Get Active: Getting my freak on for fitness – Missy Elliot style

PUBLISHED: 12:54 14 April 2015 | UPDATED: 14:04 15 April 2015

Dancers with glow tubes at the Rave Fit class at the Copperbox arena

Dancers with glow tubes at the Rave Fit class at the Copperbox arena


Growing up watching Top of the Pops I did my fair share of dancing in front of the TV – attempting to learn routines far too raunchy for the 12-year-olds who mimicked them.

Reporter Anna Silverman learning the choreography to Missy Elliot's Get Your Freak OnReporter Anna Silverman learning the choreography to Missy Elliot's Get Your Freak On

I shared, with many, the age old dream of becoming a pop star one day, but, sadly I was devoid of talent and life just seemed to get in the way.

But the fantasy remained, so it was a happy surprise to discover – more than a decade later – that I could get my groove on being taught the coolest choreography around.

Over the Easter break the Olympic Park’s Copperbox Arena played host to a number of dance classes to get people moving.

In a desperate attempt to revive my thwarted childhood ambition I jumped at the chance to try the Missy Elliot themed get ur freak on class.

Lindsay Windgate from Exercise, Movement and Dance Partnership (EMDP)Lindsay Windgate from Exercise, Movement and Dance Partnership (EMDP)

The song was carefully chosen because it’s the sound track to the national This Girl Can campaign – which celebrates active women who work out up and down the country.

“I think dance is a different way for people to get active rather than traditional sports,” said Lindsay Windgate, a development officer who works for the Exercise, Movement and Dance Partnership (EMDP) who put on the class.

“Some find dance easier to do regularly than fitness classes and it’s far more enjoyable too.”

The event was EMDP’s second at the Copperbox Arena and they’re in the planning stages of working with the London Legacy Development Corporation to get more fixed up soon.

“Today came about because London Legacy have seen how popular dance is and they want to get people active through dance,” Lindsay, 29, added.

“We’re looking to set up regular classes here. One for 14 to 25-year-olds and another for the 50 plus.

“We’ve been really really pleased with how many people turned up today. Dance fitness classes can burn up to 700 calories and it doesn’t matter if you get the steps wrong – as long as you enjoy it.”

This came as reassuring advice for me, as I’d spent the past hour three thrusts behind everyone else.

The routine was fast, vigorous and plucky. And if, like me, a “street attitude” doesn’t come impulsively to you – be prepared to leave your demureness at the door.

By the end of the session I was fierce – or least I felt it – Harlem shakin’ all over the floor and even free styling with relative confidence.

I also caught the end of EMDP’s “rave fit” class beforehand. The clue is in the name about what to expect with this one.

Sadly, I’ve still a way to go before droppin’ it like it’s hot in one of Missy’s videos.

But I can impress, or mortify, my mates with the routine now when get ur freak on plays in a club.

And as for a work out, my muscles ached afterwards, but in a way that was gratifying, rather than crippling. Score.

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