Bridget’s getting jiggy with it

Bridget Madden, performs some Irish Contemporary Fusion. DER1014SL002 Photo: Stephen Latimer
Bridget Madden, performs some Irish Contemporary Fusion. DER1014SL002 Photo: Stephen Latimer

This is the Derry woman who has developed a way of using Irish dancing steps as an aerobic workout.

We’ve all heard of Zumba, Salsa and Flamenco!

But Bridget Madden has now developed ‘JIGFIT,’ an exercise routine which uses dance steps as a means of working out.

A dance teacher, choreographer and performer Bridget says the classes have been a huge hit.

And after trying out her technique in New York, Bridget knows what she’s talking about.

“JIG FIT has been designed from a mixture of my training in both physical fitness, body conditioning and Irish dance,” she said.

“It was tested out on adults 
in New York and seemed to work so I have developed 
the method and brought it home to Derry. I realised that my own training had kept me very fit and just learning the basics is very cardio based, before thinking about anything else.

“This is my first chance getting the class set up in Derry and I hope it will be a success. I am hoping to run more classes in Derry throughout the coming months.

“We’ve had people here who never danced at all but seeing the smiles on people’s face is the best. You can go at your own pace. All I ask is that people keep going.

“The thing about JIGFIT is that every part of you is getting a workout because we incorporate contemporary dance as well. It doesn’t matter how fit or unfit you are or what age you are. Everyone is welcome. Last week I had a seven year-old at the class.”

After graduating from Magee in 2009, Bridget worked with companies in Ireland and New York.

“For the past five years, inbetween touring with shows, I have been constantly developing my connections with New York, performing with other companies around the UK and teaching workshops as far away as Russia.

“My training was initially Irish dance but my degree introduced me to contemporary dance, and since then work that I have been producing has been enriched with both styles. I have been strongly supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, as well as Dance Resource Base (Belfast) and Dance House (Dublin).”

Bridget is currently a dance tutor on the Degree Course at Magee and is one of the choreographers for this year’s Walled City Tattoo at Ebrington, which will be held between the 27th - 30th August.

Bridget teaches classes on Wednesday evenings 8.15pm - 9.15pm at the Gasyard Community Centre, Lecky Road, Derry. (£3 per class, drop in, no need to book.) NB Please note no class on March 5.

For more information on classes, workshops and opportunities - follow Bridget’s company, Bridget Madden Dance on facebook/Twitter or

Come along tomorrow night for a bit of craic!