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In 1972 I launched my very first slimming class. Click here to read how it all began.


We are about to witness something exceptional in the history of the United Kingdom. The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee really is something extraordinary and which may not be repeated by any monarch – ever – so Mary and I feel it is worth celebrating!
Wonderfully, it is creating enormous excitement – not least because we are seeing the Queen out and about and looking radiant and really well after her recent bout of COVID. Next week truly is going to be a wonderful celebration.
As many of you are aware, I am a Deputy Lieutenant which means that I assist the Lord Lieutenant, (the Queen’s representative in Leicestershire) when required, along with around another 25 DLs that have been appointed over the years. Unsurprisingly, with my background in fitness, when the Lord Lieutenant, Mike Kapur OBE, came up with the idea of doing something active to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee, he called upon me for help.
Together with another DL, Dave Andrews, a retired radio presenter and performing arts supremo, we set about creating an event that will take place in the centre of Leicester next week, on Wednesday 1st June, which we have entitled Dance for the Queen! It will be broadcast on BBC Radio Leicester and on the local BBC news programme East Midlands Today.
This event has been created around the realisation by our Lord Lieutenant, that the seven decades of Her Majesty’s remarkable reign can be seen on a 24-hour clock: 19:52 – 20:22.
Motivated by this fact, we have created a spectacular dance event to run for the 30 minutes from 19:52 to 20:22 comprising seven dance performances in keeping with the style of music across the seven decades that span the Queen’s reign. This will be preceded by a spectacular 90-minute Variety Show of talent featuring a diverse mix of musical styles drawn from the wonderful array of Leicester’s eclectic cultures. It is going to be spectacular and we are expecting big crowds! 
Everyone is giving their services for free and the community of Leicester is being invited to enjoy a memorable evening.
I have always loved music and dancing, ever since I was a small child. Ballet when I was four, piano lessons from five, and dancing around a wooden floor to music (played from an old-fashioned wind-up-gramaphone) at home as I imagined I was skating on an ice rink. I just loved moving to music and I am so glad I found a career that fulfilled my passion and hopefully encouraged others to move more and become fitter.
Meeting Mary Morris and working together over the decades has been bliss and creating our fitness videos was one of the highlight jobs of each year. I was inspired by Mary’s creativity and imagination in combining so many variations of moves masterfully choreographed into a routine that worked every muscle in our body. The music was always motivating, and moving to the beat and the phrase of the song made you feel fabulous at the end of it! Personally, I do not think there is any form of fitness that is more fun - so inexpensive to buy, so versatile, yet accessible to almost everyone. And they never date. Just as we will love hearing those old dance songs across the 50s, 60s, 70s on our Dance for the Queen evening, so too do we perk up our ears when we hear a track playing on the radio from one of our favourite fitness routines of times gone by. They still make us want to get up and dance.
And for our grand finale to our Dance for the Queen event we will be inviting the crowd to join in as we all dance to ABBA’s  ‘Dancing Queen’ – the event’s ‘anthem’.

Me, aged 6, as the Queen of Hearts with school friend Christopher Bordoli as my Knave at the local village Fancy Dress parade on the occasion of the Coronation in 1953. 

Recipe of the Week

Serves 4
Per Serving: 289 kcal  3g fat
Cooking time: 30 - 40 minutes

300ml skimmed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
115g caster sugar
75g fresh white breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons dark plum jam
3 egg whites

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas Mark 4
  2. Heat the milk and vanilla extract in a small saucepan until just boiling.
  3. Beat the egg yolks with half the caster sugar, then pour the milk over, whisking to combine.
  4. Divide the breadcrumbs between 4 individual ramekin dishes and pour the custard mixture over the breadcrumbs. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes until set.
  5. Remove from the oven and spread with the jam.
  6. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, then continue whisking as you add the remaining sugar very slowly, a teaspoon at a time. Place the mixture in a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe the mixture over the jam to form a pyramid shape
  7. Return the puddings to the oven for 10 minutes to allow the meringue to crisp.
  8. Serve hot or cold with low-fat live Greek yogurt.
For more recipes click here to visit the website

Fun, Facts & Fitness from Mary Morris MSc.

