Katy Harris (nee Barrow)

Founder & Principal of SOSA Dance Fitness

Founder & Principal of Seated SOSA Dance Fitness

Director of SOSA & Starlets Community Interest Company

I have been so fortunate as a dancer since the age of 6 years old, to have trained with the BEST OF THE BEST, professional dancers and teachers who were at the top of their game, throughout my dance teacher training career. I’ve learnt from amazing and inspirational National & World Champions, in Ballroom, Latin, Salsa and so many other international dance styles, including Flamenco, Argentine Tango, Bachata, Kizomba, Soca/Calypso, Rock’n’Roll, Street Dance and Commercial…the list goes on and on.

Click here to read much more about my personal story and dance background.

SOSA is not simply a business for me. DANCE IS MY WHOLE LIFE, MY PASSION AND MY DESTINY…I was BORN to do this.

SOSA IS MY LIFELONG DREAM COME TRUE!! #LivingtheDream

When I taught my very first SOSA class in my local village hall back in November 2012, I could never have envisaged, or imagined, that SOSA would take me on the incredible journey it has to date.

We officially endorsed and launched our Instructor Training programme in Feb 2015, at Move It Dance London at Kensington Olympia…the biggest dance event in the country! It was EPIC…

Back then, I was the ONLY SOSA instructor. Just one woman with a DREAM!

Now, in July 2021…I have personally trained almost 650 dance teachers and fitness instructors to deliver SOSA, and Seated SOSA classes.

I am so proud to say, that SOSA has presence in no less than 15 countries…including the UK, Ireland, Jersey, Malta, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Cyprus, Canada, Brazil, several states in the USA, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Seychelles!

I can honestly say, that without each and every one of our incredible Pro Team, who are so committed, dedicated, supportive and passionate about SOSA, it would not be the company it is today.

I could talk about each of them, singing their praises, for hours on end.

They truly BELIEVE, live and breathe SOSA’s ethos every day of INCLUSIVE dance for ALL. Every member of this team, brings a very special gift, element and strength to SOSA.

WE ARE FAMILY. And this is what makes SOSA SO MAGICAL!

I feel so blessed, and honoured, to have each and every one of them by my side. I honestly get tears in my eyes, when I think about the level of support these beautiful and talented people give to SOSA…just because they WANT TO!

So, without further ado…

I PROUDLY INTRODUCE YOU to our fabulous, amazing, talented and inspirational Pro Team!

Btw, they’ve NOT given themselves full justice in their testimonials at all… there are no personal egos in this team. So I decided to write an extra little comment about each of them! You’ll see a paragraph entitled ‘Katy’s Testimonial’ written below their own comments…

Simon Keay

SOSA & Seated SOSA Regional Pro Trainer & Ambassador

North East England & Scotland

I blame my love and passion for dance entirely upon my sister, who started dancing at the age of 6. After just a few weeks of watching her dance, I said to my Mum, “I want to do that too.”

So, in September of 1996, I joined a junior disco dance class on a Saturday morning…and I’ve never looked back.

Throughout my youth, I did line dancing, tap, salsa, jazz and ballet with Janet Dickinson School of Dance, and by the time I was 18, I had performed in countless dance shows and had started teaching my own small line dance class.

Whilst studying full time to eventually graduate with a first-class honours degree in Performing Arts from Teesside University, I joined Karen Heritage School of Dance & Theatre Arts, and continued to run my own dance sessions, now a Latin-in-Line class, until August 2010, when I trained as a licensed Zumba Fitness instructor. This is when I discovered that my love of dance expanded to a passion for helping others on their journey to improve their wellbeing and health through fitness.

By the time I’d finished my degree in May 2011, I was teaching 15 classes a week and had also joined Victoria Armstrong School of Dance to expand my joy for dance into new areas – in Ballroom & Latin.

Ever since, I have continued learning and competing in competitions across the country with the IDTA, UKA, SupaDance and a locally organised league.

