Over the years our members have said:
Ottawa April 14, 2019
Off the Wall-Thank the Plank Workshop!
Thank you Katherine,
Well, that was an awesome workshop, Katherine. And, you
are an absolutely wonderful teacher.
Thank you so much for your wealth of knowledge.
Hello Katherine, Charlene,
Your workshop is very useful Katherine. This very
specific and very well documented workshop will serve :
My running loop on the floor (cardio-part) will be
increasing with the running loop on the wall. For the
MSE I will use the wall to enhance isometric
It will add to my already done 30 minute mini class.
Thank you for your good work, I appreciate.
Collingwood March 22, 2019
CALA Foundations of Vertical Water Training -
Collingwood and immediate feedback received less than 24
hours after the course completion
CALA VWT Course Participant
I taught my class this morning, they loved it. They said
they enjoyed the new moves. Most of them ditched the
weights. They said they hoped that some of the others
took the training too. I told them another instructor
also took the course, so they will be in for a treat on
Wednesday. Thanks again for all you do!
Enthusiastic Aquafitters celebrate
their CALA instructor and create a team environment when
they all love the same bathing suit
decades now, people have gathered at the old, hidden
gem, Leaside pool at Millwood and Southvale in Toronto
to spend an early morning hour jumping and jogging and
stretching and reaching in ways many can no longer do on
dry land. Aquafit classes during working hours results
in a mostly seniors, mostly women's class. It's an old,
no frills facility that has made for close contact, new
and lasting friendships and shared experiences, support
and sharing in good and bad times.
With the temporary shutdown of North
Toronto Pool 18 months ago, Leaside's class numbers
swelled. Everyone just moved in a little closer to make
accommodation. With often more than 70 participants in
the 2 back to back classes, our incredible instructor,
Dawn Colgan, just projected her voice louder, pushed
harder and raised the bar higher while quickly learning
all the additional names for encouragement and
inclusion. For some participants, attending 2-4 classes
a week is their physical exercise. For others, it's
their opportunity for social contact. Some have to drag
themselves in but somehow, magically, once the music
starts and we've had our little chats to check on each
other, we begin the warm up and get into the zone and
begin to forget troubles, aches and pains and yes, even
And then, last year, Costco came into
the 'hood, just down the street on Overlea Blvd. It was
a perfect location for after pool strolling, snacking
and shopping. Quickly, some aquafitters discovered the
vast array of sporty bathing suits available at Costco.
When the first black, turquoise and teal Speedo arrived
at the pool, it was complimented, admired and sought
after. Holding everything in place while we jumped and
twisted and turned was the priority and this model fit
the bill. Nice looking and reasonably priced was the
bonus. Within the week there were 3 and by month's end,
lucky 13! We laughed each time a new one appeared and
once we hit 10, we began to call it the unofficial
Leaside Aquafit team suit.
This past week, just before March
break, was the last of the North Toronto pool people's
displacement. The improvement projects are complete
there and most of them will return to their local pool.
We'll miss them. I think they'll miss us. Before they
left we booked a "team suit" photo shoot for posterity,
for comradery and really, just for fun. Those classes
are so much more than a little light exercise. Thanks to
Costco. Great job Speedo. Dawn and Andrew and Leaside
staff, you're the best! You get it. This is so much more
than a little light exercise class. We appreciate your
efforts and are grateful and, I dare say, quite a great
looking seniors group of bathing suit models! Who'd ever
have thought? Proud Leaside Aquafit Participant
Mar 1, 2019
Good morning Charlene
Can you believe it's been six years
since I first took my vertical water and group
certification? My how life has changed.
Two weeks after that first course I
dove head first down the stairs, breaking myself into a
million little pieces. I cannot thank you enough the
patience, kindness and understanding you extended to me
as I completed my certification during the long road of
recovery. I have come a long way since then. My brain
works much better, although I still have trouble
accessing pass experiences and medical terminology.
But that is ok. My body is strong and my head is clear.
Life is good.
I am now teaching aquafitness 16 hours a week and loving
every minute of it.
Have a tremendous day,
February 7, 2019
Testimonial - New CALA member... getting ready to begin
the voyage to become a CALA Certified Leader
It was such a pleasure speaking with you and thank you
for listening to my story. I can 1000% say that Aquafit
saved and changed my life. I could not walk more than a
handful of steps (true story) without being in
excruciating pain and something as simple as going
grocery shopping for my family was no longer possible,
the only place I found relief and could actually move my
body was in the pool. I was amazed because as I watched
and felt my body deteriorate on land, my progression in
the pool absolutely amazed me. Doing aqua fit, I went
from the shallow end barely being able to move, to the
deep end wearing a belt, to no belt with only water
weights —- this was all before my surgery. All those
hours in the pool made for an easy post surgery recovery
so I will always be so grateful everything I learned in
the water. Any ways, I could go on forever about the
water and how it helped me :-)
Thank you very much for all of the
information and I will let you know as soon as I receive
the manual. I am really looking forward to the course!
Thanks again and have a great week.
Cheers and best wishes,
February 1, 2019
Just so you know, I just took the Strength and
Conditioning workshop with Kristin Murphy this weekend.
It was a wonderful source of knowledge and I learned so
much from her and other participants. I think one of the
biggest things I got out of it to practice everything
myself in the water. I am going to start doing that this
week. I will be attending other people's classes and
doing my own work in the water.
Like I said, I can't thank you enough
for everything CALA has done for me and my life. The
first VWT course with you was the first step to a new
avenue in my life. It is making me a better person,
human being, wife and mom
28, 2019 Great training in Cornwall this weekend!
Despite the snow storms we had a safe drive to Cornwall!
Dylan did a great job, I especially liked the pool
It was a great group of instructors who wanted to
improve their programs!
The NAV Centre is a beautiful facility and Louise did a
great job with signage all over to guide us!
Having a CALA conference in the Spring or Fall at this
facility would be ideal:)
Old man Winter is here again at -35 with wind chill.
