Dancing in the dark is ideal for members of Clubbercise

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Loud music, flashing lights and lots of dancing is something you associate with a night out clubbing.

But for Emma Dore, they are the three main components of her exercise class.

Clubbercise is an hour’s workout in the dark with glow sticks, bright gym gear, flashing lights and a range of dance moves to get the heart pumping.

Emma, from Gosport, set up the class in November last year and has seen it grow from a weekly session with about 15 members to three classes a week with around 25 members per session.

She never expected her exercise class in the dark to be so popular.

The 41-year-old says: ‘I saw Clubbercise advertised on Facebook and thought it was a really good idea as an exercise class.

‘I have been dancing since I was a little girl and thought it would be a lot of fun.

‘So in October, I went to see how I could set one up for people living in Gosport.’

And since being set up, the class has grown in popularity and Emma thinks it is down to the dark setting and good music.

She adds: ‘I think it appeals to many people because it is in the dark so no-one can see what you are doing.

‘There is no embarrassment or people making fun of others.

‘For most women, I think that is the reason why they come along.

‘They can get their fitness levels up without the feeling that people are staring at them.

‘It makes it stand out from a regular class or gym session where you can end up feeling really self-conscious.’

One of the sessions is held every Wednesday at St Vincent College with the other two on Fridays and Sundays at Royal Clarence Fitness Studio.

Emma says: ‘When I first started the group, I never expected it to grow like it has.

‘I had around 40 members at the last session which was really good.

‘It is a great feeling knowing that people like the group and want to come back week after week.’

The members of Emma’s group age from 16 to 70 years old and they all love the fact they can work out without feeling silly or as if they are doing the moves wrong.

Michelle Atkinson, from Gosport, has been going to the group with her friend Shelley Power since it started last year.

For Michelle, 38, the music and low lighting make it a perfect exercise class.

She says: ‘The class is like clubbing with the type of music played and I love that.

‘Also, where it is all in the dark, I don’t feel embarrassed if I am doing it wrong or if it takes me a couple of sessions to get the moves right.

‘It is a lot of fun and a really good workout.’

Shelley agrees. The 34-year-old says it a hard workout but a good laugh.

‘I really wanted to get fit and Clubbercise has the music I like, it’s in the dark and it’s good fun.

‘Plus, it doesn’t matter what age you are or how good your dancing abilities are, you can still join in.’

But the class also works for people who have danced in the past and want to get back into it.

Clare Norman, 34, used to dance with Emma and loved it. She says Clubbercise is a way to get back into dancing.

She says: ‘A lot of the moves are dance moves so that makes it more enjoyable for me.

‘I come from a dance background so I was able to pick things up quickly but if you don’t it is still easy to learn.’

To go with the clubbing music and lights, members of the group can take shots of fruit juice during the class and use the glow sticks to accentuate their dance moves.

Hannah Dyer, 21, said the whole theme really works well.

‘I love to dance and this class lets me do that,’ she says.

‘I like the music and you can have a laugh with the glow sticks and the multi-coloured lights.

‘The whole thing just fits nicely together to make for a fun exercise group.’

And teenage friends Megan Weyman and Jadie Daniel love the class.

Jadie, 16, says: ‘Most of the class is dancing rather than aerobics which I like.

‘It is a really good workout too so you can feel it’s worthwhile.

‘I come here with quite a lot of friends and family which makes it enjoyable.’

Megan, 15, adds: ‘Doing it together with friends means it is a lot of fun and you don’t feel so self-conscious.’

The Wednesday group is from 7pm until 8pm, the Friday session is at 6.45pm and the Sunday class is 11am until midday.

For more information on the group, visit the Clubbercise Gosport page on Facebook by searching Clubbercise Gosport with Emma.

Passion for dancing

A PASSION for dancing started when Emma Dore was just eight years old.

The exercise instructor wanted to learn how to dance while she was at primary school and started doing a range of lessons.

She learnt tap, modern and ballet and started competing in competitions and shows.

Emma says: ‘When I was younger, I really wanted to learn to dance.

‘After a while, I started taking part in competitions and different shows and I really enjoyed it.

‘I danced for about eight years but when I was 16, I felt it was the right time to stop.’

But Emma only stopped dancing for two years. When she was 18, she started dancing at Pontins Park as a Bluecoat.

She adds: ‘I loved working at Pontins. It was a lot of fun and I was sad to give it up.

‘Dancing has always been a big part of my life so I am happy to be back in it.

‘Having my dancing background definitely helped in becoming an instructor for Clubbercise because you have to pick up the moves quickly and remember them.

‘But if I wasn’t an instructor, I would have definitely joined the group as a member because I love dancing.’

A nervous experience

STARTING up her own exercise class was a nervous experience for Emma Dore.

She decided to start Clubbercise in Gosport, last year and it’s the first fitness class she has run.

But with four months under her belt, she is finally settling into her role.

Emma says: ‘I remember feeling really sick before the first class.

‘I was so nervous and I was questioning if I could do it but once I got going, the nerves started to slowly go away thankfully.

‘I have never organised a class like this before and it is quite daunting because there’s a lot of responsibility but I do enjoy it.’

Emma went on a training course to learn how to become an instructor and was given dance routines to learn.

Just a couple weeks later, she was holding her first session.

‘I started it quite quickly because, despite being nervous, I was keen to get going,’ she adds.

‘It is a bit scary standing at the front of the class knowing people are watching you and wanting to learn from you but you get used to it after a while.

‘It is something I love doing.’