Tuesday, 19 March 2013

News: Get fit with electro-swing DJ Tallulah Goodtimes

There is, I am told, something called 'getting fit'. I have heard about this, and apparently it involves lots of sweat and Lycra, and frankly the whole thing sounds ghastly. One particular kind of 'exercise' that has been in vogue recently is 'Zumba', which from my research on You Tube, I gather to be a cross between aerobics and generic Latin dancing. There is great deal of arse-wiggling and hip-thrusting; the whole thing looks very undignified.

Happily there is a far more civilized alternative. Sophie Tott, aka DJ Tallulah Goodtimes, is a trained fitness instructor with a passion for electro-swing. It was only a matter of time before the two parts of her life coincided. Her innovation is 'SwingMeFit'. The concept is similar to that of Zumba, but instead of pseudo-latin beats Sophie treats the people who come to her class to the finest electro-swing tunes she can get her hands on.

Sophie (aka Tallulah Goodtimes) leads a class at Hazelstock Festival 2012
To find out more I spoke to one of the participants in Sophie's classes. Hana, Managing Director of a marketing company, has been attending SwingMeFit classes for around three months. A keen jogger (I don't pretend to know what this means), she was looking for an indoor alternative for the winter months. On the recommendation of a friend she gave the classes a go and has only missed a couple of classes since then.

“It is different and fun,” she tells me. “The music and the people are really uplifting. You can turn up in a foul mood, after a rubbish day at the office and 10 minutes in you feel 100 times better. The moves are quite straight forward, it is great cardio exercise and brilliant for toning. We laugh a lot too. I look forward to it all week.”

She enjoys the classes so much that she too has been spreading the word. At least two of her friends have come to a class on her recommendation, including someone who traveled all the way to Suffolk (which is where Sophie is based).

As well as helping Hana to keep in shape, the classes have introduced her to the joys of electro-swing. Although she had not heard the style before she is now downloading her favourite tunes at home. Sadly it doesn't look like she will be seen on a dance floor near you any time soon: “I'm trying to be good – get fit, lose some weight. If I went to a gig I'd HAVE to drink beer and get chips on the way home,” she says. “Old habits die hard!”

One thing is for sure, however. Swing Me Fit is a great success for Hana. “It has pizzazz in abundance, its non-judgmental and has a real feel-good factor,” she says.

As I have intimated above, I am something of a stranger to exercise, but if the sweat that poured off me at Parov Stellar's gig last year is any indication, SwingMeFit must be very effective. I understand that things like jogging and going to the gym can be something of a chore – the answer? Swingin' beats, of course.

If you want to find out about Sophie's classes, you can do so by visiting her website. At present the classes only take place in Suffolk, but it can only be a matter of time before other parts of the country catch on.

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