Happy to be working in a pool and not outside:)
Have a great week!
Fabulous testimonial for Katherine… Sept 24th workshop in Norfolk County.
Feedback 1 Sept 24th workshop in Norfolk County
Just wanted to pass along that my
staff really enjoyed the workshop last night!
Katherine – my team can be hard to
impress, but they certainly enjoyed your presentation.
Thanks and I look forward to having
you return to do another course/workshop in the future.
Feedback 2 Sept 24th workshop in Norfolk
Hi Katherine, Thank you for your
Workshop Presentation last evening. By the time I got to
the Workshop Evaluation at the end of the session my
brain just wasn’t providing me with meaningful things I
wanted to share with you. I’ve collected a few of those
thoughts here. By no means does my note capture the
‘whole picture’ of the learning that happened for me.
Thank you for the rich vocabulary, the
motivational (and might I add succinct ) phrases that
definitely bring power and meaning to the class. I was
thrilled to expand my repertoire of useful verbal and
visual cues. In addition to the specific things I
learned from your presentation, your comments &
anecdotes, flipped a switch for me. Light bulbs went on
reminding me of teaching strategies that have been the
mainstay of my career. Fun? Yes it was. Humour? Needed
and you interject it so well. It matters to me that
everyone find the personal enjoyment, fun, and
fulfillment that comes from an active and now I add
‘Aquatic’ Lifestyle. Works for me.
I taught Aquafitness this morning.
Well, after being with you last evening, I felt
empowered to teach and to connect. Loved it. It was like
riding a bike. Faces beamed when I caught the group
doing things well and complimented on their efforts. (A
story for you: I taught in a number of schools and as
you know not all administrators are what we might like
to have as our leaders. One in particular was somewhat
difficult. I immediately immersed myself in a number of
CDs with Lessons: How to Train Killer Sharks. Bingo
Bongo…6 months later, well the administrator was just
fine. Caught him in the good acts often enough that
eventually his good acts outnumbered the others#&^%&)
It was my attendance at your workshop
last evening that gave me a treasure chest of ideas and
strategies. And, you empowered me to do it, to teach.
And it was great fun. I only exaggerated a wrong move
2x. Laughter and smiles appeared.
I have much to learn and look forward
to doing that. Meanwhile, you have helped me make the
most of what I currently know and understand about
Thanks Katherine, Have a great day,
Feedback 3 Sept 24th workshop in Norfolk
Katherine is such an outstanding course
leader & she made the whole presentation engaging and
totally enjoyable-just as you would expect. I found the
material quite worthwhile and thought it would be a
lovely addendum to any of the CALA training sessions.
Having said that, the exchange of ideas & information
was particularly helpful to me, especially now that I
have some knowledge under my own belt, so perhaps it
would be better as an offering at one of your
Simcoe was a relatively long drive;
also the timing was a bit difficult, however I’m glad to
see the course content as one of your workshop topics!
Hi Charlene, I would like to thank-you for your help in
coordinating our YMCA YWCA of Winnipeg's Aqua fitness
Workshop May 9, and 10th, 2014. The feedback has been
very positive and everyone enjoyed having CALA Trainer,
Dylan Harries back to the Y to present the CALA style
Leaders keep impressing & inspiring!
Joan (CALA Certified Leader),
Just a little 'e' to thank you so very much for making
my mother and I feel so welcome despite coming late to
your Aquafit class today. I really feel your 10:00am
class is exactly what my mother needs to get into a
routine of physical activity.
Perhaps you have heard the quote "You may not remember
what someone says, you may not remember what someone
does, but you will always remember how they made you
feel". This definitely applied to you today--you don't
know how much your kindness meant to me today.
Thanks again. Janet, (A happy participant – Oakville,
Burlington, Mississauga region.)
What a wonderful team you brought with your passionate self that
weekend! The team work and easy -going camaraderie amongst your
trainers, and the variety of styles and concepts applied to your
basic theories (still valid and maybe more so even after all these
years) was a real joy to enjoy; and when I say variety--- It says a
lot about your program that it attracts such a smorgasbord of all
the different people out there. Our participants can find a great
role model for themselves from such a broad selection of qualified
I appreciated your
generosity in the provided lunches and a CD! Annalie said she was
going to make it a party, and even in the chilly gym, I felt the
warmth of dedicated Aquafit pros. Hope we can do it again next year.
Thank you, thank you,
thank you. Stay well and wet!
Sharon Quebec DDO conference
I am planning an annual event in Quebec, hopefully at DDO. Cheers
Thoughts expressed by a passionate CALA Certified Leader in the
Toronto area, Certified in the following Specialties: Group
Aquafitness, Healing Waters: Aquatic Post Rehab and almost certified
in Aqua Yoga...“When I got certified in aquafit, it was totally with
the mind set of "this is something extra, it won't be my main
thing." Then I took the CALA Foundations of Vertical Water Training
course & yes, I could understand & see & FEEL the benefits of
training in water as I created & played with different moves &
combos. However, do you know what's really odd? I am
experiencing "growth spurts". Not sure how else to describe them
but it's like, I learn something new & get excited & I want to learn
more & MORE! My greatest source of inspiration & energy: My
participants. They help keep me excited. And I help to keep the
workout experiences fresh. Yes we work out but I am finding more
fun in using imagery & creating "games" we can play while they get a
workout. Biggest problem: There never seems to be enough
TIME! The class it over before I know it! Ok enough of my
banter. Just wanted to say how happy I am to be a CALA Certified
aquafitness instructor! From the 6 month old babies to my 99 year
old jewels ... they all keep me pumped!
An update on my life
post accident: My back has healed but it won't ever be
the same as it was before the accident, it
still aches. My left hand was injured as well and even
though it has been a year, my hand and my back have not
My neurosurgeon was
amazed at how quickly I healed without going to
physiotherapy - all my rehab was done in the pool. The
accident was June 4 (2012) and I was back on the golf
course playing a bit in mid September. I attribute it
all to being in shape before the accident because of
aquafit and a quicker rehab again with the help of
aquafit. I did the first part of the rehab in the deep
end with a belt to avoid impact and gradually moved off
the belt and was doing full aqua by the beginning of
January this year.
