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

‘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!

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!


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!