I have also continued expanding my knowledge and class offerings in my company ‘SpiriFit’, specialising in dance-based concepts, including many programmes including FitSteps (as a member of their NE Training Team for several years). I have taught and presented these programs regularly in the community across the Tees Valley in the NE, as well as at my own AWARD-WINNING studio in Billingham.

I first encountered Katy, & SOSA Dance Fitness, at a fitness weekend retreat in April 2016. As a dance fitness concept using authentic styling, steps and techniques from dance styles around the world, it was right up my street!

After winning the class prize for best shimmy, I knew immediately that I wanted to teach the programme and invited Katy to run an instructor training course at my studio.

Seeing the incredible potential of SOSA and the joy it instilled with my own participants, I offered to help Katy grow the SOSA brand, and within a few months, I officially became SOSA Pro-Trainer for North East England & Scotland.

In the years since, I have travelled the length of breadth of the UK to train new instructors, present both SOSA and  Seated SOSA to new and existing SOSA fans, and supported SOSA Dance Fitness instructors with choreography, technical and business skills.

My passion for dance, creating fun and joy in all occasions, and striving to provide my participants with a healthier lifestyle through dance and fitness, is my whole world!

 

Katy’s Testimonial

Simon will ALWAYS be my right hand man, as the longest serving member of this Pro Team. I met him when he attended my SOSA class back in 2016, at only the second fitness event we had ever presented at, in Preston. Back then, SOSA was all about inspiring and empowering women. He was the ONLY man in the class. He won the prize for the ‘best shimmy in the room’!! I literally couldn’t take my eyes off him, he was SO FABULOUS.

Five years on, I couldn’t even imagine running this business without Simon by my side. I rely on him so much and EVERYONE loves him.

He is our IT, technology and business support guru. During the COVID pandemic, he has been a SUPERSTAR, keeping us all updated with government/industry guidelines.

Beside this, he’s such a talented and inspirational dancer, with incredible stage presence and so loveable…ONE IN A MILLION!

I cannot put into words how much he has supported me, and SOSA, whole-heartedly, with so much loyalty, passion, dedication and commitment.

Simon has stood by my side and supported SOSA’s entire journey, through very good times, and also very bad times during lockdown… he is quite simply, a LEGEND!

Simon is our Technical Development Manager…MY HERO…and our SOSA King!!

Sue Wilson

Co-Director of SOSA & Starlets CIC

SOSA & Seated SOSA Regional Pro Trainer & Ambassador

Essex & Greater London

I have been sharing my love of dance through teaching in my community for more than 20 years!

Why do I dance? Because it makes me happy!

Why do I teach dance? Because I love showing people how dancing can make them happy too!

Where did I find my dance passion?

My dance journey began at the age of 11 with a family holiday to Butlins in Bognor Regis, when the World Amateur Latin American & Ballroom Championships were taking place. I ditched my family and spent the entire time watching the competitors practise in the ballroom by day; and then compete in the evenings… my dance passion was born!

The rest of the story…Phase 1

I was teaching dance by the time I was 14 and had my first professional teaching qualification by the time I was 17. I had my own dance school, Danceaway, by the time I was 19. Danceaway’s ethos, has always been about inclusivity and accessibility…enabling every child to dance and experience a love of dance, creating their own personal dance journey with encouragement and never with judgement or pressure.  In dance exams and shows, every child in our dance school, achieved and shone their own light, their way!

My best ever memories, are dancing a Waltz with my (then) 9 year old son to “Could I Have This Dance For The Rest Of My Life?” (yes please!) for his IDTA exam, and dancing a Jive to “Rubber Ball” with my (then) 15 year old daughter for her IDTA exam…its a standing family joke that the only toys she ever needed as a young child was bouncy rubber balls…she had a basket full of them!

Danceaway, is now Latin American & Ballroom classes for adults and Wedding Dance Services, bringing the dance happy to the whole wedding party and guests!

