EMD UK started life as EMDP (The Exercise Movement & Dance Partnership) back in 2006 and since to support and promote dance fitness organisations.
EMDP (The Exercise Movement & Dance Partnership), was constituted in 2006 to facilitate and support dance fitness organisations. After backing from Sport England, EMDP was formed from The Fitness League (now FLexercise), the Keep Fit Association (KFA), and the Medau Society.
Worked in partnership with London Youth Games to create Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 dance competitions as part of their Games. Working with schools across London, 1,163 children were engaged in dance activity, with over 330 going on to compete in the dance competition itself. By 2016, the number of competitors had doubled, with 27 London boroughs competing for the prize. In the three years EMD UK partnered with London Youth Games, over 9,000 children were engaged in dance activities. Many children went on to take our Intro to Dance Fitness course, allowing them to deliver dance fitness sessions to their peers in the presence of an instructor.
Funded by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), we worked with Parkour Dance Company to deliver their Forever Young programme for people over 60 across 12 weeks. The sessions were a fusion of parkour and dance which utilised the varying landscape of the park.
We became the national governing body for group exercise, with a remit to support and grow the sector. We work in partnership with Sport England to deliver the government’s national physical activity agenda. To achieve this, we are finding ways to engage with the 11.5m people in the UK that currently do no form of physical activity and introduce them to group exercise opportunities.
We launched our Instructor Revolution event, offering instructors from across the industry the chance to try masterclasses, hear from industry experts, and have their voices heard on instructor matters, such as pay. The event, held in central London, was a huge success, with over 100 instructors attending, as well as students from the University of East London and a range of high-profile fitness professionals and presenters from community, boutique, and leisure operator gyms.
We released the findings of our much-anticipated National Fitness Survey; a huge dive into group exercise participants. The findings revealed a one million person increase in participation since 2016, with weekly participation in classes sitting at 4.86 million.
We launched our first white paper; Sweating Your Assets: The Value of Group Exercise. The white paper showcases the work group exercise has done in creating a healthier nation through exercise but notes that the activity is widely undervalued as a gateway to activity, not just by the public but also by the fitness industry.
We re-launched our classfinder search engine – the largest group exercise class directory in the UK. With funding from Sport England, we worked in partnership with the Open Data Institute (ODI) and imin to standardise all class data and make finding a class easier than finding a takeaway. The platform is a free promotional tool for instructors and leisure operators, with Everyone Active and GLL already utilising the system. classfinder currently boasts over 40,000 group exercise classes, with that number growing weekly.