|Fort Thomas resident Marquita Lonaker is offering Dance2Fit classes locally. Photo provided|
"I was overweight and so unhappy with myself, Lonaker said. My self esteem was at an all time low. I joined gyms - 3 different ones - but could never stay committed. I would get so bored there and wouldn't give it 100%."
It was one day when she was browsing Facebook that Lonaker came across a video of a woman her age doing a dance fitness routine on a YouTube channel called Dance Fitness with Jessica.
"I was immediately so intrigued by it, I subscribed to her channel right away and began doing her dance fitness routines in my living room, she said.
They were so fun, and it didn't even feel like exercise. I am not the world's greatest dancer by any means, but these routines were easy to follow along and made me feel so confident - a feeling I hadn't felt in a very long time."
|Marquita Lonaker before and after finding her love of dance fitness - 35 pounds lost. Photo provided|
It was a a couple years later when Lonaker came across an opportunity. Jessica from her YouTube channel was offering a Dance2Fit program where you could travel to Knoxville, Tennessee to become certified personally by Jessica to teach Dance2Fit in your hometown.
"That was the first time in my life I knew deep down that was what I needed to do, Lonaker said.
So I followed my gut feeling and traveled to Knoxville and became certified by Jessica, herself.
It is a day I truly will never forget."
Now certified, Lonaker has taken her passion for dance, having fun and staying fit to a whole new level.
After searching for months for a venue, Lonaker finally secured a spot in the small hall at the Southgate Community Center where she had a crowd of about 5-7 people who would come regularly.
Word spread that people could have so much fun exercising that soon that small space was not big enough for her class members.
|Dance2Fit classes are a judge free zone. It doesn't matter your fitness level. You are going to have a great time working out and dancing some calories off. Photo provided|
Dance2Fit classes are 60 minutes long where you will burn anywhere from 500-700 calories, depending on the individual. Her classes include 12-15 dance fitness routines, consisting of about 60% dance moves and 40% fitness moves.
Sue Beiting, owner of The Dance Realm said Marquita's personality, choreography and music selections make the classes super fun.
"She is a great motivator. The class is suitable for all levels and a great work out, Beiting said.
It's a lot more fun than a "traditional" exercise workout. I just took her class this past Sunday, loved it and will be a regular attendee."
Lonaker agrees the classes are not just boring cardio.
"We dance, we sweat and have an amazing time.The best part about this whole journey is all the amazing people I've met. You're not just coming to a class, working out, and leaving. It's so much more. We all hold each other accountable and motivate one another. It doesn't matter your age, shape, size, fitness level or anything else for that matter, these classes are great for anyone, she said."
Classes are held on Mondays - Boot camp at 6:30 p.m. at the Newport Syndicate, 18 E. 5th St., Newport. Boot camp consists of 30 minutes of rotating stations and 30 minutes of boot camp style routines; Thursdays - Dance Fitness are at 6:30 p.m. at the Syndicate; and Sundays at 9 a.m. at the Dance Realm, 8 Highland Ave.
For more information, visit Dance2fit with Marquita on Facebook.