On Thursday, May 25, a major fitness training was held at Zudio, in Vankleek Hill. The studio was privileged to welcome world-renowned Zumba Education Specialist (ZES), Karine Opasinski, as she trained 30 fitness instructors for their STRONG by Zumba® licence. A former martial-arts champion, Opasinski is the only person qualified to give this training in Canada, and spends her time travelling across the world to train instructors for STRONG by Zumba and other specialties.
“STRONG is a revolutionary new program created by Zumba Fitness,” explains event host and Zudio owner Louise Stephenson. “It is a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout that is completely different from Zumba. There’s no dancing in STRONG. There are burpees, push-ups, floor work, crunches, planks, etc. It is intense!” Stephenson explains that the ground-breaking element is that the music is created to match the moves, which is the opposite of the usual approach in every other workout. The music is created by music producers such as Timbaland (producer of Missy Elliott, Destiny’s Child, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z, among many others).
Instructors came from as far as Thunder Bay, Quebec City and Vermont for this training. The participant from Thunder Bay explained that she paid over $1,000 in travel fees in order to attend the training, “because it’s very difficult to find a training that isn’t held in a major urban centre.”
According to Stephenson, who was one of the instructors to receive her STRONG licence yesterday, having a ZES come to Vankleek Hill to give a training is a great honour. “I’ve been working on organizing this event since August 2016! It’s really difficult to get a ZES to come to a small community.” Stephenson hopes to start offering STRONG classes at Zudio in the fall. For a preview of the program, click here.
Zudio, which opened last September and was Louise’s vision and dream come true, was named Vankleek Hill’s Business of the Year for 2016.