My 2021 in pictures!

Feeling reflective and truly grateful as the year draws to a close. 2021 has been the year that has seen some of the biggest highlights of my life and my career. I have been so lucky to be in a position to bring feel good fitness sessions to so many people during the pandemic. I love my job and I feel connected to so many incredible people who inspire me every day.

In non-chronological order, because I’m in a rush, and I can’t remember how everything happened with the weekly changes in restrictions, along with new variants this year… I’d like to share some of the best moments that come to mind. Here goes!

Looking shiny and happy after delivering another virtual ITV Dance With Pride session!

I got promoted at work! I’m now an Active Lifestyle Coordinator at Manchester Met. I still deliver fitness classes, and I deliver PT sessions with students who are struggling with their mental health – working alongside the Counselling, Mental Health and Wellbeing, and Inclusion and Disability Services at the uni. I deliver motivational talks for staff and students, and I helped launch the MMU Sport Podcast this year too! Check out my interviews about fitness motivation, looking after your relationship with yourself, eating disorder recovery, England Netball Under 21s and much more!


Equipment for speed and agility drills, and mobilisation and potentiation strategies
This is one of my absolute fav photos – Thank you Drew Forsyth

This year one of my dreams came true: I STARTED DELIVERING OUTDOOR DANCE SESSIONS! (ON A FLIPPING ROOFTOP – AS THE SUN SETS ACROSS MANCHESTER CITY CENTRE!) The view from the Seesaw Space rooftop is breathtaking!

In the words of Donna Summer – Sunset People

So many wonderful people came up to the rooftop, and danced and laughed, and clapped and cheered at the end of each session. It has been a real privilege to dance with others again during the pandemic, feeling freedom in our bodies, leaving on a high and making new friends along the way.

Casual stretches with Leroy Williamson who now works with Joe Wicks on The Body Coach Team, LIVING!

You can listen to my MMU Sport Podcast interview with Leroy here! Follow him on instagram (@leroyelevates) and check out his AWESOME Bodycoach TV workouts too!

When it rained, we danced indoors!

I have met SO MANY WONDERFUL PEOPLE doing these sessions. It was ace dancing with some of the crew from Andy’s Man Club (a space for men to come together in a safe environment to talk about issues and problems they have faced or are currently facing) … I love what they’re doing and they are ABSOLUTE LEGENDS!

This session ended with all of us having a REAL MOMENT! I played New Radicals – You Get What You Give for the cool down stretches and we all looked across the cityscape taking it all in, with loads of endorphins rushing through our bodies. Every time I see a cross in the sky it reminds me of my friend Alana who we lost in 2017 ❤️

I moved into a place of my own this year (see below for my happy face on moving day) and I love it! I love the sense of community in Stretford. Over the past year I’ve filled the house with gorgeous memories, artwork, and plants from loved ones.

I turned my basement into a gym. It’s a work in progress, but you can get a decent workout with what I’ve got, and my PT clients ALWAYS leave with a smile on their face. Some even bring their dogs!

I had to start a waiting list for PT clients as I’m fully booked! This year I’ve worked with a wonderful group of PT clients, both in my university job, and with self-employed clients. I’ve supported a trans male in his journey to become stronger and healthier before major surgery ❤️ I’ve worked with clients with all kinds of different needs and abilities, and it makes me so happy when I can see people growing in confidence in the gym, in their bodies and in their everyday lives.

Get ready to see these awesome dungarees again and again and again 😂 Thank you Becky Bygone! ❤️

Josey and I went to stay in a gorgeous cabin in Anglesey in June and we fell in love with the place! We cycled to the sea and ate chips on the beach. I taught Josey how to fly a kite with 2 handles on the beach, then we swam in the sea!

Throughout the third lockdown and beyond, I delivered weekly virtual fitness sessions with AMAZING charities George House Trust and Manchester City of Sanctuary. As soon as the restrictions changed and we could deliver face to face fitness sessions again, I delivered sessions in real life and it was the best feeling. People I had delivered sessions with on screen were coming up to me and saying “FIONAAAA!” as they hugged me, when we were allowed to hug again!

Feeling great after delivering a face to face session at GHT. It was GORGEOUS to meet everyone! George House Trust provides services to people living with, and affected by, HIV.

I’ve also delivered virtual wellbeing sessions for We Are Women (during 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women), Girl Gang Manchester and Manchester WI!

Thank you Melissa for the feedback – Look how motivated you are with regular exercise now, so many months on!

On my birthday, Josey, her mum Caroline and I went up to Dovestones, and we found the tree planted for our beautiful friend Alana, after we lost her in 2017.

In July I delivered HIGH VIBE ECSTATIC DANCE SESSIONS at We Re-Leaf, a really lovely family friendly festival in the forest overlooking Lake Windermere, with chakra dancing, reiki, live music, poetry, forest exploration and much more. Thanks Steph for driving us and for being the campsite chef! So glad we went down to swim in the lake in the sunshine 😎

Ready to go and get people dancing to ABBA, Deee-Lite, Le Tigre, Sylvester, Basement Jaxx and more!

I know some people say don’t meet your heroes, but what about working with them?!

I interviewed Scottee in 2010 at Greenroom for ALL FM 96.9!

I started delivering PT sessions with queer performance artist, comedian, theatre director, podcast host SCOTTEE!!! (If you do one thing in the new year, do yourself a favour and start listening to After The Tone! If you like laughing to the point of tears, and being moved by a real sense of queer community at the same time).

I love working with every single one of my PT clients. It is life affirming when they tell me how well they’re doing because of our sessions, and I adore it when they love a good selfie after class!

Muscle Marys
Post-demo huns after the Pride Is A Protest march

Thank you Scottee for all of the incredible activism you do, for making me laugh so much during sessions, for being so ready to learn new things, for always doing your PT homework, for sharing your progress, and for giving me The Queer Bible.

When the restrictions changed again, MY MATE CAROLINE VISITED FROM AMSTERDAM! Who knew that playing the NASTY WOMAN card game (thank you JCB) would be so much fun! This was a wild night with so much laughter and really interesting conversations, fuelled by the excellent intersectional feminism version of Cards Against Humanity.

Pure joy
NASTY WOMAN card game is the best!

My cousin Dom got married to Lois in Guildford! Such a special day (especially with regard to the pandemic, it was incredible). Gina and I had tears ROLLING when watching our baby cuz get married. This was taken before the tears LOL.

Get the shoes!

This photo was taken when the DJ was putting his gear away at the end of the wedding reception. Thank you Josey for capturing this after all 4 cousins held each other in a beautifully emotional group hug for 2 mins ❤️

Notice that I’d changed into my docs so I could have a proper stomp on the dance floor 😂

This year was also the year that we were able to experience live music, club nights (all dayers in London too) and actual professional massages again after 2020, and while still living through the pandemic. So grateful to have experienced all of these things with Josey, and with some truly magical friends.

