Article by Ceri Wheeldon
Is Fitsteps the ideal workout for women over 50?
When it comes to fitness, it really is a matter of finding an activity you actually enjoy – and look forward to doing. How many of us tune in to Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday evenings ( I used to enjoy the US version Dancing With The Stars too when it used to air in the UK) and see the celebrities fall in love with dance over the course of the series – while their bodies are transformed in the process.
Well, I have been trying to convince my own husband to join ballroom dancing classes with me for years – to no avail, but now there is an alternative which will help to get me fit and learn some ballroom dance moves- all without a partner! Fitsteps.
What is Fitsteps?
Fitsteps is a dance fitness class put together by Strictly Dancers Ian Waite and Natalie Lowe and former Strictly competitor and swimmer Mark Foster. The classes are a mix of the dance steps from ballroom and latin put together into a fun routine which gets you fit – and you need no previous dance experience.
I should say that I went along to an established class – just as the slot fitted into my diary, so we went straight into the dances. One of the participants who realised I was new advised me to keep watching Ian’s feet ( he was on a raised stage) to best keep up with the moves.
I loved the class – from the jive to the cha cha cha. We tango’s and waltzed. The first half of the class comprised of the dances which gave us a cardio workout, then the dances (including the Tango) which were slower – but still quite fast to me, which had more shaping and stretching to help tone, and then on to the slower dances to cool down.
Ian explained to me afterwards that each of the 8 different dances we did had comprised of 4 basic moves, and that in the beginners class you would normally start with learning just 4 dances to get familiar with the basic steps. As you move into the advanced classes they will have 8 moves per dance.
I was tremendous fun, high energy, and didn’t feel like exercise at all- although my body certainly knows it has been given a good workout! I have to admit that not being the best co-ordinated of people my arms seemed to go in the opposite direction to everyone elses – but hopefully my co-ordination will improve as I go to more classes – which I absolutely intend to.
Fitsteps has launched classes up and down the country – and Ian mentioned that there will be a Fitsteps DVD coming out soon so that we can Fitstep at home too.
I loved the class – I have finally found a class I can actually look forward to.
Perhaps I should have taken the photo ‘before’ rather than ‘after’ looking slightly bedraggled having jumped around for nearly an hour!