Kenilworth dance instructor starts classes in town created by Darcey Bussell

Alison Ellershaw with Darcey Bussell
Alison Ellershaw with Darcey Bussell

A set of new dance-aerobic classes created by former ballerina Darcey Bussell and choreographer Nathan Clarke are taking place in Kenilworth after a local dance instructor earned the right to teach them.

The classes, called Diverse Dance Mix (DDMIX), will be led by Kenilworth dance instructor Alison Ellershaw, who earned the right to deliver the classes in Kenilworth by impressing Bussell during auditions at the Royal Ballet School in London.

Darcey is putting her name to these classes, so she takes great care in how they’re delivered.

Alison Ellershaw

Mrs Ellershaw had a weekend of intensive training in preparation, and has to return to London every two to three months for more training.

She said: “Darcey is putting her name to these classes, so she takes great care in how they’re delivered.

“There are new dances to learn every few months, and we already have over 20. The dance classes are a great way for people to improve their fitness.

“There is a great variety of dances from all over the world during the classes, and because they are short we can fit up to 10 in a session.

“Each dance is broken down into easy to follow steps, and take about two to three months to finish.

“Some dances work out the arms and legs and some are good for cardiovascular fitness.”

The dances are open to everyone, and are designed to be low-impact and easy to learn, making them accessible for novices as well as people who have danced before.

Darcey Bussell said: “I really enjoy working out when I am fully distracted by the fun and entertainment of the routine, great music and the camaraderie of a group class. This is the core philosophy behind DDMIX.

“As well as being fun and challenging, dance is quite simply one of the best forms of exercise reaching every area of the body. DDMIX is ideal for both the very young through to adults who want to exercise in a fun, relaxed and entertaining way.”

There are DDMIX classes taking part across the UK, and are planned to be run in some schools after a pilot scheme in London schools was viewed as a success by organisers. The school classes were designed as an alternative to traditional sports which do not necessarily appeal to every child.

Classes take place on Mondays at 1pm in St Barnabas Church, and on Tuesdays at 6pm in the Kenilworth Centre for parents and children, followed by a 7pm session for adults.

The classes cost £5 on a pay-as-you-go basis, with every 10th class being free. The sessions last between 45 and 60 minutes depending on the routine.

Anyone wishing to take part in classes can contact Alison on 07429 491744, or can email her at