BOLLOX was our first club night experience in 18 months, and the whole night was pure happiness!
In Martin’s words, it was “spiritual excellence” ❤️

2021 was also the year I realised I LOVE GARDENING! The week the restrictions changed (again) we met in JCB’s garden and MADE STUFF HAPPEN! I love these humans big time.

Thank you Mandy for giving Liam and I loads of gorgeous vegetables to grow. Thank you also to my neighbour Dave for donating plants too!

I ADORED delivering 2 high energy Dancercise sessions at Partisan PRIDE IS A PROTEST SOBER SPACE, over the Manchester Pride Weekend. In one of the sessions there were about 50+ people dancing (socially distanced) in Regents Trading Estate, with so many happy faces singing along to Kylie – Your Disco Needs You! Shout out to the Islington Mill Crew and DJ Duckdown!

After leaving the wonderfully heartwarming space there, Josey and I clocked some happy people down the road, doing the dance moves to ABBA – Voulez Vous that they’d just learned in my Dancercise session! THEY WERE BUZZING!

At the end of Pride Weekend, I went to the vigil with my friend Ryan from uni days (It was the best one yet. Incredibly moving words around It’s A Sin and George House Trust).

My 100% better than great (in-joke) mate Naomi came to see my new place and brought these fantastic flowers and this cool card! I’d never seen this type of plant before, thank you Naomi! So good to see you ❤️
So much love ❤️

I met my beautiful friend Emma’s daughter Forest for the first time! She was born during the first lockdown, on my dad’s birthday, 4 days before mine! I love her so much!

In the words of my friend Polly… ’High noon’ 😂😂❤️
I took Josey to her first ever wrestling match, with my mate Becky and it was brilliant!

My friend Jane Claire Bradley got me into FLOATATION TANKS this year! She’s amazing. (Check out her new book – Truth Or Dare – out now!) We go to Zero Gravity Float Spa in Altrincham… #TANKGIRLS4LIFE 💪🏼😂

The benefits of a float are endless: Relaxation, muscle recovery, increased focus and learning ability, reduced pain, improved flexibility… I’ve been back a few times, and I’ve even treated my mum and dad to their own floats there!

You can either leave the lid up or close it. And you can leave the ambient lighting on or turn it off. I go for lid down and lights off – the fully immersed experience – and I LOVE IT!

A real highlight was getting back on the massage bed with Kate Engineer (based at Bodywise at The Buddhist Centre, NQ) for a full body deep tissue massage. She’s like a mentor to me. She used to be a dancer, she’s now a holistic massage therapist and movement coach for actors. Her energy is soothing, and she knows so much about the human body. She’s always encouraging me with my career, always learning new things, always fascinating. She’s currently working to support people who have long Covid, in a holistic way. So much respect. And her music taste is sublime!

More happy memories on the Seesaw Space rooftop, with my amazingly talented friends Polly and MT! Polly is a fully qualified yoga instructor, and this year she has delivered all kinds of yoga sessions in Yorkshire and Manchester! Huddersfield people, check out her yoga sessions at Connect: Yoga and Wellness and follow her here!
MT is working on something very exciting. All I can say is watch this space!

Throwback to a Friday night meal at Escape To Freight Island with my beautiful friends Mina, Alice, and Illeana, from stunning places around the world such as Iran, Italy, Argentina, and there’s me… From Huddersfield 😂😂😂


Greetings from Gross Indecency at The White Hotel at Halloween! I asked Ellen Ripley if we could have our photo taken with her, and she told me that I reminded her of Game of Thrones actress Lena Headey. I was very flattered and exclaimed ”She went to the same school as me!”

This year my friend Cat (one of the regulars at my Seesaw Space dance sessions) opened up MY FAV NEW PUB: The Birch Tavern, a pop up bar every first Friday of the month, run by volunteers. We’ve been a few times and it is gorgeous to see so many different kinds of people chatting away, enjoying an AMAZING selection of IPAs and live music in an open mic room at the side.

We bumped into Joy France – Manchester’s very own rapping granny! She does poetry slams and battle rapping. I asked her if she would treat a load of us to one of her poems on the spot. She went for it, no holds barred (so many rude words and iconic one liners delivered loudly, at lightning speed) and we were SCREAMING!!! Friends have since said they have been writing more poems since seeing her HAVING IT! A true inspiration.

Speaking of truly inspirational northern women, if you somehow missed Alma’s Not Normal this year, YOU’RE IN FOR A REAL TREAT! Watch it. Now!
Here I am with Sophie Willan the creator and star of the show, dancing with her BAFTA Award on the Seesaw Space rooftop, the day that the full season was released on the BBC iPlayer, to overwhelming critical acclaim.

Thank you Sophie for inviting me to the viewing party that night! Very happy memories.

Sophie asked me to teach her how to squat with her BAFTA, before I delivered a dance session there. The BAFTA is actually really heavy!

In November I did a 4th SAD BOOTCAMP with Girl Gang Manchester, and for the first time it was face to face! It sold out so quickly! I created SAD BOOTCAMP as a space for people to come together and explore different coping strategies for wellness during the colder darker months, when many people are likely to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. We end each session dancing to well known POP BANGERS and everyone leaves on a high!

BUZZING after dancing at the end of the November SAD Bootcamp!!!

What’s next? I’m working with Girl Gang Manchester to deliver another SAD BOOTCAMP on the 17th of January (Blue Monday) statistically the most depressing day of the year. I am so excited for this feel good fitness session. Get your tickets here!

Tonight I’ll be celebrating the new year with all of these magical humans and others! This captures our summer solstice celebrations in the garden of at the LEGEND that is Anne Louise Kershaw. We can’t wait! LET’S HAVE IT PEOPLE!!!

Wishing you a healthy and happy 2022! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

My 2020 in Pictures!

What a wild ride 2020 has been. It has also been the healthiest year of my life! Amidst all of the pandemic related uncertainty, I’ve experienced more walks (and swims) in the great outdoors than ever. I’ve stayed truly connected to my girlfriend, my friends and my family, I’ve trained regularly and I’ve delivered all kinds of virtual classes and workshops. I am passionate about making fitness sessions fun, leaving participants of all abilities feeling AMAZING, and empowered to exercise with confidence in their spare time. I’ve had a lot of fun, and I have a lot to be grateful for.

MANCHESTER! The Etihad Stadium

In January, I delivered a motivational talk for Manchester City Council staff at The Etihad Stadium. I spoke about the benefits of exercise, and simple and effective ways to fit fitness into our every day lives. I got my glad rags on I smashed out a Zumba session too! All part of the wellbeing day for MCC staff. I’ve never delivered a speech to 200 people before, but I loved every second!

