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Ammanford woman: 'I danced off nine stone at Zumba!'

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 06, 2013

Cathy Bartlett, who has lost more than eight stone with the help of Zumba instructor Julian Rees

Cathy Bartlett, who has lost more than eight stone with the help of Zumba instructor Julian Rees

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THE rhythm is going to get you — healthier and happier.

An Ammanford woman is celebrating after dancing away more than eight stone thanks to Zumba.

The Latin-inspired dance exercise has been winning fans across Britain in recent years — and Cathy Bartlett has seen the benefits.

The 22-year-old said she had tried going to gym without success — and then she turned to Zumba.

Miss Bartlett, who weighed almost 23 stone 18 months ago, said: "The gym was not for me, then I heard through word of mouth about Zumba and thought I would give it ago — and I loved it.

"It is fantastic exercise but it is also fun. I could see the weight coming off and my body shape changing.

"Now I am more confident, more sociable and happier — it has made such a difference to my life. I would recommend it to anyone."

The nursery nurse's success comes as no surprise to her instructor Julian Rees, from Sketty.

Mr Rees — who goes by the name Zumba Jules — said he was convinced about the positive impact exercise has on mental and physical health. The 45-year-old former paramedic said he was forced to leave his former Ambulance Service job due to depression — but exercise gave him a new lease of life.

"People always talk about the physical benefits of exercise — but they forget about the benefits to your emotional and mental health.

"Yes, you get fit and lose weight, but you also get a boost in self-confidence."

"I have seen some inspiring changes and heard some remarkable stories — I have seen women blossom."

Mr Rees — who has been leading Zumba classes for two years — added: "Cathy said Zumba was the first time she had enjoyed exercise. It is a great way of burning calories — and it is a lot of fun."

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