Hi, I’m Sherri Fransila and I am the owner of Kiwa Dance Fitness and a certified group fitness instructor specializing in dance fitness. After a total knee replacement, I looked for fitness classes that could accommodate my new abilities. There were low-impact classes, but I still had to modify moves to be safe for me, and I wanted an instructor who understood how trauma (injury and surgical) impairs communication from the brain to joints and muscles. So, I became that instructor who created those classes.

Long story short…

After years of decreasing mobility and increasing chronic pain from arthritis and a rare inflammatory disease [the results of a skiing accident and 2 knee operations in my teens], a total knee replacement at 50 allowed me to move almost pain-free.  My range of motion will always be limited; but to preserve what I have, I have to stay active and exercise.  Exercising because I should was a chore, so I needed an activity that was fun.

Hola Zumba®!  Because the music made me want to move, it put fitness back in my life.  Zumba® restored my self confidence.  The regulars were inspired by me coming to every class and giving it my best effort (even if it was a little funky and off beat).  They encouraged me to just do my thing, so I did.  Zumba® also gave me something I didn’t have in my personal social circle, a community of like-minded women who enjoyed dancing and being active.  I dance because it’s fun, I can, and I must.

What you might like to know…

I believe in ohana, a family of friends and relatives.  The ability to choose your ohana is one of the true benefits of being an adult. The two mains in my life are Jim, my husband of more than 20 years, and “my” cat BC (Black Cat) who actually belongs to my neighbor but has chosen us as his surrogate family.  (PS, I have way more pictures of BC than anyone or anything else.) 

I also believe in tacos, tunes, and island time (thus the name of my blog).  Tacos are messy and delicious, the perfect blend of soft and crunchy, hot and cold; a metaphor for life maybe.  Tunes are who we are; if you truly want to know someone, check out their playlists.  Island time is my happy zone, it’s about taking life leisurely but still being respectful of the time of others.

I was always an “island girl” at heart, I just didn’t live on one until 2017.  Island people are more in tune with the land and respective of nature.  We have to be, we have a limited amount of land and nature (especially weather) plays a much more significant role in our ability to travel because we do more traveling by sea than mainlanders. 

I am a baby boomer.  I grew up when sports were just starting to be an option for girls; and I was lucky enough to have parents who not just allowed it, but supported me.  I played softball in 1967, ice hockey in 1972, and flag football in 1976.  I did some serious weight training and tried my hand at training as a boxer in the 80s.  My body has paid the price for being active.  Now, sport and activity are slower, often awkward looking, and sometimes a little painful; but I will never stop being active, at my own pace, on my own time.

Updated: November 2022

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