First F.I.T Class of 2020!

At Manchester Metropolitan University, my first women-only F.I.T Classes of the year went down a storm! Absolutely fantastic energy, and absolutely no social distancing. Although we knew about the new Coronavirus, COVID-19, spreading fast, we didn’t know that this would be part of the new normal, and that our lives would be very different, very soon.

Box Fit Crew, Platt Lane Sports Complex

Lots of energised people in these post-session photos of my Box Fit, Zumba and Spin classes at Platt Lane Sports Complex in February. I HAVE MISSED DELIVERING THESE SESSIONS SO MUCH!!!

Zumba crew, Platt Lane Sports
High energy happiness after Spin

My wrestler friends always bring so much slapstick humour and LIFE to my day at Platt Lane Sports Complex!

Calm down lads!

I’ve even been to see wrestling matches with them and I had the time of my life!

“Thumbs up if you had a good time”
Ready to PARTY

This is Josey and I in Brighton, ready to go and meet my friend Steph at Gal Pals club night. Little did we know, this would be the last time we stepped foot in a night club before the first lockdown, and beyond! (Totally owning the fact I looked like Dorien Green from Birds of a Feather) We danced to our hearts delight, and everybody in the whole club hugged to the final track of the night, Whitney Houston’s excellent cover of I Will Always Love You.

Dressed up as Billie Jean King, with the MMU Sport office crew doing Sport Relief!

A really enjoyable Sport Relief Day happened during our final week in work, before the first lockdown. All of the MMU Sport staff got dressed up and gave donations to the charity, helping raise funds for people living incredibly difficult lives at the moment.

As soon as the first lockdown happened, I made a vow to myself to keep taking each day a day at a time, walk my house mate’s dog every day, keep reading (not too much news though), stay connected to my people and stay healthy. A few friends were asking me if I’d do any virtual fitness classes! I went for it, and it was such a buzz! I don’t think I had ever really used Instagram Live before March 2020!

Flyer for my first ever IG virtual class. Banging tunes & great attendance!
Second class: 2 Dumbbells needed (or milk cartons, or baked bean tins!)
2 Alpro Almond Unsweetened Cartons it is!

I am so proud to be part of the MMU Sport team. We drew up a ‘Stay Home Stay Active’ timetable. At the start of the second week of the lockdown, we launched free live fitness classes open to all, Monday to Friday, on the MMU Sport Instagram. It felt AMAZING to be part of a team of Fitness Instructors keeping people motivated & moving, when we had no idea how long this lockdown might last.

Wonderful feedback, which truly means a lot ❤

Participants started to share their happy shiny faces after workouts, and instead of feeling isolated, we started to embrace a real sense of community… People documenting their participation, encouraging each other to keep training, to look after their mental health, and to stay healthy during the pandemic!

Go on Oisín!
Niall, one of the wrestlers! Doing the work!
@EmmaGrayGray was a big time joiner-inner!

So much love kept coming in, which really spurred me on to keep changing up the workouts (and my hair styles) and respond to requests, keeping everyone focused (as well as myself) and tracking their progress!

Yes Chloe! @screamgoddess
So much respect Clara ❤
The wrestlers also work at the hospital and they joined in there!

I moved back to Huddersfield for a few months, and had the time of my life in lockdown with my mum and step-dad. I went on hundreds of spring time and summer time walks in nature with my dad too. Quality time with your parents as an adult is priceless.

A true hero of mine

I felt like I really got to know my parents more, as mates, not just as parents. I felt so grateful for so many happy memories made this year.

Another true hero of mine
Dad at Digley Reservoir

I took photos of my dad in various amazing settings around Huddersfield, and put them into a book for his birthday, titled “Lockdown Walks with Dad – 2020” This photo (above) with my sunset shadow on his back was on the front cover.

Dad being such a millennial at Castle Hill!
Flyer for my presentation for CIMSPA

I delivered a virtual talk about ‘Improving LGBTQ+ Inclusivity in Sport and Physical Activity’ for the Chartered Institute for Sport and Physical Activity. It was an honour and a real privilege. Thank you for having me Phill and James!

Feeling high on life after the ‘Dance With Pride’ session!

I delivered a virtual ‘Dance With Pride’ workout for ITV Pride Network! Any excuse to create simple, sassy, fun dance moves to queer classics and I’m THERE! I smashed out dance moves to tracks by Sylvester, Erasure, Whitney Houston, Hercules and The Love Affair and much more!

I received this SUPER COOL badge!

I was invited back to deliver a virtual ‘Festival Themed Dance Workout’ in for ITV Feel Good August, as people had missed all of their favourite festivals this year. I played tracks by Fatboy Slim, Deee-Lite, Justice, Basement Jaxx…. and WE ALL ENDED UP FEELING SO UPLIFTED AND ECSTATIC!!!

Pure happiness

I was really smiling when all of the comments started coming through from ITV staff!


When restrictions started to relax, I had a load of visits from AMAZING PEOPLE in my life!

Josey!!! 💖💖💖
Becky! In Huddersfield!
Lockdown workout fame in an awesome ZINE!!!

Zine maker Cherry Styles MADE AN ACTUAL ZINE about my lockdown workouts for MMU Sport. Cherry spoke of experiences with chronic pain and the ways in which my workouts helped them feel loads better. Cherry, I love it how my workouts helped you feel strong and learn the names for different muscles in the body!

I delivered a virtual ‘Fierce and Fabulous Dance Workout’ for The Proud Trust and I LOVED how READY people were!

You guys were 100% fierce and 100% fabulous!

I also delivered a virtual ‘FIT FOR PRIDE!’ workout during what would have been Manchester Pride, for The LGBT Foundation.

‘Seasonal Changes: A Wellbeing Day Centering You’

Loved this collaboration on World Mental Health Day, with multi skilled and massively talented Aria of the House of Noir, and Qi gong practitioner Oskar Marchock. We shared our skills in a virtual safe space with a real community feel to it, and we all felt so energised by the end of the day! Thank you Queer Gym Manchester and Dept of Dreams!

Smashed it!

I was over the moon when I won a ‘Journey Towards Service Excellence Award’ at Manchester Metropolitan University! I won the ‘Unsung Hero Award’ for my online fitness classes and one-on-one sessions with students who are struggling with mental health.


I also got into playing socially distanced games of Boules with friends in the park!

Totally in touch with one’s inner child

In all weathers! 😂😂😂

Extreme sports

The gym reopened on the 1st of September and it was such a wonderful feeling to be back in the swing of things. We followed all of the latest government guidelines, with one way systems, enhanced cleaning throughout the day, hand sanitiser everywhere, and VERY HAPPY GYM MEMBERS RETURNING TO TRAIN!

Along with the other MMU Sport Fitness Instructors, I started to deliver more virtual sessions, from Platt Lane Sports Complex and Sugden Gym, before the second lockdown.

