Anyone feeling inspired by Caroline Flack's victory in the Strictly Come Dancing final to put on their dancing shoes and rumba into shape is in luck. Professional dancers Ian Waite and Natalie Lowe have joined forces with former Olympic swimming champion and Strictly contestant Mark Foster to create FitSteps, a dance-inspired fitness program which has just been released on DVD.
FitSteps has hotfooted it around the UK since its launch in 2013, with over 2,000 qualified instructors teaching people to dance themselves fit. Now the Strictly stars are making their way to homes with the launch of their fitness DVD just in time for the New Year shape up.
After giving the energetic class a try, HELLO! Online caught up with Ian, Natalie and Mark to discuss the benefits of dancing and get some fitness tips.
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Professional dancers Natalie Lowe and Ian Waite have created FitSteps with Mark Foster
Mark, who holds 47 international medals for his swimming, said he realised that dancing was a great way to get fit after competing on Strictly in 2008, and thought it could be a way to encourage others to be more active.
"I realised that some people don't like swimming, running, biking and gymming, they love dance. My big thing is about getting people fit and healthy, so it was coming up with a concept and delivering something that would get people fit," he said.
While FitSteps teaches traditional ballroom and Latin American dance moves, it differs from other dance classes as you don't need a partner to participate, something which Ian says is "the perfect thing" for people who have always wanted to dance but never been able to.
"We decided that we would take the core basic moves in each dance and start to build a fitness programme from those moves," Ian said. "The DVD is more simplified and there are four dances that you repeat on a slightly lower version and then a higher version so it develops and you can do more steps as the programme goes on."
The dancers say the FitSteps programme is ideal for people who want to learn how to dance
The trio also shared their top tips for those who wish to lose weight and get fit in the New Year.
"I think the key is to get the DVD and do it at least three times a week, it's not a lot," said Natalie. "You can have a shorter session or a longer session."
Ian says the key is to be more active, telling us: "Most people have fun while they dance, so if you don't even feel like you're exercising that's the key, because it's about having fun, dancing and not even realising that you're losing that weight."
Mark meanwhile says anyone looking to get fit should set themselves goals.
"The short term goal might be to buy the DVD and start doing something, and the long term goal might be to drop two dress sizes, a stone or whatever it may be," he said. "The beauty of having the DVD at home is you've just got to come downstairs and push a button, you can do it when you want to do it."
Fitsteps is on DVD 26th December from Universal Pictures (UK) and to find a class near you visit Fan.fitsteps.co.uk.