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interview: Rich Allsop

Yesterday was National Kissing Day, and here's a man we'd like to kiss – the hunky founder of 'Spinder,' Rich Allsop. We spoke to him about spinning, dancing and his style on and off the dance floor.


What's the first song you danced to?

With the GMDC- It was Vogue. I was terrified of looking like a tit but luckily everyone in the room was kind of at the same level.

For me, as a complete, utter and total beginner to proper real like choreographed dancing, I was relieved that the starting point was literally learning how to walk to the beat, then stick your arms out in front of you.

The rest is a bit of a blur but I remember a couple of positions - 'standing lobster' a 'banana' and a 'shazam' of the three my banana was easily the best. Quite proud of my banana. Haven't had any complaints. Hahahah.

How would you describe yourself on the dance floor?

Borderline bipolar - but a tryer! I'll give most things ago - even down on my knees flicking my imaginary wig to 'I'm a Slave 4 U' (yes really) Whether i'm in time or looking good is a whole other issue.

One second I can just go with the routine and relax and have a bit of a laugh then at any point I can forget or miss a step and it's 'FFS!". But after chatting with the rest of the group I'm told that's pretty normal.

I am getting better and the guys in class are nice and reassure me that I'm not a complete car-crash.

What's the hardest part about dancing as a man?

You're totally vulnerable, you're exposing a bit of your soul. And there's no hiding! It can be terrifying but so rewarding if you are within a safe place amongst nurturing, kind and positive classmates

What have you learnt about yourself through dancing?

I know myself better. I know I can be a moody twat when I'm learning something new. But I know I can push through it. I try to relax more and remember that it doesn't matter when I make a mistake.

I've learned that feeling scared and out of my comfort zone is to be embraced; it's helped me meet some wonderful kind people.

Some may say the gay scene is soulless and full of bitchy queens and horrible role models. Well yes I have seen that side. But through dance and the GMDC I have witnessed something beautifully energising that fills me with hope and positivity.

Is dancing for girls?

Yes. And boys. And anyone in-between or undecided.

What do you like to do on the weekend?

I work almost 6 days a week at YMCA Club as a Personal Trainer and Spin Instructor and I recently launched my own private spin class called Spinder.

The fact it's a class with a compulsory catch up brunch or drinks afterwards has helped its appeal. That and the Whitney Houston 'sing-whilst-you-sprint' grand finale.

I do try to carve out some down time though, drinks and trips out with GMDC pals is a given, but also spending time with my partner and family. Recently I've started having swimming and yoga lessons – not at the same time. But hey maybe there's an idea in that!

I feel that now I've taken up something as terrifying as Dance -– trying other new things doesn't seem as scary.

What inspires you the most in London?

The rate of change. Nothing in this unique city stays the same. Everything and (almost) everyone is changing and evolving - hopefully for the better!

I love that there are so many options out there for gay men who want to take up positive healthy hobbies.

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