When I first conceptualized what I wanted my fitness classes to be, it was based on my need for dance fitness classes that were low impact, with smooth transitions and no knee twisting; i.e. safe for a knee replacement. The name LocoMotion came from how I looked in the mirror when I participated in classes. I felt I like Cyd or Ginger but looked more like the tin man. So, while in my imagination I was as fluid, flexible, and on beat as I was at 30, the reality was that, after beating my body up playing sports as a kid and eventually having a total knee replacement, I couldn’t move the way I used to.
As mentioned in my bio, I found fitness and fell in love with dance fitness initially through Zumba® and later Zumba Gold® after my total knee replacement. The low impact Zumba Gold® classes definitely worked better for me, but I still had to modify moves to be safe for a knee replacement. To better understand how to modify the moves, I became a licensed instructor. At first, my intention was to make classes safe for me; but I knew there were others like me, so the plan changed from modifying for my own benefit to actually creating joint-safe dance fitness classes accessible to others.
The 2020 effect: The pandemic lockdowns gave me time to reflect on the first year of LocoMotion Fitness and to plan a future for my group fitness classes post pandemic. The primary goal will always be peer fitness for active older adults with dance fitness classes that are fun and accessible, taking into consideration the needs and safety of active seniors.
Part of this introspective was me coming to terms with my “new” old body and its limitations; and in doing that, I accepted that my fitness focus is dance fitness because that is the one exercise modality that truly allows us to move at our own pace.
To better reflect my single fitness focus and my company’s North Pacific island roots, LocoMotion Fitness became known as Kiwa Dance Fitness℠. [“Kiwa” comes from the Polynesian for “Pacific.”]
Another 2020 effect was the shift of group fitness from live studio classes to virtual livestream and on-demand classes. When considering transitioning to virtual classes, I still had to make sure classes were safe; and this led me to a new dance fitness format, one that was safe to do on carpet and in bare feet. Starting in 2021, Kiwa Dance Fitness will add Matua classes to the Zumba Gold® schedule. Matua is the low-impact, gentler version of Hot Hula®.
Certified: Fitness Instructor Specialist (group fitness), Canfitpro, 2018; Active Aging Fitness, Canfitpro, 2017.
Supplementary certifications: Exercise for Knee & Hip Replacements, 2020; Stretching Anatomy, 2018; Nutritionist in Weight Management, FTC(UK), 2016.
Licensed instructor of Zumba Gold® and Zumba®, 2013; Strong Nation™, 2016.
Supplementary training: Zumba® Core, 2017; Zumba® Pro Skills, 2014.
Notes: (1) Certification requires studying online course material and/or classroom attendance, and passing theory and/or practical exams. Maintenance of certification is governed by an independent body such as Canfitpro or provincial association and requires ongoing education and CPR certification as well as payment of an annual fee. (2) Licensing requires attendance and participation in a 1-day or 2-day training session offered by a sponsoring company. Maintenance of license is governed by sponsoring company and requires payment of a membership fee.
Zumba®, Zumba Gold®, and the Zumba Fitness logos are trademarks of Zumba Fitness, LLC, used under license.