St Albans woman dancing to success thanks to life-changing business

PUBLISHED: 12:01 16 January 2011

Popdance at Race for Life 2010

Popdance at Race for Life 2010

Archant

A FORMER marketing executive and mum of two has tackled a career rut and post-kids body hang-ups by swapping her pressurised job for her favourite hobby and turning it into a successful business.

Sue Wybrow, 39, created Popdance, where adults learn professionally-choreographed routines to pop tunes from the 80s through to the noughties, after chatting with a friend about how she would like to spend her free time away from her work and young children.

“These days, most mums have to work full time on top of looking after young children, basically to keep the money coming in, especially now. But what I think a lot of people don’t realise how difficult it is to balance both.

“Although I Ioved my marketing job, I kind of felt I had got into a rut, and I struggled with guilt about leaving the children, as I was back at work four days a week when my eldest was just three months old.

“That was really tough, and as I have worked since leaving school at 16, and have always earned my own money, leaving a well-paid, secure job to set up Popdance was a massive decision to make.

“However, I want to get the message out there to other mums and potential businesswomen, that you can have a family and get your own life back as well. There is a lot of negativity about women balancing work and family, but it’s becoming a necessity, and this isn’t 40 years ago,” she said.

Popdance started out with one class in St Albans just over a year ago, and now has classes around the UK, employing professional dance teachers in all areas.

Sue said dancing around to her favourite music has also improved her physical fitness, toned her up, and made her feel happier: “According to research by the World Health Organisation, depression is the number one psychological problem in the western world.

“But research has also found that dancing in particular lowers levels of stress hormones, and significantly lowers levels of depression. As well as being a great form of physical exercise, attending regular dance classes can also provide other benefits such as social interaction and self-confidence, which contributes to improved self-esteem. In these difficult times, it’s something that a lot of us could do with.”

Dr Lynda Shaw, cognitive neuro-psychologist and lecturer at Brunel University, the founder of The Pleasure Umbrella, agrees: “Exercise is highly beneficial for the brain, especially if accompanied by music. The obvious benefits are increased blood flow and oxygen to the brain. But what a lot of people don’t realise is that growth of new nerve cells also happens. This is a huge benefit to cognition.

“And of course, the neurochemicals in the brain, such as dopamine and serotonin, are increased, which make us feel happier so we sleep better, we feel more motivated and we think more clearly.

“In short, dance and exercise also helps suppress cortisol, the stress hormone, so you really can’t lose by having a good dance around!”

Sue, who said that taking part in the Popdance classes often lifts her mood after a taxing day, added: “Learning the new dance moves, listening to great music, moving your body, exercising and laughing with others can’t possibly feel the same as sitting at home feeling low. Why not give it a try?”

For more information on Popdance and your nearest classes, as well as the chance to do a free taster session, go to: www.popdance.co.uk, email: info@popdance.co.uk, or call : 08444 829706

Follow Popdance on Twitter, or become a fan on Facebook.

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