Marie's making the whole nation want to dance

Published on: 19 Jan 2017

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Marie's dance class perform for the BBC

A BEDMINSTER fitness instructor is now one of the most-seen faces on television.

Marie Clifford, who has featured in the Voice before for her energetic movement classes in Knowle for people who are chairbound, was picked to lead one of her Zumba groups for a BBC clip.

The 16-second film is being used as an “ident” between shows on BBC1. It shows a varied group of 14, all putting everything into the music in their own way, behind the BBC caption “Oneness”.

It could make Marie and her class familiar faces to us all, because she’s been told it could be used for up to five years.

In fact, it isn’t strictly a Zumba class – the BBC found out two days before filming that they couldn’t use the Zumba brand, and asked Marie if she could come up with another routine.

“Luckily I have been teaching dance and drama for 30 years, so that isn’t difficult,” she said.

It turns out they weren’t moving to the dance track, either – Marie was using a James Brown song, but the BBC dubbed on another track.

Marie, a former actor, was chosen because of a video she made of her Bedminster Zumba Gold class for over-55s, in a routine which she shot on the roof of the Monica Wills building in West Street.  She runs classes all over Bristol – the BBC film was shot in Avonmouth with a group from Westbury and Pill.

Marie was barely fit by the time of filming in November –
she had fallen off her bike weeks before and broken both her arms.

“I was back at work within three weeks,” she said, “though I had to have someone else to do the arm movements!”

You can see Marie’s BBC clip on the Voice Facebook page:

• Facebook.com/southbristolvoice

And you can see Marie’s own film made in Bedminster, along with details of new classes she is starting in BS3, at

• bristoldancezumba.co.uk

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