FITNESS INTERVIEW | Bokwa and Dance instructor Chantell Mayes

Meet Chantell Mayes, a former professional dancer who is now fully focusing on her skills in the health and fitness industry through many years of varied training.


Chantell after class!


Give us a quick intro about who you are and your dance history.

I am an ex-professional dancer from the Royal Contemporary School of Dance where I mastered in Jazz and tap. I had a short career break to have my family but I couldn’t keep my dancing feet still!

In 1993 I became a dance teacher. I started my own dance company called Free2dance which has been running for 12 years. During this period of time, my aim was to combine dance and fitness along with making some amazing friends along the way.

I have just started my Dance classes in Felixstowe and a new company called Fit-Fusion. I hope to make this as successful and be around for many years!

Zumba has been a popular dance fitness company for many years and is still going strong, but Bokwa is on a different level! It’s more intense, energetic and creates an amazing vibe!


What exactly is Bokwa and how is it different to other dance classes like Zumba?

The Bokwa slogan is ‘Sweat the alphabet and dance the digits’ – Bokwa is made up of two parts. The ‘Bo’ is from boxing and the ‘Kwa’ from Kwaito (South African music).

The moves are inspired by South African war dance, along with Capoeria (Brazilian martial arts) that combine elements of dance and music, with the addition of kick boxing and aerobic steps.

Bokwa moves are based on the shapes of letters or numbers which are stepped out onto the floor. Zumba and Bokwa are totally different – Zumba is based on Latin music, and Bokwa can be any fast-paced music that almost all of us would recognise! This could vary from the crazy music of The Prodigy, through to the groovy beats of MC Hammer!


Why did you choose to teach bokwa?

I firmly believe that I can inspire anyone who is seeking a better quality of life through health and fitness. I chose to teach Bokwa because the concept is amazing – It’s aimed at all different levels, ages and abilities and with the bounce of my feet and hand signals, everyone can Bokwa!


How long have you been practicing to do Bokwa?

I have been teaching Bokwa for about four years, and with my passion, energy and carefully prepared playlists I strive to bust out the energy and moves each and every week like it were the first time!


In a class full of people with wildly different aims, how do you strive to keep everyone engaged and motivated?

I am well aware that every person has their own reasons for coming to group exercise classes or individual personal training. I try to encourage everyone on a general level by keeping motivational levels to a very high standard using all of my energy.

Go to the Fit Fusion webpage for more details or go to their Facebook Page to see their timetable, which contains a wide selection of other classes! All for just £5 each session!


Is it safe and available for any individual?

I feel that safety and enjoyment as well as inclusion all go hand-in-hand within a group exercise environment. I always offer multi-ability choices for all participants. Hopefully, this ensures that everyone who is taking part has an option which will maximise their exercise experience.

Why come to Bokwa?

With the amazing energy created, the feel good factor, being part of a group and the progression that you will experience week after week, you’ll become addicted! Be part of the Bokwa revolution!


‘Look nowhere else for fitness classes in Felixstowe, Suffolk!’


Thanks Chantell!




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