In today’s world, between controversial adverts by Protein World and stick-thin models walking in New York Fashion Week, maintaining a healthy body image can be difficult. So to stay on top, all we have to do is ignore the media, eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly - easy right?
Wrong. Delicious temptation aside, going to the gym can be an intimidating experience, especially if you’re feeling out of shape - we call this gymtimidation. It’s the feeling that everyone will be watching and judging you as you jiggle, sweat, pant and die of exhaustion. On top of all that, you might not have the right clothes to work out in! (But we can solve that one for you - have a look at our Performance Wear range for plus size ladies! And if you need more inspiration, see how plus size blogger Georgina Horne made our tops look gymtasitc!) Gymtimidation has become so powerful that some would rather give the gym a miss altogether - but not anymore!
For in a corner of West London, exists the little plus size gem, Boogieful, a dance class that welcomes ladies of all shapes and sizes to get their groove on to a modern mashup of hip-hop, R&B and pop. Certified dance instructor, Charlotte Clarke, who runs the class, aims to create a fun, free and inspiring environment where everyone who comes can let loose, work out and have a blast.
We joined the class to see the positive bunch of ladies, regulars at Boogieful, dance to Bruno Mars and Jessie J in zumba-style choreography, while Charlotte led the class and encouraged the ladies throughout, allowing everyone to go at their own pace. And for a final bit feel-good fun, everyone did some freestyle dancing at the end!
When asked about Boogieful, one lady said she enjoyed the “fun atmosphere”, another said “I feel comfortable and happy - I don’t feel judged” and another said “it’s like a night out - that you actually remember.”
Through her dance class, which started back in October 2014, Charlotte hopes to break the stereotypes and myths that say only slim people are fit and healthy - she is proving, every Tuesday night in her dance studio, that bigger people can be fit and healthy too. Charlotte even boasts that her class (1 hour long) can burn up to 700 calories! But this is not the main goal of Boogieful - the goal is to help ladies feel good about themselves again by creating an environment where they can.
According to Charlotte it’s all about being comfortable in your own skin, being proud of your own body and being willing to explore new ways to move and keep fit - that’s what makes you Boogieful.
So if you’re looking for a new way to exercise without having to worry about what you might look like or what other people might think, and you need a group of fun-loving ladies to make your workout feel like a Friday night shake, trust us, Boogieful is the place for you.