Step out with Dame Darcey

Strictly may be over for another year but fear not super fans – there’s a new dance-based health regime on the market from Dame Darcey Bussell 

We all loved Strictly (as always!) and been encouraged to think that maybe we should think about taking a spin round the floor – if for no other reason than to boost our health! Now you can get super-fit in no time and also give yourself a regular fix of routines that are heavily-rooted in your SCD dance favourites. Welcome to the world of Darcey Bussell’s DDMIX…

Since her retirement from professional ballet Dame Darcey has become a prominent advocate for promoting dance at all stages of life. She’s piloted dance classes for schoolchildren across the country, spoken in Parliament calling for dance to be a key part of the curriculum to help children’s fitness and more recently explored how dance can be an important tool for everyone’s mental health.


One of these initiatives is DDMIX (Diverse Dance Mix), a full body aerobic workout based on a wide range of different dance styles with easy to follow steps, choreographed by Dame Darcey and Nathan Clarke with whom she collaborated for the closing ceremony of the London Olympics. The aim of DDMIX is to get people moving without being intimidated by the word ‘dance’ or the technicality of the steps but instead to give a full body workout that is such fun that you don’t even notice that you are exercising.

Talking about the inspiration behind DDMIX, Dame Darcey said: “When I finished my career in 2007, I wanted to keep moving so I went out there and I tried everything – jazz, Zumba, tap! The idea of DDMIX came about as I wanted to enjoy many flavours of dance styles but not get obsessed with them… just have fun with them! Through DDMIX we want to deliver group exercise classes with non-correctional instruction that are fun and all inclusive.”


She adds: “It’s not intense but dance touches every part of the body. We have some genres like the Nineties and Arabian which are very full-on for the arms and other genres like Irish that’s very good for the calves or New Zealand Haka which tones the thighs.”

Each routine is broken down into the steps before you start, which Dame Darcey says is important for fitness too. So kick start your New Year with a fitness regime that may just last beyond February…


  • Tones up the body – Aerobic exercise will help strengthen your arms, legs, buttocks and abs.
  • Endorphin rush – It’s scientifically proven that you can naturally boost your mood when dancing around as your body release endorphins and dopamine, the neurotransmitters involved in affection and love.
  • Reduce stress levels – What a relief as you switch off from your daily routine as you focus on moving your body, helping reduce any anxiety that may have built up over the day.
  • Good for the mind – You have to coordinate more than one action with the corresponding movement. It makes your mind work in a different way and these connections will make you feel more active.
  • Variety is the spice of life – There’s a vast mix of dance moves to enjoy, inspired by a wide range of favourites including samba, disco and line dancing.
  • It’s fun – Thanks to the cracking mix of music this is more like fun than exercise as you learn different dance steps from around the world.
  • It’s social – Come with partners, friends and meet new people in a fun but structured environment.
  • It’s for everyone – Grandparents, mum and dads and children of all ages, sizes and fitness levels can get involved. Work out at your own pace.
Last year, Dame Darcey Bussell launched DDMIX to members at Edgbaston Priory Club and it is now a popular session on the club’s fitness class timetable. More details at 0121 440 2492.