The rest of the story…Phase 2!

Starlets Dance, Music & Singing Group was founded when I couldn’t find a toddler class for my son that enabled us both to have fun together and made us both happy. 20+ years later, it still brings me my dance happy and spreads the dance happy to all our participants.  Starlets is now thought of as a rite of passage for our local community toddlers, and it won’t be long before my original toddlers are bringing their own toddlers to Starlets lol.

The rest of the story…Phase 3!

Fast forward a few decades(!) and I’m on a salsa dance-floor when I bump into Katy Harris, a pupil from the first dance school I ever taught in, who  remembers dancing her first Cha-Cha-Cha with me at the age of 6!

It turns out that SOSA is just the adult version of Starlets! So, with a shared ethos and alignment in our programmes – to bring happiness to everyone who dances with us, and make dance accessible for all – there was no way I wasn’t going to embrace SOSA!

So now here I am.  An ambassador and Regional Pro-Team Trainer for SOSA & Seated SOSA – preaching the SOSA love wherever I go!

Knowing that dance can bring happiness to others and spreading my love of dance is what I was born to do.  Teaching dance puts you in the centre of your community and there is no other place I want to be…

It’s the best job in the world!

 

Katy’s Testimonial

I’ve known Sue for 37 years…she was my first ever Ballroom, Latin & Disco dance teacher! SOSA wouldn’t even be here today without her inspiration from a very young age.

Sue is such a beautiful and technical dancer, she is the MASTER of Latin & Salsa styling!! It’s mesmerising watching her dance. She is AWESOME.

She’s my best friend, and my partner in crime lol. In June 2020, we founded SOSA & Starlets Community Interest Company, as Co-Directors, to inspire EVERYONE to dance. Between us, our CIC, makes dance accessible and fully inclusive, from the age of 1 to 100.

I’m SO PROUD to have Sue as part of our Pro Team.

This woman is MY HERO… and our SOSA Styling Queen!

Steffie Croxson 

SOSA & Seated SOSA Regional Pro Trainer & Ambassador

Central London & South East England

As a child, my favourite pop group was Steps so I pretty much taught myself to dance doing ‘5,6.7,8’ in my bedroom!!

I did a few freestyle classes in my late teens, but it wasn’t until I turned 16, that I knew dance would be my future.

At the age of 16, I attended Stockton Riverside College to study Performing Arts for 4 years. After graduating with a HND in Musical Theatre, I was awarded a full scholarship to study dance at Reynolds Group in Bexley, where I decided to qualify as a fitness instructor too.

Since leaving stage school, I have danced on numerous TV shows including , BBC’s Strictly Dance Fever (where I came 3rd), BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, 75th D-Day Celebrations, and performed on stage with Ray Quinn and Shane Hampshire with Cuban Groove, and the vocalist Lauren rose.

I now combine dance with fitness, working as an exercise referral specialist, personal trainer and group exercise instructor for MyTime Active.

Teaching SOSA, and Seated SOSA, to my participants in the leisure centre and local community brings me so much joy… pure and simple.

I continue to train in ballroom and Latin at JJ Dance Studios every week, and I love how I combine my passion with my career.

I am honoured to be a part of the Pro Team for SOSA, I find it surreal when I see you all dancing my choreography in your classes!!

Thank you for all the support with ‘Presenter of the Year 2021’ nomination at this years Community Fitness Awards, I hope I can bring it home for SOSA 💓

 

Katy’s Testimonial

I can’t begin to tell you how inspired I am by this lovely lady. Her dance technique is OFF THE SCALE, she is such a beautiful and talented dancer. And she was BORN to be on stage…she absolutely lights up the room!!

But beside all of this…I respect and value her SO MUCH, because she strives every day to be so incredibly professional and inclusive.

Steffie teaches SOSA classes, Seated SOSA classes and Simply SOSA classes at MyTime Active. Her classes are open to members on the main leisure centre class timetable, the ‘Prime Time’ activity schedule, for older adults in the community, and the Health/Exercise Referral timetable, for those recovering from injury, with long-term health conditions and stroke rehabilitation clients.

