Depression, Just Jhoom! and Me!

Yesterday I was at the Houses of Parliament! Oh yes I was! Sooooo exciting to be on a panel for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health. But it was nerve-wracking too, as I was telling a very personal story about my falling ill with depression and how dance helped me through it. I have shared this story on More →

Why we became Just Jhoom! Instructors


As freelance dance and fitness professionals we are always looking for new ways to feel inspired and further our skills and experience as dance-fitness teachers and when something new comes on the market it is important to assess whether it is a programme worth investing in and will provide what we require as creative individuals.

When we discovered Just Jhoom! we were hooked right from the start! Not only was this dance-fitness programme so much more than just ‘steps’, but the vibrancy that each class brings immerses you in the glamorous Bollywood culture whilst really increasing your fitness.
What’s fabulous about Just Jhoom! is that although appealing to teachers who come from a dance background, many of the instructors come from a fitness background – and are still able to teach Just Jhoom! with no problems at all. The training is truly first-rate.
Also, the quality and attention to detail in this fitness programme is second to none and it is fantastic that there is potential to teach young children (Junior Jhoom!) all the way to the elderly (Forever Jhoom!). Not to mention those fitness fanatics who want something more high -impact (Bhangra Jhoom!) or those who just want to learn some Bollywood dancing (Just Jhoom! Dance).

There really is something for everyone in Just Jhoom! and with this in mind we are giving you our top 5 reasons to teach Just Jhoom!…

1. Different to other styles – The Bollywood-inspired body and mind workout fuses fitness and Bollywood dancing drawing on a range of dance styles from classical Indian to Bhangra with dashes of hip-hop, jive and jazz. It works the upper body without weights and more unusually exercises the all-important but usually neglected hand muscles. It is a real celebration of Bollywood culture with authentic, vibrant music and classical hand gestures.

2. Keeping fit – Just Jhoom! is energetic, loads of fun and very tongue in cheek. Your classes are guaranteed to get a great workout from the top of their heads to the tips of their toes, especially if they can master the Bollywood head! One can burn between 450 – 500 calories per hour in a typical class but some have even reached 900 calories in a Bhangra Jhoom! (high intensity) session!

3. Accessible to anyone and everyone! –Just Jhoom! appeals to anyone, with a range of different programmes on offer it will certainly put a smile on everyone’s faces and increases their wellbeing. There are also opportunities to get involved with charity events and fundraisers whether you are an instructor or participant. Keep an eye out it’s definitely worth attending one of these special extravaganzas!

4. Jhoomily – Become part of the fabulous ‘Jhoomily’ (Just Jhoom! family) the friendly supportive community of Just Jhoom! instructors and class goers! Your fellow instructors are always available to give help, advice and share ideas. The Just Jhoom! HQ team are also extremely approachable and willing to assist whenever you need encouragement or guidance.

5. Gain a nationally recognised qualification and earn extra income – Just Jhoom! can fit around you and your current job/lifestyle as a 2nd or part-time job. You are your own boss and can manage your classes to suit you. Many teachers have started out Just Jhooming as a part time job and are now full-time dance fitness teachers! Do you have a fitness/dance qualification? If not then visit to book yourself onto a Just Jhoom! Level 2 Qualification course. If you are already a qualified dance or fitness professional you can attend Just Jhoom!’s fantastic, comprehensive 2-day Bronze course which is accredited by REPS for 16 CPD points. More info on both courses can be found on

Chloe Hunter & Lindsay Wingate, Just Jhoom! Instructors, County Development Officers for the Exercise, Movement & Dance Partnership and Freelance dance & fitness teachers.

Just Jhoom! Dance and Mindful Movement

Last week I was very lucky to be part of MIND’s first ever Happy Monday.This is a new campaign that MIND have launched – they plan to do it once a year to encourage people to fundraise on a Monday in March, as well as do fun, happy fundraising activities on that day! As an Ambassador for Happy Monday, I More →

Helicopters, Bollywood Stars and Serendipity.


humshakal-film-shoot-sept-2013-36On Sunday I was a very lucky girl! I was flown by helicopter from Surrey to Chatsworth House in Derbyshire to spend a day on the sets of a Bollywood film.

It was probably one of the most magical days of my life.

From the moment I woke up at 5am to the time I got back home at 6pm – I was like a child on Christmas Day. So excited!

Flying at sunrise

Flying at Sunrise

The thing I was most excited about was the helicopter ride! You see, I’ve never been in a helicopter before, and to be flown over London city at sunrise and to land on the front lawn of Chatsworth House is an experience that I will never ever forget!

Saif Ali Khan

Saif Ali Khan always on the phone

We spent all day watching the filming of a Bollywood film called Humshakal due to be released in June 2014 and featuring big stars like Saif Ali Khan, Bipasha Basu and Riteish Deshmukh. I don’t get star struck very easily, as I believe actors are just doing a job – for which they are fortunate to get paid a lot of money. I do admire those who make it to the top – because it is a tough industry and for every mega star who makes it, there are 1000s who have failed. But still, I have no time for big egos, and so meeting stars doesn’t faze me!

It was really interesting to watch the process of filming, and see how each scene is shot in so many different ways – and how many takes are needed for what seemed like very simple lines. I was amazed at the number of crew on location. The entire team was made up of people from England as well as a large Indian contingent. It was really interesting to see (and hear) how they worked together – and one could often see the clash of cultures. 

 It was truly a super day – and I will cherish the memory for a long time.

But, I have been thinking about how the whole experience came about – and what led me to get a phone call from one of my class Jhoomers on a Saturday afternoon asking if I could make the trip the following day.

