When I stumbled upon Javin’s class at my local gym, I weighed nearly 250 pounds. I had just ended a long marriage, and wanted to finally take control of my health and happiness. I stood in the window and watched for weeks before working up the courage to go inside and join them.

I was very uncomfortable with my body then. I didn’t have any athletic ability, or rhythm, or any prior dance experience at all. But, I loved music, and it just looked like too much fun not to give it a try. I hid in the back row so no one would see me. Javin saw me.

Recognizing that I was new, he introduced himself after class. He thanked me for coming and asked if I enjoyed myself. I told him that I had a hundred pounds to lose. He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “You’ll do it.” He hugged me, and asked if I would come to another class.

If you’ve ever been morbidly obese, you understand how invisible we can feel in a place like that. Javin saw me. He acknowledged me. He believed in me. I’ve been following him around town dancing with him ever since.

I quickly discovered that this was much more than an exercise class. It’s a community, a family. Javin and Kayla have created this amazing place for us to feel safe and comfortable in our skin. We support each other, learn and grow together, and share success after success as a group.

Gradually, I moved from the back row to right up front. I’ve now lost over seventy pounds. When I started dancing with Javin, I was taking prescriptions for high blood pressure and Type II Diabetes.  I would come to class and dance for an hour, and have to go home and ice my feet. Today, I don’t take any prescription drugs. My blood pressure is normal, and my diabetes is GONE!

In losing the weight, I found my confidence again. Moving my body helped me to reconnect with myself and restore my self-esteem. I have so much more energy now, and my outlook on life in general is much more positive. Taking control of my health has helped me see just how strong I am. I know that I can accomplish anything I desire with small steps every day.

I will always be grateful for Javin and Kayla- I truly believe they have helped save my life. My success is truly theirs, as I could not have done this without their support, encouragement, and friendship.



This slideshow requires JavaScript.


“Seventy Pounds and Counting” – Renee B.