She’s also currently studying for her Level 4 Physical Activity for Mental Health qualification.

She’s the REAL DEAL…beauty, talent and brains, all rolled into one.

Steffie is our Qualification/Training Development Co-Ordinator…and our SOSA Queen of Sass!!

Melanie Wittmaack

SOSA & Seated SOSA Regional Pro Dancer & Ambassador

South West England

Hi, I’m Mel and I began my group exercise and fitness journey back in 1996 teaching aerobics, body conditioning, and step classes. Many years later, due to a back injury, I had to take a long break.

In 2016, having found fabulous corrective treatment, I began my new journey back into the dance fitness industry and fell in love with SOSA Dance Fitness. At the age of 46, I finally felt I was where I wanted to be for so long and it was all thanks to Katy. My inspiration and my saving grace!

I remember our conversation like it was yesterday. I was so nervous after such a long break from teaching, the fitness industry had moved on and I was that much older! I had recently developed permanent tinnitus and had lost a lot of confidence. I didn’t have a single ounce of dance experience but had retrained in Level 2 ETM and with a bucket load of enthusiasm I was eager to learn to dance. It became my sole focus which helped so much with the tinnitus and the habituation.

And I haven’t looked back since! I absolutely love teaching and sharing my love of SOSA within my community. Doing what you love develops a passion that makes it easier to keep committed to achieving your dreams and goals. Katy Harris & SOSA Dance Fitness gave me the inspiration and motivation to become the person that I am today. I’ve had to learn to dance, and in the process, I have learned so much about myself. Thank you for believing in me Katy. I am very proud to now be part of the SOSA Pro Team…dreams can come true at any age!

​​And this is where SOSA Dance Fitness classes can help you achieve your dreams and goals too. As instructors, we realise that starting a new class is usually the hardest part for many people. We know it can make you feel nervous at the thought of just walking through the door for the first time and then not knowing what to expect during the class. We know there will be many questions running through your head…Will I be the only beginner? Will I be able to keep up? What if I can’t perform a dance step? What if I feel silly?

This is all perfectly normal, and as instructors we have been there too, so we know exactly how you will be feeling. I’d say that many of us will have questions running through our heads before we come along to class to teach you too … Will I remember the routine? Have I downloaded my music correctly? Does my bum look big in these leggings! Trust me!

Our classes offer you an extremely warm welcome, not only from our family of SOSA instructors but also from our fabulous like-minded class participants so that you immediately feel at ease. We are a friendly bunch! We are all different ages, shapes, abilities, and experiences and we have loads of fun!

And please don’t worry about being the beginner. We have all been beginners at something, at some point in our life, and that’s not a bad thing! This is one of my favourite quotes:

“You can learn new things at any time in your life if you are willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you.” -Barbara Sher

​Our classes will help you grow in your own time and at your own pace so that you are not left struggling at the back. We are there with you every step of the way from walk-throughs and explanations dance steps; verbal and visual cueing; modifications and adaptations; reassurance and motivation, even ice pops on a hot day!

We are all here for fun and enjoyment; to help you learn new skills; and to build your belief and confidence in your own ability, without fear of being judged, so that you can feel comfortable arriving to our classes with two left feet or lack of coordination.

Welcome to our SOSA Dance Fitness website. Enjoy looking around!

 

​Katy’s Testimonial

Mel is my WING WOMAN!

She’s been a valued member of our Pro Team for many years now. I knew from the moment I first spoke to her, that she was so incredibly passionate about dance, fitness and helping others.

She’s  a true professional in every way, highly qualified, dedicated and committed.

She has such a kind, warm and caring nature and the biggest HEART…Mel is the best friend everyone wishes they had beside them!

She has devoted herself to SOSA, and has had a massive input into helping me develop Seated SOSA, and more recently, Simply SOSA.

