Tag Archive: Fitness

Shake those sequins…


You may have seen the hype over Facebook and Twitter already but if you didn’t know….Strictly is nearly here!

At Shake & Shuffle we get super excited this time of year as the sequins, the beautiful ball gowns and the bickering between judges are just a Quickstep away!

Monday this week saw the first day of rehearsals for the Strictly Come Dancing Professionals, including our very own FitStepper Natalie Lowe. We can’t wait to find out all the pro-celeb pairings!

Come Autumn, we always have enquiries for our classes because people love the idea of dance… the romance, the fun, the frivolity! FitSteps has quickly become one of our most popular classes, with no requirement for a partner (or co-ordination!) you can learn those beautiful dances seen on Strictly each week – and you’ll be getting a great workout, too! Take a look below to see just how much our participants love FitSteps:

“FitSteps is a great cardio exercise class that will have you smiling from beginning to end… and shedding the pounds while you do!”

“Hot, sweaty fun. Love every minute of the class. I use to do dance classes as a child and this is a great reminder of why I did it for so long.”

“Brilliant workout, great fun and very sweaty! From beginner to expert dancer there is something for everyone.”

“Fantastic….. very fun and even people with 2 left feet, like me, can do it. Great workout for your whole body, literally.”

So, if you have always wanted to float like Fred & Ginger or shake those hips to a cheeky Cha Cha then get yourself along to a FitSteps class here with us at Shake & Shuffle (you can find our class schedule from the links below).

If you haven’t already, make sure you like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! We might also throw some ‘Strictly’ related competitions in too – keep your eyes peeled!

Vicky x




Shake those sequins…

Project: Transformation WLTG

In the 7 years that I have been teaching people to dance I have been very lucky to meet people from all walks of life wanting to learn for all sorts of reasons and occasions. Some couples for their first dance, some for their first cruise holiday. Many because they just loved watching Strictly. I’ve taught young children who want to wiggle like their pop idol, teens who want to make a career out of dance, parents who want to spend quality time and the older generation who just want to remember the ‘good old days’.

Then, recently, a new challenge was added to the list. I was delighted to receive a phone call from a lovely chap, Paul Winspear, asking for assistance in an upcoming production. Paul is part of the Water Lane Theatre Group who will be taking to the stage to perform Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard this month. Now, what could an am-dram theatre group performing a Russian play want me for? Well, it turns out they were not after me for my acting ability (thank goodness)! Instead, I was to choreograph a couple of pieces for their Russian Waltz scene (dancing? Much more like it!).

So, one Thursday evening myself and partner, Jonny, whizzed over to Water Lane for rehearsals. Before starting, I asked about their previous dance experience and what they had been doing in the particular scene so far – the response? A roar of laughter! So, the Director, John Bell, gave us the floor and we quickly got to work. Teaching the poise, hold and some basic steps we introduced the actors and actresses to this lovely style of dance. Before long, each couple were waltzing around the room without a hint of this being their first ever lesson! I think they were even impressed with themselves! The rehearsals went brilliantly so that evening we left a once-nervous group of people on a fantastic high.

My so-called ‘job’ really is such a pleasure when I get to work with some amazing people and see the animation on their faces – starting with sheer fear, then high concentration and, finally, the absolute joy and excitement for what they have achieved! “Transformed from a herd of elephants to graceful swans!” was a quote mentioned that evening… Note, they were not my words but John, the directors! Over the following days we received such lovely comments on our rehearsal from the group, “Loved tonight’s lesson with @ShakeandShuffle I’ve never seen such a transformation. It’s all in the teaching!” It was so nice to hear what an impact we had made.

Now, the Water Lane Theatre Group really are a lovely bunch and have some fantastic talent. Try and catch them at the Hockerill Anglo-European College this month, if you can. Showing for 3 nights only, you’re bound to have a great time!

What a marvellous job I have!

Project: Transformation WLTG

FitSteps…dance fitness fun for EVERYONE

Newspaper Article:

Since last Summer, FitSteps has been taking over not just Shake & Shuffle’s classes but the whole of the UK – the demand for this addictive fitness class is impressive with the programme not even hitting it’s first Birthday for another few months.

FitSteps has been created by Strictly stars Natalie Lowe, Ian Waite & past contestant Mark Foster. It uses a combination of Latin, Ballroom and fitness techniques so you’d be forgiven if you believed this was a class for just the very fit and coordinated. However, people of all ages and abilities are finding their love for dancing and fitness through FitSteps. Co-Creator, Natalie Lowe said:

“FitSteps is for anyone and everyone. We want this workout to bring people together, so many people love to dance but think they are too old or not good enough to join in. FitSteps has been designed for people that love to dance from 5 years to 95 years old, men and women – absolutely everyone!”

