Meet Steph Burrows – a former dancer and founder of POPfit, the dance-inspired fitness studio that makes working out fun (if you haven’t tried it yet, where on earth have you been?) We caught up with the dance guru to talk about her journey to date, favourite post-workout meals and more…
As someone who is incredibly busy, how do you maintain balance in your life?
It’s hard. I think for any working parent it’s hard. However, we also live in London Fields right next to the POPfit studio so I’m able to be at home and work without any real commute and that really helps. I make a really big effort to balance it out but the reality is sometimes I feel like a really bad business owner but a great mum or a great business owner and a terrible mother! I’m always working towards finding a good balance, aren’t we all!
Can you describe a typical day?
I’m an early riser so I love teaching the early morning POPfit classes so I start my day in the studio. Whilst I’d love to spend my whole day in the studio running a business takes a certain amount of time behind a laptop too so then I’ll get some work done before running to pick up my girls from school and being a Mummy for a few hours before finishing my day where I started it with another sweaty POPfit class!
How did your journey to creating PopFit start?
I went to White Lodge, The Royal Ballet School when I was 11 years old so started training and performing professionally from a young age. I got injured when I was 18 and reluctantly stopped my training. It’s not uncommon but it was a tough decision to make. I missed ballet so much and using my body. I really didn’t know what to do with my life after ballet! It took a few years but when I was living in New York I discovered a boutique fitness studio run by a dancer that honestly changed my life. From that point onwards I knew I wanted to work in fitness but I found it hard to enjoy it in the same way I did dance. My big question was how can you make fitness enjoyable? After meeting Kate Hudson, co founder of Fabletics, at a music festival in 2010 we bonded over a love of music, dance and fitness. We often found ourselves listening to songs, dancing around and then working out, so I decided to build on this and that’s where POPfit has come from. I started developing the POPfit Method in January 2017 with my friend from The Royal Ballet School, Antonette Dayrit.
How does exercise make you feel?
My mission was to create a workout that you can enjoy so you FEEL awesome doing it, not just afterwards. And that’s what POPfit is. That said, I find the main benefit of working out to be the effect it has on my mental health, it gives me a chance to clear my head and de-stress and I feel calmer and more focused when I’m working out regularly.
What do you eat before/after workouts?
I workout a lot, so I eat a lot. The POPfit Signature class is super fat-burning so it’s important to eat well when you’re doing that daily. My favourite post workout meal is pizza, but most of the time I just have a good, wholesome evening meal. Lots of veg, carbs and good protein.
Would you call yourself a healthy hedonist?
It’s all about balance. Yes I love working out and it is addictive but I also love eating out in restaurants, going for drinks with my friends, baking with my kids etc so I’m not a purist about exercise and diet at all.
What are your favourite things about London?
Favourite thing definitely has to be the community feel you get in different boroughs. I live in London Fields and obviously the studio is there too and you just can’t beat the local vibe you get. The people, the small businesses, the markets – I wouldn’t live anywhere else.
What are three things you wish you could tell your younger self?
You are enough. Don’t try to be anything other than yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others.
Who is your inspiration and why?
My daughter Chloe, she is 10, her perspective on life and other people is so innocent and kind – she reminds me just to have fun and not to take life too seriously.