Sunday, May 1, 2011

Zumba for a Cure! May 10th

Okay, you know how there are just some things that are meant to go together? Like peanut butter and chocolate? Strawberries and cream? Milk and cookies? Little black dress and peep toe pumps?
Well, that is how I feel about me and the amazing Tanya Ryan! Throw some HOT Latin music in there and wrap it all up in the incredible event space at Open Square and you got yourself "Zumba for a Cure"!
Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 7pm, Open Square Event Space, donations gratefully accepted. All proceeds benefit Hunting for a Cure, helping to raise awareness and funds for a cure to Huntington's Disease.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions! Hope to see you there!
If you are looking for Zumba and Fitness classes in Western Mass including South Hadley, Holyoke and West Springfield, please visit for a complete class listing!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Shake Shake Shake Dance for a Cause 4/30/2011

I will be collecting canned food and other non-perishable food items in class all this week, April 25th for donation to the Shake Shake Shake Event in Sunderland, MA on Saturday, April 30th.
This event is to benefit the Amherst and Turners Falls Survival Centers.
I will also accept donations at my home if anyone can't make it to class but would still like to help out!
Please email me if you need to arrange a pick up or drop off outside of class time.
If you are interested in attending the event here are the details.
Time: 4pm-6pm on Saturday, April 30th, 2011
Location: First Congregational Church, 91 South Main Street, Sunderland, MA
Info: An introduction to the Zumba Program with area instructors, Bella Dickerman, Juliet Cannici, Kate O'Donnell, Lauren Franks and Zulma Rivera, with John Delapena from Seattle, WA
Proceeds will benefit area needy families and also the Amherst and Turners Falls Survival Centers.
Cost: $8 or $5 with canned food item

If you are looking for Zumba or Fitness classes in Western Massachusetts including, Holyoke, South Hadley, or West Springfield please visit for a complete listing!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Be Kind to Yourself, It Might Lower Your Blood Pressure

Seriously. It might. Check out the video of a song we started doing this week called "Shake It" by Michael Franti and Spearhead with Lady Saw. The song is a happy expression of beauty being in the eye of the beholder and knowing that you are perfect just the way you are. To delve a little more, so many of you that I know personally are in the "helping professions" which require lots of giving to others. It also requires treating others with a certain amount of compassion. I came across this blog posting which suggests that people who find it easy to be supportive and compassionate toward others often score surprisingly low on self-compassion tests. The research suggests that giving ourselves a break and accepting ourselves can lead to better health. People who score more highly on self-compassion tests have less depression and anxiety and tend to be more happy and optimistic.
Give yourself a break, you deserve it!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Best Gifts...

are the ones you can't put a price tag or gift wrap on. I know, I know, but it's true! This week I want to share a personal experience. My girls have swimming every Friday afternoon and it is always a struggle to keep my almost two year old son from jumping into the pool with them, throwing balls into the pool or just generally squirming around for the entire hour and fifteen minutes we're in the pool area. I had plans with a friend to meet up after swim with the kids for an early dinner. She offered to bring baby boy to play and take a walk. It was on the tip of my tongue to say, "Oh no, we can manage, I don't want to trouble you." But instead, I said, "Thank you, that would be wonderful." I don't know if this is the case for you, but I often have a hard time accepting help or "gifts" like that from people. I am conditioned, as a mother, to think I have to do it all myself or maybe I just have gotten used to doing some things like that myself. I am really trying to graciously accept these gifts which are freely given. On Friday, baby boy could have had his usual afternoon of squirming and being told, "No, Stop, Come back here!" Instead, he spent time with a wonderful friend who delighted him with playing picnic, going down the slide, hanging upside down from the monkey bars and getting blessed fresh air! And I was able to sit and enjoy watching my beautiful girls swim like little seals and just soak them up. What a gift. So the next time someone freely offers a gift, accept it with open arms and know that the time will come when you can make someone else's day the way my friend did for me.
You never know how what might seem a simple act of kindness to you can really impact someone else's life positively.
If you are looking for Zumba or Fitness classes in Holyoke, South Hadley, West Springfield or Western Mass, please visit here for a complete list of classes!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

New Class Coming to Paper City Fitness!

