’ve done my bit.

I can hear the music and the whoops and cheers all the way down the stairs. Some people can do sexy better than others.

For a class near you, starting from £7, or £11.50 per month for an online membership, see www.schoolofsos.com

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.