Her energy and enthusiasm when she teaches is absolutely infectious… and she’s hilarious! Everyone loves her, and it’s clear to see why.

Mel lights up the entire room with her beautiful smile, and her fun and inclusive teaching style.

Mel is our Seated SOSA & Simply SOSA Development Co-ordinator… and our SOSA Queen of Sunshine!!

Kathryn Tappenden

SOSA Regional Pro Dancer & Ambassador

Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire

I LOVE to dance! I have danced on and off since I was 5 mainly Disco, Ballet, Commercial and Tap!  Every day was a dancing day!  My family constantly having to watch ‘another’ dance performance in our living room!  I appeared in our local theatre in various costumes, performances and dance competitions around the country. A couple of my fellow dancers actually take part in my classes now!

After a career behind a desk for 20 years, I took the plunge and trained to be a Fitness Instructor with DANCE in mind! I was immediately drawn to SOSA Dance Fitness – I loved the ethos and knew that SOSA was perfect for what I wanted to bring to my area!  So I signed up for my ETM course and then in October 2016, I was lucky enough to take part in a live Instructor training with Katy!

I have been instructing SOSA Dance Fitness classes in my area since January 2017 and I LOVE every single class – my participants love the great mix of routines, dance styles and music genres which keep our sessions fun and full of life!

My favourite dances styles are Disco, Salsa and Charleston – for me they are so much fun, which is why I love dancing!  But Kizomba and Bachata come very close too!!

To be part of the Pro Team for SOSA Dance Fitness is actually AMAZING – I am so honoured, grateful and I can’t thank Katy enough!

 

Katy’s Testimonial

My favourite Disney character is Tigger, because he’s so loveable, optimistic and energetic…and he bounces off the walls.

This is the best analogy I can find for Kathryn, because she is our HUMAN version of Tigger!!

Kathryn is so kind, caring and compassionate in every way, her teaching style is so inclusive and fabulous, and she has a huge following for her classes in her local area because of this!

The first time I met Kathryn, I knew immediately that she was very special. She has such a positive aura surrounding her, that shines like a STAR. She has the power to make people so happy!

Kathryn has been a valued member of our Pro Team for many years now, and offers valuable advice to our instructors on how to reach new participants in their area with her marketing/PR expertise.

Kathryn is our Marketing/PR guru… and our SOSA Queen of Energy!!

Emma Thwaite

SOSA Rising Star

SOSA Pro Team Dancer & Regional Ambassador

Essex

My passion for dancing started when I was just 3 years old. My Mum taught ballet when she was in her 20’s, so when I was born, she really encouraged me to pursue dance, especially ballet, and luckily enough, I absolutely loved it!

I studied ballet until I was 17 years old and progressed to Intermediate standard in Amateur exams. My other dance experience includes Ballroom and Latin, which I studied for around 5 years, along with Tap Dance, and Jazz.

Thanks to SOSA, I have added so many more dance styles to my repertoire, and hopefully in the future I can add even more!

I also love musical theatre and have performed in many local plays/shows in the past, which brings together my love of dancing, acting and singing too!

I met Katy in 2019, and was immediately introduced to SOSA. Ever since then, I have been involved in lots of different aspects of the company; from choreographing routines, to editing the website. I have learnt lots of valuable skills that will help me in the future.

The first dance I choreographed for the SOSA Instructor Academy was a ballet routine; adding ballet into the 37 international dance styles we cover!

I am very excited for the future, and hope that I will be able to get involved in even more aspects of the business, and be able to perform at dance events too!

I have attended many SOSA classes with Katy, and had the opportunity to teach routines to her participants. My confidence has definitely grown a lot since being involved with SOSA, and hopefully in the next few years I will open my own SOSA classes and share my love of dance to everyone around me!

I am only 20 years old, and being the youngest SOSA Dance Fitness instructor has its challenges. But everyone has been so welcoming and friendly, so I really can’t wait for what the future holds!!

