Ibiza and dancing go hand in hand, but Santhosh Ibiza Dance Retreats are far removed from the all-night revelry of Ibiza’s notorious nightclubs. Held in a stunning villa in the north of the island, with breathtaking views over the Mediterranean, these luxury Ibiza dance retreats are designed for women looking to escape from their regular routines, relax, have fun, feel free… and get a little sun in the process!
The idea for the retreats was originally inspired by founder Samiya Noordeen’s personal venture into the world of dance. The ex-barrister was looking to shift some baby weight after the birth of her children, opting for fun dance classes (“I am categorically allergic to the gym!”) with friends, finding it a life-changing (and weight-losing) experience. It didn’t take long for her enthusiasm to grow into a successful retreat venture – and Santhosh (which means happiness in Sanskrit) was born in 2011.
Your home away from home for four nights and five days is the ultra-luxe Casa La Vista, boasting a gorgeous infinity pool, direct access to the beach and a multitude of courtyards, gardens and chillout areas offering space, privacy to all guests. You’ll be joined by an intimate group of like-minded women, ranging from busy mums to career-driven types. You don’t need any dancing experience (“It’s certainly not about entering Strictly Come Dancing,” laughs Samiya) – even those who think they’ve got two left feet are encouraged to join.
All you need is a willingness to let go, be yourself, enjoy the music and have the time of your life (pun most definitely intended)!
While centred around dancing, the retreats also encompass other fitness disciplines, from yoga and Pilates to hiking. You’ll get to try LatinBurn, which Samiya explains is Santhosh’s own dance style, similar to Zumba but with more of a focus on the dance steps, the samba, the cha cha and more, with West End stars and Latino dance experts jetting in to host workshops (from salsa and tango and dirty dancing) and show you all the right moves.
Healthy delicious food – made from fresh, seasonal, locally grown organic produce – prepared by an expert chef is another highlight. Breakfast by the pool, lazy lunches in the garden and dressed-up dinners under the stars. Each meal is designed to give you energy, and is always followed by an activity to help burn off any calories.
“We do yoga in the mornings to turn the mirror inward, and dance in the evenings to let out pent up anxieties, along with aspiring wishes and dreams, out into the universe,” explains Samiya, of the carefully crafted retreat programme. “We need both for balance – internalise and externalize – and who knows what will happen?” A relaxing massage is also included in the retreat package, to ensure your muscles are also taken care of.
Why dancing? It’s been scientifically proven to increase your endorphins (“It’s like a natural drug with no side effects,” says Samiya) and yes, it will help you lose weight, although Samiya is very clear that Santhosh is not a boot camp in any way – all workshops are optional. “I don’t believe in depriving yourself of things – everything in life needs to have a rhythm and a balance,” she explains. “The moment it doesn’t, things can go haywire, and you might end up binging. Apply this idea to what we do, and basically we’re all about kick-starting something wonderful.”
Qualified life coach Samiya is on hand to provide gentle support for those guests who need it, and she believes in helping you bring a child-likeness back to yourself. “This is really important. A lot of people don’t do that. Life is nothing if you are unable to laugh!” Born in Sri Lanka, Samiya is a true island girl at heart, believing strongly in the freedom of the soul. “I love the freedom of islands, and Ibiza has its own bohemian spirit and a very feminine energy, similar to my homeland. You can totally be yourself in both places – whether you’re posh and elegant or totally naked on a beach, no one cares. You can be yourself.”
Places are limited to just 12 guests and prices start at £1750 per person, including food classes and airport transfers. Bespoke retreats can also be created for groups of friends upon request. Previous Santhosh retreat groups have remained firm friends once the retreat is over, with regular reunions taking place in London throughout the year. “The sense of community created here is wonderful,” says Samiya. “Everyone gels, no matter where they come from.”
For more information on Santhosh Ibiza Dance Retreats or to book your place on a retreat, please visit www.santhoshdance.com or call +44 7557 529 500. Find out more on Facebook or the White Ibiza Retreat Calendar.