I've enjoyed my association with CALA
and learned a lot. I will use what I have learned to
keep in shape in the pool. Aquafitness really helped
with my rehab and I will always continue being a
I wish you all success in the future of
CALA - it's a great organization.
Last night was the first time I met
you and having gotten to experience your teaching first
hand. I have to tell you, I think I spent the whole
classroom portion of your presentation totally
I don't think words can express how
not only proud and impressed with you I was but how
proud I am to be a CALA instructor and member. CALA by
no means is an easy qualification to obtain and rightly
so. We are the elite of the aqua fitness industry and
you in particular, shine above all the rest. Good on you
Charlene and I couldn't think of anyone better to be our
aquafit ambassador. You are phenomenal at what you do
and your presentation totally blew me away!
Although I absolutely loved it all,
the raw power of aqua jogging and spinning totally get
me fired up, and rest assured I will keep prodding Dylan
to bring these programs to Ottawa. I totally concur that
Ottawa's Aquafit market is nowhere near close to being
tapped yet and I strongly believe CALA will be the true
leader in this area with the right leaders promoting it.
Thank you for all your hard work and
effort that has gone into making CALA the best. Your
time and effort and dedication is appreciated even
though we may not always take the time to tell you.
Take care & do come back and visit us
While watching Hockey Night in Canada thought I'd take a
time out during Coaches Corner to jot down my
impressions of today's "new Moves, Making it Fun"
session in Port Colborne. Sometimes it's hard to give
adequate feedback on the evaluation form when your brain
is trying to process all the new info. In case you don't
know, you bear an uncanny resemblance to the host of
Coaches Corner Don (Grapes) Cherry. Not so much in looks
but in the go get 'em attitude and ability to use your
talents to create a career you obviously love.
There was a group of somewhat
reluctant participants in the class. You tried to
impress upon them the impact they could have on their
clients. Speaking from experience, this is SO true. Two
years ago (at the age of 46) I finally quit smoking and
joined the YMCA to avoid gaining weight and try to
repair some of the damage. I started with Aquafit
classes because they seemed the least intimidating of
the options. Thankfully, the instructor was excellent,
due to your seminars and a natural talent to teach. Her
encouragement has led me to become certified and
volunteer as an instructor. Since starting to teach, the
rewards have been amazing. Without exaggeration, I have
gotten more positive feedback in the last six months of
Aquafit than in 25 years of laboratory technology!
The visual cuing you used was very
helpful. It was especially good to see a whole class
taught that way rather than a quick demo. It may be one
answer to overcoming those chatty ladies floating in the
deep end. Speaking of deep, do you have any hints or
workshops on combo deep/shallow work-outs. Most of our
classes have both types of participants and I sometimes
feel like one or the other is being short-changed.
The Africa music was absolutely
I will always push CALA. Waaaay back, when I was looking
to be certified as an Aquafit instructor, I checked
everyone out by taking workshops and the CALA workshop I
attended impressed me the most. In my opinion, CALA is
the best training program out there for aquafitness.
Ottawa Aquafitness enthusiast
I work for The Hills Health Ranch in 108 Mile, BC - a
wellness resort. 108 Mile is approximately 5 hours north of
Vancouver and the population of our area is under 5000 people. We
do not have a municipal facility, so we hold aquafitness classes in The
Hills hotel pool. We have a wonderful group of women who have been
coming for years - it is the only program that has a 'local' following.
Since we started the CALA program (I was trained with CALA over 4
years ago and brought CALA to The Hills 2 years ago) our attendance has
doubled - consistently! We offer aquafitness everyday at 11am, and
during the week, our numbers range from 12-16+ locals and whatever
guests are staying - sometimes our numbers are up to 25! (if you saw our
pool, you would be impressed!). The participants have taken
responsibility for their own training and bodies, work very hard to the
best of their ability, and have no more complaints (ah! This is
the really great part!)!
In CALA, we offer a serious, educational, always
dynamic approach to aquafitness. We have a wonderful team who
recognizes the value of training in the water for all levels: seniors
to athletes to people with injuries to pre/post natal women, and more.
We have marketing tips to help to bring in a clientele that
normally would not think of exercising in the water (for example, 108
has a surprisingly large group of runners / triatheletes, and I am in
the process of drawing them to the water for cross training with 'Water
108 Mile, BC
CALA-BCRPA Aquafitness Trainer
CALA Aqua Yoga:
A Linear Movement Experience Inspires aqua
enthusiasts at the Midtown Club, Montreal, Quebec.
Karl and Charlene are offering a 20
hour CALA Aqua Yoga Training Courses in Okotoks,
Alberta, Ottawa, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec. Check
www.calainc.org for finalized dates and
Quote from Nadia, the mover and shaker
to make the CALA Aqua Yoga Masterclass happen at the
Midtown Club in Montreal:
"Hello Karl,Thank you for
sharing those beautiful flowing ‘one breath at a
time’ Aqua Yoga moves with the Midtown Club
participants and instructors. It was an awesome
Master Class that definitely took our breath
away and lit the fire within. I received lots of
positive feedback and having the pool filled at
full capacity with 39 participants, said it
Creates A Fun Splash in Inuvik
Aquafit is still going strong in
Inuvik. I'm back in the saddle again now and Janet and I
are splitting up the classes so that neither of us gets
"burnt-out" so to speak. It's amazing how much my body
rebelled at not having regular Aquafit last fall - my
arthritis started bothering me again and I just didn't
feel well. Now that I'm back in the pool regularly, the
transformation is remarkable. I feel lively again and
I'm sleeping better. I honestly believe that working out
in the pool is the best fitness tool - its target the
whole system, is easy tailored to each person's needs
and preferences, offers the best, most efficient
"circuit training" for those interested in HIIT, and
substantially limits the opportunity for stress injury.
