Noa Noa Fitness Club in downtown Longmont has daily workout classes, like any exercise studio. However, it paves its own path with clients dancing to energetic Spanish music while disco lights fill the room.
Iveth Galindo, Noa Noa owner, and other dance instructors teach hour-long workouts — what the club calls “happy hour” — that are mostly dance. Classes include the popular program Zumba Fitness, reggaeton and salsa dancing, step and trampoline workouts.
Galindo opened the dance club a little over three years ago and has seen continuous growth. Noa Noa moved to 813 Main Street last year after outgrowing a smaller studio. Galindo is already thinking about finding a larger space.
“Every day there's someone new coming in, making our community bigger,” said Galindo’s 21-year-old daughter Lili Munoz, who helped translate for her mom.
Dancing is a major part of Galindo’s healthy lifestyle, and she founded Noa Noa to help other women. Galindo sees the community created at Noa Noa as her second family, Munoz said. Noa Noa’s client base is predominantly Latinas, but there are regulars of other genders and ethnicities, she added.
Galindo has struggled with thyroid disease for about 20 years, and found that dancing was the best way to combat her symptoms.
“She had a very tough time getting out of bed. She got depressed for a while, and exercise and dancing really got her out of it,” Munoz said. “She found a way to help other females, other people, to do the same thing even though it wasn't for the same reason. Everyone has their own reasons to not work out, but she wanted to give them that example that anything is possible.”
Noa Noa’s name is an homage to Galindo’s hometown in Juarez, Mexico. The dance club’s name was inspired by “El Noa Noa,” a song by Juan Gabriel about a bar in Juarez by the same name.
One line in the song “Este es un lugar de ambiente donde todo es diferente,” sticks out to Galindo.
“This is a place with an environment where everything is different,” Munoz said, translating the lyrics. “And that's everything that my mom wanted to be known as, and her place.”
It’s important to Galindo to make connections with locals outside of the dance studio too. Every year on April 30, Noa Noa celebrates Día Del Niño", or Children’s Day. This year Galindo, friends and family dressed up as characters from El Chavo del Ocho, a Mexican sitcom. They passed out 400 bags of candy to a line of cars, Munoz said.
Galindo was featured in the #StepUpBoulderCounty campaign, an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by showing local voices. Her portrait was seen on bus stops, busses and benches. Friends would send photos of her portrait to her and compliment her on her work. Reflecting on the experience made Galindo tear up.
Munoz said that her mother hasn’t taken a day off since opening up Noa Noa. She’s a licensed makeup artist and has wanted to start her own business for some time. Watching her mom inspired her own entrepreneurial spirit and she launched her business a couple months ago. Munoz works on her business, Ana’s Makeup and Lashes, in the downstairs area of Noa Noa. When she finishes work, Munoz joins her mom on the dance floor for the evening class.
“The fact that she came to this country to give us a better life. Just giving us an example of that American dream and she's doing an amazing job at it,” Munoz said.