I delivered a few uplifting wellbeing sessions for Girl Gang Manchester, exploring ideas around Seasonal Affective Disorder, and ways in which we can look after our mental health, during the colder months, and during the pandemic.

Take 1!
Take 2!

After high participation in each session, I’ve been asked back again! Girl Gang Manchester and I will be doing another ‘SAD BOOTCAMP’ in January 2021 and I can’t wait. I was incredibly moved by the way that so many people opened up about their experiences with regard to the pandemic. We created a safe space to have a rant, and speak about what is really frustrating you at the moment, before we explored different wellbeing ideas and tips and each set intentions for the next months ahead, and left the session on a high, after raising our spirits with a high energy HIIT session!

I delivered another virtual fitness session for The LGBT Foundation’s ‘Move It Club’. This time it was ‘Stretch N’ Flex’ and I appreciated the way in which people spoke about their experiences of the second lockdown, and shared about how good they felt after the session. I also appreciated the fact that I the lighting was highly flattering!

Thanks for having me again LGBT Foundation!

I enjoyed taking notes in a British Universities and Colleges Sport webinar with TechnoGym, where various coaches spoke about how to deliver the best online class experience, because they feel that the rise in popularity for virtual classes isn’t going to go away. I learned some new things and also loved the use of this fantastic Maya Angelou quote, which also came up during my Zumba Instructor Training Day.

So true!

I love my job!

It has been a BEAUTIFUL THING to feel so connected to people, and receive so much wonderful feedback and thanks from people who have felt motivated to join in on my sessions and to train independently.

Give this HIIT sesh a go for an instant lift!

I’ve delivered virtual PT sessions and Group PT sessions for staff and students and it has been so lovely to see people reporting back to the group, and motivate themselves during and between sessions. MMU Women’s Cricket Club loved their Group PT programme so much they asked for another set of sessions!

Check out my friend Matt from the band Sly and The Family Drone on his 100 Day DDP Yoga Challenge, also doing my workouts alongside!




There is so much more to say, but I am feeling truly reflective, and happy that I have been able to help people feel good during this incredibly strange and scary time.

The final MMU Sport Weight Training workout of the year in the massive sports hall at Platt Lane Sports Complex!

Here’s a positive message from the wrestlers at Christmas time!


I’ve also been delivering ‘Feel Good Tuesdays’ sessions for the George House Trust, facilitating wellbeing workshops and smashing out fitness classes with participants. These sessions have been inspiring and enjoyable so far, with a few sessions left in the new year! One participant said that this is her favourite time of the week!

Keep up the good work GHT crew!
Band meet up outdoors!

My band mates and I have stayed in contact, with Zoom meet ups and every single week during the first lockdown, and beyond, and regular meet ups outdoors when we can, after the first lockdown relaxed. We have another Zoom meet up later this week and WE CAN’T WAIT TO GET BACK IN THE PRACTICE ROOM SOON! I have missed live music so much.

I went for a Winter Solstice swim with Becky and Alison in Pickmere, and the post-swim adrenaline rush was instant and incredible!

It certainly took me a while to pluck up the courage to take a dip at first!

Feeling stylish and festive at Christmas time. We didn’t plan to wear the same thing 😂😂


It has been an interesting year, and I feel full of love and happiness. Stay safe everyone, be kind to yourselves, and be excellent to each other. Thank you to everyone who has joined in on my sessions, and KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

If anyone is interested in face-to-face or virtual PT sessions in the next year, check out my fees here, and contact me ASAP!

All the very best for a healthy and happy 2021! XXX

Mental Health & Wellbeing Workshop at RXBOX CrossFit Gym


On Sunday I delivered a mental health & wellbeing workshop at RXBOX CrossFit Gym in Didsbury. I started the talk by creating a safe space, with a nonjudgmental & respectful atmosphere. I was genuinely blown away by how everyone opened up to the group.

I spoke about things I’ve learned from courses & workshops in Mental Health First Aid, Active Listener, Effective Mentoring Skills, Mindfulness & Emotional Resilience. I spoke about cuts to mental health services & all kinds of things we can do on a daily basis to help look after our wellbeing such as practicing gratitude, self-care & mindfulness.

I invited participants to talk about positive & negative connotations around mental health difficulties & the importance of destigmatisation, 5 things they are *truly* grateful for, & I asked people to talk about self-care & what they have done over the past week to really look after themselves. We also did the famous mindful eating of a raisin exercise.


I gave handouts with all kinds of wonderful resources such as TED Talks, further reading & a list of counselling & advice services in Manchester. I enjoyed every minute & I came away feeling very reflective, grateful & strong. Connction & community are so important when it comes to mental health & wellbeing. Here’s to more people working to destigmatise mental illness & mental health struggles, & more people feeling able to open up & ask for help when’s they need it.

Thank you everyone who came along & thank you Suze & Andy at RXBOX CrossFit Gym for this amazing opportunity.

Helpful Mental Wellbeing Resources:

Crisis and emotional support helplines and organisations…


They allow people to talk about feelings of distress and despair.

Confidential and non-judgemental support.

Phone: 116 123 (Freephone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

Email:   Website:


Out of hours mental health and emotional support and information for anyone affected by mental ill health, including family, friends and carers.

Phone: 0300 304 7000 (Local call rates 6pm-11pm, 7 days a week)


Rethink Advice and Information Service:

Practical help and information on Issues such as the Mental Health Act, community care, benefits, debt, criminal justice and carer’s rights.

Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Local rates, 9:30am-4pm)

Finding a therapist…

The British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies:

Multi-disciplinary interest group for people involved in the practice and theory of behavioural and cognitive psychotherapy

Phone: 0161 705 4303

Email:  Website:

Counselling directory:

Free, confidential directory of trained, professional counsellors and therapists in the UK. You can check whether the counsellor found through this website is also registered with one of the professional/ accreditation bodies in the UK. Alternatively you can contact the relevant professional organisation directly once you have found a named professional to check details of their registration.

Phone: 0844 8030 240  Website:

Rebel Therapy:

Therapy in Manchester for non-conformists — freelancers, artists, musicians, writers, performers, and those in non-conforming careers and lifestyles.


Individual counselling. Pay what you can (£10 minimum) Located in Manchester.

LGBT Foundation:

Free individual and couples counselling for LGBTQ+ people in the North West.


Counselling for individuals and couples in Stockport and the surrounding area. Free or payment by donation.

Talk Listen Change:

Counselling for adults, couples, children and young people. Based in Stockport, priced on sliding scale based on income.