What motivates you most to get moving? 

I ask the question because it is fundamental to what we promote week in and week out. I am hoping that many of you would say MUSIC!  A happy and up-beat golden-oldie that you loved as a teenager, that makes you want to get up and dance around the kitchen - imagining yourself to be 18 again! 

The first time I used music in an adult fitness class was in 1974 for all the mums of the school kids I taught every day, and I learnt then that music was the way forward in motivating a group of women to add lots more 'umph' to their moves!

Then in America in 1982 Jane Fonda came along with her exercise videos to music and we were hooked. Women all over the world now had an outlet for exercising in their own home and the aerobic dance boom began. Thankfully we then saw the appearance of our own aerobic dance 'guru' in Rosemary and, from the mid-80s, sessions were springing up all over the country providing the opportunity at last for women to get really fit and socialise together away from the home!

Of course, 30+ years on, ‘working out to music’ is by far the most popular activity for us, and as usual, the industry has moved forward so we have plenty of choice to keep us exercising and keeping us fit and healthy.  Rosemary and I always loved Latin music which motivated us to do two Salsacise videos in 2005 and 2006, and we know they are still used by many of you today and are still available to buy in our online shop

If you love to work-out to music then maybe try:

  • Tap dancing - You may have had a go as a child and fancy going back to it. It requires good rhythm and a lot of concentration.
  • Belly Dancing - The very best waist trimmer and a perfect pace for the older female.
  • Ballroom Dancing - Fancy footwork keeps the brain active and a great way of keeping fit and mobile in later years. The growth of 'Tea Dances' makes it very sociable too.
  • Zumba Classes - These highly popular classes have sprung up nationwide and are standing the test of time, mostly due to the great music they use.
  • Ballet Dancing - A strong core, perfect balance and posture guaranteed!
  • Line Dancing - So much fun, with great music and at a steady pace, suitable for us all. 

So, you can see what a lovely mix of sessions is potentially available to you in your area. Once the music is playing you simply want to get moving and don't want it to stop. 

Since time immemorial we have wanted rhythm in our lives starting with the beating of the drum by primitive man. How wonderful for us that the music industry still keeps moving forward and providing us with our best motivation for enjoying getting fit. Long may it continue.

This Week's Fitness Challenge

  1. If you like the sound of any of those options above then this week go online and find a class for you to try. (Please remember that we no longer have a network of our own fitness classes.)
  2. Try a Rosemary Conley exercise routine video/DVD 3 times this week. We spent a long time choosing the very best music for you to work-out to!
  3. Maybe try your daily 30+ minute walk with a headset on so the music helps to keep you going for longer - remember though, not if you are crossing roads – only in a park area and you still need to keep an awareness of what is going on around you!
  4. Aim to do a strength programme 3 times this week.  Due to copyright reasons we are unable to accompany our workouts on the website with music, so perhaps play some music you like with a strong beat in the background to motivate you more as you tone up!
  5. Whenever the radio is on with a great track... get dancing!
Did you know...

Princess Elizabeth automatically became Queen on 6th February 1952 on the death of her father, George VI, but her coronation didn't actually take place until 2nd June 1953. The ceremony was held more than a year later because of the tradition of allowing an appropriate length of time to pass after a monarch dies before holding such festivities. It also gave the planning committees adequate time to make the necessary preparations.

It was estimated to have cost £1.57 million (c. £45 million in today's money) which included stands along the procession route to accommodate 96,000 people, lavatories, street decorations, outfits, car hire, repairs to the state coach, and alterations to the Queen's regalia.  Millions across Britain watched the coronation live on the BBC as many purchased or rented television sets especially for the event, and film of the occasion was flown around the world in specially chartered aeroplanes. Although it did not at the time have a full-time television service, film was also dispatched to Australia aboard a Qantas airliner, which arrived in Sydney in a record time of 53 hours 28 minutes. The worldwide television audience for the coronation was estimated to be 277 million.

And finally...

Music is good for us. Let’s enjoy it…and let’s dance!

Have a wonderful Bank Holiday and enjoy the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. There will be more about the Queen next week.

With love and best wishes,

Rosemary Conley CBE DL


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