Amazing grace gets Doncaster Dancing

A Doncaster woman is helping people in the town to get fit, have fun and is creating a real buzz around her Zumba classes with her members are constantly singing her praises.

Grace Deans-Hunt, from Epworth, runs a popular Zumba class at Balby Fitness Centre which is managed by Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust (DCLT).

Oonagh Hall, aged 52, from Aston, said: “I was looking for a gym close to work in Doncaster and joined up. I knew I was a bit overweight and if I just used the gym I wouldn’t really get myself moving as much as I should.

“I’ve done various classes over the years and one of the girls at work recommended Grace’s Zumba class. It is fun, energetic and I can feel a real difference, I know that it has helped me to tone up.

“I love the music Grace chooses and it is a lovely class. You never feel silly if you don’t quite get the moves right. I now go at least three times a week and have managed to lose a stone and a half over the last eighteen months, due to diet and exercise. More than that though is I’ve met a new group of friends. We all get on so well and often go out together. Grace has helped to make exercise fun.”

Grace started giving classes after not exercising for five years after having a baby. One day she decided that she needed to tone up, but couldn’t find a class to suit her so she trained to be a teacher and has been giving a variety of classes, including Zumba for the past fifteen years.

Veronica Hird, aged 61, from Balby is another regular attendee at the classes. She said: “I work in the NHS and we get a discount for joining the gym so I thought I’d give it a go. I suffer a bit with an underactive thyroid and had put on weight, so I knew that I needed to do some kind of exercise.

“Coming to these classes has made a real difference to me. Grace is amazing and I’m having fun and have managed to lose some weight too.

“I’m not one for the machines so classes really work for me. We all get on really well and do lots of different things when it is Easter or Halloween. The classes are themed and we all throw ourselves into it. I’m so glad that I’ve found this class.”

DCLT have 15 venues offering a range of fitness classes from Aqua Fit to Zumba and the classes are all free with the ‘Choose Fitness’ Membership.

Grace said: “I find that so many women are frightened to give exercise a go and it’s hard to get them through the door of a gym. In most cases it’s just about finding the right gym or class to suit them.

“I’ve got a great group of people coming to my classes and it’s fantastic to see the difference that exercising in a way that’s enjoyable makes to their lives.

“They’re like a family, a very welcoming one. We’re getting busier at this time of year as we see new members joining to get fit for Christmas. We love to see new faces and we do lots of things to make sure that the classes are kept fresh.

“Everyone has a different reason for wanting to exercise and I always make sure I take that extra bit of time to get to know someone and their motivation for coming along. That way we can really help them to meet their goals.”