Claire is a FitSteps master

Claire Hanson with Natalie Lowe, Ian Waite and other  Fitsteps instructors.
Claire Hanson with Natalie Lowe, Ian Waite and other Fitsteps instructors.

A Shilbottle woman is the first in the North East to become a master instructor in a new fitness craze which is set to sweep across the UK.

FitSteps has been devised by Strictly Come Dancing’s Natalie Lowe and Ian Waite with help from six-time world champion swimmer Mark Foster.

Based on dance steps, it is a high-energy fitness class – but you don’t need a partner to carry out the moves.

And Claire Hanson is bringing the craze to Alnwick and the North East.

She was one of the first Zumba teachers in the region and is now the first master trainer for the new fitness routine.

She admits she was skeptical about it at first.

“I thought it was a rip-off of Zumba and that it might be suitable for my Zumba Gold class,” she said. “But I was very wrong. After my first training session I was aching for days.

“It is so effective.

“Everything has a shelf life and while Zumba still has around 35 people a week in the class, people do get bored so it is nice to be able to do something new and bring back some of the people who used to come to my classes.

“I did a trial class in Alnwick, I only put it on Facebook and told my groups and it was full.”

Claire has been training with the Strictly Come Dancing stars and other master trainers to learn all the routines.

“My background is Latin and ballroom and that is what FitSteps is about,” she added.

“It is great for me as it takes me back to my dancing and it gives me something to get in to.

“Every woman that watches Strictly says that they would love to be able to do the moves.

“Now they will be able to and they will waltz to things like Take That and you don’t need to have a partner.”

Claire will be announcing the times and days of her classes in September, once a venue has been confirmed.

The scheme officially launches in the UK in September, when the new season of Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One.

Claire is hoping that once the television series is over, the stars will visit the area as part of tours they will do to different classes across the country.

To find out more you can email Claire at or join her FitSteps North East group on Facebook.