 

Katy’s Testimonial

I met this talented young lady in my local pub, over a glass of Prosecco! I had very recently moved to a new area, and was standing at the bar chatting away to her older brother, when she walked in.

Within two mins, I found out that she loved to dance and that was IT…we’ve been inseparable ever since!!

Emma is the most incredible 20-year old I’ve ever met. Such a beautiful and talented dancer, performing artist and singer. She has the voice of an angel and she also plays musical instruments. There’s literally nothing this young woman cannot achieve!

Her dance technique is so beautiful, graceful, and quite simply AMAZING… she may have only choreographed one or two routines for our Instructor Academy alone to date… but she’s HELPED ME choreograph at least 50 routines over the past two years.

We get together, dance crazily around the living room (with a G&T!)… and a fabulous SOSA routine emerges!!

She’s so driven, determined, committed and inspired to achieve greatness in her life, and to help others.

I’ve ‘adopted her’ as the little sister I never had. I know that long after I am gone…the LEGACY of SOSA will live on with Emma, for decades to follow.

Emma is our SOSA Rising Star and Queen of the Future!!

Mary Keating

SOSA & Seated SOSA Regional Pro Team Ambassador

Argyll & Bute, Scotland

I am from the Island of Bute in Scotland, where I all attended all classes available in dance and musical theatre from pre-school age. I was privileged to be taught Highland and National Dance at the Ann McIlroy School of Dance, she was world champion for 7 consecutive years.

After that, I became a member of the Ella Wilson Gang Show, where I learnt to play the accordian and guitar, and learnt jazz and commercial dance. This is also where I learnt all of my dance teaching skills, which I’ve used ever since.

Fast forward several decades, I have been a volunteer with Age UK for many years now, teaching classes in dance, seated exercise and Tai Chi. When I retired, I also volunteered with Rothwell Arts Theatre School, who helped and inspired me to continue dancing while I was recovering from surgery. I also taught aerobics and LBT classes at my local council leisure centres in Blackburn, Lancashire.

Back in March 2016, I was given tickets to attend the International Fitness Showcase (IFS) at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, which is where I first saw Katy showcasing SOSA, and I knew immediately that was exactly what I needed to offer people in my local community.

So, I signed up to be a SOSA instructor and attended a live training course with Katy in June 2016. The rest is history…  I haven’t stopped dancing and sharing the love of SOSA ever since!!

 

Katy’s Testimonial

This woman is simply a LEGEND. I cannot take any credit whatsoever for how fabulous Mary is, because she was making dance inclusive and accessible for all, way before SOSA was ever invented!!

‘There’s something about Mary!’

She is living proof of EVERYTHING that SOSA stands for… and she shouts it from the rooftops!

Her SOSA classes at Age UK (pre-COVID), were held in a huge hall, and she had 50 people attend every week without fail…and a waiting list lol!

Everyone wants to dance with Mary, because her energy, enthusiasm, passion, and zest for life, is absolutely infectious. She’s a STAR!

She has attended so many fitness and dance events across the country over the past five years with myself and the Pro Team, and we’ve had so much fun and adventure along the way. We really couldn’t have done it all without Mary by our side.

Her love and support is unrivalled, and she has inspired me on a personal level so much…more than she will ever know.

She has helped me to develop Seated SOSA, taking it to the next level… and presented Seated SOSA routines on behalf of the company at FitCamps event in Preston.

Mary is our SOSA Queen of Scots!!

Chris Cody

SOSA & Starlets CIC Ambassador for Wales

Mental Health Specialist

CIC Development Co-Ordinator

I grew up watching and trying to mimic dance movies on television. I absolutely loved the sense of humour Gene Kelly brought to dance, and as a child, the rather frenetic and acrobatic moves of classic Lindy Hoppers.

Later in my teens, I started going to nightclubs, primarily to dance and develop a greater range of styles (requiring a dance genre that took up less space than dance acrobatics in my living room lol), but always empowered by humour and fun.