What's not to love!! But I guess I'm preaching to the
I am the programs coordinator at Acadia University in
Wolfville, Nova Scotia. I want to ensure you that the money
spent to train your instructors with CALA is a wise investment.
CALA is an organization that is about more than just the certification
process...they are a committed to providing a high standard of
aquatic leadership through continued education and support.
Once you become part of CALA, you become part of a family which will
help your facility grow and prosper. From day one, CALA has
been there to answer any questions that I might have, and believe me, I
have a lot of questions. I have been in the fitness industry for
almost 20 years, and of all the courses and associations that I have
been affiliated with, CALA definitely is on the top of the list.
The course outline is longer than most Aquafit programs out there,
however, it thoroughly gives you hands-on practical application along
with the theory that is needed to make for a top notch leader.
Most other course provide participants with a condensed version of
theory and not much practical application and push the participants out
the door with no mentoring or reputable certification process.
When I came on board at Acadia, there was no
consistency, growth or variety to our Aquafit program, which was
very frustrating to both the staff and participants. Since then,
we have doubled our Aquafit attendance, and the rehabilitation centers
now recognize the high quality of CALA training and refer clients
to us to take part in regular Aquafit classes for post rehab (we also do
aquatic personal training and work with the athletics departments to
cross train sports specific groups). Aquafit isn't "just for
seniors" anymore and can be adapted to all fitness levels and
limitations. 50% of my clientel are university age students who,
once learning the advantages of training in water verses land, much
prefer to go to an Aquafit class rather than a land based class.
The beauty of working with CALA is that you learn how to market and
improve your client base. CALA provides leaders with the ability
to not just lead a class, but to educate while they lead.
I was so impressed with the CALA approach, that I
have spent the last year working towards becoming a trainer for the CALA
program. I was fortunate to meet and be able to work with Shelagh
Noonan over the last year and she is an awesome trainer. The two
of us joke as we are the Canadian Shanghi Noon trainers "east meets
I hope this helps with your decision to bring CALA to
your area. It will be well worth it.
Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia
In four years the facility that I teach at has gone
from 3 morning aquafitness classes to 10 each week. The clientele has
become stronger, healthier, and happier. I took a class of 20 who had
been exercising in the shallow water for over 20 years, to a clientele base that exceeds 250 in deeper waters. The participants love the
variety that I offer; aqua jogging, aqua spinning, aqua tai chi, aqua
cardio, and arthritis. They say they love it when they travel to other
centers that also have a CALA certified lead class, they understand the
cueing, the signs and most of all they know what to expect. They
understand their muscles, how to make them work harder in the water,
they understand the principals of the water, knowledge they did not know
or understand before CALA. I could go on.
I worked with the nay sayers, I was told many times
that the participants didn't want to change, and yes there were a few
who didn't like it. However the majority loved the changes. The CALA
program is solid, no participant could change my mind that the old way
was better. It has taken four years to evolve. I only started aqua tai
chi this past fall, but they the particpants were ready for an
If you have any questions I would love to answer
We have been offering CALA aquafitness
classes at our facility for the past 7+ years. Our
classes average 20-30 people each time. The quality of
training our instructors have received from
CALA is the reason these classes are so popular. Our
customers rave that our classes are fun, energetic
and effective. We have had customers from out of town
who say they can tell we offer CALA Quality by
the way we teach and that it is by far the best class
they've done. In addition to our 7 aquafitness classes
per week we also offer 3 Aquajogging classes (we had to
add another class due to popular demand). This is also a
CALA program that has been very successful for us. We
average 30 people per class ranging in ages and fitness
abilities as well as good representation of both male
and female. Many of our Aquajogging participants
have said it's the best work out they've ever had! It's
important to note that Whitehorse is a community of
around 20,000 people so we're pretty proud of the
numbers we get. From a revenue stand point with mostly
adult admissions- CALA training is well worth it. I
think your community will be
pleasantly surprised with how good Aquafit can be.
Your instructors will enjoy the courses taught by CALA (Shelagh
and Charlene are fantastic!) and will be motivated to lead
great classes. If you have any other questions, feel
free to ask. Best of luck with your programming.
City of Whitehorse
One of your last
comments this morning as you were busily getting the
weekend conference underway, referred to the two
Tidal Wave CDs you passed on to me. You said:
"I hope you like these "Wow, Charlene Tidal
Wave 2 is awesome. I used the first 2nd with my deep
water class at Vic Road centre. A pool full of
participants, working their butts off not only under my
direction but the incredible music which accompanied
them. They commented on how wonderful the music was.
Within an hour I had my second class arrive - the Easy
Movin class - once
again a pool full of happy energized elderly
participants. I informed them that they were about to be
the first class to experience CD number 2 of Tidal Wave
2. These elderly people are very particular about the
music they require and they know I have tons of music to
suit their needs. I was not sure they would appreciate
the CD. Holy Cow !!! CD 2 was just as good as CD 1 - one
of the elderly participants commented during the session
- " Sil where do you find all the great music you
provide for us?" In fact I have at times ordered
CDs at their request - I never burn or copy anything. I
will be using Tidal Wave 3 on Monday - my morning class
and my evening class. It was indeed worth the wait for
these CDs You and your staff do an amazing job in
selecting music for your Tidal Wave series. The music
you select seems to satisfy everyone's needs - young and
elderly alike. Thanks again for caring to provide only
the best for us.
CALA Trainer and Presenter, Karl
Notargiovanni shines as he spreads the CALA philosophy
of mind thinking, body moving and spirit soaring at the
Manitoba Fitness Conference, October 2012.
Hi Karl....before we
get too far away from the event, I just wanted to tell
you what a pleasure it was to meet you and how much I
enjoyed your presentations. I especially appreciated
your expertise, your passion and your approachability :)
I think that you
managed to inspire quite a few people.....I'm hearing of
several classes where the non-verbal cueing was used
last week. The instructors were quite impressed....seems
like that was something new for most of them to consider
! I meant it when I asked if you'd come back to
Winnipeg....and I'd welcome any suggestions that you
might have for future workshops.
again....you were just what the doctor ordered. Looking
forward to a next time !"