Manchester Mind:

Free impartial advice on benefits, debt and housing to people with mental health needs in Manchester,

Further reading:

  • Practicing Self-Care Is Important: 10 Easy Habits To Get You Started – Noma Nazish

  • CALMZONE – Campaign Against Living Miserably

  • The FOMO Is Real: How Social Media Increases Depression and Loneliness

  • How To Take a Social Media Vacation: The Complete Guide To A Social Media Detox

Fantastic videos on Youtube:

  • How Stress Affects Your Brain – Madhumita Murgia
  • TED Talk: Cultivating Unconditional Self-Worth – Adia Gooden
  • TED Talk: Sleep Is Your Superpower – Matt Walker
  • TED Talk: The Power of Vulnerability – Brene Brown



‘Inspiring Women’ Talk at ITV, MediaCityUK

Above image from


Photo by Joanna Lewis

They say you should do one thing every day that scares you. And on Wednesday I threw myself into something new: Motivational speaking. I actually felt really calm and collected, thanks to feeling well prepared with my PowerPoint presentation, and smashing out a yoga session in the morning.

I delivered a talk about my journey so far in Fitness, Music & Wellbeing. I loved every minute!


It is truly fantastic that the Women’s Network at ITV, MediaCity are hosting these lunchtime motivational speaking events. Members of staff from all over MediaCity (ITV, BBC, Kellogg’s) came along to see me speak about my work that empowers people to start gym based exercise, train independently and feel amazing, and how they can motivate themselves to do the same.


Photo by Joanna Lewis

I was given a microphone to clip to my collar. I told the wonderfully cooperative tech support cameraman Mark where I would like to stand with regard to being filmed. Then I learned just before going live that the talk would also be on livestream for all members of staff across the ITV network who wanted to watch it from their desks! What an incredible feeling.

I started the talk with the words “It is my job to inspire people, and if I can inspire one person in this room to start engaging in physical activity, or one person to finally start using the gym membership that they pay for every month and never use, then my work here is done!”


I spoke about where I get all my energy from: Music. I spoke about my love of dancing from an early age, lurking around record shops from the age of 15, and dancing on stage with Basement Jaxx at the Manchester Apollo aged 17. Also my work in radio, drumming in the band Womb (2011) and going on tour with my current band ILL (2012 – now), releasing our album last year and much more. I spoke about my unconventional route into regular exercise, and my career in fitness and wellbeing that followed.


Listeners heard about the fact that I love my job, working as a full time fitness instructor, Zumba instructor, and personal trainer at Manchester Met, delivering one on one PT sessions to students who are struggling with mental health. The success of the Exercises Referral Scheme has been brilliant so far. I shared feedback from students.


Photo by Molly Darlington

I spoke about working to raise awareness about important campaigns such as Mental Health Awareness Week, and This Girl Can:

With regard to inspiring others, I mentioned the expression “If you see one, you can be one.” (Referenced recently by Cerys Matthews on her brilliant BBC Radio 6 Music show) and I invited the audience to think about people in their lives who inspire them, and how they can put what they see into practice.

Then came the PowerPoint slides about 3 badass women in my life who *really* inspire me.

I spoke about the serious health benefits of Zumba, yoga, weightlifting and I noticed people making notes. YES PEOPLE! Then came the part where I spoke about how different types of exercise have significantly enhanced my mind, body and soul, and how grateful I am right now.


Photo by Nigel Maitland

Fantastic questions at the end too. Thank you so much for having me Helen and your wonderful team! STILL BUZZING!

Yoga Update: She Loves A Good Challenge!


Photo by Nigel Maitland (2017)

Today is the 1st of May 2019. There were 30 days in April and I set myself a challenge to do a 30 Days of Yoga. I deliver all kinds of fitness classes at Manchester Metropolitan University and I wanted to strengthen my whole body, enhance my flexibility and relieve my muscles that sometimes feel sore from all the training. Yoga has so many incredible benefits, but the main reasons why I wanted to do the 30 days were:

❤️ To get back into regular yoga practice

❤️ To inspire others to engage in regular yoga practice

I was inspired by Youtube Yoga GODDESS Adriene Mishler AKA Yoga With Adriene – she’s fantastic at helping you Find What Feels Good!


I had already been enjoying (joining the global community) doing her YouTube yoga sessions. So many friends, gym members, PT clients and I regularly talk about how good she is and how much she helps us. She is genuinely wonderful. Adriene has a special way of helping you feel supported and motivated, whilst encouraging you to ‘ease into it’ both physically and emotionally. She talks in an adorable Texas accent, she can laugh at herself, she is patient and loving towards her dog Benji and also towards herself. She encourages you to be kind to yourself, and talks about “full body awareness” in yoga – showing people how to get in touch with their bodies, exploring mindfulness in the body. AND she has yoga for EVERYTHING! See some of the awesome sessions below!

Yoga for flexibility:

Yoga for anxiety and stress:

Yoga for when you are stuck:

Head and Heart Reset:

Yoga for when you’re on the road!

Yoga With Adriene has already provided millions of people with free YouTube video 30 Day Yoga Challenges (more than once too!) and I had already tried to do her 30 Day Challenge a few times and only got a few days in each time.

So this time I decided to choose my own Yoga With Adriene videos, in any order I liked, as the hurdle that kept stopping me from continuing each day in the past was the time of certain sessions. If I felt too tired or too pushed for time, seeing a 27 or 33 minute practice on that specific day’s video didn’t work for me!

On the 1st of April I started a chart, writing each yoga practice I chose and how long it takes. If I do this again (yes I know I’m a nerd) I will put stars next to my favourite sessions, or even write notes about certain poses they feature and what they are good for.



By the 7th day I noticed that I already felt so good for it. I started to feel more energised. My joints felt better. I felt slightly stronger in certain poses and I looked forward to how I would be feeling and what I would be experiencing in my mind, body and soul by Day 30.

I’m afraid I don’t yet know what that would feel like 😂 I made it to 10 days in a row! And after a long day in work, smashing out band practice playing the drums for a couple of hours and talking to my housemates, I just climbed into my bed, without doing an evening yoga practice.

At first I felt a bit like I had let myself down as I had dropped off the wagon (especially when I had announced this 30 Day Yoga Challenge online) but I soon forgave myself. I realised I felt glad that I had proven to myself that I can do yoga for 10 days in a row! And I was happy when a few people told me I had inspired them to get back into Yoga With Adriene videos at home!


Photo by my Grandma when I was doing downward facing dog 😂 (1989)

I did a few more days of Yoga With Adriene videos, with a few sun salutations or cat / cow poses on my mat at the start of my day sometimes. In total, in April, I did 13 Yoga With Adriene videos and other bits here and there.

I’ve learned a lot along the way. I’ve also found myself reading more about yoga [THE BENEFITS ARE INCREDIBLE] and feeling really good on the whole. I could have felt gutted that I didn’t do 30 days… But yoga is all about compassion, to others and to yourself. It’s not about being in competition with others, and it’s about accepting where you’re at right now, in the moment, being fully present and being kind to yourself.


