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editor’s letter


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february 2010 © cybertrek 2010


the joy of dance


Going to the gym to get fit just to look good in a T-shirt has never been as compelling or enjoyable a reason as going to get fit to do something you’re truly passionate about. Smart operators have been working on this assumption for


decades, offering great classes, sports-specific workouts and personal trainers who help members to achieve their goals, whether it’s playing hockey, going skiing or climbing Kilimanjaro. Harnessing the latest activity trends and ensuring they’re represented in clubs is vital if we’re to be


in tune with members and to motivate them. It seems that dance will be the next one to embrace. Interest in dance comes in cycles with every decade – remember the Pineapple Dance Studio,


which launched in 1979, started a trend and is now a world class facility in London? Then the dance craze which followed the first Fame movie? Each wave of interest in dance brings a slightly different style – the latest started with Strictly Come Dancing – not everyone’s cup of tea by any means – but the first TV dance programme to hit the mainstream. Now it’s being followed by Sky TV’s Got To Dance and the BBC’s So You Think You Can Dance, which have both brought a wide range of dance styles to the attention of the public and shown how dymanic, exciting, life enhancing and motivating dance can be for people of all ages and backgrounds One outstanding trend has been the


There are many great synergies between health clubs and dance and the relationships could be developed to the point where dance becomes an element of the health club offering


emergence of street dance, which brings together groups of kids who choreograph complex displays that are gymnastic, dynamic, entertaining and in many cases performed to the highest standards. Picking up on this trend, the government has added a dance element to its


Change4Life programme – called Let’s dance with Change4Life – with free dance classes happening nationwide starting from 1 February. A special Change4Life dance, choreographed by Britain’s Got Talent winners, street dance group Diversity, is also being promoted on the Change4Life website. As well as being great for cardiovascular fitness, strength and flexibility, dance has a social element,


allowing like-minded people to enjoy dance forms they feel comfortable with. It’s fun, full of joy and gives the chance for self expression – something often missing in the standard health club offering. Dance is also cheap to organise, because it requires little specialist equipment and can use existing studio facilities. When it comes to sourcing instructors, the majority of dance disciplines are well established and there should be no shortage of qualified dance teachers and leaders for clubs to work with. If you’re thinking of offering opportunities to dance within health clubs, there are many options


available – why not do a poll of members and find out just which style of dance appeals to your clients, or offer taster classes to establish the most popular disciplines? You can then set up classes and also devise workouts which help members to reach a higher standard in the dancing they do. There are many great synergies between health clubs and dance. The relationships could be


developed to the point where dance schools and groups take up memberships and use the facilities, with dance becoming another element of the health club offering to the benefit of everyone involved.


Liz Terry, editor email: healthclub@leisuremedia.com


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