Q&A: Isis Rose on her Bodyfit Burlesque class

FlexyWEBBBBY.jpgA wave of '90s-style girl power will wash over members at Reebok Sports Club from this month, as Isis Rose brings both fitness and female empowerment to the Canada Square gym.

A professional Burlesque dancer, choreographer and fitness instructor, the 32-year-old talks to Beth Allcock about putting a spin on the seductive for her latest classes.

■ Tell us about Bodyfit Burlesque classes

I've performed Burlesque and been a professional dancer for eight years and I wanted to combine dance and fitness together.

Bodyfit Burlesque is commercial dance that becomes more of a workout.

I didn't want to just do Burlesque dancing - I wanted something where people were getting a bit more out of it.

We do a warm up at the beginning and you learn a choreographed routine that has Burlesque elements.

You learn it in a series - I do a routine for two weeks so everyone can get a chance to do it again if there's some stuff they struggle with.

Then, we will start a brand new piece of choreography. We're keeping it really basic - everyone I teach is a non-dancer and everyone leaves having got nearly all the moves.

IsisRoseWEBBBYyyy.jpg■ How did you come up with this concept?

I started in contemporary and hip hop as a dancer and I was always searching for something that made me feel feminine.

When I went into Burlesque and then, when I started to offer classes and workshops as a teacher, I realised how important and beneficial it could be.

It was helping women feel really good and sexy about themselves.

One of my goals is to improve women's confidence so they feel good about their curves.
I want it to be a good workout but for it to be a moment of self expression through movement and being very feminine too.

Burlesque is expressive and it enhances femininity - I wanted to provide something for women on the Wharf.

■ Do you think some women might be a little apprehensive about trying Burlesque?

I think so - and this is what I am trying to break away from.

People might feel uncomfortable with Burlesque because they think you have to be sexy and raunchy, but I think the important thing is how it is delivered to people.

It's important to put every aspect together - it's girly and it's about flexibility and I make it so people can recognise that and they feel comfortable with it.

It's also great for them to be able to work with the music.

■ Aside from the steps and routines, how else can the girls embrace the discipline?

I've said if they feel confident about the routine, they can bring heels with them.

It brings a different flexibility and it brings grace - it's nice to wear heels.

You work your core flexibility more if you have got them on and you can learn how to move gracefully in them.

■ Talking of flexibility, what are the other fitness benefits of the class?

It's a great workout, it's really good for your waistline, it lifts the bum and it tones the legs and the thighs.

The hour-long classes burn approximately 350-390 calories.

And I think it's got a definite feel-good benefit to it too.

■ Why Reebok Sports Club?

I did a few workshops and classes there throughout last year and this class is my baby - I really wanted to push it forward. Last year I did three sessions with about 15 to 20 ladies and each time I did it, there were more participants.

■ How are you feeling about the big launch this month?

I am really looking forward to it. It's nice to be able to do something just for the ladies as well.

I want everyone to have a good workout, a good time and leave feeling happy.

Go to reebokclub.co.uk.

The Wharf The Wharf

Read The Wharf's