Ipswich tap dancing queens go global with workout DVD
FOUR Ipswich sisters have created a world-first fitness system inspired by their shared love of tap dancing.
TAPfit, created by triplets Annie, Rachel and Fiona Johnson and younger sister Katherine, is an in-home DVD workout combining traditional fitness exercises with easy-to-learn tap steps.
Fiona Johnson said the sisters, all still in their 20s, were preparing to roll out the program in the United States after great success in Australia.
"TAPfit is tap dancing fitness fusion. So we basically take a cardio and resistance training and merge it with really basic tap dancing that anyone can do," she said
"We love tap, we've always loved tap so it's exciting that it is the world's first in-home tap dancing fitness program."
Younger sister Katherine said she was inspired to take TAPfit to the world after seeing the positive impact it had on a young girl affected by cerebral palsy.
"We came up with the concept because we were teaching a little girl, Breanna, to dance and she found a lot of benefits," she said.
"After six months of lessons, she was able to ride her bicycle for the first time without training wheels and it helped her strength and coordination.
"That was when we knew the benefits of tap dancing should be shared with the world and we should take TAPfit to everyone.
"There's such a big following of dance fitness programs like Zumba. We really wanted to bring a fresh look to dance fitness."
The sisters, whose parents own the PA Hotel in Booval, filmed the work out DVD in their hometown of Ipswich at The Workshops Rail Museum.
Fiona said it had taken three years for the group to see the program go from an idea to a reality.
"We're taking Ipswich to the world," Fiona said. "It's been a lot of hard work. One of the big breakthroughs for us was enabling a tap attachment which slips over existing shoes so we've patented that world-wide in 52 countries.
"We also have a roll out floor so you have your own tap studio at home."
Professor Meg Morris from La Trobe University is now using TAPfit to study how dancing can be used as a therapy.
"We spoke to her about tap dancing and she's decided to do the world's first biomechanical analysis study on tap dancing which is exciting," Fiona said.
Even when competing in Ipswich Eisteddfod or international competitions the sisters say they have never been too competitive.
"We grew up together and we're all best friends. We learnt to tap in Ipswich with Helen Clark when we were three years old," Annie said.
"We have the family business as well that we worked in growing up together so we're not strangers to working together and the dynamic works really well."
Fiona said the sisters had plans to take TAPfit world-wide.
"The American market is next then Canada, then the UK and probably into Europe," she said.
"Shuffle aside Zumba, TAPfit is coming."