Home > “Being an instructor you have to go with the flow” – Heidi Tambeh

“Being an instructor you have to go with the flow” – Heidi Tambeh

A blonde middle-aged woman wearing a headset and fluorescent clothing dancing
Instructor Heidi Tambeh

Heidi Tambeh: “Being an instructor you have to go with the flow"

Instructor Heidi Tambeh is a great example of someone who makes the most of every opportunity that comes her way.

For the last 20 years, Heidi has been an exercise and sport instructor, working mainly with Active Hastings.

But this career in the physical activity sector was not necessarily an obvious choice.

“I hated rugby and football and tennis, anything with a ball. I did not like PE lessons,” she admits.

“I was all about dance. It was a really good way to express myself.”

In between going from college to university, Heidi learned there was going to be a post for a dance development officer in Hastings through The Hastings and St Leonards Excellence Cluster so she volunteered.

“I started just volunteering, doing after-school street dance classes in areas of deprivation. From there I was asked to do some half-term sessions.”

After university, Heidi took up a job as the dance development worker, working on a project called “Girlz Getting Active” within the Active Hastings team, which is funded by Hastings Borough Council.

“They said to me ‘do whatever you want’ and I did.” 

Classes included street dance, roller skating, and cheerleading, with the latter becoming International Champions in 2010 at the British Cheerleading Association competition.

 “These kids had never done cheerleading before,” explained Heidi. “They were off the streets, uniforms were funded by a housing association, sessions were £1, everything we got for free or paid from the funding we had.

“That first session we had we had so many girls turn up we could not fit them all in. It was massive. In the end, we had six cheerleading sessions a week.”

Another initiative Heidi started up through Active Hastings was pole dancing for women. – and where better to run the class than a strip club.

“We love thinking outside the box,” explains the mum-of-two, who explained the club was empty during the day so it was a good space to use, although it did cause much debate in the community.

Born and bred in Hastings, it is clear Heidi is passionate about getting people active in Hastings and has dedicated her career to doing just that.

She is also a good example of someone who has the key personal skills needed to be an instructor or coach and the willingness to learn and qualify in the different activities as she goes along.

“Being an instructor you have to go with the flow,” she says. “I am not doing what I did at the beginning. I did dance until 2011 when I decided to move into fitness so I did an exercise to music qualification.

“You have to go with the times.”

Other qualifications include level 3 personal training, level 3 pre and post-natal instructor, level 3 exercise referral….the list goes on.

“A lot of it has been luck and I have had a lot of opportunities given to me,” says Heidi, who goes on to say that workforce funding provided by Active Sussex has also helped develop her career.

Outside of her work with Active Hastings she also runs Fitness Raves and is a training academy tutor and doorstep sports advisor with the London and South East StreetGames team, which is an initiative to bridge the gap between sport and young people.

Would you, or someone you know, like to either become a coach or volunteer in the sport and physical activity sector? Find out more, by visiting our workforce section of our website.

The Project 500 campaign aims to address the imbalance between the number of male to female coaches. To find out more about the Project 500 network and sign up click here.

A blonde middle-aged woman wearing a headset and fluorescent clothing dancing
Instructor Heidi Tambeh
Skip to content