Dance with a difference

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A Marehay dance and fitness studio is mixing fast paced moves - with sign language - as part of a new set of lessons it is running.

The Studio, based at Lumb Farm in the village on Derby Road, is holding ‘Bokwa’ lessons there every Tuesday and Thursday and has already attracted 15 members.

The fast paced style of cho dance, aimed at keeping fit, mixes African style dancing, with boxing moves.

Lesson goers actually ‘sign’ which movement they are going into next using American sign language.

Owner of The Studio Sophie Hibbert said the method prevents people from accidentally running into each other.

She said: “You won’t get injuries from people darting round the room not knowing where they are going to go next.

“It takes seconds to teach people - it involves alot of shouting too, - it’s really good fun.”

Bokwa is a corruption of two words - boxing, and Kwaito - a South African form of dance.

It is not choreographed and does not require you to count steps, like a traditional eight count followed by most dance fitness programs.

Sophie continued: “The steps are really easy to follow and they are made for children as well so a parent can bring a child along to lessons.”

Sophie,30, who lives on Rowthorne Avenue, in Swanwick and has two children said the Bokwa lessons could well be ‘the next Zumba’ and can burn up to 1,200 calories from a single hour-long class.

The Studio has had a successful start since opening its doors to punters in April.

It now runs classes for children and adults including Latin solo classes, for those who want to take up Latin dancing, but do not have a partner, and song and dance lessons for zero to five-year-olds.

For more information visit www.thestudio-ripley.co.uk