Dance, Sing, Shine!
Turning his passion into a successful business, dancer Barry Kinder has created full body dance fitness classes to iconic soundtracks of stage and screen for participants to step into the spotlight. Photography: Lou Humphries
It was a passion that has been at the forefront of Barry’s career for the past 20 years. Having enjoyed dancing as a youngster, Barry, originally from Warrington, started his professional dancing career after choreographer Clive from top TV show The Hitman and Her recognised Barry’s dancing talent in Mr Smith’s nightclub at the tender age of 18. Barry went on to train with Clive’s dance group for roadshows, continuing after the show was axed.
Barry said: “I had studied a degree in business and marketing but I loved dance. After completing my degree, I decided to audition for a few colleges to see whether it was possible to train in become a professional dancer and was accepted into the iconic Phil Winstons Theatreworks in Blackpool for a three-year dance and musical theatre programme. Because I had no formal dance training, I had to catch up with all the other students at a Grade 5 level.”
Following his studies, Barry went on to audition for a number of shows and gained contracts at Disneyland Paris and on various cruise ships. In London, he joined the cast of Spirit of the Dance where he completed an intensive seven-week programme to learn the Irish dance show. This led to working all over the world for Spirit Productions in shows such as the Spirit of Broadway and the Spirit of Christmas. After five years of performing multiple shows a week, Barry wanted to explore other opportunities and his next job was as a cruise company manager for the cruise ship, Ocean Village.
On a trip to stay with friends in Blackpool, Barry met his partner and eventually wanted to settle down. Somebody suggested he start to teach Zumba as a way to continue dancing professionally and he took the plunge and started with four classes a week. Barry explained: “It was a case of do or die. I had no idea if I would be able to fill my classes or not. Some classes would only have two people and some 15 but within six weeks, I had to create extra classes because of the demand.”
Barry went onto training to qualify in Zumba Gold, Zumba Toning, Zumba Kids plus Clubbericse, SOSA Dance Fitness, PoundFIT and Powerbands which he runs under his Barry Kinder Fitness banner. And it’s not just about the dancing. Barry puts a lot of personality into his instructing and creates a community where all the participants end up as friends even throwing a Christmas party for all the groups. Within a year, Barry was nominated for a Radio Wave Lifestyle and Culture award which he went on to win for four years.
He also started to visit fitness conventions and it was at one of these that Barry was approached to enter a presenter competition where the prize was to have the fitness class brand endorsed and a slot to showcase it at the International Fitness Showcase (IFS).
Out of hundreds of entrants, Barry made it through to the finals and had to deliver a five-minute session to four judges. He said: “I wanted to go back to my musical theatre roots and had enough material and choreography and of course flamboyant music tracks to create Panache Dance Fitness. There weren’t many of these stage and screen classes and most of the instructors were female. There are so many dancers that no longer perform so I wanted to create a way for them to still earn an income from dance.” Although he didn’t win the competition he was still asked to become a presenter giving him his platform and determination to get the brand, trade-marked, perfected and endorsed.
Barry is registered with EMDUK, the national governing body for group exercise and created a training programme to teach new instructors to run their own classes under the Panache Fitness banner. Current instructors include current West End performers and former professional dancers. Being a Panache instructor comes with business and marketing support from Barry along with a full training programme. You can now find classes in Blackpool, Poulton, Preston, Lancaster, Bolton and St Annes and in Delta Hotels.
Barry concluded: “Panache Dance Fitness is open to all ages and abilities. It’s a chance to unleash yourself! You can follow some great moves and sing your heart out to some iconic tracks and transport yourself to a full performance. It’s not only a dance class but a fitness community where you can make new friends and forget life’s worries for a while. The youngest person in our classes is 16 and the oldest is 85 and we have a lot of fun together with regular events and conventions to get involved with. So if you want to unleash your inner star to keep fit and in shape, come and join us!”