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Meet the creator of Gymfinity Kid’s Dance Mash-Up classes... 

8 min read

We launched our Dance Mash-Up classes at the start of 2023 and the kids have had an absolute blast learning cool new moves and making new friends! 

Our Dance Mash-Up classes are designed to keep children active and having great fun at the same time. The sessions are designed by renowned dance choreographer, Rachel, who has danced with stars like Kylie Minogue, Spice Girls, Robbie Williams and Girls Aloud – our dance classes are perfect for children of all abilities. 

The classes consist of fun recreational dance where children can learn popular routines and master dance moves from a mix of genres. The classes teach a mix of pop, commercial and street dance mixed with games and team building, increasing confidence and making friends too! See a Dance Mash-Up class in action here.

We launched Dance Mash-Up in our Cambridge and Wandsworth clubs, and it soon came to Walton-on-Thames when the club opened in Surrey. And now as Dance Mash-Up is launching in Bracknell, it’s time for you to get to know more about the creator of Dance Mash-Up. 

We caught up with Rachel and asked her some questions to find out all about her love for dance and why it’s so important to bring the magic of dance movement to children across the UK. 

Meet the creator of Gymfinity Kid’s Dance Mash-Up classes: 

Tell us how you got into dance and why you love it! 

I started dancing at the tender age of 3 and got the dancing bug immediately. It started as a hobby which turned into a lifelong passion!  

I went on to train locally in Bradford until going to the prestigious Arts Educational Dance College in London on a scholarship. I continued my training at Studios La Pointe in Leeds until leaving at age 18 to embark on a long successful dance career spanning 15 years before turning to choreographing and teaching.  

If your child enjoys dancing, embrace the activity as you never know where it can lead them! Not only will they be getting active and integrating movement into their everyday lives, but it could put them on an exciting path that could lead to great things! 

Why do you love dancing? 

I love to dance as it makes me feel completely free. I lose all my insecurities and worries, and it makes me feel good and re-energises me! I feel extremely lucky to be able to do this as my job – I’ve met incredible people during my dance career and seeing the joy that dance brings them is priceless. 

How has dance changed your life? 

My entire life revolves around dance! If I’m not doing it, I’m thinking about it. From the next track or a new dance routine and cool moves. My children are always asking if I’m making up a dance as they see that look in my eye and observe me doing tiny moves with my head and hands… and they’re right! In my head, I’ll be constructing a full-blown routine! My children dance and music is forever playing in this household – it makes us all happy so happy and we can forget about any negativities of the day. 

What have been the highlights of your career (so far!)?  

Oooo I have so many, but my number one highlight has to be working with Kylie Minogue. She is such a lovely person, and she has a fab dance team! We were booked for her European tour – dancing outside on a huge stage as the sunset in Barcelona will be something I will never forget.

Working with Robbie Williams at the Royal Albert Hall was an amazing experience in such an incredible venue – you can watch it here. I was also lucky to be involved in The Royal Variety Show where I got to meet Cliff Richard and meet the Queen! 

I’ve also danced on a lot of TV shows over the years, such as TGI Friday and Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. Being able to perform on Top of the Pops meant I got to meet and dance with amazing stars such as the Spice Girls, Girls Allowed, Boyzone, Sting and so many more! My favourite Top of the Pops experience was dancing with Craig David to over 100,000 people. 

My choreography has been used with large brands, such as Selfridges, Clarks, Adams clothing, Craghoppers and other fashion brands and other advertisements. Not as exciting as dancing with pop stars but they were still incredible opportunities. 

Why does teaching dance to children bring you joy?  

Choreographing and teaching dance to children brings me so much joy as I can see all the smiles on the children’s faces and can see how much they get out of it. I get a real sense of achievement when I see their confidence grow. It’s so rewarding to see them come out of their shell. Hear what the Gymfinity kids have to say about the class here!

Through dance, I see children gain more self-belief and push themselves out of their comfort zone to perform and push aside any nervousness. I love hearing the parents tell me how much the children look forward to the classes and how they love to see the moves being practised at home! Dance is for all, and I love that my classes can inspire all abilities and ages.

Dance Mash-Up at Gymfinity Kids:

How did you come up with the Dance Mash-Up classes? 

I think it is so important and beneficial to keep kids moving, and I found there was a gap in the market for children who love to dance to music but didn’t perhaps want to conform to the rigid structure of a dance school.  

I wanted a class to inspire children and leave them feeling like they have achieved something rather than feeling uninspired, or not good enough. I decided my classes would have no exams or pressure so the kids could let loose and embrace movement without any stress.  

I also noted that children love to dance at the school disco, parties and at the holiday clubs so Dance Mash-Up was born! The classes give the children a party-style atmosphere where they will have an hour of dance entertainment, learn new moves and leave feeling energised and inspired. They love the class so much, we launched Dance Camps for Summer 2023.

What can the kids expect in your Dance Mash-Up classes? 

The children will be encouraged to work in partners and in teams to break the ice and make new friends, but if anyone is especially nervous, they can always hold the teacher’s hand! They will get to play fun dance-inspired games and use their own imagination! They will learn new moves and dance routines to perform to peers and parents at home.  

What kind of music is featured in the Gymfinity dance classes? 

The music used will be popular hits they are bound to recognise! We have a mix of party-style songs and current hits. Our playlists are always evolving and changing to keep the kids stimulated and on their toes! 

How long does it take to learn a routine?  

Our teacher-led routines are quite repetitive meaning the children can pick them up quickly. The children tend to pick up the routines in just a few weeks and be able to move along from memory! The classes are great for helping children with their memory skills and that feeling once they have mastered the dance is inspiring.  

We also teach longer choreographed routines in which they will learn a little more each week to build up to a full routine. These are usually learnt over 4-6 weeks before a new routine begins. 

Do you have any advice for any kids who are total dance beginners? 

EVERYONE can dance! No one has ‘2 left feet’! Dance Mash-Up is about tapping into that inner joy of moving to music and losing your inhibitions. You can do it and you WILL improve week on week! 

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to seriously get into dancing and choreography?  

Dance is most definitely a discipline. It takes hard work and practice if you want to move into the profession, but a genuine love of dance must be the most important factor. Regular classes, training, stretching and practise, practise, practise! We encourage children in our classes to make up their own moves and get those creative juices flowing to discover what they’re capable of doing! 

How can dance classes complement a gymnast’s training?  

Gymnastics and dance are a perfect partnership! The strength and flexibility gained in gymnastics will absolutely help to improve the quality of skills needed in dance. And the artistry and graceful performance side of dancing will really complement any gymnastic floor routine. 

If your child wants to try out Dance Mash-Up, find out more here!

You can view available classes here.

Please note: Dance Mash-Up is currently only available at the following clubs: Cambridge, Bracknell, Walton-on-Thames and Wandsworth.

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