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125 Lilian Drive, Toronto, Ontario Canada • M1R 3W6, Canada • P: 416-751-9823 • F: 416-755-1832 • T: 1-888-751-9823 ( Canada)

Charlene Kopansky, President & Founder
canfitpro Life Time Achievement Award  2013

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"The Foundations of Vertical Water Training - The Kopansky Method Pre-Requisite Course and the Group Aqua Fitness Specialty Training and Certification Course have been launched in Ontario and Alberta thus far. All other provinces continue to use the CALA Combined Foundations of Fitness Theory and Aquafitness Leadership Training Course, Part 1 & Part 2. Any person who has completed the CALA Combined Foundations course, is not required to complete the Vertical Water Training Course or the Group Aqua Fitness Specialty Course."




Meet Our Talented Team Of Trainers
Contact CALA to discuss your interest in joining this internationally recognized team of Aquafitness Trainers.

President and Owner

Charlene Kopansky, B.Sc. Human Kinetics, B. Ed., CALA Inc. was founded by this dynamic, dedicated individual who embodies a vision of excellence. Charlene taught Biology, Science and PHE. and dance fitness classes at university. Her skills in dance choreography, water running, personal training, fitness and aqua fitness leadership have made her a popular presenter in Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Australia, Germany, Cuba, Dominican Republic, UK, Israel, South Africa and New Zealand. Awards include 'Top Presenter' and Presenter of the Year-Germany, Volunteer Recognition and Leadership Awards-OFC, Who's Who of Canadian Women in Fitness-Chatelaine Mag., Fitness Leader of the Year-Fitness Institute, and Specialty Presenter of the Year-CFP.

Master Trainers

Connie Jasinskas, B.Sc., B.Ed., M.Sc. PFLC, CFP, CALA Master Trainer, Atri Faculty Member, Certified Laughter Yoga. Providing leadership training in health and fitness and educating international audiences, Connie works with healthy people and others with vehicle or workplace injuries, arthritis, FMS, osteoporosis, and back pain. Connie makes complex information practical, easy to understand. Her sessions are relaxed and enjoyable.
Carol Weerdenburg: M.Sc. CALA Master Trainer, Gymstick, BenderBall Master Trainer, Certified YMCA-YWCA, CFP, as lead research consultant and presenter, Carol is developing and refreshing a host of projects exclusively for CALA Inc. Current projects include CALA Pre and Post Cardiac Conditioning, Older Adult-Falls Prevention, Aqua PT and CALA~HydroRider Specialty Training and Certification. Get charged up by Carol's authentic, meaningful motivational presentation style that mixes science with the magic of Reiki


Maryvonne Berthault: CALA and YMCA certified; CALA Water Running Specialist; Trainer and Assessor, YMCA and CFPro PT and FIS Specialist. Maryvonne has over fifteen years experience catering to personal training clients on land and in water and teaching aquafitness. She is an avid cyclist, runner, swimmer, skier and backpacker dedicated to healthy posture. Maryvonne loves sharing her knowledge and passion for health and wellness. National Bilingual Presenter with CALA and CFP.
Shelagh Noonan: B.A., B.Ed., CALA, BCRPA and CPAFLA certified. Returning to CALA after sailing around Central America and being involved in the Special Education program for SelfDesign (an online school in BC), Shelagh brings a breath of fresh air with her unique sense of humor and creative way of moving. Her intensive and varied training in Nia, Gymnastics, Yoga and Martial Arts (TaeKwonDo & Kickboxing) enables Shelagh to think way outside the box.
Karl Notargiovanni: B.F.A. Choreography; CALA Trainer; Massage Therapist, Moksha Yoga Instructor, opening a Yoga Studio in Vancouver, May 1, 2011, Karl is skilled at blending several disciplines to connect movement, memory and imagery encouraging the practice of engaging the body through consciousness. Teaching for over 13 years, he has developed a unique edge to his leadership. Karl is passionate about exploring these connections and sharing them through energetic classes and workshops.
Pat Richards: B. P.H.E., CALA trainer. Pat has a passion for water exercise working with special needs clients, competitive athletes, the disabled & those seeking recreational level fitness. She coaches a Dragon Boat Team of Breast Cancer Survivors. Involved in the fitness industry for over 30 years & recently retired from the Fitness Centre Coordinator position at U. of Guelph, Pat believes that all people, young and older, are happiest when they are active.
Dylan Harries {B. Rec., B.Sc. (HK), C.A.T} is a renowned fitness presenter who travels the world inspiring his participants with his passion and knowledge of all forms of physical activity. With over 19 years of fitness experience, Dylan is the Regional Director of the Kanata YMCA-YWCA in Ottawa Canada. In his spare time, he is an award winning athletic trainer and performance coach for world level figure skaters. Dylan is CALA (Trainer), CFP (PTS/FIS), YMCA (T For T), Gym-Stick, HydroRider, SPI (2), Spinning (star 2), Bender Ball (Trainer), Bosu Balance Trainer, Gliding and NCCP (2) certified.


