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How ZumbaFunFit Changed My Life!
The stories here are from my students - from their heart!


Cheryl M.Cheryl_M


My name is Cheryl M. I am 50, married to a wonderfully supportive husband and have two amazing boys (now young men).

Dance was a big part of my life growing up, as I was a competitive highland dancer for 13 years, until I started having knee problems which ended that chapter in my life. I eventually found a new love , which was being a mother and a nurse, a career that I worked at for 15 years. Between having kids and working full time in chronic care and rehabilitation, my back gave out, and I had to give up a career that I loved doing immensely. This is when my life got a little bit complicated.

I have had multiple back surgeries that have left me with major nerve damage. I developed what's called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and Chronic Pain, which translates into living in pain 24 hours a day. In 2002, I was given the opportunity to have this amazing device implanted in my body. It is a neurostimulator implant, which is electrodes attached to the spine with wires that come around to connect to a computer implanted in my abdomen. My kids call me the bionic woman! This device helps to control my pain along with my medications. Over the years my pain became more manageable with new technology and my patience and perseverance.

After many years of not being able to exercise, my pain was finally better managed and I was given the ok to start exercising again. I joined curves and finally the weight I gained from the side effects of my meds, was starting to come off. This is where I was introduced to Zumba. Wow, after one session, I was hooked. The half hour class was not enough, so I started going to Louise's class in March of 2011. I talked with Louise in great length about how I could do this, as I was still wearing a foot brace. I was recovering from a foot drop at that time from one of my surgeries. She showed me how to modify a lot of the moves, so that I could do them with less strain on my back. Between the Zumba and my physio off came the brace. From that point on , I didn't look back, my love for Zumba grew and grew.

I started with doing Zumba once a week at the beginning and now two and a half years later, I do my regular class three times a week , as well as, helping out with the beginners class, gold classes and one of my favourites, the special needs class.

I have just started Aqua Zumba, LOVE IT!! The pool translates into no pain for me, because of the buoyancy of the water. It is great for anyone with injuries or arthritis because the muscles and joints can move more fluently and freely, therefore less impact and better healing properties.

I pick and choose my battles that I am willing to deal with the pain that comes with it. For me, Zumba is so well worth it, it is a full body workout, both physically and mentally. There is such a great dynamic and variety of music's and different style's brought to class from all the instructors. More importantly, it is me time and a chance to go out and meet a great group of ladies and of course a great guy (Tom) and just lose myself in the music and just forget about day to day life.

Louise and Tom, where do I start! I can't thank-you enough for all your encouragement and support on this journey and for reeling me in when you see me going at it too hard. For me, this journey hasn't been so much about the weight and the inches lost, although I have lost 15 pounds and over 20 inches this year. I know this will fluctuate because of my medication, but that's ok. I don't worry about the things I can't change, only about the things I can. This journey has been more about getting back to exercising, getting healthier and thoroughly enjoying every step along the way, it doesn't get any better than that.

“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” [John Quincy Adams]


Sheryl R.Sheryl_R before


Hi everyone. My name is Sheryl. I am in my mid-forties, a mom to two boys and married for an amazing twenty-four years. Although I have a very physical job I was noticing over the years that I was gaining more and more weight. My close family and friends were always polite and the subject for the most part was avoided. Even though I knew I was gaining weight I really chose to ignore it and kept buying bigger and bigger clothes to cover my weight gain. Finally I reached my limit and knew I had to do something. I was feeling terrible, unhealthy, unattractive and very unfit. I talked to my husband and told him that I had to join something to get me out of the house and exercising instead of being a couch potato (which is funny because my favourite food is potato chips). My husband mentioned that he knew of a relatively new type of exercise program in Carleton Place called Zumba®. So we googled Zumba® and I thought it could be what I was looking for.Sheryl_R_after

I was really worried because I hadn't taken any Zumba® classes before. I am very uncoordinated and of course extremely unfit. I gave Louise a call in April of this year [2012]. She was very pleasant and took the time to discuss all of my concerns which gave me the confidence to get out and try a class.

After the first class I knew Zumba® was for me. Everyone was so supportive giving me tips and encouragement. It did take me a few weeks to get comfortable. Louise and Tom were always there to talk to and continued to keep me confident to go on. I couldn't believe how an exercise program could be so much fun. Tom brings added comedy and wit to every class. The hour class went by so quickly. After four months of going to Zumba® two times a week and eating healthier I lost an amazing thirty pounds. I continue to lose weight and am close to my goal weight loss of forty pounds. [Editor: Sheryl achieved her goal by the Dec 12th, 2012 Christmas Party]. I highly recommend Zumba® to anyone looking for an exercise program.

Zumba® has changed my life altogether. I feel confident, healthy, energetic and more outgoing. Thanks, Louise and Tom, I could not have achieved my goals without your support and continued encouragement. I still can't believe that I love going to an exercise class. Zumba® really is a fun way to get in shape and stay that way. I look forward to years and years of Zumba® and my continued success and a new start to a healthier lifestyle.


Megan R.MeganR_afterMeganR_before


My name is Megan R., a 35 year old mother of twins. I want to tell you how Zumba® changed my life!!!!

