I was invited down to do a review of a Side by Side dance and fitness class by the lovely Laura. Whilst I do walk a lot, spend a lot of time lugging toddlers around and/or wrestling to get them into their pushchairs and enjoy swimming (usually with at least one child in tow), it’s been a while since I last did a formal fitness class. I really liked the idea of this though. The class I attended was at Aston Clinton, Bucks, but they also have one in Amersham.
We all know how hard it is to make time to do a fitness class when you have a little one. As I mentioned above, most of my exercise is accompanied by at least one of the three kids so it’s not exactly high intensity. The Side by Side dance and fitness class aims to solve that. There are two classes, with two teachers, that happen at the same time. Laura puts us mums through our paces with a HIIT class in one room, whilst Jenna does a dance class with the kids in the room next door.
Smallest child can be a bit clingy at the moment so I wasn’t sure if she would be OK. However she settled down fairly quickly and, once the door was shut, I think she pretty much forgot about me. In the session I attended there was one baby in the room with us. She was very well behaved and mum did a fantastic job of doing the work-out around her (including doing crunches whilst the baby was sat on her tummy). Well done that lady!!
There was another child who was a little bit unsettled as well. At the start of the session their mum stayed in the kids’ room until they were calmer. This worked for a bit but in the end the child came into the main room with us. My point is that no-one minds. If you have to pop out for a minute to deal with your child, that’s OK. If they have to sit in with you for a bit. That’s OK. I imagine that’s only within reason though. If a child was properly running riot I think it wouldn’t work? I probably should have checked. Anyway, it’s a very relaxed environment. We all have kids, we all know what they’re like!
The Children’s DAnce Class
The children really seemed to like Jenna and she did a great job of keeping the kids entertained and engaged. This was despite the fact she’d not met many of them before and they all knew they could go see their mums if they really wanted to. Smallest child hasn’t stopped talking about how she did dancing with Jenna! Obviously I wasn’t in the room during the dance class, but it’s quite a relaxed movement class rather than a full-blown technical dance class. Which makes it perfect! The kids get to burn off some energy and have some fun.
It’s a small group HIIT class that covers the whole body. I’ve done various classes over the years, but never done a HIIT before. I really enjoyed it and, despite a genuine fear before I started that I may collapse, I survived! That’s actually being a bit mean to Laura because she makes it clear that it’s all about setting your own pace and pushing yourself, but not too far. I think it really suits people who are returning to exercise as well as people who regularly attend classes. It was very nice knowing that I could do something for me, but also that smallest child was right there and happy as well.
During the warm-down Laura said something that really struck me. She said to the whole class; “Well done for getting everyone up, dressed, out of the house and making it to the class”. We’re all pretty rubbish at recognising the little achievements we, and others do, so that was very nice to hear.
Our Side by Side dance and fitness Review
5/5 – Laura and Jenna are both really nice and they’re great with the kids and adults alike. Laura made me feel very relaxed, despite it having been a while since I last did an exercise class. It was a great, low-pressure atmosphere. That’s not to say it was an easy class though. It’s as hard as you make it really. I was absolutely not the thinnest person in the room (you all know I like cake right?) but I didn’t feel self conscious at all, I normally do in other classes. I think it’s a very nice way to do a bit of exercise without having to worry what you look like doing it, or who is going to look after the kids. Now I just have to stop smallest child telling everyone “I do dancing with Jenna” every five minutes.
Don’t forget, you’re just around the corner for Aston Clinton park, so you can always pop in there if they kids have any energy left!
It’s not the cheapest children’s class out there, but it’s actually 2 classes, not 1. I’d happily pay the money for a normal adult class, so £1.50 extra for a child is a bargain!
£8.50 (adult only), £10 mum and child, £2.50 per additional child.
Parking / How to get there
On-site parking is available.
Classes are currently at Aston Clinton Baptist Hall, Bucks and Amersham Community Centre, Bucks. Visit their Facebook page for the latest times and classes.
There are toilets on-site
I was very kindly invited down to join in with a class and do a review by Laura and Jenna. They have not seen this review prior to publication and all views are my own.