If you’re feeling a tad low, just put on some fizzy music and get on your feet. ‘It’s the quickest energy booster,’ according to Strictly judge and former prima ballerina Darcey Bussell, who has now forsaken pirouettes for Zumba. ‘Zumba is my release. Everything is possible after a Zumba session.’ Darcey is just one of the guest stars at Move It 2014: the UK’s biggest dance event at London Olympia from 7-9 March.
Got To Dance presenter Kimberly Wyatt, who will be there with stars from her Beautiful Movements dance company, calls Move It ‘a dance enthusiast’s dream’. As well as over 240 dance classes in all styles for all stages, there will be live performances showcasing everything from hip hop (Boy Blue), contemporary (Lukas McFarlane, Got To Dance Champion 2013) and the cast of West End show Stomp, as well as the Royal Academy of Dance.
Of course, dancing is wonderful for all of us physically but it can also give people a means of connecting with the world: ‘I was a shy kid with no real confidence. Movement and music helped me unlock a [way] to express myself,’ says Kimberly.
At a time when research shows we all need to move it more – both for physical and mental health – this show is perfect for all ages. There is even careers advice with panels of experts, workshops and every major performing arts college under one roof.
So join the dance movement! Readers who book online are entitled to a ten per cent discount on all ticket prices, which start at £14.50 for a one-day pass for adults, £11 for children (five to 15) and £46 for a family pass for two adults and two children. Visit www.moveitdance.co.uk and use the discount code M101.
Q I need to find compression stockings and/or socks that do not squash my wide feet. All the high-street options are so uncomfortable. Do you know any specialist suppliers?
A I have talked to two helpful companies for you. As well as ready-to-wear, Daylong offers a made-to-measure service (0800- 195 0160, www.daylong.co.uk, look under More Products) for below knee socks, £47.98, and thigh length, £75.98, both available on prescription from your GP. The spokesperson recommends Credalast Circular Knit, which come in a breathable, ‘velvet’ or classic finish in natural or black, with closed or open toe. (The thigh-length version requires suspenders, also available on prescription.) Pebble UK (01353-624624/www.pebbleuk.com) stocks a wide range of support hosiery in varying sizes. The Medical Stockings section offers products for those who suffer from lymphoedema (also an arm sleeve with glove), advanced varicose veins, arterial and venous insufficiency, phlebitis and venous thrombosis.
However much you love your sleeping partner, goodwill may be stretched if they (or you) set an early alarm that jangles you into untimely waking. Abracadabra! The 331 Under Pillow Vibration Alarm Clock does what it says on the box. We tried it with positive results. £15.49/www.goodlifeguide.co.uk.
WHY SMOKING'S BAD FOR BABY
One in eight pregnant women in the UK smoke at the time of delivery. When they inhale, poisonous chemicals in tobacco pass to the baby, depriving it of oxygen. Nationwide, maternal smoking causes up to 5,000 miscarriages, 300 perinatal deaths and 2,200 premature births, as well as a greater risk of cot death, respiratory infection and deformities at birth. Now the North East health service, where 19 per cent of pregnant women smoke, has launched the BabyClear initiative where midwives explain the dangers and offer support to quit (www.freshne.com). For help to stop smoking, visit www.smokefree.nhs.uk.