Confessions of a WERQaholic Category Archive

Confessions of a WERQaholic – Sara and Jan Barrick

Posted on: August 22nd, 2013 by WERQ Fitness

*PICTURED LEFT TO RIGHT:  Jan Barrick, Haley Stone WERQ Master Trainer, Sara Barrick WERQ Instructor

My entire fitness routine changed the day I found WERQ, Haley and Julie.  I went to an open house at a local dance studio showcasing different dance fitness classes and their enthusiasm and high energy captured me immediately.  The first thing I did after class was tell my mom, Jan, that I found these 2 amazing instructors and she had to come take a class with me!  I knew she would share my excitement.  She did, we were hooked, and the rest is history.  We’ve been taking WERQ together ever since.

I love WERQ because it’s just fun.  That’s the simplest way to put it. I’ve been dancing onIMG_0210 and off since I was a kid but after coming home from college I found it hard to find good dance classes.  WERQ has everything I was looking for – a class combining dance and cardio fitness.  The hour flies by, especially when it’s music you really enjoy.  WERQ makes it easy to want to stay active because it is so much fun.

My mom and I take class together.  It’s a great way for us to spend time together doing something we love.  Often times when we get together for dinner we find ourselves talking about the new WERQ songs and why we love them.

I began to consider WERQ Instructor Training and I was very interested but it took some time for me to decide to train.  I was a WERQaholic, but I had never taught any kind of fitness class before.  Haley and Julie make it look so effortless and fun I knew I wanted to do this.  I completed my AFAA Group Fitness Certification, took WERQ Instructor Training and now I am teaching WERQ in Oak Park, IL.

I’d love to see you in class.  You can find my current schedule here. You may even see my mom there too!

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Confessions of a WERQaholic – Chelsie Moore

Posted on: June 8th, 2013 by WERQ Fitness

Moore3[1]It’s the biggest day of your life – how do you want it to start?  With WERQ of course!

On Saturday May 4, 2013 WERQaholic Chelsie Hopkins married Brent Moore in Bloomington, IL.  On the morning of her wedding, at 6:45am the bride, her wedding party, friends and family gathered at 4 Seasons Fitness Center for “Chelsie’s Last Rodeo” – a WERQ class led by Instructor Karen Osborne.  “I couldn’t think of a better way to work out some of the wedding day jitters than WERQing out with Karen and my closest gals.” said Chelsie.

The room was decorated in the wedding colors, participants wore matching t-shirts and everyone WERQed to Chelsie’s favorite songs.  The group cooled down to the couple’s first dance song as husband and wife.

Following the class, the bride and her guests enjoyed champagne flutes of sparkling juices before showering at the gym to head off to the salon for wedding ceremony preparations.

Chelsie you are a true WERQaholic and we’re honored to have been a part of your special day!




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Confessions of a WERQaholic by Beth Hilbert

Posted on: June 5th, 2013 by WERQ Fitness

Mary and Beth

“I have been overweight for most of my life and a sedentary career was only making it worse. With a history of diabetes and high blood pressure in my family, at age 33 I thought it was time to finally do something about it.  Through some friends, I found dance fitness and the rest is history.

About 40 pounds into my weight loss, I hit a plateau and was generally starting to get bored with my workout. That’s when I discovered WERQ. After my very first WERQ class with Chicagoland WERQ Instructor Julie Steffen, I knew that I would not get bored with WERQ. For over a year that has held true. For an hour during a WERQ class I get to pretend that I am the dancer that I have always wanted to be. I have so much fun that I sometimes forget that it’s a fitness class! The constant influx of new routines keeps me interested and excited to come to class and find out what will be next. For the first time in my life, I have found a form of exercise that I actually enjoy, which is key in keeping me from finding excuses to skip. Now, at age 35 and 110 pounds lighter, I look and feel better than ever.

Thanks to the amazing WERQ instructors at Cheetah Gym in Chicago’s Andersonville nieghborhood, I have literally danced my ass off!”  ~  Beth Hilbert

Beth is pictured with WERQ Instructor Mary Williams at Cheetah Gym Andersonville in Chicago, IL.

