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KLCC's Oregon Rainmakers: Denise Thomas, CEO of Healthy Moves

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A Conversation With Denise Thomas of the Nonprofit Healthy Moves and Oregon Rainmakers Host, Michael Dunne

Healthy Moves was set in motion by Denise Thomas, a fitness specialist wanting to get involved with the national Let’s Move campaign on childhood obesity that is led by First Lady Michelle Obama. “Getting kids to move is critical,” says Thomas. “Movement helps kids focus, learn and become better students.”

Healthy Moves is a nonprofit organization bringing movement, fitness and fun to elementary students. Due to school budget cuts, many physical education programs have been eliminated. Healthy Moves trainers work with students and their teacher to demonstrate fitness activities and provide a model for the teacher to use in future PE classes. Healthy Moves provides fitness formats that can be used by all teachers of grades one through five.

In addition to running Healthy Moves, Thomas is the owner of Let’s Move Fitness and earned a bachelor’s degree in dance from the University of Oregon. After college, she studied dance in New York at the Alvin Ailey Dance School and Steps on Broadway and taught aerobics at Molly Fox Studio and at Crunch. She pioneered Double Funk, a cardio-intense workout set to funk music, and she is currently a fitness instructor and a practitioner of the Alexander Technique.

“To my way of thinking, if we can help kids move and exercise, we not only create healthy kids, but we create healthy adults,” said Thomas.

Michael Dunne is the host of KLCC's Oregon Rainmakers podcast. Do you have a suggestion for an Oregon Rainmaker's guest or topic? Email Michael at mdunne@klcc.org.