There is so much more to say, but I will save that for another day. Also thank you to everyone I know who has been part of my yoga journey so far, I am eternally grateful and I will never stop doing it! I just probably won’t do it every single day. And that’s okay!

Good night x x x

This one is pretty special before sleep. Let me know if you give it a go! ❤️ Namaste ❤️

This Girl Can & These Girls Do! #FitGotReal

Photo credit: This Girl Can

This Girl Can’s latest campaign to inspire women and girls to get physically active is all about being real about exercise. As I mentioned in my last blog post, if you really want to enhance your fitness level, get stronger, or tone up, it’s all about keeping the training regular. And there are so many ways to fit being physically active into our day to day lives on a regular basis.

In the words of This Girl Can: Whether you’re cycling to work, literally running the school run, or getting muddy with your pooch in the park, we’re celebrating all the amazing ways you fit exercise into your lives… There’s no right way to get active – if it gets your heart rate up it counts. And we want more women to find what’s right for them.

It’s time #FitGotReal

If you’re in need of some motivational words from some of the awesome women I know who do all kinds of exercise, read on!

When I asked questions like what inspired them to start exercising, what motivates them to keep at it, and how do they stay focused, here’s what they had to say:

Vix: My friend split up with her boyfriend and asked me to come to a trial with her to Global Taekwondo International – GTI – we did 4 weeks. She decided it wasn’t for her & I’ve been going ever since, I love it.x

Una: I started doing Tai Chi in my 20s on and off and then Qi Gong on and off over the years. It has made a huge difference to my health and learning the breathing techniques meant I no longer have asthma (Combined with a dietary change – no dairy etc) I have an inhaler, just in case and haven’t used it for years.

Vickie: The desire to get through a school quarter without drugs and alcohol got me into yoga. It helped me reduce anxiety and stress.

Paige: My body went through quite a lot at a young age, including an accident at 16 where I nearly had to have my leg amputated. I was told I wouldn’t be able to run or kneel (you’ll be surprised how much you use kneeling day to day when you can’t! No kinky references implied!). I had to learn to walk again, swim again, ride a bike again. I can now run and kneel. I also got sick at 21 and unfortunately now I’m unwell again which has disrupted my gym routine. Going between watching your body fade away in front of you, and then engaging in activity that builds it up again has been really empowering for me. I don’t do anything mega – just stretch, cardio, use weights, s couple of times a week. But the difference it makes in my mood/physicality is incredible. I see my body as the vessel that carries me through life & feel so lucky to have full mobility when I’m healthy.

Carolyn: I’ve fallen out of my gym routine but walk 1-2 miles per day. Great way to start and end the day and mood booster.

Georgia: If you’re having a bad day or going through a tough time, working out can be an hour of your day where you can forget about it all and do something positive for yourself.

Shelly: Geri Halliwell inspired me to start Yoga at the tender age of 16! I’d always been fascinated with Indian Culture and after purchasing Geri’s VHS it literally became my saving grace….and still is.

Lisa: Well, I’m a big time walker-explorer + hiker. It eases my stress, clears my mind (especially in nature), + gets me right sorted. xo

Sian: I leave for my first ever yoga retreat in Cambodia on Thursday! I’ll let you know if it’s inspires me to move more!

Lizzie: I LOVE exercise. It all started with PE teachers at school as a haven from teenage angst and a place to clear my head and I hope it will never end. I get my sense of self from sweating and panting for sport, and when sweating and panting in a team I am one with the team. When done well (inclusively and fun, not necessarily to a high ‘standard’), sport can fill people up with a confidence and feeling of life that I havn’t ever found elsewhere. I currently lead 2 girls football clubs and it fills us all with joy. There you go, that’s one woman’s view of exercise and sport. You’re a right inspiration Fi, keep it up please. Love X

Emma: I exercise because I like the feeling you get afterwards. It makes you feel more motivated, not just in fitness, but in everyday life. 

Lucy: I’ve made loads of friends through sport. It’s a huge part of my life. I get stressed really easily. And when I exercise or play sport I don’t have time to really think about that stuff.


Thank you all of you. Keep it up! And if you’ve been inspired by this blogpost, why not get involved by sharing your stories with the hashtag #fitgotreal?!

BUCS This Girl Can Week at MMU Sport

If this blog post inspires ONE female to get more physically active – whether completely new to fitness, or having not hit gym in a few months – my work here is done.


Photo credit: This Girl Can

We all know that exercise is good for us, for so many reasons. See here, here and here.

This week at MMU Sport, we are celebrating BUCS This Girl Can Week. We’ve been encouraging female students and staff at Manchester Met to attend at least one Active Campus session this week (and hopefully beyond).


Today we are throwing a free ROLLER DISCO party to close the week with a bang for all female students and staff! More about my love for roller discos later, but first up, This Girl Can.


Photo credit: This Girl Can

Not familiar with This Girl Can? Where have you been?! Get ready to get fired up with pure body positive fitness inspiration and motivation, with LIFE-AFFIRMING video footage of real women really working out and thoroughly enjoying themselves!

Sport England conducted research soon after their first This Girl Can campaign, to see how many women and girls had been inspired to take part in physical activity, and the results were astounding.

Their first video (above) was soundtracked by Missy Elliott’s iconic Get UR Freak On. Top marks from me! Also, every woman should read about Missy’s feminist legacy. Period.


Then there was the This Girl Can: Phenomenal Women video campaign, soundtracked by the late and incredible writer Maya Angelou reciting her Phenomenal Woman poem. These campaign videos invigorate me with a powerful ‘I can do this’ feeling, significantly more so than any movie montage or fitness magazine I’ve ever seen.

There are many reasons why many women and girls don’t automatically feel like they want to start engaging in exercise, but sometimes all they need is a little bit of inspiration. I am so grateful that a big part of my work at MMU Sport is empowering female students and staff with high energy and enjoyable fitness classes at Manchester Met. We had high participation for my F.I.T Classes during BUCS This Girl Can Week on Tuesday night!


Many of the participants were asking about the free roller disco, HAPPENING TODAY 14:00-16:00 at Sugden Sports Centre. I’ve compiled an awesome playlist to get people people moving this afternoon!

So how about some roller skating inspo? HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT TO JOIN THIS GIRL SKATE GANG?! I know I do!

I’d give anything to travel back in time to a Saturday night roller disco in the 70s, but hey ho, I will settle for a roller disco in the now. There’s no time like the present! There’s a lot to be said for roller staking in this day in age. Look at the wild popularity of roller derby! And if you’re not yet familiar with roller derby, the Whip It movie is a decent introduction. And follow Ellen Page and Juliette Lewis on Instagram. Do it. Now.