Jan, MFC Aqua
Hi Pat Richards,
Just wanted to say thank you for all that you have
taught us during the Vertical Water Course and the Group
Aqua Fit course. They were great classes and I really
loved the personal items that you included to make it
Thank You. Carol
Nadia Karawani: It is with great pride
that I have achieved and continue to maintain
professional status as a CALA Certified Leader
Specializing in Group Aqua Fitness, Aqua Natal and Aqua
Arthritis & Joint Disorders. For 18 years I instructed
Aqua Arthritis and Aqua for Seniors Classes at the
'YWCA'. Presently, I am celebrating my ninth year at
the Midtown Le Sporting Club du Sanctuaire as a Group
Aqua Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer for Aqua
Post Rehab & Aqua Natal.
My philosophy in life: Have a 'Positive'
attitude: Learn to use your adversity in life to work
for you rather than against you. If your adversity is
suffering from a chronic disease, such as, RA, OA, MS,
FMS use it as a positive challenge and move towards
success as opposed to failure. Set yourself as an
example for others. I have used my Arthritis (in
remission now) to become a 'JOINT' Ambassadress for
CALA. Finding my passion in the magical healing power
of water and by integrating the mind, body and spirit in
a holistic approach, has enabled me to make a difference
in other people's wellness. The best gift I can ask for!
I am proud that I have been selected,
for the third time, among the 'top 9' group for the
'Star Program' which the Midtown Club launches
periodically in recognition of excellent contribution,
great skills of teaching and commitment towards
servicing the Club's Members.
So if I can do it you can do it!
I wanted to give you my personal feedback on the
Vertical Water Training course I took this past
weekend in Malton taught by Charlene Kopansky.
As someone who has taken many certifications and
workshops and at times felt it was a waste of my money
and time. I can share with you that this was a very
positive experience where the time spent both in the
classroom and pool were extremely valuable in terms of
knowledge gained. This was a very empowering approach
to learning and one that from my perspective every
participant walked out of there with so much to share
with others and bring to their classes that will be
taught for The City of Mississauga and surrounding
As someone who has done program planning for a
municipality I know how important it is to get
feedback on how programs are running. This one is time
and money well spent!
I was reading
through the CALA Water Running and Aqua Jogging
Resource manual. I love the section in Chapter 2 about
the Mind-Body-Spirit connection. The role of the
instructor is discussed & how the Instructor's
"energy" basically will affect even the body
chemistry of the participants. Once the participants
feel positive, it will then generate group
cohesiveness and will attract yet more participants.
At a further level it would affect them in their lives
outside the water, leading to random acts of kindness.
I LOVE that! To think that something that starts with
a physical workout develops into something that can
touch someone so deeply as to have a ripple effect on
the people around them … OUTSIDE the pool! That is
soooooo wonderful! I know you have seen this as you
were part of the team that created the program but I
wanted to say how deeply it just touched me. Thank-you
so much for the amazing programs you offer.
instructors, take time to find a great mentor. Their
help is priceless and it makes you more than an
instructor. They can be a great contact once you are
certified. They may even help you find classes to
practice before your assessment. Take advantage of
every opportunity available to you. Your mentor can talk to you
about dealing with situations, pool and pool deck
health and safety regulations, facility expectations
and establishing relationships with your participants.
Contact CALA, who will help you find a mentor in your
area. Once you get certified subbing at several
locations will give you exposure to different pool
layouts, depths of water and participants. Learn from
every opportunity presented to you. Attend as many
classes to learn from other instructors. Experience
is the best teacher, you can only learn so much
through text. A lesson plan looks good on paper but
only by teaching a class do you know if it
The excitement and enthusiasm you brought to Clarkson
was catching. Your light shines brightly and although
I can’t speak for everyone, many of us felt it. The
VWT course was a joy to take. To advance my own
education with a diverse, fun loving and motivated
group of individuals, and to have the classes lead by
knowledgeable, supportive and passionate leaders was a
dream. I’m very thankful to have been able to take
your broad spectrum program (facts, implications and
applications), as well as dive into the dynamic
activities offered. You and Mary Lou were awesome.
(Too bad you aren’t paid by sweat equity!) I’m
really impressed by the quality and depth of
information in this program and look forward to taking
future courses with CALA.
THANK YOU, CHARLENE!
Regarding CALA VWT Course at Clarkson Community Centre
in Mississauga. Hi Charlene, Just wanted to thank you
once again for an amazing course this past weekend! I
learned so much and have a new appreciation for
aquafitness and water therapy. I also greatly enjoyed
the enthusiasm and energy you and MaryLou displayed,
and how you were able to engage us all. It made for a
very exciting three days! Hope to take more courses
with you in the future!
CALA Certified Leader who attended the Aqua Sessions
facilitated by CALA Presenters at the canfitpro
conference in Montreal, Quebec, Feb 4, 5, 2012:
"Hey Charlene. I just wanted to say that CALA
really stepped up this year. All the workshops I took
were really fabulous. I can feel every muscle in my
body today. That vertical water running was brutal.
Marie Claude's aquanatal really addressed pregnant
ladies and their issues, and her authenticity and
passion is just a delight. Your "Feel the
difference" threw everything out and went way out
of the box...I loved it...it really fuelled
creativity. Dylan's choreography was a great way to
end the weekend. What a blast!! I have to say it
really makes a difference when you're there to
represent CALA. My new team at Dollard Des Ormeau were
blown away. They never met you, and can see how
selective you are when it comes to your trainers..i.e...Carol
Weerdenburg... amazing and sooooooo sincere. She was
the first trainer they met at my facility with Marie
Claude Leblanc. Now they all feel connected. That was
my intention too. Have a great week!
My goal was simple: Earn my CALA Group Aqua Fitness
certification. It was “just another cert” to make
me more versatile … or so I thought.
