Despite not having the best co-ordination or timing, I’ve always found dancing a great way to lift my moods. That’s why I’ve been dancing my way through lockdown in order to make sure I’m still giving myself an outlet for my very low or very high moods.

I’ve always struggled with low self esteem, for as long as a remember. I wouldn’t go and do these sorts of classes because I was afraid I would look silly, or that everyone would be better at it than me. But I realised, if I went along and stood near the back of the class, no one would be looking at me.

So for three years, I went along to my local Zumba class. The instructor was wild and she was really encouraging and the music was upbeat and enjoyable. I went 2-3 times a week with my sister-in-law to be and we loved it. It helped both of us to feel better about ourselves and improve both our moods. When I changed jobs, I couldn’t go to Zumba anymore and I noticed that I started to feel the blues creeping in. I was part of a gym and did classes there but it wasn’t the same.

Photo courtesy of Chloe Smith

Then, last year, I found another local dance class called Turn’d Up Fitness. “It’s a mix of dance, fitness and drama. It’s about energy, empowerment and community and best of all, you don’t have to have any dance experience.” So I gave it a go. I went along by myself to Chloe’s class to start with and was a bit overwhelmed by how fast the routines were! However, I know how impatient I am so I went back week after week to make sure I could get to know the dance moves. I told my sister-in-law to be and she came along too. We took up our usual space at the back of the room and went with it. We loved it! We burned between 500-700 calories and felt great. We then started going to Jess’s class too. The classes also happen in the dark with disco lights so that was even better for my low self esteem, knowing no-one would be watching.

The things I enjoy most about Turn’d Up:

  • Great music – It ranges from pop to dancehall to movie soundtrack tunes (there are still some I don’t know!)
  • Sassy moves – It makes you feel proud to be a woman and gets you moving your body in a sassy way
  • Awesome instructors – Our instructors, Jess and Chloe, are so supportive and encouraging which helps a lot
  • Lovely community – The friends we have made through going to Turn’d Up are so great. We spur each other on and have a cheeky night out with cocktails (before lockdown!)
  • Girl Power! – It’s all about being proud of who you are and showing what you can do through the moves

Photo courtesy of Jess Phillips

Doing these classes through lockdown has kept me sane and also helped me to know what day it is! It’s really helping my mental health and physically keeping me fit too.

Despite originally being quite self-conscious, I’ve become a bit more comfortable in classes and have moved from the back of the room towards the middle! It’s thanks to the Turn’d Up Fitness girls, helping me and so many other women to feel proud of who we are and what we stand for.

Take a look and see if there’s a class near you. Visit: www.turndupfitness.com.