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Confessions of a WERQaholic – Katherine Walters

Posted on: May 24th, 2013 by WERQ Fitness

“When I walked into my first WERQ class I fell in love instantly.”  ~   Kat Walters, WERQaholic

Kat WERQing "Like An Animal"

Kat WERQing “Like An Animal”

What motivates you to work out?  Losing weight, feeling better, quality of life, your loved ones?  We all have our reasons and because of those reasons we WERQout together as a nation. WERQ Instructors are moving people to a beat and WERQaholics like Kat are finding a workout they can stick with and enjoy.

“I’ve never enjoyed something so much.  I have always loved music and loved to dance and WERQ is perfect for that.

I have been overweight for most of my life. I really never worried about losing weight until after I had my second daughter in 2011. I wasn’t going to the gym and I just felt defeated.  That’s what motivated me to join the gym.

My WERQ Instructor, Kim, wasn’t about to let me quit and I can’t thank her enough for that.  She has been such an inspiration to me.  Having an instructor that truly cares means so much.  My goal is to one day be able to teach and be an inspiration to others in a positive way the way Kim has been for me.

If I start to lose energy or slack off I just look at Kim.  Kim just has to give me “the look” and it keeps me going and pushes me further.

I get sad when class is over cause I want to keep going. It’s been a long journey but WERQ has made it worth every minute of it.”

Kat – By sharing your story with the WERQ Community you are an inspiration to others!!

WERQ Fitness HQ is so proud of your success!

Are you a WERQaholic interested in inspiring others by sharing your WERQ story on the WERQ Fitness blog? Email!

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heART Yourself Grand Rapids – WERQ Instructor Kate Woods

Posted on: March 24th, 2013 by WERQ Fitness

Kate pictured third from the left.

On October 17th, 2012 over 100 Yogi’s and WERQers in Grand Rapids Michigan joined together to celebrate their bodies. Wearing only their sports bras they encouraged each other to flow, dance, sing, laugh and sweat while bearing their bellies.  The event was designed to openly show support for one another in creating a positive body image.

Grand Rapids Michigan WERQ Instructor and LuLuLemon Ambassador Kate Woods led the WERQ portion of the workout.  Click here to see a short video highlighting the event!

Kate’s fitness story is nothing short of an inspiration.  She grew up a dancer and this self described “curvy girl” always felt like the biggest person in the dance studio.  She gave up dance before heading off to college and as she took a full time job, the weight packed on.  “My weight was becoming a problem,  I started having some health problems and I was struggling emotionally with where I was in life.  After discovering the dance fitness world, my life changed”, said Kate.  “I was able to lose 80 pounds and more importantly I started the journey toward discovering my own self worth.  When I dance I feel beautiful.  It doesn’t matter how other people see me.”

Kate became a certified WERQ Instructor and hasn’t looked back.  “I get to share a gift with everyone who comes to my classes.  I get to see people lose inhibitions, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAfree themselves of depression, doubt and self-loathing.  The music and the moves are contagious!”

At the LuLuLemon heART yourself event, Kate let go.  Let go of everything saying “you can’t” and “you’re not perfect enough” and let herself dance in the moment while watching the women smile as they whipped their shirts off.  Participants danced to Sexy And I Know It by LMFAO, What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction and other songs that empower and inspire a positive self image.

“WERQ has transformed me into a confident, sexy, passionate soul.  Where will WERQ take you?”  ~  Kate Woods

(Kate is pictured center in a blue tank along with fellow Grand Rapids area WERQ instructors Mallory Feyen, Natalie Eising, Janitza Sawyer and WERQ Master Trainer Julie Steffen.)


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Confessions of a WERQaholic – Michelle and Jasmine Lewis

Posted on: March 11th, 2013 by WERQ Fitness

Why do WERQ Instructors spend hours learning new choreography and perfecting our classes?

