Tag Archives: Zumba

Victory @ Excel Fitness 3rd Annual Wine Tasting and Open House

Excel Fitness, an award winning gym and personal training studio in West Hartford, CT held their 3nd Annual Wine Tasting and Open House to kick off fundraising for Making Strides against Breast Cancer on Thursday, September 26th.

The event was a huge success! Dozens of local businesses donated over $1500 in prizes for the silent auction and raffle. Wine Cellars on rt. 4 in Farmington donated wine, beer and the time of seven different distributors. Snacks were provided by Pho 68 and A Little Something Bakery. Excel Fitness massage therapists Kelly Perkoski and David Mendez kept guests even more relaxed with luxurious chair massages. The evening culminated in two fantastic fitness presentations; instructor Kate Barrett and personal trainer Ilicia Balaban shook it up with a sizzling Zumba routine, followed by an outstanding display of strength and self-defense demonstrated by Paul Millholen and Danielle Mathura from Jitae Taekwondo.    

All in all, Team Excel Fitness raised over $1,000 for breast cancer research! We would like to humbly applaud the dedication of our members, local business supporters, staff and others in the community that came out for the fundraiser. As always it was a fun night, we look forward to the opportunity to make it even bigger and better next year!


Miss the wine tasting but still want to contribute to a great cause? Join us in Bushnell Park on Sunday, October 20th at 9am for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides against Breast Cancer Hartford 2013 walk/run. Inquire today with one of our certified personal trainers for more information.


Excel Fitness Zumba for Haiti

Excel Fitness trainer, Ilicia Balaban and client Dena Shaffer, have teamed up with Congregation Beth Israel and One Small House to travel to Haiti this July, with 10 other West Hartford residents to build a house for a family of three that has been stranded and living as refugees in a tent since the 2010 earthquake that devastated Port au Prince. 

 The build took seven days and required that the team raise $8,000 to cover the cost of materials that were used to forge the modest home. Team members worked tirelessly to raise money for the home, sending letters to friends and family, participating in networking drives, and reaching out to contacts that span a wide variety of interests and activities.

 Tuesday, June 25th, 2013, Excel Fitness joined in the effort by hosting a specialty Zumba class, taught by instructor Kate Barrett, and we are proud to report it was a huge success. The class was well attended and raised over $430 for the build. One hundred percent of the funds collected for the class will be donated to materials for the build.

Excel Fitness has a long standing history of community involvement, contributing to a variety of charity and non-profit organizations in the greater Hartford area and supporting our members and clients in their pro-bono endeavors. Excel Fitness owner, Jeff Roux remarked, “It is very important to me and to all of our staff that we continue to participate in the causes that are important to our members. It’s our way of giving back to a community that has given so much to us. We are thrilled to support Dena and Ilicia in their travels to Haiti and to have been a part of such an inspiring event.”

Upon their return, Ilicia and Dena could not speak more highly of their experience working with the family they were building for and giving back to a community so desperately in need. “This experience has absolutely changed my life,” remarks Balaban, “I can’t wait for my next opportunity to travel either back to Haiti or elsewhere and contribute to a similar project!” The extent of the family’s gratitude was truly inspiring. Shaffer adds, “[This work is] transformative, and not just for the people who live here but for each of us as well.  We will take these experiences home with us, we will change the way we relate to the international community and to issues of poverty.  Their stories are our stories, our fate is tied up with theirs, and CBI and One Small House have launched a partnership that is simply overflowing with potential.”

On behalf of all the participants in this trip, we would like to take a moment and thank all of those who donated to funding the materials for the build. We would not have been able to contribute so enormously to a family’s survival and skill development without your support!

For more information on the opportunities available and services offered at Excel Fitness, and/or to schedule a complementary consultation, please call Ilicia Balaban (860) 523-8167.