Dance guru Bethany’s ‘lovely surprise’ at nomination

GETTING THE REGION IN SHAPE: Nouveau Dance & Fitness founder and director Bethany Ainsley.

GETTING THE REGION IN SHAPE: Nouveau Dance & Fitness founder and director Bethany Ainsley.

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AN entrepreneur who has brought dance and fitness to Hartlepool communities has told of the “lovely surprise” of an awards nomination.

Bethany Ainsley, the founder and director of community enterprise organisation Nouveau Dance & Fitness, has been put in the running for a Best of Hartlepool award.

She admitted: “I feel a bit overwhelmed but it is a lovely surprise.”

And Bethany told how her bid to bring fun, affordable, innovative and effective dance and fitness programmes to Hartlepool was being stepped up soon.

Twenty new classes are being planned at town venues in the next two months and Bethany said: “They are classes which are aimed at children and adults.”

Nouveau is based in Peterlee but it helps 1,200 people per week across the North East of England, and in Hartlepool and the east Durham areas.

Hartlepool-born Bethany set up Nouveau six years ago this month. Bethany, 28, first founded the firm as a community interest company.

It offers fitness and dance classes, including in areas with some of the highest levels of social and economic deprivation in the country.

Bethany said: “It seems to have grown and grown and we are about to go even further to Whitley Bay.”

NHS indicators also showed a high rate of physical and mental health problems within the region – with many of them being related to people being inactive. However, this was said to be due to the cost of fitness regimes.

Nouveau Dance & Fitness has won a number of awards since it first started up. Bethany is a past winner of the Future 50 Award, recognising her as being among one of the UK’s 50 brightest young social entrepreneurs.

Now she is in the running for a best of Hartlepool award and said: “It is nice that someone has recognised what we do and how far we have come.”

The nomination deadline for the awards has now passed. The next stage is for the Best of Hartlepool judges to draw up a shortlist in each of the categories.

Then, it’s on to the finals night which will be held at the Hardwick Hall Hotel in Sedgefield on Thursday, April 30.

We will be there to capture all of the highlights with photographs and interviews. Watch out for coverage online and in the Hartlepool Mail.