The seminars were of utmost quality thanks to awesome
instructor-trainers & detailed course materials.
Ideally the course would last for weeks but who has
that kind of time? This is where a mentor comes in …
I met her at the CALA training: "Don't you teach
at my gym?" She offered to mentor me. Little did
I know how she would empower me. To describe
what she did (& still does for me) in a few words
would not do her justice. A mentor has been through
what you have & can help steer you in the right
direction, help you focus. She can pick you up when
you fall, give you encouragement & get you upright
again. I guess one could get certified without a
mentor but they would not have done as well as I did
with her: “You have passed With Distinction, Carole.”
Say what??? A year ago this was supposed to be “just
This does not mean it’s
easier & less work. Prepare to work hard: The bar
is raised, expectations are higher! If you are a
know-it-all, lazy, need instant success, cannot take
constructive criticism, do not want to grow … then
don’t waste a mentor’s time. You need to trust, be
open-minded, resilient, tenacious, & secure enough
to accept direction from your mentor who is a subject
matter expert. She was my “Main Mentor” but I had
many more: The patient & often very blunt
participants (God bless them) who attended classes I
co-taught. It all seemed obvious … but isn’t that
what we usually forget about? The “obvious”? “Smile”
was the most obvious. What a BIG difference that made.
When I smiled, the participants smiled back, the pool
“rocked” & I felt GOOD! I was able to relax
& unleash all the powerful knowledge bestowed on
me by CALA & especially my mentor.
I recently became a certified GAF Instructor through
the City of Mississauga's CALA Aqua Fitness Program.
The purpose of this letter is to let those responsible
for offering and promoting these classes know how
significant this education and training has been to me
in my life. Not only were the CALA courses helpful,
informative and interesting, they've changed my life
for the better. Many years ago when I completed my
high school education, I applied to a couple of
colleges in hopes of pursuing an Aerobics Instructor
Diploma - I was not accepted and I took this a sign
that it wasn't meant to be, so I gave up on the
possibility of teaching fitness. I've spent the last
27 years working in offices, and although I progressed
well and supported myself and my family comfortably, I
have not felt self fulfilled in my work. In fact, the
dissatisfaction with sedentary office work has
increasingly plagued me. Aqua fit instructing has
changed this path for me. I feel like I'm actually
"doing" something; I've gained confidence I
never thought I'd had; I'm loving helping others with
their own physical successes; and most importantly,
I'm employing the tools and education I've learned and
earned through the City's CALA Aqua program and I'm
finally happy in my work. I love every minute I teach
and I know the participants absorb a part of this
inspiration and joy in my classes.
As I now pursue other
CALA Certifications with the City of Mississauga, such
as my current focus on Aqua Therapy, I am continuously
impressed by the course content and excited about the
multitude of opportunity this field of expertise leads
to. I hope to master some very vital skills that will
enable me to play a role in my client's improved
overall health and well being by supporting their
growth in their physical, mental and emotional
fitness. I am convinced that I will make a difference
to someone, and help them conquer even the slightest
personal challenges standing before them. I would not
be able to write this letter today, if it weren't for
the City of Mississauga's course offerings and
affordable, convenient CALA Certification programs.
Their significance and possibilities for health and
fitness not only reach the class participant, they
feed the CALA instructor. I hope when reading this,
you do feel a sense of my gratitude and enlightenment,
and I hope somehow it makes you feel somewhat of the
same within yourselves in hosting these
accomplishments. Kind regards,
called my house to say congratulations on passing my CALA aqua
fitness training from your office, I have no clue who
it was as they never left their name, but just wanted
to say "Thank you" to that person, I
love teaching my 1 hour class twice a week. My
class, it is awesome to see mature people getting fit
and enjoying the joys of the water. I even have
2 teens coming to my class who are very overweight and
starting a weight loss journey - it is nice to mentor
them, and see how the aqua class is helping them
become more active as they feel they are not ready to
go into the gym area yet. This is a awesome
first step for them.
am so proud to be a CALA aqua trainer and love
the program, even went into some other people's
classes to check them out and their moves, yep stole a
few to add to my class.
"Thanks so much again for making the VWT course an
enjoyable experience. You take the time to personalize
the training for each participant and go above and
beyond to make sure your students understand the
concepts needed to be successful instructors. There was
a lot of material to go through - the anatomy section
was a bit much for me but you had a great suggestion to
learn it in sections and to keep my future participants
educated and informed. I'm soooo looking forward to
representing CALA as an instructor and look forward to
participating in other courses and/or
workshops/conferences with you again."
Sara says...." I really feel pride
being affiliated with CALA. I truly believe that there
is an integrity, passion & dedication toward being life
long learners and setting a standard in aquafitness. I
was super pleased with this course and I am so pumped
for the next one."
Natalie says.... "I wanted to thank
you for this weekends VWT course. I really enjoyed it
and just registered for the aqua yoga in June. I also
feel it would really benefit me to also take the Group
Aqua in July (Mississauga at the Huron Park Community
Centre). I was wondering whether it is a possibility to
save a spot in the course. Thank you again, I felt very
lucky to have the opportunity to meet and learn from
Thoughts expressed by a
passionate CALA Certified Leader in the Toronto area,
Certified in the following Specialties: Group
Aquafitness, Healing Waters: Aquatic Post Rehab and
almost certified in Aqua Yoga...“When I got certified in
aquafit, it was totally with the mind set of "this is
something extra, it won't be my main thing." Then I took
the CALA Foundations of Vertical Water Training course &
yes, I could understand & see & FEEL the benefits of
training in water as I created & played with different
moves & combos. However, do you know what's really
odd? I am experiencing "growth spurts". Not sure how
else to describe them but it's like, I learn something
new & get excited & I want to learn more & MORE!
My greatest source of inspiration & energy: My
participants. They help keep me excited. And I help to
keep the workout experiences fresh. Yes we work out but
I am finding more fun in using imagery & creating
"games" we can play while they get a workout.