Well, it all goes back to the Coffee and Cake Morning that I held for Breakthrough Breast Cancer on my birthday on the 14th of September.

Just a quick recap!

Breakthrough Coffee and Cake Morning 14 sept 2013 (11)

Jhoomers and their cakes

coffee-and-cake-morning-14-sept-20131Just Jhoom! has partnered with Breakthrough Breast Cancer and pledged to fundraise for their campaigning and research activities for the next 12 months. The event I held on that Saturday morning was one of the first ones in the hope to kick-start and encourage other instructors to follow suit. It was all quite lastminute – and I really wasn’t sure how successful it would be – seeing that I really hadn’t done very much planning! I had literally booked a hall, sent an email to all my Jhoomers, put an event on Facebook and bought some tea and coffee supplies. The rest the Jhoomers did! They turned up, they brought cake, they ate cake and they donated their money generously… and in one hour we raised £216. Not bad for an hours work! And, I was on a real high afterwards. It felt good to give back, to raise money for a worthwhile cause – and just to spend time with my Jhoomers and friends in a social, relaxed environment. It was a lovely, fun morning.

Attending the morning was someone I’ve known for many years – but who has never been to my classes before. Katharine Gordon and I used to work at the Cranleigh Arts Centre around the same time in the early noughties. Katharine saw the event on Facebook – and replied that she would be there both for the Coffee and Cake Morning and the Just Jhoom! class before. She was there, she Jhoomed – and she loved it! She promptly signed up for the rest of my classes for the term. So, there was something else that was successful from that morning – a new Jhoomer for my classes. And I can tell you – she is a true Bollywood Diva!

Katharine had only been coming to my classes for 2 weeks – when her partner Philip (a helicopter pilot) mentioned that he had been asked to fly a helicopter in a Bollywood film and would she like to accompany him? Also, because he would be filming for much of the time, would Katharine like to bring someone with her to keep her company? And, guess who she chose!!

So there I was being invited to visit a Bollywood set, spend the day milling with actors and crew, and be transported there by helicopter. As you can imagine – it took all of 5 seconds to make up my mind and change all the existing plans I had for Sunday!

And, it all came back to the Coffee and Cake Morning.

Philip and Katharine in the front!

Philip and Katharine in the front!

If I had not held it, would Katharine have started coming to my Just Jhoom! classes? If she hadn’t been attending my classes would she have thought about accompanying her partner to a Bollywood film set? If she had gone, would she have thought of me as the person to accompany them? I don’t know. But I am grateful for the sequence of events – because it gave me this fabulous, truly mind-blowing experience.

 Deepak Chopra talks about the Law of Giving and Receiving. He says:
“The universe operates through dynamic exchange . . . giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe. And in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives.”

I didn’t hold the Coffee and Cake Morning with the intention of receiving anything personally. It really was about raising money for an important charity. But I got so much more than I bargained for. Fun, friendship, laughter, happiness and… a helicopter ride! And for that, I will always be grateful.

Life is truly amazing! Don’t you think?

PS – Big Thank You to Katharine and Philip for a Jhoomtastic experience!

Just Jhoom! Creative Director Shalini Bhalla appointed Project 500 Ambassador


I am delighted to have been chosen to be a Project 500 Ambassador – acting as as a role model for women and girls wishing to embark on exercise, movement and dance coaching.

This new campaign is to address the imbalance in the number of male to female coaches, creating a more diverse workforce to drive the growth of female participation in sport. Devised by Sport Hampshire & IOW (SHIOW), alongside Oxfordshire Sport Partnership, Bucks and MK Sport, Get Berkshire Active, Active Surrey, Active Sussex, and Kent Sport and Physical Activity Service, Project 500 will see a combined five hundred female coaches recruited, developed and deployed across the seven South East counties between April 2013 and March 2015.

Just Jhoom! Charity Fundraising in June


Guest Blog by Just Jhoom! Instructor Megan Jayawardena

When St Peter’s Hospital saved her mother’s life, Natalie Bowden, 44 of Horsell, decided she would try her hand at fundraising as a thank you. Little did she know that a few months later, she would be sky-diving and Just Jhoom! Bollywood dancing in the name of raising much-needed funds for the hospital.

A complete new-comer to fundraising activity, Natalie has raised nearly £4,000 for the Surgical Vascular Trust Fund. Two of the surgeons, several of the nurses, and over 100 friends, relatives and supporters enjoyed a Family Fun Day at The Plough Inn, Horsell on 22nd June. Just Jhoom! got the crowd dancing and were quickly joined by hospital staff and the chef. A superb time was had by all.

Natalie is much closer to her goal of reaching £5,000 to buy the vascular unit a second-hand ultrasounMicrosoft Word - Just Jhoom! June Charity Event.docd machine.Just Jhoom! Fundraising

All of us here at Just Jhoom! wish her continuing success with her sterling fundraising efforts.

Jhooming for the TV series The Hotel

Just Jhoom! is one of the most versatile dance-fitness programmes in the industry today. Training with us allows you to run Just Jhoom! classes in fitness venues, village halls, school halls and church rooms. Basically anywhere that there is space, a large, clean wooden floor and a group of people who want to Jhoom! You can tailor your classes depending More →

Free to Dance

If you’ve not heard of Ben Hammond yet, then you soon will! This 33-year old London teacher is on a mission to raise funds for Burma by dancing his way around the country. We at Just Jhoom!were lucky to meet Ben when he came to a Just Jhoom! class here in Guildford. The session was the very first leg of More →