Because of students like mother and daughter Michelle and Jasmine Lewis in Summerville, SC.

WERQaholics – your successes are our successes!

Michelle Before

Michelle’s story:  “Before I started my weight loss journey I was 370+ pounds.  I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor and hypothyroidism in 1992, and the weight packed on very quickly.  I finally came to the realization that enough was enough and if I didn’t do something about it, I wouldn’t be around to see my kids grow up. I realized that I was affecting my children’s health – they also started gaining weight.  I starting working out and giving it all I had.  I’m on several medications for the thyroid issues which make me very tired, but by the end of my WERQ classes my energy is boosted back up and it feels like all the draining effects from the medicine have been erased.  Before I started WERQing out, I hated cardio and doing the same exercises over and over again.  Now there isn’t anything I love more than coming to WERQ classes.  The hour goes by way too fast!”

Michelle and Jasmine After

Jasmine’s story:  “I was about 190 pounds at age 12.  I quit the bad habits and have lost about 70 pounds!  It isn’t always easy making healthy choices, but it has most definitely been worth it.  I feel like a totally different person and it’s amazing to see how much my entire family has changed.  WERQ helps keep me on track.  It’s so much fun I never have to pull myself out of bed to go.  Kim (my WERQ Instructor) and the other students are so encouraging it helps keep everyone motivated!  I’m also pretty sure my swag levels have tripled since we started WERQing out.”

From WERQ Fitness HQ – CONGRATULATIONS Michelle and Jasmine! Your stories inspire us!  Thank you for loving WERQ!

A special thank you to Kim Rickenbaker, WERQ Instructor, Summerville, SC for her contributions to this post.


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Confessions of a WERQaholic – Ginger Darrell

Posted on: January 29th, 2013 by WERQ Fitness
Ginger Before

Ginger Before

I love WERQ so much that I take classes in 2 different gyms!  ~  Ginger Darrell

Ginger weighed in at 251lbs when she started her weight loss journey. She struggled with her weight all her life. The break point was when she no longer fit in the booth at restaurants when she went out with her best friend.  She made a decision. It had to end.

“Obesity runs in my family. My Father passed away of a massive heart attack, then 9 years later my Mother also passed away due to multiple complications. I realized then I didn’t want to die at a young age. I didn’t want to go before my time. It was hard in the beginning because I had to change my entire lifestyle When I first began working out I had to modify all the moves to suit my bodyweight but now I can hold plank for over a minute. I have reduced my medications and to date I’ve lost a total of 80lbs and I am still going! My goal is to get down to 150 if I am not satisfied there I will keep going.”  ~  GingerGinger After

Ginger takes WERQ classes from Kim “KC” Rickenbaker (pictured left) in Summerville, South Carolina. “Ginger does everything I demand from her physically and gets stronger every day.”

Keep up the great WERQ Ginger!!!

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Confessions of a WERQaholic – Christine Hakimi

Posted on: January 23rd, 2013 by WERQ Fitness

“I love every minute I’m with my WERQout classmates, they ROCK!” – Christine Hakimi

Christine Hakimi has been WERQing out with WERQ Instructor Karen Osborne at Four Seasons Association in Bloomington, Illinois since WERQ launched there in the Summer of 2011.  It was evident from the get-go that Christine was meant to WERQ. Her enthusiasm showed head to toe and it radiated from her smile.  Combined with cleaning up her diet, her WERQouts helped Christine shed 18 pounds and gain even more body confidence.

Christine noticed in August of 2012 that she just wasn’t feeling the same. It was evident in class – pains were radiating in her abdominal area and her smile disappeared. Karen and fellow class members noticed her level of effort and enjoyment plummeted from a 10 to a 2 or 3 and concern grew.

