Kiwa History

Inviting older adults to join me in dancing my way to living independently.

The symbol for Kiwa Dance Fitness is the frangipani or plumeria flower. This flower symbolizes “welcoming guests and inviting them to stay,” thus their common use in Hawaiian leis and the feeling we want you to have when participating in Kiwa classes.

When I first moved to the Parksville on Vancouver Island, my plan was to work with the “local” recreation department, then I found out there wasn’t one.  Parksville is included under a regional recreation mandate to not offer anything locally if it could be found in Qualicum Beach (20 minutes away) or Nanaimo (45 minutes away). Even though their own surveys showed that locals won’t travel for fitness activities, they stand strong on not offering any dance fitness locally.  My only option was to become an independent provider of fitness classes. I wanted to offer classes open to the public and keep my class options open, so I “opened my doors” as LocoMotion Fitness.  The name was a reflection of how a middle-aged woman with a total knee replacement looked when she danced, a little loco. 

During my 2nd year of business – the COVID one, with no classes – I did some soul searching and acknowledged that I was only ever going to teach dance fitness classes because that’s where my passion lies and it is the only option accessible to all fitness/mobility levels.  So, I needed to change my company name to reflect my fitness focus and the company’s roots.  All the obvious choices – Pacific, Island, Rain – were rejected as being potentially confused with other businesses.  I was studying a new dance fitness format at the time which led me to the same names but in a different language.  “Kiwa” is loosely derived from the Te Reo (Maori) for Pacific. 

In December 2020, LocoMotion Fitness formally became known as “Kiwa Dance Fitness” (a registered service business in the Province of British Columbia), reflecting home as an island in the Pacific with the sole focus of providing dance fitness classes.

Updated: November 2022

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