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By MEACHELLE BELLAN
I’m an exercise maven and I was in the fitness business for years – so, when my husband Bernie suggested that I should start going to the Rady JCC for fitness classes, I hesitated.

I’d been going to a different facility and, like many of you who get to know certain instructors and certain facilities, I was hesitant to try something different.
Today I’ll eat my words. Going into a Zumba class with Sharon Delbridge changed my opinion entirely about the Rady JCC. The first thing that I noticed was the varied ages of the participants in the class and how Sharon engaged everyone. People ranged in ages from 18-80 something.
The second thing that I noticed was how the hour flew by. The reason was this: When doing Zumba a participant gets into the beat of the music and the positive energy in the room. The other factor is that a participant needs to be fully present and in the moment in order to follow Sharon’s dance routine (and she is fantastic). The happiest and most contented people are those who are present, not worrying about what happened last week, or what might happen next month. As a counselor and crisis worker I tell people that all the time.
In my opinion being in Sharon’s class is therapy. As stated earlier, I was into fitness for over 30 years so I speak from experience. I encourage anyone regardless of age, size, shape, or level of fitness to give this particular class a try.
Oh yes, and seriously I was so welcomed by the amazing members that I’m still buzzing.
So listen guys, see you in Zumba.
Speaking with some of the members at the Rady JCC, I also must say that I haven’t heard a negative comment regarding the fitness facility in any manner. On this note, I’m saying good bye to the club that I’ve been frequenting for some years. I’m sold on the Rady.

Ed. note: I suggested to Meachelle that we ought to find out more about Sharon’s background that led her to become such a popular – and well-known Zumba instructor. (My own experience seeing what a great teacher Sharon is was when I would take one of her spin classes. Unfortunately, this past year she decided that her schedule was too full to keep teaching those classes.)
In any event, Sharon responded to my query, in which I asked her to describe the path that led her to becoming a Zumba instructor. I also suggested she call her classes at the Rady “Jewmba classes”. Here, in part, is what Sharon wrote:

I’ve been into fitness my whole life. I come from a very musical family (the well-known Fink family. Sharon’s parents are Rachel and Saul Fink. Her sister Shayla Posen is a teacher and singer; her brother Percy is a chief financial officer in Toronto, while another brother, Sheldon, is also a teacher.), but also a family that always works out. My parents, who are 90 and 88, are still working out every day at the Rady. They swear it’s the secret to keeping young and feeling great.
I teach 16 classes a week. Inspiring and motivating women to live healthy and happy lives is the most rewarding job in the world.
When I was in my 20s I was teaching aerobics for several years as a part- time job while in university. When I had my three children (Milan, Jared and Cassie Ackerman) I ran a hand-painted clothing business in my home called Milan Designs, and I sold to ladies’ and children’s stores all over Canada.
I was always working out and have loved fitness classes. I went back and got more certifications in my 40s. I’m certified to teach many specialties and have been actively teaching at the Rady for over 10 years.
I now specialize in women’s boutique fitness: Zumba, Yoga and Barre classes. The three specialties blend beautifully together and I have a big following of people from all over Winnipeg that come to my classes. I have every Zumba certification that’s available: Zumba, Zumba Gold (for seniors), Zumba Toning (with weights), Zumba Aqua (in water), Zumba Step and Zumba Sentao (using steppers and chairs).
I’ve taken many yoga certifications through the past 10 years and I’ve been teaching Barre classes, which are the latest and hottest classes for women. I’m always taking new training in these three specialties to continue to stay fresh and always have new and exciting things to present to my class. That’s how I stay unique in my field. I’m always learning and always developing my classes to be the best they can be. I spend tons of time finding the best music and choreographing.
I teach three Zumba classes a week at the Rady and all the other classes I teach are at my company, which is called Fresh Soul Fitness (located inside Patricia’s Ballroom in the Tuxedo Shopping Centre). I also teach four Zumba chair classes a week (sitting in a chair) at the Shaftesbury retirement centre and Sturgeon 1 and 2 retirement centres. They get the same high from Zumba in a chair as we all do standing and dancing.
I truly feel that if you work out and look after your body, you will always have a positive outlook on life. Exercise is a huge healer mentally and physically. I have seen so many incredible changes in women that come to my classes. They have transformed their bodies and live happier and healthier lives.

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