Countless times I have been asked what sort of age group my participants are – a hard question to answer when the programme appeals to so many. The youngest participant we have had in class is 5 years old. The oldest? A fantastic 81 years old! And with every single class there is a vast mixture of ages, abilities and sizes! There is no target audience for FitSteps – it’s accessible to everyone!

We are very proud to receive some great feedback on our classes – relaxed atmosphere, very friendly and countless benefits. As Natalie says below, FitSteps is great for the social aspect, too:

“We want to make people feel like anyone is welcome, we want people to be able to socialise in the classes as well as dance. FitSteps can be done without a partner so we are reaching out to the people who love to dance and could never go to the traditional dance classes where a partner is needed.”

There are no expectations to be met when you come to our FitSteps classes. Any age, any ability welcome – it doesn’t matter if you think you cannot dance or don’t have great coordination. We support and encourage every one of our participants to achieve whatever goal they have. We truly believe FitSteps is for everyone and we will continue to promote that through the community. We want to get as many people moving as possible!

For more details on our classes please take a look at our website:


‘Like’ us on Facebook for all the latest news and updates from FitSteps and the Strictly team!


FitSteps…dance fitness fun for EVERYONE

FitSteps – Fitness That’s Strictly Fun

Bishop’s Stortford and Dunmow saw the launch of brand new
dance fitness class FitSteps this Summer. A fitness class that combines your
favourite Ballroom & Latin steps into a fun workout.

Combining the ‘Strictly’ dance steps with proven fitness techniques, FitSteps makes for a really fun, energetic and effective way to stay fit and keep trim that will appeal to everyone, even those who think they can’t dance. Already, Vicky has taught so many customers to Jive, Cha Cha and Waltz who had initially walked in thinking they had ‘2 left feet’!

A fantastic class that is brilliant for keeping healthy, losing weight, toning up & meeting new friends and that’s just the start of it!

No dancing ability required…just a pair of trainers!

FitSteps is the creation of Strictly Come Dancing professional dancers Ian Waite and Natalie Lowe, and Strictly competitor and Olympic swimmer Mark Foster. Ian
Waite and Natalie Lowe trained a small number of FitSteps Pioneer Instructors this
Summer and Vicky was lucky enough to be one of the first instructors qualified
to teach FitSteps. So, starting 3 classes per week just before the Summer holidays, she was overwhelmed with the number of participants coming through the doors for FitSteps – some once, some twice and some even three times per week! Needless to say, the schedule was updated with another 2 classes in place for September with a strict booking in system. Now, looking forward to January….there’ll be even more FitSteps classes available with Shake & Shuffle!

Go to www.shakeandshuffle.co.uk to see when/where our classes are held. Booking is a must!

So come on, give it ago..
You’ll have such fun, we bet!

Because with Shake & Shuffle..
We smile whilst we sweat!

FitSteps – Fitness That’s Strictly Fun

Powerhoop classes PROVEN…IT WORKS

University Study Confirms: Powerhoop Reduces Waist Size

Fitness experts claim that it’s impossible to “spot reduce”. Powerhoop is proving them wrong.


Powerhooping may be fun, but it’s a fitness activity that can be taken seriously. A new study by researchers at Canada’s University of Waterloo Spine Biomechanics Laboratory, one of the world’s foremost sports medical research facilities, has now confirmed that regular Powerhooping causes the waist to shrink. The subjects were fourteen mildly overweight women who used a Powerhoop for fifteen minutes per day, five days per week, over a period of six weeks. The researchers collected several types of data, including calories burned, subcutaneous fat measurements, subjects’ body measurements and muscle activation.

On average, participants experienced a significant decrease in waist and hip circumference, and waist‐to‐hip ratio. Average reduction in waist size was 3.35 cm, with three of the fourteen subjects losing between 5 and 7.5 cm around the waist. The hips also shrank, but not as much. (The “hourglass shape” was therefore accentuated.)


Here are the most important findings from the study:

  • Calorie expenditure during normal use varied from 300 to 420 kcal/hour: higher for inexperienced users and when the hoop was used in the “non-preferred” direction.
  • The participants lost on average 1.1 lbs, not reaching statistical significance. However, two of the subjects lost over 6 lbs during the trial.
  • Muscle activation was significantly higher with a Powerhoop than with a traditional lightweight hula hoop.

The researchers also made a surprising finding regarding the distribution of fat on the body. On average, the subjects had slightly more subcutaneous fat (under the skin) after the study period, despite the fact that their waists were narrower, their muscles stronger and their bodies lighter. One possible way of interpreting this is that the amount of “belly fat” (visceral fat that is stored deeper in the abdomen) had decreased and redistributed itself, possibly as a result of the powerful “massage” effect from the hoop.

This would be a sensational finding if proven to be true. Visceral fat is difficult to burn, and is linked to coronary disease, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and other obesity-related diseases. For now, the question will have to stand with a big question mark after it until the researchers have done a follow-up study, for example, using bioelectrical impedance analysis to measure the amount of visceral fat before and after the trial period.

