Orinoco Fitness is a family-owned business. Founder Ana Santos Gitzinger, a native of Venezuela, lives with her family in Libertyville, Illinois. She wanted to create a fitness studio with an environment that transports people to a warm, relaxing, South American paradise and makes their fitness experience fun and stress-free.
“I am very excited to share my passion for Latin music and dance, as well as the beautiful nature experiences of my home country. I also want to help people achieve their fitness goals by offering classes in a pay-as-you-go format so customers don’t need to sign expensive contracts or be obligated to pay ongoing, monthly fees.”
Dreams do come true when you work really hard. Ana came to the United States from Venezuela when she was 16. She attended college on a scholarship and got an engineering degree, which she parlayed into a job with Procter & Gamble.
“I fell in love with the idea of creating new brands.”
After awhile, Ana decided to get her MBA, and then she worked for Motorola in Libertyville for five years. With two children at home, she found it tough to balance her corporate career and her family. Ana ultimately decided to leave the corporate world behind and chose to find balance and to be there for her kids.
After leaving Motorola, Ana worked as a consultant and taught marketing at the College of Lake County. She knew, though, that she’d always wanted to start her own business. She decided to combine her desire to start a business with her love of activities like yoga and Pilates. She had also discovered ZUMBA Fitness, which appealed to her affinity for dance, being from Venezuela.
“I thought, why not create a place where I can blend different styles of group fitness? Allow people to experience their benefits without having to choose only one. Practice all of them, yoga, pilates and ZUMBA Fitness. In the same studio, without a contract.”
She named the business after the Orinoco River, which flows through Venezuela. That river theme, along with that of Venezuela’s picturesque table-top mountains, are reflected in Orinoco Fitness’ logo.
A number of classes are offered at Orinoco, including Pilates, Strength Training and Yoga. There are also ZUMBA Fitness, TAI CHI and BARRE classes (a new dance/pilates/strength fusion class) . Orinoco also offer Belly Dancing, PiYo (mix of yoga and pilates) and Community Yoga classes.
Customers can attend their first class for free, as long as they live in Illinois. Then, they can purchase a 5, 10 or 20-class pass or a monthly pass. There are also single, drop-in class options (price varies depending on the class). All regularly priced class passes are shareable, transferable and expire one year from date of purchase. An the monthly passes can be renewed month to month, no need to commit to long term contracts.