Friday, 21 March 2014

Berkshire Fitness Scene : M.TV Dance

I'm still absolutely buzzing from a new class I tried last night. It was my first foray into discovering the Berkshire fitness scene. My aim is to find out what my local area has to offer outside of a standard gym, yoga, zumba and BodyWhatever classes. I'm not saying that these aren't great facilities to have but with the ever increasing number of fancy studios and classes I see advertised for the London area I was keen to see if I could find similar things that didn't involve having to fork out £16 for a train ticket.

After a little web searching I came up with a list of possibilities and decided to try a dance fitness class called M.TV Dance. Actually I had decided to try Bokwa, another style of dance fitness class, but was told it had been changed and the online timetable not updated. So M.TV Dance it was. The premise is simple enough; much like zumba you are led by an instructor through some routines drawing on a variety of commercial dance styles to classic and up to date chart and dance tracks. You learn some of the moves in the videos and work up a sweat. This appealed to me particularly as I used to take salsa, adult tap and modern jazz classes. I really really miss it but I'd yet to find a class or instructor that I liked enough to go back to it.

The classes are run by Fizzy Jamz who seem to be exclusive to the Berkshire area. Most of their classes take place at Reading University SportsPark and are open to members and non members alike. I was a bit nervous that I would be the eldest person there, given it was on campus, but thankfully that was not the case. Our 55 minute class was lead by "Jammer Jade" a petite, smiley and blond package of energy. You can see her in the promo video; she was awesome! We warmed up with some dance moves that drew on Latino styles and a bit of Oops Upside Your Head type fun before grabbing a drink and getting into the real fun.

The studio has wall to wall mirrors so you can see how you measure up to Jade's amazing choreography, and fancy disco lights set the mood perfectly. The music was one long mix of tracks from Michael Jackson, Britney, Madonna, Lady Gaga and more. Over the course of the class we started to learn the routing, but in a way that didn't feel like learning. We'd do a couple of moves, add something on, repeat some sections, do something else, add that on somewhere, repeat. It was fantastic and Jade somehow managed to teach the whole class mainly with actions and facial expressions. The class culminated it putting the routine we'd learnt to N-Sync's Bye Bye Bye. Yes we almost looked like that… honest!

It was an amazingly fun class. I sang most of the way through, worked up a sweat and claimed my first stamp on my fizz tank card. I am now a Dance Jammer Junkie people! FizzyJamz run a loyalty scheme which rewards you with gifts and prizes the more classes you do. Given the number of classes that take place in a week you could conceivably fill the card in a little over a week, trying different styles of class. 
The SportsPark is a great facility and I can see myself going back there for other classes for sure. And I'll be trying Bokwa another time.

Classes are £6 for non-members at the SportsPark and you can find the timetable for FizzyJamz classes here.


  1. Sounds like a really fun class! That's a great idea that you are exploring fitness options locally, I live just outside London in Essex and I'm always making the trek in to go to various classes/events, but the traveling costs do add up, so I try to stay local for most of my classes!

    1. It is fun to go to the events in London, for sure, but you're right about the travel costs. And time! It takes me an hour each way so it's not feasible to do it unless it's something really special.

      Uni's and colleges with sports centres seem to be a good source of classes and is cool too, if you are ever on the look out for something new.