Plymouth Marjon University PhD student Ian Blackwell has been instrumental in organising dads from across the UK to converge on a small Devon village to show off their dance moves in the annual ‘World Dad Dancing Championship’ at DadFest 2018.
This global phenomenon, now in its fifth year, was extra remarkable this year as the organisers launched the world’s first ‘Dad Dancing Fit Club’. The new fitness programme, aimed at dads and their children, has classes running this autumn at leisure centres across South Devon and then nationally in 2019.
Ian is the founder of Dangerous Dads and the inspiration behind the Dad Dancing Fit Club (DDFC). His PhD studies at Marjon are focussed on father-child relationships and in particular how hands-on, outdoor-based activities support father-child bonding and develop paternal parenting skills.
Ian said about the launch of the new fitness club: “We are very excited about our new fitness programme. We have been developing the Dad Dancing Fit Club idea for several months now and launched it just before The World Dad Dancing Championships on Saturday 15th September.
“The DDFC includes classy moves like The Robot, The Air Guitar and, of course, The John Travolta, all set to the best tunes around. The fitness regime has been developed by professional fitness instructors thanks to funding from Subway, Heart Research UK and The Big Lottery, and is not like your traditional fitness class with shouty instructors and lycra.”
Ian continued: “There will be DDFC sessions in towns across Torbay, Plymouth and South Devon that dads and their children (and mums) can attend. We want to help adults and children get fit and to encourage healthy hearts, and DDFC is designed to be great fun by encouraging physical activity through the ancient art of ‘dad dancing’. Classes will run every week for eight weeks in venues in Torquay, Brixham, Paignton, Plymouth, Newton Abbot and Totnes, and then the programme will be rolled out nationally. DDFC has been set up to appeal to men and their children but classes will be open to everyone who feels the urge to dad dance.”
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