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Bardello Health and Fitness
Bardello Health and Fitness
Bardello Health and Fitness
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36 Monkspath Business Park,
B90 4NZ

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Opening Times:

06:00 - 22:00

06:00 - 22:00

06:00 - 22:00

06:00 - 22:00

06:00 - 22:00

07:30 - 20:00

07:30 - 18:00

Please see Timetable for bank holiday opening times







Bardello Dance School
Bardello School of Dance

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Salsa at Bardello

Some great salsa evenings at Bardello. It was quite bizarre, some days we would get 150 eating, drinking, dancing and having a really great time. The same day the following week, we'd get 10 misserables.

Lesson from a lonely Bardello: People want to be where people are. To succeed, a business needs to be seen to have achieved critical mass - whether or not that's really the case.

This was a big problem with Bardello during 2009/2010. People would literally put their heads around the door and peep in. If Bardello seemed empty, they would turn on their heels and go. On some nights, if everyone that did this had stayed, Bardello would have been buzzing!

Sophie and Nick at Bardello

I had to laugh at the write-up that we had in the Birmingham Mail in November 2009. Roving reporter Sophie Cross came to sample an evening of tapas and Dance at Bardello. Luckily it was rammed and atmosphere was great. Can't believe that I likened Bardello to a swingers club - not that I would know anything about that sort of thing! Click on this picture to read the full write-up.

The salsa dance sessions being run by freelance salsa teachers were also seriously struggling with sometimes as few as three people turning up for a class during the week. We had a bit more success with the Friday night salsa when we made the entry free of charge, but in the long term, this was not commercially viable and again by February 2010 all salsa other the Wednesday night session had gone.

Salsa at Bardello

More Salsa at Bardello, Paul Hibbert (centre) leads the session.

Having been an on-and-off fitness professional for nearly 20 years and having the knack for a clear understanding of both the man’s and the lady’s steps in ballroom and Latin dancing I start teaching dance. I also quite independently of ZUMBA and with no knowledge of ZUMBA at that time created a Latin dance-based exercise session that I called LATIN JAM. Other than being based around the core rhythms of Rumba, Cha Cha, Jive, Salsa and Samba, the only differences between LATIN JAM and ZUMBA is that there were no routines as such, it was all choreographed by me on the spot and I would lead the participants into the next move by verbal cueing.

At its height in February 2010, LATIN JAM would attract 40 people per session and we ran at least one session per day.

Salsa at Bardello

On a good Friday night session run by Salsa King, we could get well over 150 attending! However, entry was free of charge and when one chap quite blatantly came up to the bar and said to me, "I've been coming here every Friday now for a month, I feel a bit guilty, I'll buy a drink this week... I'll have... a tonic water please." I could have spat.

At that time, I also pursued something that I had wanted to do for years; to codify in a clear, concise and consistent way the Argentine Tango dance - something that had not been done to such a technical level before. I needed to test the figures and amalgamations and the teaching methods, so, I dedicated Thursday nights after LATIN JAM and later ZUMBA to Argentine Tango. My students were my guinea pigs. For those interested, I now have a very good codification that just needs a few tweaks before being ready for publication.

By Easter 2010 it was only me and one freelance salsa teacher doing any work at Bardello, that was 5 LATIN JAM sessions, 2 Ballroom and Latin sessions, 1 Argentine Tango and 1 Salsa session per week.

Enter, ZUMBA!

Zumba at Bardello

The early days of ZUMBA Fitness at Bardello. This is a photo from the first set ever taken of a ZUMBA session at Bardello. I made a point of taking the camera on this day as I realized that Bardello ZUMBA was special and was going to be big. Track: Cumbia Jam

When we started ZUMBA in February 2010, I could see the potential, but for the first 3 months we had only three turn up for the one session that we ran per week.

Zumba at Bardello

Lisa leads a session as ZUMBA Fitness at Bardello quickly became more popular throughout the summer of 2010. Photo by Keith

Then suddenly during the summer of 2010, there was no stopping it. Demand was so great that to provide prime-time slots for ZUMBA, other classes had to go. First was the beginners’ ballroom, then most of the LATIN JAM. By the autumn of 2010 LATIN JAM had gone and we were left with one weekly session of Ballroom/Latin, one of salsa and one of Argentine Tango but we did have 12 packed sessions of ZUMBA every week!

Zumba at Bardello

Me playing the congas soon became a trademark of Bardello ZUMBA. Photo by Keith.

Roll on ZUMBA!

Zumba at Bardello

I rarely get photographed leading a Bardello ZUMBA session as it's a challenging photographic assignment; that is the taking of an action photo in a very dark environment, not taking a photo of me... Actually it's taking a photo of me that's the problem! Track Dame. Photo by Keith.

Zumba at Bardello

A great many of our Damson Lane customers as still with us and are current Bardello members having followed us to our new venues in Monkspath. Track: Mueve La Colita. Photo by Keith.

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