War dance in wor borough

Grace Burns who has launched a new style of exercise dancing called Bokwa in North Tyneside.
Grace Burns who has launched a new style of exercise dancing called Bokwa in North Tyneside.

A NEW global dance phenomenon has landed in the borough thanks to the passion of one woman.

Bokwa, influenced by a South African war dance, has been recommended by health organisations for its versatility and impact on the whole body – experts saying it can burn up to 1,200 calories in one workout.

It relies on the use of letters and sign language to identify moves.

Grace Burns first came across Bokwa while watching videos in the University of Sunderland’s dance studio.

And when the 20-year-old began researching it she was given a rare opportunity to be taught in London by the dance’s creator, South African street dancer Paul Mavi.

Now, nearly 12 months on, Grace has started courses for adults and children in North Shields and Whitley Bay.

Grace, who lives in North Shields, said: “The great thing about Bokwa is that you don’t notice you’re working out as the fun that takes place is amazing and distracts from the fitness aspect of the sessions – you just wonder where on earth the time has gone.

“With this new dance you could enter the room feeling down after a bad day and leave feeling bright and ready to take on the world – that’s why I love being a fitness instructor.”

Classes are now taking place in North Shields at East End Community Centre on a Monday evening and the YMCA on a Tuesday with a children’s class at the Avenue on a Friday.

There is a Sunday morning class at Sands Ladies Leisure in Whitley Bay.