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Success stories

Business Wales coaching results in strong growth for community fitness company

Siôn Ridgeway

A national award-winning fitness company operating in Swansea and Neath has credited its 20% growth to the support Business Wales provided to develop its business plan and deliver ongoing mentorship.

Founded and operated by 50-year-old Siôn Ridgeway, SAVAGE DanZfit offers a variety of immersive fitness classes such as Zumba®, Aqua Zumba®, and Strong Nation™ fitness programmes to both adults and children.

Siôn trained as a professional dancer, but when he suffered a stroke in 2015 his passion for dancing would become a lifeline and the motivation for his dance empire.

While he was recovering, a friend visiting Siôn in hospital showed him videos of presenters leading a fitness masterclass to a large audience. Inspired by the videos, Siôn decided that he would work to regain his mobility to do the same.

After a challenging recovery period, Siôn’s determinations saw him gain the required certifications, attend fitness demonstrations to build up his strength and design his very own programme. He also began to push a campaign to battle childhood obesity by delivering workshops in schools.

Commenting on the early days of his business, Siôn said:

I began delivering ‘Zumba® with Siôn’ within local authority gyms and as independent classes. As I built my brand, I saw engagement from the local community and many people expressing real interest in long-term membership.

With such unexpected early interest, Siôn felt that his company needed an organised system to build on this initial success, so he contacted Business Wales.

Business Wales Advisor, Shahid ul Islam, helped the instructor create a business plan, and recommended courses on business management, website creation, and marketing strategy.

In September 2022, Shahid also helped Siôn to successfully apply for the Barriers to Start-Up Grant. The funding enabled him to host larger dance classes and introduce even more clients to the SAVAGE DanZfit community.

Since launching in 2021, SAVAGE DanZfit’s expansion now sees it operate in nine different community centres across Swansea, in addition to visiting local schools to deliver specialty children’s workshops led by Siôn’s wife, Kim Ridgeway.

Siôn explained:

When I first started my programme, I was leading almost 28 classes a week, I was also delivering programmes in schools to help promote healthy habits and lifestyle for children. It was a real struggle to accommodate the demand by myself, so to take away some of that pressure, I wanted to expand the team and have a more professional business structure.

I always wanted to have my own business, but I wasn’t sure where to start – that’s where Shahid came in. He helped me lay the foundation of SAVAGE DanZfit by making a business plan and gave me advice to provide a more well-rounded service.

Thanks to Business Wales, SAVAGE DanZfit has grown its full-time memberships from 40 to 865, with an average class size of 100 participants. The company’s reputation and success has also attracted new members of the team. Part-time instructor, Rachel Williams, joined the company in 2023, and now teaches her own classes within the main programme.

Commenting on SAVAGE DanZfit’s success, Business Wales Advisor, Shahid ul Islam, said:

Siôn is a true example of how dedicated hard work, combined with access to specialist support and training, can make a business.

I’m sure that for many people, the challenges of recovering from a stroke is difficult enough, but Siôn’s determination to not only regain his fitness but adapt and channel his energy into launching a company in a new industry is truly remarkable.

It’s been a pleasure to help Siôn and his team create a business that is in such high demand, and I’m grateful that we can continue to support its growth.


SAVAGE DanZfit has received multiple awards, beating out national companies for the titles at the Welsh and National Fitness Awards - including Trainee of the Year, the Outstanding Achievement Award and the Community Involvement Award.

The fitness company is seeking further advice from Business Wales which Siôn hopes will help him acquire his own space to deliver more classes and continue to positively impact the community.

Business Wales is funded by Welsh Government. For more information and support to help grow your business, or to speak to a specialist adviser, contact Business Wales. Call 03000 6 03000, rydym yn croesawu galwadau’n Gymraeg, we welcome calls in Welsh or visit 

Business Wales Helpline

03000 6 03000

Lines are open 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday.

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau’n Gymraeg.
We welcome calls in Welsh.