I attended college to study Performing  Arts, which gave me the opportunity to further develop my interest in musical movement and physicality. Specialising in physical comedy, I always worked a dance routine into my thesis – usually with a mimed partner and several carefully timed slips, trips and falls.

This is what I’ve always loved doing…expressing pure joy through dance and laughter.

Always staying in touch with my love of dance, as a young adult and ever since, I have expanded my education and career, in customer services, teaching, care work, psychology and mental health.

Along with dancing, I have also enjoyed gymnastics, yoga, trampoline gymnastics, Pilates, and vertical dancing as hobbies.

Whilst working in my current role as a mental health therapist, I fell upon an advert from SOSA on social media with the phrase “Dance Yourself Happy!”

The words “happy” and “dance”, being very much embodied in my soul…I was instantly intrigued to find out more.

This is where my journey with SOSA began.

I am a firm believer that physical and mental wellness are very closely connected. This belief has since, led me to invest my full-time career in the areas of physical and mental fitness and trying to help bring communities together.

I am a big believer in family, and I am so proud to be an Ambassador for this Pro Team, encouraging others to join the SOSA family, and dance themselves happy!!

 

Katy’s Testimonial

Chris is the most recent member of our Pro Team, although he’s been a SOSA & Seated SOSA instructor for 3 years now.

He is the most GENUINE soul I have ever met. What you see, is what you get.

That’s what is so SPECIAL about him, he combines his love of dance and his qualifications as a mental health specialist, with his talent for physical comedy.

He has the ability to touch people’s heart in such a unique way because of his non-judgemental approach, and he’s so trustworthy, open and honest, his aura SHINES like a star.

He’s incredibly professional, and so kind, caring and thoughtful. His outlook on life is always positive, and he always manages to bring out the BEST in everyone.

Chris is our SOSA & Starlets CIC Mental Health Expert and our SOSA King of Positivity!!

Joanne Hickling 

Personal Assistant & Social Media Expert

SOSA Regional Pro Team Ambassador

Central & North West England

I am thrilled to have discovered SOSA Dance Fitness, and am extremely proud to represent the brand and share the SOSA love wherever I go!

I am predominantly from a gymnastics and musical background, both of which gave me a solid foundation when starting my Ballroom and Latin dance career later on in life.

Starting gymnastics at the age of 2, I trained and successfully competed throughout all my childhood, teens and early twenties and was crowned regional Vault champion in 2001, before going on to train and qualify as a British Gymnastics Coach and BG Men’s Artistic Judge, teaching a variety of ages and abilities within Leeds City Gymnastics clubs for a number of years.

As a gymnast and coach, I choreographed many a floor (and beam) routine for myself and participants, which would incorporate dance elements, musical interpretation and beautiful styling, all of which helped shape my dance technique and experience.

Alongside gymnastics, at a young age, I learnt tap and ballet, and also found my love for music, as my Mum is a music teacher. Learning the clarinet, piano and flute, being able to read, and more importantly, “feel” music, really helps when dancing in order to know how to hold a beat! I find my musicality lies deep within me…listening and moving to music invokes feelings I never experience elsewhere, which is why dance fills me with so much passion.

Going back to my youth, my twin sister, cousin and I would often choreograph our own little dance routines and “perform” them to our family on special occasions! My early teens were spent dancing in my bedroom to every ‘Steps’ track under the sun…I think I can still remember every dance, and am always first on the dancefloor at functions, leading the crowd!

I have always loved the performing arts, and took part in several musical productions at high school and sixth form including ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ (as a Munchkin!), ‘Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’ and ‘Jesus Christ Superstar.’

Having retired as a gymnast, my passion for dance really came to fruition and I joined Ballroom and Latin classes at the North Leeds Dance Academy and tap classes with the Sara Horner School of Dance, attending both for a number of years, before meeting my now fiancé, and moving from Leeds to Huddersfield in 2018.