Biggest problem: There never seems to be enough TIME!
The class it over before I know it! Ok enough of
my banter. Just wanted to say how happy I am to be a
CALA Certified aquafitness instructor! From the 6 month
old babies to my 99 year old jewels ... they all keep me
WOW Charlene, this looks
ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!! What a
wonderful way to celebrate 20
yrs of CALA! I would love to
be there, but it's not possible,
and thanks for sending me this
information. I'm glad I don't
have to make any session
choices, as they all look
wonderful and I would be
seriously hard pressed to make a
decision between each one. May
you all have an incredible aqua
time on that weekend, and I will
be thinking of you then. Enjoy,
enjoy, enjoy and celebrate,
celebrate, celebrate." Lots of
love Samantha, from Pretoria,
Charlene, You are amazing. The
success in your life has come
from your soul. Keep it up!"
Bunty, West Coast of Canada
"Charlene, Congratulations for
your successful 20 yrs. I've
enjoyed your materials and wish
I could come to this exciting
conference but it's a little too
far for a trip in winter. If you
do any videos or handouts I
would be interested in
purchasing. Thanks for the
Invitation." Janice from
Congratulations-20 yrs of
aquatic training. This will be
an exciting conference for you.
I hope you have a moment to
reflect on your success and
hard, dedicated work. Are you
heading west in the near
future?" Debra, Vancouver
Hope you thought the conference
was a success. 20 yrs is
nothing to sneeze at!
CONGRATULATIONS!! I learned a
ton, and found your presenters
to be incredibly enthusiastic
(as they always are), generous
in sharing their knowledge, (not
to mention, deeply knowledgeable
on their topics of their
presentation). It was exciting
to participate. I came away
newly energized and ready to get
back in the game. From my
perspective--it was Great!
Thank you for putting together
such a wonderful team--Thank you
also to the team for bringing
their A-game. (As an aside, I
think the new certifications
CALA is developing are
super-both essential and
timely.)--Kudos!!!! Keep up the
superb job! With Gratitude, Ann from Toronto
Hi Charlene, I've been meaning
to write all winter and here I
those 20 yrs. i remember us
well at U of C for one of your
first Alberta workshops!!! AND
look at you now. I think I still
have my original membership card
Enjoy your April Conference and
party for me!!!!! Message from
Lynn Borrowman, Canmore, Alberta
Hi Charlene, Grateful thanks for
your program that was in the
Mail, unfortunately as you are
aware it is just not possible to
attend- the South African rand
is very weak at present. It is
great to see that CALA is doing
so well and serving their
membership with such a great
event. Trust that you had a
great turnout! Chat you again
soon. Yours in Aqua and from
sunny South Africa, Sue Pampara
Hi Beautiful, Hope your
conference was a fantabulous
occasion. What fun it must have
been and so satisfying.
Congratulations to you, I was
thinking of so much. What
a fun time was had in Nelson,
New Zealand. Oh my, oh my, what
a beautiful part of the world
and so glad we could share some
wonderful days and memories
together with you and Alistair.
Talk soon Much Love
Message from Linden Louise
Cowan, North Island, New Zealand
Thank you... our AQUA
QUEEN! Without your
vision and passion for
sharing the gift of
movement... deep from
within, ALL of us would
not have experienced
this magical journey
with you, for you and to
everyone that we meet
along the way. You are a
friend, mentor and Woman....
that is a big WOW! This
was an amazing weekend
for everyone that shared
of themselves with each
other. Felt the love and
deep appreciation from
and for everyone.
((HUGS)) to you 'sister
of the water'
Thank you for another
wonderful CALA event. So much to
learn and experience in such a
short period of time. Having
these opportunities to share
with other leaders is inspiring.
We can learn so much from each
other. Having these events
allows us to continue our growth
in the Aquafit world. Our
imaginations are our only
limitation. Fellow instructors,
be creative and introduce new
things on a regular basis.
Healing Waters Program
To the CALA team
After having just
completing the evaluation process for the Healing Waters
Course I want to thank the whole team for making the
experience so positive. Right from the start getting my
many questions answered and setting up registration from
Ottawa was welcoming and made the decision to go ahead
with the course very easy. During the course Linda and
Janet were very professional and shared their knowledge
on a level that was able to reach all participants.
Questions were welcome, practice in the water was well
balanced and really helped hit the theory home. We also benefited
by sharing the experience of other participants. The
course content was informative and will be applicable in
both specialty and main stream classes that have varied
participants. How fortunate Linda and her team are to
have such a great facility to work in. The exam process
was again very accommodating, I appreciate being able to
write the exams in Ottawa, and have my supervisor act as
proctor. This definitely helped complete the
certification process in a good time frame. As always
this CALA training like past experience has left me with
a lot of new knowledge and skill, as well as confirming
there is always more to learn and expand on. The
addition of the AET text was very helpful as an extra recourse.
In conclusion, thank
you to all for being part of "the team" and
for providing the education that helps make us better
Nancy Peever, Kanata,
Other feedback includes:
- "CALA knows the importance of
offering both practical and theory to their courses.
The Foundation Course provides you with knowledge needed to conduct safe and effective
classes. Participating in the Workshops, Specialty
and Conferences, you are able to develop an extensive repertoire
of movements and feel confident instructing a
variety of classes."
- Charlene after attending one of
your sessions your awesome session left the
- You display such patience
- You Greet & Welcome All
- You smiling often
- You have excellent eye contact
- You are charismatic
- You are helpful &
- You are a people person
- Your present a very smooth flow
- You are expressive
- You give excellent safety cues
- You are enthusiastic
- You are completely into it
- You show confidence
- You use a variety of music
- You were all what a participant
whose learning the ropes could expect and more!
When I attend a class like yours I try and do so
with an "empty mind" - hoping to take
in whatever I can from every unique opportunity
- Great awesome web page that
provides you with extensive information about CALA
and their offerings.
- Love seeing all the pictures that
represent the diverse places and groups of people
who participate in the CALA offerings.
