SEQUINS, sparkle and ridiculously toned bodies.

That’s what comes to mind when I think of Strictly Come Dancing, so when I was offered the chance to have a go at the latest Strictlyinspired workout I was there.

The brainchild of Strictly dancers Natalie Lowe, Ian Waite, and former contestant and world champion swimmer Mark Foster, who is from south Essex, FitSteps is the first dance fusion of its kind.

The class blends the elegant movements of ballroom and the up-tempo pace of Latin dances, with a series of tried and tested fitness methods into a simple, easy to follow class, that works, tones and sculpts the whole body, burning up to a staggering 600 calories in just one 45- minute session.

“Fitsteps is the ultimate dance fitness workout for you,”

said Natalie Lowe, co-founder and professional dance instructor.

As a girl more used to a spin class than spinning across the dance floor, I had no idea what to expect when I joined a class at Lee Chapel North Community Hall in Basildon.

The class meets every Monday at 10.30am and with men and women from their thirties to their seventies, (the eldest member is 78!), I was soon made to feel at home, as my arms and legs attempted to copy instructor Lorraine Wood’s moves.

The hour-long class saw me shimmy and wiggle my way through routines from the Tango to the American Smooth.

Lorraine broke down the dances into simple threeminute routines with high and low impact options.

I was surprised at how much fun I had and quickly worked up a sweat as the hour-long class put me through my paces.

Lorraine, 42, said: “The really good thing about this is you can get somebody who goes to the gym three or four times a week who is ultra fit and they will come along and get the most fantastic workout.

“It’s great and you are moving all the time, there is a constant change in rhythm.

“You don’t have to be really fit to do it, but at the same time it does not put people off who are really fit.

“You’re working every part of the body and you don’t even realise it, because you’re having so much fun.

“You don’t even need a partner.

You’ll dance alongside a whole class of likeminded people so it’s a great way to get active and make friends!

“It’s not just that dancing is a fantastic cardio workout, but when you’re remembering the steps and keeping in time with music, your brain is constantly active.

“You’re improving your memory and concentrating on learning and developing some new skills.”

Call FitStepping on 07980 555503 or visit to find your nearest class.