Lastly, Powerhoop was compared with a conventional hula hoop using a technique called electromyography, which calculates the impact of the hoop as percentage of the maximum voluntary contraction. Not surprisingly, the Powerhoop produced higher activity in every muscle compared to the conventional hoop. In the Rectus Abdominus (the main part of “the abs”), muscle activity was up to 70% higher.

Source:  “Analysis of physiological and biomechanical variables over a 6 week trial using a Powerhoop together with investigation of mechanisms of hooping.” Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1

Powerhoop classes PROVEN…IT WORKS

Hazel Williams, The Osteopath

Hazel Williams Bsc.(Ost) D.O. – Aiming to improve and maintain your general health and well-being as well as giving continual relief from pain wherever possible.



Alan Beadle (BNI) of Saffron Walden – “I would heartily endorse Hazel, both for her sympathetic and subtle approach, but more importantly for the radical result she achieved for me in such a short space of time. ”

Mandy Beaumont of Bishops Stortford – “I have to stop myself sounding slightly evangelical when I talk about the treatments I have received from Hazel’s practice”

Jo Bonsor of Takeley – “At first I was quite sceptical about the benefits of cranial osteopathy in a child of his age” – “Now I truly believe that the treatment Hazel administered helped Milo and released his talent”

Mrs Richards, aged 71 of North London – “I was in agony and the pain relief medication made no difference but after the first osteopathic treatment I noticed a vast improvement” – “I find it a lot easier to move around now”

Catherine Horner of Stansted Mountfitchet – “After a thorough initial assessment (of my frozen shoulder) she worked wonders with her gentle but effective manipulation” – “…the pain decreased and the movement gradually restored”.

Hazel Williams, The Osteopath – Aiming to improve and maintain your general health and well-being as well as giving continual relief from pain wherever possible. from Hazel Williams Bsc.(Ost) D.O. has updated their news.

A Most Curative New Website

Make those aches and pains go away, visit Hazel Williams the registered osteopath in Stansted. You can find out more about the services offered by Hazel and the success she routinely has for her clients by visiting her new website developed by Toucan Internet LLP

http://hazel-williams.co.uk/ Osteopath in Stansted

Toucan Internet LLP worked in conjunction with Hazel’s creative partner to produce a search engine optimised website with an original creative design that clearly explains how she works and how she achieves results for her patients of all ages and from all walks of life. “At Toucan we’re always pleased to work with other professionals in the creative process as this increases the creative pool of ideas and engenders diversity” explains Simon Thomas Principal Partner @ Toucan Internet

If you think this website will be of interest to your friends and associates please link to it and spread the word.


To find out more about how Toucan Internet LLP can improve your online success, please feel free to contact Simon at the contact points below.

t: 01279 871 694
e: simon@toucanweb.co.uk
w: www.toucanweb.co.uk

Copyright Toucan Internet LLP 2012©. All rights reserved.

A Most Curative New Website

Super Hooper


No longer is the ‘Hula Hoop’ but instead..the POWERHOOP!

Shake & Shuffle are introducing Powerhoop classes to their timetable. Combining old fashioned fun with modern design, Powerhoops give great enjoyment to all who use them yet are fantastic “waist-whittlers”!!

These weighted, padded Powerhoops are a fun and effective way to slim your waist and strengthen your core muscles. They’re weight and large diameter make Powerhoops easy to use, even for those who never succeeded with old fashioned plastic hulahoops (like myself!)

Benefits include:

  • Weight loss/calorie burn
  • Improved coordination and endurance
  • Reduced lower back pain and stiffness
  • Slimmer waist, glutes, hips & thighs

These brightly coloured hoops can work wonders! With regular use – just a few minutes a day – the results will speak for themselves.
Lose inches and lb’s – from one group measured the minimum loss was 1 inch! Some lost up to 4 inches!!

Powerhoops are easily dimantled to store in a small box so they do not take up space. Or, simply stow it behind a sofa for ease – you are more likely to use it if you can see it! Just a few minutes a day, for instance, the ad breaks of your favourite TV show. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a female-only activity. Powerhoops are great for men, women, girls and boys! We have had more men try it out and buy hoops than you’d believe!

At £45, you can have great fun as a family (kids LOVE these hoops!), slim down in time for Christmas and have great fun and laughter during the process! You do not need to own a Powerhoop in order to come to our classes, simply book your place and you can loan a hoop each class!

Please let me know if you are interested in buying a Powerhoop for yourself or maybe for a loved one for a unique Christmas present. They are selling like hotcakes and new orders are going in very soon!

Classes will be up and running very soon, please put your name down ASAP if you are interested in joining! Find us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest news on new classes starting…




Vicky Wright

Shake & Shuffle



Super Hooper