16/08/2019 Q and A with Me!

In this Q and A with myself I spill the beans on my life as a dance and dance fitness teacher. Get to know me a little better as I answer some personal questions and some frequently asked questions…



Helen Tomlinson



29 years old.


How long have you been dancing?

I started taking classes at Ecco Theatre Arts when I was 12 and have never looked back. I began my teacher training at just 17 and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Ecco is one big family. I am there every other day teaching and the school is a big part of my life.


Can you eat what you want with all the exercise you do?

I get asked this a lot and have lost count over the years of how many comments have been made by family and friends about how slim I am despite how much I eat!

Not many people believe me when I tell them how much I do eat but I have to eat a lot as I have a fast metabolism.  One of my struggles is eating the right things to ensure I keep my energy levels up.

No matter what your shape or size, health is the most important thing. A slim person is not always a healthy person and everyone needs their fruit and veg. I can and do eat a lot but I am conscious of what I’m eating and try my best like everyone else to be good most of the time!


How do you stay in shape?

My job! I actively teach around 20 hours per week, sometimes more.

I admit I am lucky to have good genes. I take after my Dad who is tall and slim and has weighed the same since he was in his twenties!

However, I have always danced and I can credit dancing as being the one thing that has and still does keep me in the shape I am in. Dance is like no other exercise or sport. The whole body is used and a high level of fitness is required from the dancers I teach for their exams and competitions. Since I started teaching full-time, my body has gained much more definition too.

Whilst so much exercise would be a big ask for someone with a 9-5 desk job, I would say you could count on one hand how much high intensity exercise I do a week. A couple of hours every week is doable and can do wonders for anyone.


What’s your favourite part of your body?

I think I would have to say my legs.


What’s your worst part of your body?

Hmmm I have a few usual complaints like everyone. I’m not keen on my nose. I have stretch marks on my bum from growth spurts as a teenager which annoy me.

I wouldn’t say I have a worst part but if I could change anything, I’d have shorter arms. They are so long and gangly I think I look like an orangutan at times! I wouldn’t mind a more bootylicious bum either!


Do you still get achy and tired out from classes like everyone else?

You might expect the answer to be no.  Shouldn’t I be used to it by now? Well I ask myself this most weeks but yes I do still suffer with aches and pains. You will know if you’ve been to a class that I get just as sweaty as the participants. I do still try to push myself. Even though everyone takes routines at their own pace I find I set the pace of the class. If I’m really going for it I find the whole class follows suit as they are copying me. Physical exertion is part of the job and while my body has adapted to that I still get muscle soreness from time to time unfortunately!

What’s your fitness motivation?

I’m quite competitive so I enjoy challenging myself so that’s my main motivator. Also, when you start seeing the results of your efforts it spurs you on.

Your favourite meal?

Spaghetti bolognaise. Pasta bake is a close second. I am pasta’s biggest fan!


Best thing about your job?

Whether it’s a dance student that’s improved or a class member who’s lost weight I love seeing other people’s successes and knowing I played a small part in that. With the chairobics sessions I do in the local community I feel I am really making a difference to other people’s lives and that’s what makes me happy.


What’s your favourite saying?

‘Everything in moderation.’ Basically, have a little bit of what you fancy when you fancy!