- "CALA is always there to help you be
- "CALA immediately makes you feel
like a member of the family."
- "Their standards are high but you
can be assured your leader knows their material."
- "CALA teaches you how to be an
effective and result oriented instructor."
- "CALA offers you so many
opportunities to further your development. You are
expected to keep your knowledge current by
participating in courses, workshops and conferences.
We all welcome new ideas for our classes."
- "The quarterly CALA Wavelink (Spring
2003 or Summer
2003) newsletter provides so much useful information on
choreography, the body, movements, health issues,
upcoming etc. We would be lost without
- "When you are CALA Trained you know that
your certification is internationally recognized and
- "CALA is always looking to develop
new and exciting courses and workshops that address
the populations requirements."
- "CALA members are open to sharing their knowledge and
- "CALA has an open door policy and
welcomes feedback from all members."
Testimonial - Ottawa
1 Day Conference
Hi to everyone at the office.
Thanks for the great effort put forth to provide the training day in
Ottawa. The use of the facility was great. There was lots of opportunity
to meet other instructors as well as keep everything together in the
meeting room, avoiding people being scattered out. Also the space
available in the pool was roomy enough that we weren't too crowded and the
other people in the pool we shared with were very compatible. At no time
did I get the feeling that it was so busy we would get distracted. And I
will definitely mention the way the presenters on deck kept everyone
focused and connected with the group. The course content was varied enough
to give something to everyone which is very hard when you don't have the
luxury of offering multiple sessions in each time slot. I just wanted to
pass on how much it was appreciated that the event was given and I hope
you got the feel that there is both a need and appreciation for these
events for such training in our area.
Thanks again for the commitment by all involved especially Charlene,
Chantal, Amanda, Angela, Line, and all the other behind the scenes
Aqua Jogging is one of the best forms of
exercises for when you are injured I can't say I enjoyed my time in the
pool as I was in it so much but the benefits were huge. A lot of 'on camp
with Kelly' girls have been doing this over the course of the winter
because of injuries but they are all coming out this season flying.
I think it is a great way of keeping fit
so try it if you haven't!
Quote from: Dame Kelley Holmes on
Water Running. Kelly (double Olympic Gold Medalist 800 & 1500m
The link is http://www.doublegold.co.uk/
If you would like to have your
testimonial listed, contact
of CALA Classes Speak Out
It’s now been two weeks and I’ve tried
a few classes, everything from Zumba and Shebam to
that Yoga/TaiChi mix. They were all good but I was
starting to feel pretty uncoordinated and uninspired
until I met a special instructor and tried her Aqua fit
class. I did the class for the first time this morning
and am feeling on top of the world! She is an incredible
teacher and made me feel graceful and inspired. I’m so
happy I did this class this morning and because of her,
I’m going to take out membership. Too many people are
quick to complain and slow to acknowledge when things
have gone above and beyond and I wanted to make sure
that you’re aware the amazing work your instructors do.
Thank you for such respectful instructors
who care about the participants. They take time to
explain why we are doing each exercise. They keep an
eye on us to ensure we move correctly. They take time
to make sure everyone has a great class. Thank you for
teaching on deck. Easy to see the instructor and they
can see us.
After taking waterfitness classes at
various places I grew to hate it but now that I have
arthritis my doctor said I need to get back in the
water. Finding the right class has been a challenge
because of my negative experiences. I was convince
into taking this instructors class and to my surprise
I found someone who knew what they were doing. My
opinion has changed and now look forward to each
class. We don't play silly games or use crazy
equipment that causes me pain. Can't believe I go to
class in pain and leave ready to dance the night away.
I thought I would share this story with
Mom (turning 80 on August 26 this year) attends
aquafit classes in Montreal. About 10 days ago she
took a spill (not at the pool); she hurt her right
knee & fractured the pinky finger on her right
hand. The pinky is in a splint & the knee is
healing slowly. It was mostly scabbed/cut, no damage
to the knee itself thank God but obviously she cannot
go to the pool w an open wound.
So these are the messages I am getting about missing
her aqua classes:
"I miss it so much."
"I miss my friends. When can I go back?"
"I find myself driving by the pool wanting to go
in & just look at it."
"My knee is getting stiff. I think I have to go
back ... for the sake of my knee of course. What do
For someone who really does not like to move because
she has arthritis & so many other reasons, this is
proof that aquafit can get anyone to participate. It
affects Mom on so many different levels: physically,
I was on vacation and they had Aquafit
classes. How exciting, I would not miss a day. Got up
early and headed to the pool. Not sure where this
instructor got their training. We played games
and did very little exercise. For a resort I guess
that is what they offer. After lunch my friends and I
went back to the pool and I did the exercises just
like my instructor. My friends were not alone for very
long. Eventually we had a big group joining us and
they asked if I would be doing another class tomorrow.
Thanks to my instructor's great leadership, I did not
miss my class, I did it myself.
As a land instructor of many disciplines for many
years, I did not give much thought to the Aqua
programs. Yes people loved them and said they were a
hard workout but I had no idea what a workout they
were until I went on holiday and took a class. How do
you people do it. I was exhausted after the
first few minutes. My arms we going in one direction,
my legs in another, the water was pushing me all over
which made it difficult to stay on one spot and
balanced. Even my head was getting a workout trying to
co-ordinate my body. Now when I look in the window as
I pass the seniors doing their Aquafit, I have more
respect for their abilities. No one told me how heavy
the water was. It really is a total body workout. I
felt it the next day.
I have been doing
aquafit for just 3 weeks. I knew it would be
great for me but the feelings I was looking to
experience did not happen until this Saturday. I woke
with an unexplained energy a the result of one wicked
aquafit class Thursday night. I started my Saturday at
7 in the morning and was able to dance into the late
hours. Did I forget to say I was 75 years. Now this is
what I was looking for. You won't stop me now. Last
night when the instructor put on the Latin music my
hips just started a mov'n. Now that is music to move
to. I am close to tossing my cane thanks to aquafit.