Editor-at-large Alexi Duggins is at your mercy. So this week you sent him to burn calories to ’90s dance music…
Raving is good for you, I’ve always said that. Just look at my exercise regime: involvement in recognisable forms of sporting activity? Zero. But when it come to my enthusiasm for raving to early ’90s dance, are there any limits? No. Or as 2 Unlimited might say: no, no, no, no, no, no.
And, well, you don’t get a body like mine through luck, you know. In fact, if luck’s on your side, you don’t get a body like mine at all, but shhh… My point is this: all the jigging around involved in raving is healthy. Hence my attendance at Fitness Freak’s rave aerobics class, which promises to kickstart ‘intense calorie burning’. Yeah, yeah, I know: call me Mr Vain.
Actually, call me insane. As I step into the tunnels under Waterloo station, I realise I’m almost the only man here. I’m handed two glowsticks and ushered to a table where women in Lycra are tiger-striping their faces with UV paint. A DJ drops ‘I Like To Move It’ and 150 whooping ravers shoot into the air like they’re sharing a seesaw with a rhino.
‘Big fish, little fish, cardboard box!’ yells an instructor, bouncing around on stage and teaching us a routine seemingly inspired by a part-time job in Tesco. We change the lightbulb. We push heavy shopping. And as ‘Move Every Mountain’ by The Shamen erupts from the speakers, our instructor yells, ‘Who remembers stacking the shelves?’ Apparently everyone, because the dancefloor goes wild. ‘Woop! Woop!’ chants the whole room, as it moves to the rhythm of the night.
However, two-thirds of the way through, things get serious as cancer. My heart’s throwing itself against my ribcage as though I’ve been watching too much ‘Prison Break’. Lifting my legs is like dragging them through treacle. And my sweat glands are leakier than a Herne Hill water main.
But as I’m about to give up, I turn around. As far as the eye can see, ravers are freaking out. Finally, it has happened to me. Right in front of my face. This, I realise, is the closest I’ll get to a proper M25 party. I’m so elated I decide to carry on. Hey: I’m a dreamer.
By the end of the night, I’m a sweaty, euphoric mess. But it was worth it. Loads of classic ’90s rave. Loads of silly dancing. Even better, I got to covertly pack this column with seven references to daft rave lyrics. Bet you can’t spot ’em all.
The next Fitness Freak rave aerobics is on Tuesday 17 September at 6.30pm and 8pm, at Camden Centre, Euston Rd, WC1H 9JE. Nearest station: King’s Cross. £13.50. Read more of Alexi’s adventures here and suggest his next task on Twitter: @Alexiduggins.