Darin Dieterich, B.PE. CALA certified and one of Europe's most energetic and inspirational fitness leaders, originally from Northern California, now based in Munich, Germany. Darin, owner and director of 'ATTACK 2000' and LEAD, consultant for Venice Beach Elementals program... too many awards to mention in this small space.... just come to see him - he rocks!

Laporte, Chantal Athletic Therapy, M.Sc. Neurological studies.  Chantal Laporte, B.Sc., M.Sc.  Gestionnaire du Centre des Loisirs de Kanata à Ottawa, active dans l’industrie du conditionnement physique depuis plus de 16 ans comme instructrice et formatrice. Certifiée avec le YMCA/YWCA et CALA.  Formatrice depuis 1996 avec le Y de Montréal et Ottawa et depuis 2000 avec CALA.  A le plaisir de former, entraîner et d’évaluer maints instructeurs et de présenter plusieurs ateliers en français et anglais au Québec et en Ontario

Nancy Rumple, CALA & YMCA FIT trainer, B. P.H.E., Dip. Sports Injury Management, Registered Reflexologist & YMCA Manager of Adult Services & Aquatics, Burlington. Former Canadian National/ Ontario Provincial Rugby Team Therapist & clinical therapist, Nancy combines her knowledge of exercise physiology with her passion for water training to provide a workout that integrates the spirit, mind & body.
Suzanne Znak. Teaching aqua classes since early 80's, Suzanne has been associated with CALA since it's onset, in 1993, either as a participant, certified instructor or trainer. She has worked almost two decades at Cedar Springs Sports Club in Burlington teaching various water and land-based fitness classes. She is a certified BTS Instructor in ‘Centergy’, Group Kick and Group Power Suzanne has a Physed degree from McMaster U. & currently works as a certified paramedic in the GTA.
Michelle McLaren, B.Kin, RMT, CALA Trainer, STOTT Pilates Instructor
Michelle has been active in the fitness industry for the past 23 years. She has been an instructor trainer for the Canadian Aquafitness Leaders Alliance for 14 years, travelling all over Canada teaching Aquafit instructor courses and various workshops at fitness conferences. She is also a Certified Matwork Level 1 & 2 STOTT Pilates Instructor and has been practicing pilates for the past 10 years, spending the last 3 of them teaching. With her strong background in Kinesiology and Massage therapy, Michelle has profound understanding of the human body and can put together innovative as well as functional exercises and class designs..
Jennie Queen, a Fitness & Lifestyle Consultant and Programming Specialist with over 12 years in aquafitness. CALA certified, CALA trainer with numerous aquatic and fitness qualifications and a diploma in Early Childhood Education, Fitness and Nutrition, Jennie coordinates over 80 classes per week. Her enthusiasm for water and fitness is contagious: come experience te synergy.
Linda Rampen has an Honours degree from the Ontario College of Arts. Linda is extensively involved with movement in water through her work as a lifeguard, swimming instructor, aquatic recreation programmer and CALA Trainer and Presenter. Linda has worked at the Oakville Pain Rehab Clinic. Linda specializes in Aquatic Post Rehabilitation and is a popular facilitator of the CALA Healing Waters Program with a specialty in Aqua Arthritis. Linda is also an advanced LSS instructor trainer and a Can Fit Pro Personal Trainer Specialist. As an Aquatic Recreation Programmer, Linda has championed the Instructor Development Program introducing the standard of certification required for employment with the City of Mississauga as an Aqua fitness instructor. Linda also successfully programs the only Municipal Therapy Pool in Mississauga.

Picture of Sharon BurnsSharon Burns In aquatics for 20 years and adult education for 15 years, Sharon's degree in Psychology: Dalhousie University, has helped her to motivate and support those she has trained. With accreditation in Reiki and Cranio-sacral techniques, Sharon specializes in aquatic therapy. Her nature to nurture growth and development draws people to her.

