Five, six, seven, eight – dance yourself to fitness

Editor's choice with Lesley Williams

If like me, you sit and watch BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, and marvel at how a celebrity can go from being a newsreader or soap star to a dancer over a matter of weeks, and wonder if you could do it to, then FitSteps is definitely for you.

FitSteps was devised by dancers Natalie Lowe and Ian Waite along with swimmer and Strictly contestant Mark Foster. It’s an upbeat, energetic, dance and fitness class that incorporates dance moves into an exercise routine – you literally dance to get fit.

I have always loved to dance, but I lack opportunities in my life now to hit the dance floor and strut my stuff. Back in 1978 I used to go to the Canopic in Mumbles for disco dancing lessons. We were right in the middle of Saturday Night Fever, and we’d boogie to the Bee Gees Stayin’ Alive – I knew all the moves – still do to be honest. We sat or rather danced our way through an exam – I still have my medal somewhere – I got a highly commended. It’s the only medal I ever won.

I joined Rachel Brew for her class in the Arts Wing of the Grand Theatre, one Wednesday evening last month. I didn’t really know what to expect but was really pleased to see that the group consisted of very normal women and not dancing queens.

We quickly got straight into it. Rachel ran through the moves, demonstrating the steps to a gentle waltz. I followed her instruction, trying to watch her feet and not getting too distracted by my reflection in the huge wall mirror. We followed with a jive, tango, Charleston and cha cha, by which time I was feeling like I had had a good work out – but I was feeling so good.

Dancing makes me happy, and I’m not the only one as the whole class was smiling and laughing. The music is uplifting and makes you want to get up and move, so although you’re exercising you are also raising your spirit and having fun.

It doesn’t matter what your age or ability and you definitely don’t need a partner – just a comfy pair of trainers and I suggest a bottle of water as it’s thirsty work.


Rachel runs two classes a week, Wednesday at the Grand Theatre Art’s Wing from 18.30 and on Thursday at 18.30 at the Waunarlwydd Community Centre. Contact Rachel at


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