The following year, I discovered SOSA Dance Fitness and was instantly hooked! Just one of the million reasons I love SOSA is that I am able to experience the beauty of Ballroom and Latin routines without needing to drag along my non-dancer/less-than-willing fiance! I do live in hope that he will at least allow me to choreograph our first dance at our wedding…!

After only a couple of SOSA classes, I immediately trained to become an Instructor, as the philosophy, joy and inclusivity of the SOSA programme just resonated so closely with me.

After qualifying, I launched my own SOSA Dance Fitness classes in Huddersfield in March 2020, where I continue to share my passion for SOSA with my group of hugely supportive participants, who I absolutely love to teach. To me, SOSA isn’t an income, it’s an opportunity for me to share something magical, and a lifeline for providing positive physical and mental wellbeing.

In my ‘day’ job, I work full time within Internal Communications at a well known Insurance company, alongside teaching my SOSA classes and running my own Executive PA business, which includes providing PA and social media support to Katy and SOSA Dance Fitness!

As well as being an Instructor, participant and Regional Pro Team Ambassador for all things SOSA, I am a true advocate for health, fitness, wellbeing and positivity – everything that SOSA Dance Fitness brings!

 

Katy’s Testimonial

This is the understatement of the century!!

I can’t begin to tell you how FABULOUS Joanne is, as a PA, social media expert, and a personal friend.

She’s also a fabulous dancer, so elegant, enthusiastic and passionate…she empowers all of her participants to have body confidence, and have so much fun in her SOSA classes!

I have told her many times before, I actually have no idea how I’ve even survived for so many years without her input, support, creativity, expertise and attention to detail.

Joanne is PHENOMENAL at EVERYTHING!!

Every social media post, image, and marketing idea you see from SOSA, is created by HER.

I absolutely worship this lovely lady. And she’s the best friend ever too, such a beautiful, kind and caring soul.

Joanne is our SOSA Social Media Queen!!

Debbie Gold

Office Manager for SOSA Dance Ltd

Co-Director of SOSA & Starlets CIC

Devoted Mother to Katy

Superstar!

I am very proud and honoured to be one of the SOSA Dance Fitness Pro Team.  I look after the day to day administration, and I’m also the company accountant.

My other ‘day job’ is working for an international investment bank in London as Personal Assistant to the Head of Legal, Europe….definitely not as much fun!

I love to dance and had dancing lessons when I was a child.  I now join Katy’s SOSA classes every week. which are great fun.

It was my love of dancing that made me encourage Katy to take her first dance lessons.  I had no idea at that time how successful a career Katy would have and how passionate she would be about dance.

The earliest memory I have of Katy showing her love for dance, was on a family holiday to Malta, when she was just 2 years old. Every night there was a disco in the holiday resort, and she would stand in the middle of the dance floor and dance her heart out in front of everyone… with her teddy in her arms!!

I remember taking Katy to ballet lessons shortly afterwards, when she was 3 years old. She stuck it for a few weeks but threw a right ‘strop’, because she hated being so serious and having to wear a leotard and tutu.

She always just wanted to ‘SHIMMY’…. even back then!

It’s amazing for us ALL to be able to “Live the Dream” alongside her.

I am the proudest mother in the world!

 

Katy’s Testimonial

What can I say, I am completely biased of course, but this woman is the BEST MUM IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!

She supports ME 150% every day, in everything I do.

She is our Office Manager, and the first point of contact for support to all of our instructors for their business/admin needs.

She works so hard supporting EVERYONE, she keeps on top of running the business admin on a day-to-day basis, and she’s our accountant.

I could talk for hours about how much I love this woman to bits, and worship the ground she walks on.

Ultimately, SOSA, and our CIC, would not even function on a daily basis without her unconditional love, dedication and support. End of story.

#OneInAMillion

Debbie is our SOSA Admin Queen… and MY ROCK!!