I am not the athletic type. The Faculty (I am in my 30s and still adore this film) summed it up perfectly when Casey, the lead character, states: “I don’t think that a person should run unless he’s being chased.” Absolute ditto for me. Running brings back memories of being on the brink of an asthma attack in high school whilst trying to participate in the modern torture that is the Bleep Test.
Whilst running is not my thing, I have always loved dancing. Don’t get me wrong, I am not very good at it, but it makes me feel happy. A couple of years ago I stumbled across a Dance Fitness class in the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast. Taught by fitness Queen Jade Rodgers, I danced as much as I tripped over myself, but at the end of the first session I knew I had found an exercise class I could stick with.
Whilst I now attend the class at Queen’s Students Union on a pay as you go basis, and it has evolved from Dance Fitness into Zumba and back again, I still try to attend once a week. There are so many things I love about this class. Firstly, Jade is the best instructor. With a background in personal training, fit really is her middle name. However, unlike some classes, she encourages you to push yourself but never belittles you if you struggle with a routine. The two prerequisites of the class are to move and to have fun with it. Jade is also the nicest person and is so talented at what she does; the songs she selects are super catchy and her routines are fresh and modern and have you believing you’re ready to star in a music video.
I also adore the rest of the class. Whilst there have been people attending the class for years, as well as new faces showing up each week, everyone is at different levels of fitness but there is never any judgement. My first concern when joining was that I had never danced stoned cold sober before, so how would I cope in a room full of strangers? It was actually pretty liberating, everyone is focused on getting their own moves right, so no one is watching you. After all this time, I can honestly say Dance Fitness has helped boost my confidence to do things outside my comfort zone.
The class is also an amazing stress buster. When you feel wound up, do like Meredith and Christina from Grey’s Anatomy, ‘Shut up! Dance it out.’ After an hour you feel knackered but also amazing – thank you endorphins.
Whilst dancing isn’t for everyone, it’s definitely for me. When ever I have to miss a class because life has got in the way, I honestly miss it – I never thought I would say that about exercise!
Dance Fitness runs on a Tuesday and Thursday (6-7pm) at Queen’s Students Union. For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/jaderodgersdanceandfitness/