When we heard that the founder of the famous London-based children’s activity classes Amanda’s Action Club was coming to Dubai, we couldn’t wait to meet her. Louise Emma Clarke took along her 11-month old baby to try a class…
As with many second babies, I have rarely had the time to take my youngest to activity or music classes. His older brother, however, had a diary busier than mine as a baby – and as time has gone on, I’ve felt guilty about this and vowed to find a class for the two of us to attend together.
Right on cue, I was invited to join a class at Favourite Things, Dubai Marina Mall, taken by Amanda Frolich, the founder of the successful UK-based Amanda’s Action Club.
Amanda’s Action Club was inspired by Amanda’s life-long love of sport, with the idea coming to her when she attended a music and movement training course while working in the leisure industry. She put into practice everything she learned and discovered that she had a natural affinity with young children. Described as a ‘female pied piper’ for her ability to capture the attention of little ones, her Action Club classes are designed to be a unique and stimulating fitness and music programme for children aged between four months and
I wanted to try it out – especially when I found out that Amanda has been personally requested at children’s birthday parties of several high-profile celebrities, including David and Victoria Beckham. And if it’s good enough for Brooklyn and co, it’s good enough for us…
So I took Wilfred along to the class at Favourite Things on a Sunday morning, excited about what we would discover – and it very quickly became apparent that the description on the website of her ‘bubbly, larger-than-life character’ was totally on the mark. The noise levels went up the moment we walked into the room, with Amanda’s animated welcomes – and at her feet, an entourage of babies and toddlers staring up at her with a look of confused fascination. I tried to pop Wilfred down on the floor with them, but he clung to me like a baby koala — so we both joined them on the floor while we waited for the class to begin.
Sitting, however, didn’t feature much in the next 45 minutes, with both children and adults required to jump up, join in with dance routines, play musical instruments, and shake various props enthusiastically at Amanda’s every beck and call. Amanda informed us that she had taught aerobics in a past career and elements of this have definitely inspired the structure of the class.
Despite the high activity levels, however, I didn’t notice quite how exhausting the class was until right at the end, which is testament to how engrossing, entertaining, and fun the class was. Wilfred was a bit too young to understand a lot of the concepts, such as tidying toys away and looping hoops over Amanda’s arms and legs as she lay on the floor (see, I told you she was eccentric) but he seemed to like every second.
One thing that also amazed me was that my shy, sensitive little boy, who usually clung to my legs for the first half an hour of every outing, was very happy to crawl into the middle of the circle on his own and dance away to the music. Just like I’d been told, Amanda has a natural talent to grab little people’s attention and boost their confidence levels. With regular attendance, I am sure I would notice changes in him every week.
Over the course of the 45-minute class, we shook tambourines, danced around with plastic jelly sea creatures, bounced balls from strings, waved sticks with plastic hands on the end that clicked, and did the hokey kokey. There was barely any time between activities, which was a big bonus as Wilfred’s attention was never lost – something I found hard with classes I attended with my first baby, when the longer breaks gave him the opportunity to escape the room or make sudden breaks for another child’s snack or dummy.
The class came to an end with shiny blue cheerleader pom-poms handed out to both adults and children – and a ‘Club Mix’ of Disney Frozen’s Let It Go blaring out into the room. As we danced around and shook our pom-poms to this bizarre, but hilarious re-take on the classic song, I felt my first waves of tiredness. I realised I had not only entertained Wilfred for the last 45 minutes, but enjoyed a bit of a workout myself – and with some baby weight still clinging on for dear life, regular classes could really benefit me too.
Amanda is currently looking for a franchisee to run her Action Club classes in the UAE — and I really hope she finds one soon. I will be the first to sign up for another energetic and entertaining session.
To contact Amanda, visit www.amandasactionclub.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 0044 (0)1895 623999