Shout out to Manchester’s finest: The Rainy City Roller Girls!


Still not sure if you want to get involved in the roller disco at Sugden Sports Centre today? If you don’t like contact sports, don’t let roller derby put you off, the roller disco is all about skating around to great music. The only thing that roller derby and roller discos have in common is the focus on skating around in circles on classic quad skates, and having a lot of fun!


Photo from skatehut

There will be pro roller skaters giving demonstrations today at Sugden, so beginners are totally welcome. They might even show you a few tricks too!


Last thing, if you are new to exercise and want to give it a try, here are my Top 10 pieces of advice!

1) Have a think about your health and fitness goals. For example: Get stronger, increase overall fitness level, tone up… Write them down, and revisit them in 2 months.

2) Start an exercise diary. It sounds time consuming, but if you can keep a note of things like time elapsed and distance travelled on the treadmill for instance, you will start to notice that your time and distance are becoming more and more impressive as you get fitter and stronger! Or keep it simple, just make a note of how you feel before and after working out.

3) If you’re interested in gym based exercise, shop around and join a gym. Hit the gym regularly to enhance your fitness level, and to get your money’s worth.

4) If you don’t want to train in a gym, you can do YouTube workouts in your bedroom. You can train outdoors. But if you do, think of your safety, and if possible, go running with a friend, or a running club. Or start up your own squad!

5) Research sports clubs in your area. You might be surprised. There are a lot of people LIVING for regular exercise, making all kinds of physical activity happen, quite probably, close to where you live.

6) If you’re new to a sports club, fitness class, or gym, tell the instructor. They will probably tell you to take it at your own pace, to give them a shout if you don’t understand anything, and to enjoy it! If you have any injuries or health implications that might affect exercise, ask your GP. Tell the instructor about any injuries or difficulties, and they can tell you which exercises to avoid, and what to do instead.

7) Ask questions. Everyone has to start somewhere, and using the correct technique will help you reduce risk of injuring yourself or others, and you’ll get the most out of your training.

8) Be realistic. Many social media posts can be drastically unhelpful. It’s not physically possible to “Get your summer body in 2 weeks.” For a start, your body is already “beach ready”, whatever it looks like! But if you want to tone up and get muscular definition, you need to be training 3 times a week. Toning comes from weight training, resistance training and bodyweight training, which create tension in the muscles. You can lose tension in days, so keep the training regular. As the saying goes with regard to muscular toning, USE IT OR LOSE IT!

It can take up to 6 weeks of regular training to really start to see and feel results. But when you start to see and feel the difference, all that hard work is so worth it!

9) Don’t wait until all of the annual “You ate too much over the festive season” get-fit-hype everywhere you look in January. Why not start now and hit the ground running?!

10) Give yourself a pat on the back, and be kind to yourself. If you need rest, listen to your body and rest. Rest days are just as important as working out, so that your body can recover and you can bounce back into your next training session with more energy.

I could go on, talking about the importance of eating a nutritionally balanced diet (including treating yourself), training to enhance your life and not as punishment for eating unhealthily, and bigging up Yoga With Adriene on YouTube (she’s A-M-A-Z-I-N-G) but stay tuned for future posts!

Must go, I’d better get my skates on…

Amy questions, get in touch!


My Hugely Popular F.I.T Classes Are BACK Tonight!

Last year I took on a new challenge, delivering women only fitness classes for students and staff at Manchester Metropolitan University. I gave the classes my all and ended up leading consistently the most highly attended fitness classes across all of the uni all year!

I wanted to create fitness classes that motivated women to get fit in a non-judgemental and fun environment. Most exercises in the Legs and Bums and Ab Attack F.I.T Classes had easier versions for people new to fitness, and more advanced versions for regular gym goers.

Week 1 had an alright turn out. Here’s our post-workout photo! Happy faces and The Cheerleading Society setting up in the background!


Week 2 OMG people must have told their friends to come along! I was so glad I had a microphone!


I created an uplifting female fronted music playlist, featuring music from inspiring women musicians like MIA, Missy Elliott, Beyoncé, Rihanna and The Slits. I wanted all participants to leave the sessions feeling really empowered, and like they’ve had a damn good workout!


I love it how as the weeks passed, the post-workout photo started to look more and more like a sports team!


Sometimes the classes had specific themes. During Uni Mental Health Awareness Week, I ended the Ab Attack F.I.T Class with 15 minutes of yoga. I turned the music down, whacked the more relaxing playlist on (Bjork, Cocteau Twins, Portisead) and encouraged a show of hands to see who had never done yoga before! It was great to see that many of the participants were new to yoga. I spoke about the benefits of yoga for the mind, body and soul, and ended with key poses that are specifically designed to help the body relax and wind down, such as child’s pose.

Here we are balancing in tree pose!


I also invited all participants to give themselves a pat on the back, because turning up to fitness classes whilst at university is really great for reducing stress levels, along with reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as giving everyone a boost of endorphins, the ‘feel good’ hormones, and helping everyone get a good nights sleep!


By January the class participation had grown beyond belief! It was truly great to see so many people up for getting fit after over indulging over the festive period, but from then on, we had to cap the class number at NO MORE THAN 70!!!


Even though people had to be turned away every session, people still kept coming back for more! I recommended people who had to be turned away go home and smash out a 30 minute legs, bums and tums workout on their bedroom floor, incorporating exercises they have learned in my sessions! It was an incredible feeling seeing the same faces come back week in week out, and to see people’s fitness levels increase, along with their bodies becoming more toned and their confidence levels improving too.

Because of the popularity of these classes, MMU Sport HQ decided to add another F.I.T Class to the fitness timetable. We welcomed @bex.hellyer to the F.I.T Class fam and she started to teach classes on Thursday evenings at Sugden Sports Centre, focusing on weight training. Bex’s F.I.T Classes have also been highly attended, and students kept telling me that they love the combination of my bodyweight and plyometric Ab Attack and Legs and Bums classes, along with Bex’s weightlifting classes. People were really starting to see results!


During @ThisMMUGirlCan Week I encouraged everyone to do their research and check out This Girl Can, if they’re not yet aware of this incredibly inspiring and successful fitness campaign. Before the first session started, Abi Dean and I showed the participants a This MMU Girl Can banner and invited everyone to sign their names on the banner, pledging on inspire and encourage other women and girls to become more physically active. I love my job!

I ADORE This Girl Can and I can still remember the shivers-down-the-spine psysiological affect that seeing the first This Girl Can video in 2015 had on me. Such a fantastic campaign to inspire more women and girls to become more physically active. It was just so refreshing to see women of all shapes and sizes, ages, colours getting physically active, and enjoying themselves! SOUNDTRACKED BY MISSY ELLIOTT’S GET UR FREAK ON. SO MUCH LOVE!