Angela Curry BSec (med) / Phlebotomy, Fitness Management, CALA, CFP F.I.S., C.O.R.E., M.B.S., NSFA P.T., WTF Red/Black Stripe TaeKwonDo. Angela is the Fitness Programs Coordinator and Personal Training Supervisor at Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia. She has been involved in the fitness industry for almost 20 years and welcomes the challenge of teaching and mentoring new and upcoming fitness leaders. Angela brings her years of experience and enthusiasm to the pool and provides “new and renewed” energy and atmosphere to her classes. Having traveled to Korea and Japan to compete in the World TaeKwonDo Championships, she now brings her kicks and punches to the water, providing power and enjoyment with a bit of an H2O twist.

Amanda DeGrace: Accelerate your career and be empowered by Amanda DeGrace, respected fitness professional and leader in the fitness and wellness industry. Energy, charisma and an amazing passion for life are qualities displayed by Amanda in both her everyday life and her fitness and movement classes. Amanda has a degree from the University of Ottawa in Leisure Studies, and is currently studying with the Alive Academy of Natural Health. Besides her dedication to continuous education and learning, Amanda enjoys working with her clients and fitness professionals enhancing their overall quality of life through enrichment of the mind, body and spirit. Amanda is currently teaching throughout the City of Ottawa, as well as presenting and training across Canada. Amanda has been sharing her passion since a young age, starting out as a Trainer for the Lifesaving Society of Canada in First Aid, AED, Airway Management, National Lifeguard training & many more! This eagerness to learn and enhance the mind, body and spirit lead her to the health and fitness industry, and became a Trainer, Assessor and Presenter with CALA & YMCA of Canada. Amanda has combined her love for aquatic and fitness with her business DeGrace Energetics. DeGrace Energetics develops, implements and coordinates specialty programs, with current emphasis on their Little Lotus Yoga program for Children, ages 2-11, and Fit Girl Workshop series for girls ages 10-14. Be inspired and empowered as Amanda shares her enthusiasm to keep moving, keep fit and keep it fun! For more information please visit Amanda's website at

Katherine McKeown  B.A, B.Ed, CALA Trainer  For the past 20 years, Katherine has combined the dynamic experiences of teaching in the classroom with her passion for teaching aquafitness on the deck.  As an instructional coach for the Toronto District School Board, she brings enthusiasm, creativity and a deep commitment to lifelong learning to the CALA leadership team. Katherine is proud to represent CALA as the gold standard of vertical water training. She continues to be inspired by the collective knowledge of working with others as well as the joy of movement in the water.

Picture of David HatchDavid Hatch: B.P.H.E. (N.E. Oklahoma), Diploma in Fitness & Lifestyle Management, George Brown, CALA, CFP, Reebok Studio Cycle certified, apprentice CALA. trainer. A former provincial and NCAA athlete; David shares the emotion, passion and intensity of high level performance with his participants. David is the Fitness Program Coordinator at Manulife. 

Tara M.E. Hayes, PhD. Passionate, dynamic, professional! Tara has enjoyed instructing in the fitness industry since 1993 across Canada and the United States. Tara brings a unique blend of experience from her extensive background in dance, fitness, aquafitness, and personal training to any workshop, clinic or course. Tara has worked with amateur, college and university varsity athletes and teams in addition to presenting to fitness professionals in workshop and conference settings. Her love of water has led her to become an instructor trainer with CALA. Tara enjoys finding new and innovative ways to communicate and motivate participants in any fitness setting. Tara is known for her dynamic and approachable teaching style! She strongly believes that if you have your health, you have your wealth. Fitness is a lifelong commitment and Tara continues to grow in knowledge and expertise in the fitness profession. Tara is a full time professor of life sciences at Sheridan College. Known for her enthusiasm and passionate delivery of knowledge Tara is sure to inspire you.

