THE Mayor of South Tyneside has been getting into the groove in a bid to urge people to boost their fitness.
Coun Ernest Gibson called into Art of Dance and Fitness to see just how the group is helping people of all ages keep fit and healthy.
The school, based in Coronation Street, South Shields, is run by Suzanne Stuart, who has been teaching people how to dance for the past two decades.
Joined by the Mayoress, Patricia Ridley, the pair learned a few steps from youngsters before being given a tour of the building, which also hosts other keep fit classes including yoga, body-conditioning, aerobics, pilates, football and rugby fitness.
Ms Stuart, 40, who teaches ballet, tap, jazz, modern, freestyle, street, hip-hop, ballroom and Latin, said: “We feel that our business has an important role to play in South Tyneside as we offer young people and adults, an interest, direction and focus to follow.
“People can even take professional exams at Art of Dance and Fitness, showing that a hobby could even be turned into a career.
“It’s all a great way to keep fit and a wonderful opportunity to mix and meet new people.
“Our doors are always open for new customers to give it a go.”
As well as visiting the dance school, the Mayor and Mayoress also called in to see Luke Harrison, who has set up Fitness Camp Academy.
The 27-year-old businessman is helping people to turn their lives around when it comes to losing weight, and boosting their health and fitness.
Mr Harrison, who runs his sessions from The Office pub in Victoria Road, South Shields, said: “The people who attend our classes are from a variety of different age groups.
“We are ultimately looking to get people healthy, and this can be achieved by addressing someone’s eating habits, exercise routine and their mindset. Keeping fit is important, as it also helps people to be less prone to injury.
“People come to the Academy with a number of aims and objectives, from personal appearance through to general wellbeing. It’s really down to the individual, and to give them a better quality of life.”
Coun Gibson said: “In today’s society, when people are really busy, their leisure time is additionally precious.
“People are being encouraged to try to use some of that free time to exercise and keep fit.
“The Mayoress and I are keen to support entrepreneurs in the borough, who are using fitness to build up a local business. People are becoming more and more aware of the need to take an added interest in their health, whether it’s a preventative measure to help fight off obesity or to just invest time in their overall fitness levels.”