Never before had I seen a fitness video like this! I know so many people who have been inspired by this campaign. Whatever your gender, if you find yourself needing some exercise motivation, watch this video! Get up and go!

I also love the newer This Girl Can video. Even more ridiculously energising and inspiring footage of women in various types of exercises and sports, doing their thing, in conjunction with a recording of legend Maya Angelou reading her Phemomenal Woman poem. Perfection.

At the end of the This MMU Girl Can Week class I suggested the idea of channelling our inner goddess for the post-workout photo!


Here we are holding Warrior 2 yoga pose at the end of Legs & Bums class. Warrior 2 (AKA Virabhadrasana II) is a standing pose that enhances strength, stability and concentration, whilst stretching the legs, groin and chest.


It’s wonderful that some people made the time to keep coming to the F.I.T Classes during the exam period. Did you know that exercise, specifically weight training, frazzles your central nervous system in a way that you are less likely to experience stress and nervousness for the next 24 hours?! Shoutout to weight lifter Kath Shack who told me this awesome piece of information!


At the end of the academic year, I thanked everyone from coming to the classes and bringing such high energy, and wished all students the best of luck for their exams!


Now that Freshers Week is out of the way and lectures have started this week, my classes are starting up again tonight!

I am so excited to welcome all the new faces and say hey to the regulars from last year! Expect new playlists, some new exercises and some of the same! Let’s see how long people can hold plank for to measure where your core stability is at today, and let’s take it from there!

If you’re a female staff member or student at Manchester Met, come to Brooks sports hall, bring your ID card, your water bottle and get involved.

F.I.T Class Legs & Bums 18:00-18:30

F.I.T Class Ab Attack 18:30-19:00

The classes are free as part of Active Campus, the fantastic drive to get more staff and students physically active on campus.




So the Spice Girls Dance-A-Thon was loads of fun!


Here’s a photo of everyone who stayed dancing right until the end! Well done! Thank you everyone involved, the Spice Up organisers, box office staff and the Manchester Central security team. Big love to one of the security team who joined in! I loved *every minute* leading the Spice Girls dance session! I encouraged everyone to sing along as well as give it their all dancing, and they did!


Some of my amazing friends came along, check out my ILL band mates posing with me in the Spice Bus! The Spice Up exhibition has been extended until the end of September and can now be found in The Great Northern!


My Zumba classes are going from (high energy) strength to strength. Just received some lovely feedback from Chloe: ‘I LOVE IT! Really enjoyed being offbeat and free styling and it felt like a space to be able to do that too. You’re really great Fi’


My next Zumba challenge will be learning the officical Zumba Instructor Network choreography to the sizzling Level Up track by Ciara. It’s such a cool track, it was no surprise when I learned that Missy Elliott had been involved in the creative process. What a track, about self-improvement and getting better and better at whatever you do.

If you like this video (I love it) you should watch the ‘making of’ video. The video is spellbinding and showcases how extremely far music video choreography has come in the last few years.

Watch how the dancers learn and MOVE! So much respect for PARRI$ what a legend!

But don’t be scared off, my Zumba classes will soon feature this track musically, but with moves way more accessible than in this video! You don’t need to be a professional dancer to enjoy dancing with conviction in a Zumba class, you just need to be ready to have fun!


Everyone (18+) is welcome. My Zumba classes are every Wednesday 6-7pm at Platt Lane Sports Complex in Fallowfield. Prices: Public £4.70 / MMU Student £4.20 / Other students, MMU & MMC Staff £4.40 / Concession £2.45

TODAY I GOT A BBC RADIO SHOUTOUT FROM ONE OF MY HEROES, TALKING ABOUT DANCE (IN CAPITAL LETTERS)! I am so excited to go dancing at Lucky Cloud Sound System this Sunday in London with my friend Caroline. I’m still buzzing from hearing Lauren Laverne do a BBC Radio 6 Music shout out to us today, when talking about listeners weekend plans! LISTEN AGAIN 25 mins in:


The featured photo at the top of this blog is me posing with another one of my heroes: FIERCE DANCER / Manchester legend / northern powerhouse / Mother of The House of Ghetto Darren Pritchard. After one of Darren’s most enjoyable Vogue Workshops I’ve ever experienced, part of Superbia, during Manchester Pride Weekend, we were *totally feeling ourselves* and we had just been told that there was steam coming from the room!


Photo by JA G Wallis

I also have some really exciting news coming up about a dance event I will be leading at Halloween! Stay tuned! 💀💃🏻⚡️💋


Tomorrow I’m leading a DANCE-A-THON at the Spice Girls Exhibition!!!


Last Sunday I walked around SpiceUp, the brilliant exhibition of Spice Girls clothing, records and memorabilia at Manchester Central. It brought back so many happy memories of my sister (age 7) and I (age 10) collecting the sticker books, making up dance moves to Who Do You Think You Are, and watching the Spice Girls VHS on repeat. The Spice Girls made us feel like we could be confident, loud, proud and have fun. Their music is so uplifting, it is a real honour to be creating a dance / fitness extravaganza where people can dance together to their favourite Spice Girls hits!

I am absolutely thrilled to have been telling everyone I know that tomorrow (Sunday 2nd September at 4pm) I will be leading a 30 minute high energy DANCE-A-THON to back to back Spice Girls tracks. Everyone is welcome to attend, get involved and/or watch, and cheer us on. Everyone is encouraged to sing their hearts out too!

Of course, we will be doing warm up exercises at the start, to If You Can’t Dance, to get everyone psyched up and ready for action (cue Mel C’s high kick) and then the all important cool down stretches to the more relaxed tones of 2 Become 1, to reduce muscle soreness the following day.  It’s recommended that all dancers come early and stay for the full 30 minutes!

I’ve really enjoyed the choreography process this week. As a fully qualified Fitness Instructor and Zumba Instructor, who LOVES DANCING, I’ve incorprated all of the original Spice Girls iconic chorus dance moves, along with aerobic and toning exercises. The session will be a real workout and a highly enjoyable one too!

The exhibition is fantastic. Congratulations Alan Smith-Allison and everyone involved. It’s great to see all the 90s fashions, and iconic outfits that were seen all over the planet. And who knew that there were so many different kinds of Spice Girls dolls made and circulated in different countries?!

I urge all Spice Girls fans to go on one of the guided tours with the oh-so-fabulous and knowledgaeable Alex Lodge. He has met every single Spice Girl, he knows his facts, and he will blow your mind!

So bring your dancing shoes (PLATFORMS AND HIGH HEELS MUST BE TAKEN OFF FOR THE DANCE SESSION!) bring some water and come and have a dance! All fitness levels and abilities welcome. All ages welcome. Tickets are available here. Get to Manchester Central early so you can have a look round, come find the DANCE-A-THON inside the exhibition space, and get down!