Mark leads way for zumba men

Zumba instructor Mark Tapping
Zumba instructor Mark Tapping

Being the only man in his fitness class was intimidating – so Mark Tapping started his own.

The dad-of-three from Falkirk enjoyed taking part in zumba – the salsa-based aerobics programme – and felt more men could benefit from the sessions.

So, despite having no professional dance background, he trained to become a teacher and has just launched Central Scotland’s first male-led classes.

Mark (42), who works for an Edinburgh-based bank said: “I actually started going to zumba with my wife Kim. She raved about it and I have always been into keeping fit so I went along too.

“I really enjoyed it. but did feel a bit awkward being the only guy there. I thought more men would go if they knew there was a male teacher.”

Mark qualified earlier this year and is now teaching at Falkirk Old and St Modan’s Church twice a week.

He has tested out his moves on his family – Callum (17), who is training with an English Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur, Jordan (14), a pupil at St Mungo’s, and Jay (8) who is at Bantaskin Primary.

“I really hope we get some men along,’’ he said. “As we are such a sports daft family, I’ve practised on my boys and, while the older two were a bit embarrassed, my youngest loved it.

“Some people would think it strange to work in a bank during the day and teach zumba at night but I like to keep fit and so it works out ideally for me.

“I’ve always liked playing football and going to the gym but usually kept my dancing to the living room. Now it’s time to lead the class in public instead of doing it behind closed doors!”

Mark’s zumba classes are on Monday at 8.30 p.m. and Wednesday at 7.30 p.m.