“I noticed Christine started choosing more lower level options which just wasn’t like her. She didn’t seem to be having as much fun either. Several times in the middle of class, she would stop movement abruptly clutching her stomach in pain. Then one day it was so severe that she ended up leaving class – she gave me the thumbs up on the way out, but the concern was still there.” -Karen Osborne

WERQ Instructor Karen Osborne (Pictured Left)WERQaholic Christine Hakimi (Pictured Right)

WERQ Instructor Karen Osborne (Left)
WERQaholic Christine Hakimi (Right)

After seeking medical attention and going through series of tests, doctors thought she had Ovarian Cancer. Surgery was scheduled on October 3rd for a complete hysterectomy.

During Christine’s absence, fellow WERQaholics asked for updates and rallied behind her with thoughts, prayers, cards, sentiments. Christine’s “spot” remained open – held by her classmates for her return.

Following her recovery, Christine made her comeback to WERQ in December welcomed with applause, hugs, and even some tears. Christine had requested two songs for her comeback classes – Michael Jacksons’ “Beat It’ in WERQ Old Skool and Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” in WERQ. Somehow, those songs sounded sweeter after coming back from her experience.

“I love every minute I’m with my WERQout classmates, they ROCK! I Beat It and I’m Stronger than ever!” -Christine Hakimi

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Confessions of a WERQaholic – Cathy Moore

Posted on: January 17th, 2013 by WERQ Fitness

“There’s just no excuse anymore.” ~  Cathy Moore

Cathy (pictured left) has been popping, rocking and hip hopping with WERQ Instructor KC Rickenbaker (pictured right) in Summerville, South Carolina since January 2012.

KC shared Cathy’s inspirational story with WERQ Fitness and we just loved hearing about her success!

“Ms. Cathy has lost 108 lbs to date and is a total WERQaholic!  Her range of motion now allows her to drop it to the floor, back up, and around again!  Cathy makes NO EXCUSES – she is a cardio beast!!  She has been inspirational to us all.  Keeps me on my toes!”  ~  KC Rickenbaker, WERQ Instructor

Why does Cathy WERQ?

We asked, she answered!

“I love the music! I download it and run to it when I’m not WERQing. “Werk Me” by Hyper Crush is my favorite and the one song I run my highest speed to.  I love that WERQ Choreography is not so repetitive. Plus, I can adjust the steps to suit my medical problems and still keep in time. Let’s face it, I love WERQ!”  ~  Cathy Moore

Cathy’s health has improved dramatically with her weight loss and increased cardio endurance.  She has been able to reduce or eliminate her diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure medications!

Cathy – WERQ is so proud of your accomplishments and we’re thrilled to have you as part of the WERQaholic community!

“I feel so marvelous. Can’t nobody go as hard as us.  Shake, pop your body.  Shake shake, pop your body.  Do It Right, WERQ Me!”  ~WERK ME, HYPER CRUSH

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Confessions of a WERQaholic by Karen Osborne

Posted on: January 8th, 2013 by WERQ Fitness

Confessions of a WERQaholic – Karen Osborne, WERQ Instructor, Bloomington IL

Bless me, WERQaholics, for I have WERQed and in doing so I’ve created quite the addiction.

I confess to thinking at age 42 I was too old for this class only to realize I actually feel half my age when doing it.

I confess to not believing WERQ can burn 700+ calories a class. Wrong. Karen Osborne

I confess to thinking WERQ would not work my arms and torso. BIG time wrong.

I confess WERQ made me change my Starbucks order name to Sasha Fierce after finding my inner Beyonce.

I confess WERQ grants me an escape from my everyday homemaker, mother of 4, soccer mom life and allows me to play besties with my hommies Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Ca$h Out, and B.o.B.

I confess I get more excited than do my children with the drop of a new Justin Bieber or One Direction song.

I confess to being excited to get up at 4:30am two days a week just so I can kickstart my day teaching WERQ.

I confess to still loving the song Call Me Maybe a.little.too.much.

I confess to needing a Lululemon intervention.

I confess the naughty songs are some of favorites because the character I get to play is such a stretch from the real, reserved me.

I confess to embarrassing my children with random acts of school bus stop dancing and excessive CAR-eography.

I confess to being a WERQaholic.

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