Wednesdays at 7:00pm, directly following Zumba at All Saints' Episcopal in South Hadley! Come get yourself toned, work on improving your core strength and improve your overall fitness with a head to toe stability ball workout that includes free weights and body weight exercises.
Drop in rate is just $5 or one punch on your card! Stability ball classes begin Wednesday, March 23rd, no pre-registration necessary. Please bring ball, free weights and either mat or towel for final stretch. Feel free to contact me with any questions at
Coin scarf order has been placed! I should have them next week in class for those that would like to purchase one. If you want to take one for a test drive, I always have some in my suitcase that you can try out.
Working on some hot new songs: a new salsa, reggaeton and a cumbia that you will absolutely love!
Paper City Fitness: Bringing fabulous to a class near you!
P.S. The disco ball arrived this week!
If you are looking for Zumba Fitness, Boot Camps, Pilates, Stability Ball or Sculpt/Tone classes in Holyoke, South Hadley, West Springfield or Western Mass, please visit for the most up to date class listings!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Jump in, the water's great!

I love vacation weeks, it is so nice to be able to stop and slow down just a little or even just break out of the routine. This week I have been thinking about the comfort zone. Obviously, there is something, dare I say it, comforting, about knowing that we are good at something. Or getting ourselves into a routine and sticking with it. But when does the comfort zone become a detriment? Let me give you an example: I have an old friend that was in a car accident. After the accident, she become so nervous and upset everytime she got behind the wheel she started to find ways to make driving easier. First, she wouldn't take the highway anywhere. Then, she wouldn't drive after dark. Finally, she will literally NOT make a left hand turn. This is her comfort zone. Is it safe? Probably more so than if she did these things. But what is she missing out on? Visiting friends. Taking a direct route instead of having to mentally figure out how not to turn left. Who knows what else and the point is she will never know!
A few years ago, a friend of mine was going on maternity leave from her job as a Fitness Instructor. I was her front row diva. She asked me if I would consider training to be her replacement while she was on leave. I almost said, "No way!" immediately. But I didn't. I thought about it and even though it was WAY outside of my comfort zone, I figured I would give it a try. I figured at the least all I had to do was get through a couple of months, at the best I might find out I really enjoyed doing it. Wow! When I think about how different my life might be if I hadn't said yes and stepped outside the comfort zone I am blown away.
So here is my question to you. How many opportunities are you missing out on? Are you not shaking it as much as you could in Zumba because you are afraid someone will think you look funny? I promise, they won't! Are you not letting out that giant WEPA! or whoo-hoo! in class because you are afraid you'll sound silly? I promise, you won't! Did you not try something new because it might be hard? Yes, it might be, but there is great satisfaction in learning a new skill. Don't hold back, do a gigantic cannonball or dip your big toe in the water, I promise it feels great!
This week begins our session at Metcalf School, Northampton Street, Holyoke, Thursdays at 4pm. We had such a great turnout for the demo class, I am convinced that we have a hot one on our hands. And what's great about that is that we will be doing something good for our public schools as well as doing something good for our bodies and ourselves! Please spread the word about this class, it is open to ANYONE who wants to attend. There will be a suggested donation of $5. One-third of all proceeds will be donated to a Metcalf School Wellness Fund to help purchase gross motor skill equipment.
There are no changes to this week's schedule at All Saints' Episcopal. Wednesdays, however, are All Request! Send me your favorite songs and we will do it up!
Please click here for a complete list of classes.
If you are looking for Zumba classes in Holyoke, South Hadley or Western Mass, please visit my website for more information.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thursday Night's Playlist

DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love Again- Usher/Pitbull
Lagartija Azul
El Mambo de los Shorty's- Tito El Bambino
Alright- Pitbull feat. Machel Montano
La La La- La Banda Loca
Luna- Eddy Lover
Yeah! (Batuka Mix)- DJ Joao and DJ Payssao
Salsaton- El Rubio Loco
Like a G6- Far East Movement
Blue Zone- Don Omar
Sacudelo- Willy Chirino
Donya- Arash and Shaggy
Somewhere Over the Rainbow-

If you are looking for Zumba classes in Western Mass: Holyoke, South Hadley, or West
Springfield, check out for a complete class listing.
Paper City Zumba with Kate O'Donnell: Bringing fabulous to a class near you!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Who says you can't get something for nothing? Yes you can!
Come check out Paper City Zumba with Kate O'Donnell at Metcalf School, Northampton St, Holyoke, MA, Thursday, February 17 at 4pm! Bring water, comfortable workout clothes and sneakers with good support!
This is a free class to kick off our new session and to beat those February blues. Bring your friends, this is sure to be a HOT one! Want more information? Visit for all class times and locations!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Reclaim Fun!

