Priority Health

Fitness Community Support: Dancing for a Healthy Heart

By Priority Health
Teressa Farough

Teressa Farough shares her story about overcoming her diagnosis of heart disease through a new found passion for Zumba.

Teressa Farough was living her life as a mother to three teenage boys when she started experiencing heart palpitations and chest pain.

Teressa was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy.

“As a relatively young person, you can imagine how shocked I was to be going through a heart catheterization and to learn that this disease could lead to heart failure, abnormal heart rhythms, valve problems and cardiac arrest.”

But Teressa isn’t one to focus on the negative. The doctor advised her to focus on three things: lose weight, engage in cardiovascular exercise and eat a healthy diet. The following week, Teressa found herself in her first Zumba Fitness class through a local community education program.

“Immediately I was hooked. I loved the energy and Latin inspired music. I kept going and soon the weight was coming off and my endurance steadily increased.”

In 2011, Teressa decided to become a Zumba instructor and the following year, she opened up her own fitness studio with two other women.

“I still am motivated by my own health concerns, but even more than that I get to help other people start their fitness journeys and witness their triumphs and struggles. I hope my own journey inspires them to overcome whatever health issues or mental blocks they may have so together we can reach our goals.”

In November of 2016, Teressa was cleared to go off medication by her cardiologist. She credits her passion for helping other adults break their limiting beliefs and move toward more active lives as a factor in this.

Teressa joined the Team Priority Health Champions program because she wanted to add running and biking to her fitness routine. And she wanted to join the network of likeminded individuals who make health a priority in their lives.

Teressa Farough's diagnosis of heart disease spurred her to lose weight and start exercising. Her newfound passion for Zumba led her to become an instructor.

“Although group exercise is my passion, I am open to different types of fitness. I try every day to make an impact in my community. My studio provides Zumba Kids fitness in our local park, we’ve warmed-up runners in 5K and 10K events and even danced salsa at a local fundraising event. Any time I can take part in the larger community, I’m there showing people that fitness is fun!”


Teressa believes in the strength of small communities of people who have the same goals and that together, they can accomplish great things.

Read more on overcoming adversity from other Team Priority Health Champions and what they’ve done to train and prepare for different races at

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About Team Priority Health

The Team Priority Health Champions program is a group of people all focused on getting and staying healthy while inspiring others to follow suit. This program is open to everyone who has a passion to be and stay active and healthy. Champions are a close-knit group of people across the state of Michigan who come together to compete in races and walks and share insights on how they’re living a healthy lifestyles. To learn more about the passionate people that make up the Team Priority Health community visit the website at

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