A Levin aerobics instructor is staying true to her roots with exercise classes aimed at reaching out to those that might not fit the mould of the modern gymnasium.
Ana Fifita, 53, who was at the forefront of a jazzercise moment that swept Levin in the 1980s, was on a mission to make exercise and healthy living more accessible.
The fluorescent tights and leg warmers that were symbolic of 1980s aerobics may have given way to more sedate colours, but the message of keeping fit and healthy remained the same.
Fifita incorporates much of the old style into her new exercise routines, with music to match with songs like We Are Family, Holding Out For A Hero and Conga that ooze enthusiasm.
"It was all videos and tape decks back then," she said, laughing.
She deliberately welcomed people that might find barriers to joining mainstream gymnasiums into her classes and wanted to make the exercise experience as open and friendly as possible.
The aerobics sessions were proving a huge hit, held in a big room at Te Whare Mahana community hub on Bristol Street each week.
"I call it aerobics. You're not allowed to call it jazzercise anymore. It's fun exercise really and I put my own personality into it," she said.
Fifita originally started with a class for Pasifika women and soon realised there was a real need for elderly to be involved, too, and young mothers also, so her fitness diary was filling fast.
"As women we don't often make time for ourselves because we can all get busy," she said.
"I don't want anyone to miss out so it's an open door where it's welcoming and it's all about participation. This is definitely a place for beginners ... it's not a high intensity class."
Fifita said some women find the prospect of joining a gym quite daunting and recognised the need to hold fitness classes that catered for those who might need it most.
And she found the best way to do that was with open classes with routines made famous more almost 40 years ago.
Many of the 1980s moves have found their way into Fifita's current routines and she even uses her old Panasonic tape deck and CD player, finding it more reliable than streaming music through a cell phone that is open to interruption.
The group exercise craze was made famous in the 80s by the likes of American exercise gurus Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons and motivated people to get fit collectively, and for a long time a jazzercise scene flourished in Levin.
Fifita said she learnt from the likes of Vicky Palmer and the late Fran Tyler who were at the forefront of group that introduced the jazzercise and jazz aerobics movement in Levin in the 80s.
For Fifita, the desire was to bring fitness to the masses and make it accessible to everyone. As the oldest member of the first Tongan family to settle in Horowhenua she was passionate about Pasifika health, too.
It needed a change of mindset to prioritise health and realise it was important: "Times are changing, and that's okay."
Fifita lost her mother at a young age, who was just 47 when she died, while her father and an aunty had died in recent times. It was a tough time, but she said being involved in exercise and keeping fit helped with her mental wellbeing.
"My aunty loved the programme," she said.
She said it was more than just about aerobics. It was about staying connected and improving mental well-being through fitness.
"Fitness and dancing really helps and it feels good to be part of something," she said.
"It's about mingling and talking about health and fitness in a family atmosphere. I know we can do it.
"It's good to mingle and get less isolated. We give each other high fives and no one's worried if you can't make a class. Just get to the next one ... I'll teach one person if they have made the effort to turn up."