During my 8 years living in London I wished that there was class I could take to get my blood pumping, meet new friends and be in an environment were I didn't feel judged for having a bigger body. After much thought and lots of encouragement I decided to take the leap and create my own series of classes and that was how Body Positive Dance was born.

 

I named it this because I didn't want to exclude anyone from joining - it didn't feel right to limit it to just plus size bodies. Some people joined because they liked the idea of a slower paced class, others hate the gym and wanted to exercise in a fun and none judgemental environment and others just wanted to be sassy and proud.

 

I have to say the best thing about Body Positive Dance was seeing such a broad spectrum of beautiful body types in a room smiling, dancing and enjoying being around each other. Once the video footage of the first class hit the internet the views and love we got were beyond my expectations, gaining 47,000 views in a very short space of time. It even led to my nomination for BEST ACHIEVEMENT at 2015's British Plus Size Awards. 

 

Body Positive Dance wan't like Zumba, it was a class were you learn a routine and developed your dancing skills. The routines were fairly easy to learn, great fun and to great music. There was no focus on dancing for exercise purposes and certainly nothing geared towards losing weight as I wanted each and every member to love and accept themselves as they are right here and right now. The promotion of self love and acceptance is very important to me and is something I will continue to do in all of my creative work.

© 2020 Ashleigh Owen