Ex-dancer has footing in business with launch of social enterprise

Bethany Ainsley is bringing affordable dance fitness sessions to Leeds. PIC: Doug Moody
Bethany Ainsley is bringing affordable dance fitness sessions to Leeds. PIC: Doug Moody
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A former professional dancer is looking to bring affordable dance, fitness and wellbeing programmes through the launch of a social enterprise.

Nouveau Wellbeing Community Interest Company is the brainchild of Bethany Ainsley.

It will be launched on Friday, July 15, at Tenants Enterprise Hall in Middleton, Leeds, with free taster dance classes available at 10.30am and 12.30pm.

Ms Ainsley has recruited trained dance instructor Sophie Simpson to deliver a range of classes in West Yorkshire.The social enterprise delivers its dance, fitness and wellbeing classes across 75 community venues, reaching over 1,500 residents a week, for as little as £2 a session and sometimes free.

Ms Simpson said: “I don’t think there are many opportunities for people who haven’t danced or done exercise in a long time to access something as affordable as this.It’s about having fun and making friends. I think people get into a rut and believe they have too much of a mountain to climb to get back into regular exercise. But this is not the case. We have classes like chairobics, which is done sitting down and means even where mobility is an issue we can still offer an opportunity.”

Nouveau works in partnership with local community groups and organisations such as West Yorkshire Sport. Ms Simpson also heads up a professional dance troupe that has won eight national titles. She has performed in Blackpool, the House of Commons and has been the subject of a TV documentary.

“I love dancing but even more than that I love to use the classes I take to reach people and help them help themselves,” said Ms Simpson. “There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing someone develop a love of the classes, improve their fitness and often make friends along the way.”

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