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Jan 07, 2013, 9:35 am
Have fun with fitness: Rochester studio wants to help the whole family
By Heather Thorstensen

The kid disco class at Empowered Wellness in Rochester gets kids up to five years old moving with dancing and games. (Submitted photo)

Katie Button-Swenson, left, and Emily Watkins, right, are co-owners of Empowered Wellness in Rochester.

Empowered Wellness, a Rochester fitness studio, is starting 2013 with classes geared toward families and children, plus their first-ever, six-month Health and Wellness Challenge. They will have new adult classes, such as a kickboxing class and new strength training classes. People who live in Rochester and the surrounding area can try one class for free.


Classes for kids

Co-owners Emily Watkins and Katie Button-Swenson opened their studio in 2011 to build a community focused on healthy living, one that supports all ages, including kids.

Watkins says getting kids to exercise routinely helps their parents because when parents see their kids exercising, it’s a reminder for them to exercise, too. And when parents exercise, it sets a good example for their kids.

Mixed in to Empowered Wellness’ class schedule are these four options for children:

• Kid Disco:
Open to children up to five years old, this is 30 minutes of dancing and games. “I really want it to be a place for kids to be crazy for a half hour,” says Watkins, who teaches the class. The class has structure, she says, but kids are given the freedom to move how they want. Watkins and Button-Swenson, who are each moms to young children, started Kid Disco as a way to get kids out of the house and active during winter.

Cost: $30 per family for a six-week session Next session: Tuesdays, Feb. 12 to March 19, 9:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.

• Zumbatomic:
This 45-minute Zumba class is open to ages 8-14. Zumba is a popular form of world dance-inspired group fitness. Zumbatomic uses age appropriate dance moves and popular music, and focuses more on practicing the moves than traditional Zumba. “It’s an exercise program to music they know and moves they can pick up so they can feel successful, get exercise and have fun,” says Watkins. 

Cost: $30 per child for a six-week session

Next session: Tuesdays, Feb. 12 to March 19, 4:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.

• Little Lotus Warriors

Thirty minutes of yoga for preschoolers.

Cost: $30 per child for a three-week session

Next session: First session is Wednesdays, Feb. 13 to Feb. 27. Second session is Wednesdays, March 13 to March 27 (no class March 6), 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

• Family Disco:
This is a chance for kids up to 10 years old and their parents to exercise together. The hour-long class combines Zumba-style dance, easy yoga and an activity. An activity could be picking up cotton balls with nothing but your feet to improve feet strength.

Cost: $15 per family per class. This class will be held quarterly.

Next class: Sunday, Feb. 17, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.


Health and Wellness Challenge
Empowered Wellness’ first Health and Wellness Challenge will run from January to June. Members will set their own goals to improve their health. Participants will be judged based on their improvement in cardio respiratory efficiency, upper body/core strength and their choice of either body fat percentage or body circumference.

First place wins a six-month membership to Empowered Wellness. Second and third place winners each receive a one-month membership.

For more information, visit www.empowered Heather Thorstensen is the editor of Radish. 

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