Oula dancing helps Alyssa stay fit


Alyssa Martin enjoys life participating in fitness activities with friends and family while having some fun shredding pounds. Martin has combined her passion for music and dance, which has helped her lose weight and feel great.

How does Alyssa do all this?

“You just got to keep moving,” she says.

She takes part in a vigorous fitness group called Oula that combines today’s modern-era, high-energy music with fast-paced movement.

Color Me Rad

Alyssa Martin

‘You just got to keep moving,’ says Alyssa Martin of Missoula, Montana, who participates in Oula, a vigorous fitness program that uses high-energy music and fast-paced movement. Photo by Billy Fortner.

She also has recently participated Special Olympics events and the Missoula area Color Me Rad 5K. Friends and family are encouraged by her ongoing commitment to be healthy. She knows she’s never alone.

“I love it too much!” she said. Martin has also learned that having an active life helps her with the overall goal of being healthy and losing weight; therefore she works at The Bean and Boutique in Missoula, Mont. She can be seen listening to her music and dancing down the sidewalks as she strolls a little over a  mile to and from work.

Martin has Down syndrome, which affects 1 in 691 children, according to the National Down Syndrome Society.

Research has also provided families and professionals with more information that has helped create solutions to help people live longer, allow greater communication and provide integrated educational, recreational and vocational opportunities.

Martin has found her niche in the Missoula community that has helped her enjoy having friends and excelling in the field of her choice.

Jamming to tunes

There is never is a dull moment when Martin is at the YMCA jamming to some tunes during Oula, bowling at Westside Lanes Fun Center, reading The Hunger Games during book club or cooking delicious meals with friends on Monday mornings. She brings a bright and cheerful attitude that everyone admires.

In any given gathering, her bubbly personality lights up the room. Alyssa is ready for what life offers. She has grace and confidence in herself, in what she does and in her place in the community she loves.

Billy Fortner is a freelance photographer and writer in Missoula, Mont. He is a man with autism. He is a frequent contributor to Apostrophe.

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