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Active IQ has granted Professional Recognition to SOSA Dance Fitness’ Seated Fitness programme – a course to train instructors who are capable of planning and delivering seated dance classes to allow people of all abilities to take part in exercise and physical activity. We spoke to Katy Barrow – Founder and Director of SOSA Dance Fitness to find out more about her course which aims to create a fully inclusive fusion of dance and fitness for all.

Katy Barrow, Founder and Director of SOSA Dance Fitness

Active IQ Professional Recognition is given to a centre’s non-regulated training programme that meets Active IQ’s quality standards in training materials and ability to deliver the course.

What inspired you to create your programme?

“As a dance teacher for over 20 years, it felt a natural progression for me to combine the beauty and authenticity of dance with the sense of fantastic wellbeing that comes with keeping fit and being active. Basically, I wanted to inspire the nation to get active and learn to dance, and so SOSA Dance Fitness was born! My vision has always been to create a truly inclusive dance programme and I believed there is a genuine opportunity for, and excitement about, creating a seated SOSA Dance Fitness class. I’m really proud that we’re at the forefront of a dance movement to bring everybody into one fully inclusive class that is suitable for standing, supported and seated participants.”

What is the objective of your programme?

“We wanted to bring together the many fabulous international dance styles with memorable songs and soundtracks, and create a fitness formula that is totally accessible for everybody. With Seated SOSA Dance Fitness, we deliver all of that in a dynamic, safe and effective class with routines that are adaptable for all degrees of abilities and health conditions, as well as being suitable for exercise referrals and seniors. We provide learners with the knowledge and skills to adapt the basic dance steps and styling movements, using effective calorie-burning exercise movements for seated participants or those with additional health considerations. Importantly, we demonstrate how much fun the class can be when all of this is expertly in place.”

What subject areas does your programme cover?

“Our One-Day Instructor Training course is a fun-packed, intensive but hugely rewarding day where we will teach you everything you need to know to set up and run your own Seated SOSA Dance Fitness classes. You will learn how to create a seated workout using our core dance styles; Salsa, Samba, Paso Doble and Soca/Calypso. You will be taught warm up and cool down routines, together with choreography and styling tips that are fun, expressive and unique to Seated SOSA Dance Fitness. We will spend time with you enhancing your skills in building and running great classes that provide a motivating, exciting and challenging experience for your class participants. As part of our training and assessment course, instructors are also required to read our Instructor Training Manual, complete a pre-course online theory assessment and learn our Seated SOSA Dance Fitness Instructor Assessment routine, which forms their final practical assessment on the day.”

Instructors who complete the course will be able to run their own seated dance classes

How does your programme benefit those taking part?

“We know that both our minds and bodies benefits when we move to music, and the sense of achievement and happiness that participants feel in learning authentic dance moves, techniques and body styling is self-evident. Promoting a sense of wellbeing is so important too, and our participants never need any encouragement to sing along and express themselves in a happy, relaxing way!

Physical activity is of course incredibly beneficial for older adults too, and can help to reduce the impact of illness and chronic disease, prevent memory loss and cognitive decline, and enhance mobility, flexibility and balance. There is also a rise in the need for various low impact classes for exercise referral participants, and this is the perfect class for those recovering from a serious / life-threatening condition. Exercise has been seen to assist both of these special populations in helping to improve their conditions and help them lead a more independent life, plus provide much needed social interaction and help improve confidence.”

What materials have you created to support delivery of your programme?

We pride ourselves on delivering a highly professional, personal and pro-active level of support for our instructors. Each person receives our in-depth Seated SOSA Dance Fitness training resource manual along with FULL and unlimited access to our Instructor Academy. This access gives them exclusive content, social media / marketing support and access to two new choreographed routines every month, PLUS a huge back-catalogue of adapted routines, all of which are broken down into easy-to-learn sections and can be delivered at different speeds and levels of difficulty, providing a safe and effective workout for everyone to enjoy.

I’m absolutely passionate about this, and 100% committed to supporting every Seated SOSA Dance Fitness instructor in making that happen.”

How did you find your experience with Active IQ’s Professional Recognition service?

I have found it nothing short of excellent. The application process was really simple, and even more so this time now it has moved to an online application instead of paper. Having Professional Recognition with Active IQ has really helped to promote our brand and add credibility to our instructor training programme in the fitness industry.

If you want to gain Active IQ Professional Recognition for your centre and its courses, please email us at professionalrecognition@activeiq.co.uk.