A friend shared this video on her Facebook site and it made me stop and think. Here's a quick synopsis: a team of scientists found that by making a traditionally drudgerous task fun, people chose fun almost every time regardless of how "hard" it was.
Just like something else I know. ZUMBA!
So I thought about it, why not apply that principle across the board? It's easy to see how much fun children can have doing something like folding laundry or digging holes for planting flowers because
they haven't learned yet that it isn't fun!
My challenge to myself and to you for this week is to "unlearn" that something isn't fun.
Have a paradigm shift.
Forget that exercise isn't supposed to fun, just "good for you."
Forget that making dinner is a chore and reclaim your inner child!
Let's take back the fun, startiung with Zumba on Monday night!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

How to Stay Motivated

Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean you should scrap your exercise plan! After all, wasn't it just a few short weeks ago you were swearing that you were going to exercise three times a week? Or maybe you made your SMART New Year's Goals? But right about now is the time we start to falter...
1. Make a list of all the reasons you want to succeed at your wellness goal. Really, it can be anything, from the very serious, "I don't want to die of heart disease," to the supremely silly, "I want to be able to zip my jeans without having to use a fork to do it!" Now take that piece of paper and put it in your wallet, purse, glove compartment, anywhere you can easily access it. When you're tempted to skip your workout, pull it out and reread it. There is your motivation, in your own words! Hard to argue with yourself, isn't it?
2. Plan ahead! It works for me with meals for the week for a family of five that holds down 2.5 jobs with two school age children who have their own activities. I may deviate from the plan, but at least I had one! So pack your exercise bag the night before and put it in your car. Pack a healthy snack instead of the vending machine at work.
3. Give yourself permission to skip one workout a month. Yes, it actually works. Think about it, what are you going to waste your one skip on? "It's cold out," or "I have a migraine." And who knows, maybe you'll get to the end of the month and never have to use it!
Let's face it, human nature is to make excuses. In spring, it'll be because it's too nice out, in summer it's too hot! There will always be something, right?
Don't let it always be something for you!
Paper City Zumba and Fitness: Bringing fabulous to a class near you!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Paper City Zumba Class Announcement!

Classes are cancelled tonight ONLY, Wednesday, January 12, 2011! Please be safe if you must go out!
I can't wait to see you all back on Monday, January 17, 2011, 6pm Sculpting and 7pm Zumba!
Visit for the most up to date class information!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tonight's Playlist 1/10/11

It's been awhile since I shared my Zumba playlist so here goes!
Dance and Shout(Dance Hall Version) Shaggy and Pee Wee
Yo Te Beso (Y Arrapaparapapan) JN3
I Fell in Love with the DJ Cheynelle
La Isla Bonita (Salsa Remix)
Prrrum Cosculluela
Pena Por Ti Fulanito
Yeah! (Batuka Mix)
Luna Eddy Lover
Alright Pitbull & Machel Montano
Acuyuye DLG
Temperature Sean Paul
Ahora Es Wisin y Yandel
Abdel Khader Tres Mundos
Mis Colegialas Crooked Stilo
Hallelujeigh Alexandra Burke

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Saturday Zumba at West Side Dance Center!

Paper City Zumba comes back to West Side Dance Center, West Springfield, MA!
This promises to be a HOT one! New year, new you with some amazing new music and routines that are guaranteed to help you get your groove back!
Sign up now for the 10 week session starting 1/8/2011 and you get TWO free classes!
West Side Dance Center's beautiful brand new studio! 315 Main Street, West Springfield, MA
Saturdays at 10:45am, beginning 1/8/2011 to 3/19/2011; no class school vacation week 2/26/2011
$80 for all 10 classes, gets you 2 free classes, usual rate/drop in rate is $10/class!
Call Karen McMahon at West Side Dance Center, 413-734-9734 to register!
Paper City Zumba: Bringing fabulous to a class near you!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Why Should You Check out Paper City Zumba?

How about a chance to win a brand new iPod???
During January, February, and March, bring your friends to Zumba at All Saints' Episcopal Church, 7 Woodbridge Street, South Hadley. Everyone who brings (15) friends over those three months will win an iPod Nano!! What???
Everyone who brings (10) friends will over those three months will win an iPod Shuffle!
Limit is one per student and each new person can only be "new" for one person, one time! If you aren't going to be in class, make sure your friends mention your name so you get your referral points!