Kathy Zador: CALA Certified in Healing Waters. A school teacher for over 30 years, Kathy has enjoyed a lifetime involvement with water including swimming, boating and beach life-guarding. Having developed a successful community based 'Fibromoves' program, Kathy is currently working with CALA to design a comprehensive resource package for participants and leaders interested in aqua classes for FMS. Nominated in the Health and Wellness category for the KW Oktoberfest Rogers Women of the Year, Kathy was selected as a Patient Ambassador for Fibromyalgia and has shared her story through the media. Kathy lobbies for the construction of more facilities that are appropriate for aqua therapy programs such as FibroMoves.
Kim Magnan BSc.,BEd., CALA and BCRPA certified aquafitness and fitness instructor. Kim is a highschool PE and Science teacher, a wife and a mother. She lives in Duncan British Columbia, and finds it to be a perfect spot on Vancouver Island to call "home base". Her areas of interest are in water-running, aqua-kickbox, aqua arms and abs, bridging and linking, and as of recently...aquanatal!
Marie Claude Leblanc, B.Sc., Kin, PT, CALA trainer, YMCA certified with 10+ years experience in fitness and rehabilitation. Executive Director of Quebec Kinesiologist Federation, responsible for the FACA program at University of Montreal, Marie Claude operates a personal training and rehab business while pursuing her masters at University of Montreal in medicine.
Line Marr, 14 years in Fitness. Trainer for CALA, Certified CALA and CanFitPro Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor. Director at Chateau Cartier Relais/Resort Health Spa. Honours: Algonquin College Fitness and Lifestyle Management. Line brings a clear presentation style and humour with an infectious enthusiasm for performance skills and aquatic exercise.
Rousseau, Christine, Ste. Anne Des Lac, Quebec, Canada
Nancy Shannon, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada (no picture or bio available)
Weiderick, Tara, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (no picture or bio available)
Widynowski, Leah,  Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (no picture or bio available)

Wendy Andruski, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada (no picture or bio available)

Miscal Avano-Nesgaard, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada (no picture or bio available)
Elaine Elliott, Burlington, Ontario, Canada (no picture or bio available)
Fox, Elizabeth, London, Ontario, Canada (no picture or bio available)
Janet Davis Mississauga, Ontario, Canada (no picture or bio available)
Marlene Cairns, Charlottetown, PEI. Canada (no picture or bio available)

International CALA  Training Team

Picture of Darin DieterichDarin Dieterich, B.PE. CALA certified and one of Europe's most energetic and inspirational fitness leaders, originally from Northern California, now based in Munich, Germany.  Darin, owner and director of 'ATTACK 2000' and LEAD, consultant for Venice Beach Elementals program... too many awards to mention in this small space.... just come to see him - he rocks!

Goedhals, Annatjie,  Cape Town, South Africa (no picture or bio available)
Bettina Heinrich, B.P.H.E. the First German CALA trainer, certified with CALA and Speedo, SAFS BETA, LEAD (Germany) and a qualified personal trainer, winner of "Aquafitness Presenter of the Year 2002: Germany, Austria and Switzerland". Bettina recently moved to New York to join her 'sweetie' and will 'no doubt' be training more often for CALA, in Canada.

Apprentice Trainers

Nancy Sawler is actively involved in health promotion as an instructor, personal trainer, consultant and wellness coach.  She has been teaching aquafitness for 18 years, with a focus on water stretch and strength classes, sports conditioning and mixed interval classes. Nancy works as consultant for the Canadian Aquafitness Leaders Alliance Inc. and is a member of the International Council on Active Aging. With experience in the education, financial, healthcare and fitness industries, Nancy holds fitness certifications through the Canadian Aquafitness Leaders Alliance Inc., Canadian Association of Fitness Professionals, American Council on Exercise and Target Coaching.  She has completed an Honors Certificate in Human Resource Management, Canfitpro Nutrition and Wellness Specialist, Fitness Instructor Specialist and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Business Management.  Her diverse background has given rise to a successful Toronto based corporate wellness business that provides coaching, consulting and employee assistance programs. Nancy loves sharing her knowledge and passion for health and wellness, assisting others in connecting body, mind and spirit. Nancy’s goal is to help you learn more about the benefits of water fitness and provide a safe, effective and enjoyable class!

Patrick Lévesque: CALA Certified, an Apprentice Trainer and an elite member of the CALA~HydroRider Specialty Team, Patrick brings 25 years of experience in the aquatic field, Granby, Quebec to our conference. Patrick is fit as a fiddle and a fabulous role model. Welcome aboard Patrick.

Jennifer Bell, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada (no picture or bio available)

Mary Lou Hall, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada (no picture or bio available)

Lia Fox, Haines Junction, Yukon, Canada (no picture or bio available)

Regan Jamieson, Cumberland, Vancouver Island, Canada (no picture or bio available)

Sandy Riley, Courtenay, Vancouver Island, Canada (no picture or bio available)

Stacey Stromme, Cumberland, Vancouver Island, Canada (no picture or bio available) 

Gus Siountres, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (no picture or bio available)

Assessors: All CALA Trainer are also CALA Assessors, plus the following:

Sharon Kopanskym, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 

Cindy Estevao, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Richelle Bauer, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

Karen MacDonald, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Janet Zomer-Beer, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Gus Siountres, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Carolyn Quantrill, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Peggy Stirling, Bedford, Nova Scotia, Canada


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