The Movers List: Hannah Hawkey, RockFit and an ‘alternative’ way to exercise

RockFit is a dance fitness workout that combines cardio with body sculpting set to a rock and metal soundtrack

Emma Ledger
Thursday 19 September 2019 07:30
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LZS Movers - Hannah Hawkey

Three years ago Hannah Hawkey from Plymouth was a secondary school teacher who dreamt of setting up a dance fitness business. She began teaching her own heavy metal fitness class, called RockFit, in her spare time. Then a video of one of Hannah’s RockFit classes went viral and everything changed.

“I suddenly had requests for training pouring in from all over the world; Australia, America, and across Europe,” says Hannah, 36. “I quit my sensible job as a teacher to focus on Rockfit. What’s happened since has been incredible.”

RockFit is a dance fitness workout that combines cardio with body sculpting set to a rock and metal soundtrack - think high-octane moves while AC/DC or System of a Down blares out of speakers.

Lucozade Sport has featured Hannah as part of its first Movers List, celebrating 50 people who are using sport to change communities and encourage more active lives. Entrepreneur Hannah embodies the ethos behind The Movers List with her passion for getting more people moving by introducing ‘alternative’ ways to exercise. "Just because you find running boring or don’t enjoy spin classes it doesn’t mean there’s not an exercise out there that you’ll love,” says Hannah, who graduated with an MA Performance Practice from Plymouth University in 2010 and created RockFit as way to combine two of her great loves - rock music and fitness. “I found the courage to be authentic – to me that’s important - and I focused on what I’m passionate about; who I am and what I can offer to the world.”

Hannah choreographed moves to her favourite songs and started by teaching one class a week. There are now classes six days a week in Hannah’s hometown of Plymouth, and she has begun an instructor-training programme to spread RockFit far and wide.

“I’ve had people training from Hampshire, London, Cornwall and Kent,” she says. “We are setting up regular classes in London and the Midlands soon, and we’ve already toured London, Bristol and Glasgow.

“One day I want there to be RockFit classes available in every city. The response from people has been amazing - heavy metal unites people across the country.”

It’s by no means just women. This summer Hannah also taught free RockFit classes at heavy metal festival Download - despite the best efforts of British ‘summer’ weather threatening to rain it off. And next up RockFit is going global, with plans to take the class to New York and California too.

“The potential is limitless,” smiles Hannah. “No matter who you are, what you look like, what your ability - there is an exercise class out there for you. RockFit teaches you to own your body, embrace your jiggly bits, work-out and rock-out. In Plymouth I have a granny of 85 who comes with her daughter and granddaughter. She just moves her arms around and does what she can, but she’s involved and loves it. It shows you there’s no upper age limit. There’s no lower age limit either - although there can be explicit content in some songs which parents need to have ok’d!”

Hannah is the woman behind RockFit

RockFit has previously been sponsored by the government’s sports initiative This Girl Can and is a MoveGB member. Hannah says it is the reaction she gets from those who take her classes that has given her the confidence to get to this point.

“I could see how much people got from the classes, and that gave me such a buzz,” she says. “Standing on stage talking - or shouting - to thousands of people means I see the reaction immediately. I'm just completely in awe of everything that has happened with RockFit. The public response, the support and the incredible reactions. I'm extremely excited and can't wait to see where we go from here. It's been one hell of a rollercoaster ride.”

For more information about the Movers List and to find local facilities and classes to move more, visit www.lucozadesport.com/the-movers-list

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