As a child I was lucky enough to travel around the world with my family. I was always fascinated with other cultures, especially their dance and music. In my pre-teen years I took lessons in ballet, jazz and highland dance. It was only after my classmates started teasing me for my slightly larger body that I gave up dance. I became embarrassed by my weight and felt like I did not belong in the class with all the slim girls. Of course, this did not help me when it came to staying fit. During my teen and adult years I struggled with my weight. At my heaviest I tipped the scale at 230 pounds! I have tried many diets that have helped me to shed some pounds, but I never really stuck to an exercise routine and therefore, inevitably, put the weight back on.

Last summer [2009] I was feeling uncomfortable with my body. I was starting to find size 16 clothes too tight. I cried one morning when none of my clothes fit nicely. I was 190 pounds and knew I had to make a change.

So, that night I picked up a fitness magazine for motivation. I was flipping through the magazine and stumbled upon a small article titled "3 Zumba® moves to tone your body" They were based on Latin dance moves and this piqued my interest. I decided to Google "Zumba®" and watched videos on You Tube of people dancing, partying and having fun. The Zumba® routines not only focused on Latin dance, but other forms of international dance as well. I was ready to make a change and Zumba® looked to be exciting and fun! I felt like I hit the jackpot when I learned that there were Zumba® lessons offered in Carleton Place!

I had my first class in September of 2009. I was a bit nervous, but everyone seemed friendly and Louise was so welcoming. I had so much fun in the class I knew I was hooked. It took a few classes to get my coordination, but it got easier with each class. I set a goal to lose weight for my friends destination wedding in April. I went to classes 3 times a week and followed my diet. I had lost 30 pounds by January and have lost almost 40 pounds so far and I am wearing a size 8 pant! Zumba® is about great music, having fun and getting fit!

Since I LOVE Zumba® so much, I have recently become a certified Zumba® Instructor and I know that no matter what may come, Zumba® will forever be a part of my life!

Thank you Louise and Tom for making exercise so much fun!


April G.Zumba ZumbaFunFit April before


Hi all. My name is April. I am a 31 year old mother of 3 beautiful kids. I work a full time job that includes shift work.Zumba ZumbaFunFit April after

By the end of January 2010 I was really starting to feel the winter blues. I was getting myself into a funk and decided that I needed to do something that would get me out of the house and would be just for me. A co-worker had told me about a workout class that she had gone to in Carleton Place called ZumbaFunFit. She described the class to me and it sounded like a lot of fun. That night after work I googled it and thought yeah right!!!!

I have always loved to dance (although never been very good at it and never had any formal training) and the thought of taking a dance class kept me thinking about Zumba®. I decided one night that I was going to give it a shot. People there were friendly and encouraging. I learned that night that it was OK to laugh at myself and that no one really cared if I missed a step or went the wrong way (2 things that I still do to this day). I quickly fell in love with the idea of Latin and International inspired dance mixed with aerobics! I was attending 3 classes a week and sometimes that didn’t feel like enough. I was happy to be having some much needed ‘me’ time.

After about a month of classes I was starting to see a difference not only in the way I was feeling, but also in the way that I was looking. I am only 5’2 (if I’m lucky) and I have always thought of myself as being “shapely”. I was wearing a size 14 pant and was 177lbs. When I noticed that I was losing some of the unwanted inches I made a life-style change and stopped eating the junk and started eating healthy.

I continued going to as many classes as I could and found that if I had missed a class because of work or a holiday, I would be looking for one in the city to go to. My husband has described it as an addiction (but in a good way).

By September of 2010 I have lost over 40lbs and am wearing a size 5/6 pant. My outlook on everything has changed and I always find myself dancing.

In June of 2010 I took my love and addiction to Zumba® to the next level. I was fortunate enough to attend an Instructor Certification course in Ottawa with a couple of very good Zumba® friends (my Instructor Louise being one of them).

Louise and Tom, you have changed my life without even trying! If I ever need to get out of a funk and pull my spirits up all I need to do is go to one of your classes.


Cathy B.Zumba ZumbaFunFit Cath


My name is Cathy, I am 49 years old and have been going to Zumba® since February 2009.

Being a Dietitian, I know of the importance of eating right and exercising. Exercise is important at all stages of life especially for women in the pre to post menopausal years. This is a time when a person's bones start to thin as a normal part of aging. A calcium-rich diet in combination with exercise can slow this process.

For myself, I was looking to increase my exercise level. The only exercise I was doing was walking the dog on a daily basis. But as my dog was getting older, she was not wanting to walk for more than 15 minutes a day.

Therefore, when my friend call me in Feb. 2009 and asked me to go to Zumba® with her, I decided to go.

I am not the type of person who enjoys team sports or even going to the gym to lift weights or walk on a treadmill. Maybe Zumba® was what I was looking for!

Not knowing what to expect, I spent my first few sessions laughing at my poor coordination and inability to 'keep up'.

But I was hooked and have been going approximately twice a week since then.

Zumba® has changed my life by increasing my coordination and flexibility and making me feel good. And the music is great to dance to! For me it is also a social activity and Louise and Tom make it fun and challenging!

This is definitely my type of exercise!

Thanks Louise and Tom!!!!