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(L-R): Leigh Ferello, marketing; Chris Lanctot, owner/instructor; Pam Weisner, admin; Kirsten D'Angelo, nutrition coach; Amy Haas, coordinator/instructor.

Featured Article

Reset, Reignite

Ignite Fitness Lights Up Newtown

In-person fitness was an industry hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The sudden closure of workout studios across the country quickly brought this business sector to its knees. High demand for fitness, along with low supply, was an economic anomaly.

Out of those circumstantial ashes rose Ignite Fitness of Newtown, the brainchild of Chris Lanctot, a local fitness and community-driven enthusiast. A quick and creative thinker, Chris rounded up other area fitness instructors and set up free online workouts to give back to the neighborhood (and national) fitness community, a theme that followed her into her currently thriving business.

Chris says a private Facebook group, Viral Dance Fitness, started during the pandemic and quickly amassed 600-plus online members. "Seeing those people's want and desire to better themselves was truly motivating, and prompted us to start Ignite," she adds. 

Once things opened up and in-person classes became a reality again, she needed to pivot to find place(s) to offer classes. Her business became a self-proclaimed “traveling circus," running workouts in parking lots, on a farm and practically any open space. Members didn’t mind.

As an instructor and coordinator, Amy Haas was integral in starting and building the Ignite community, Chris adds. 

After an exhaustive search, Chris and her team found the dream location:  a large, beautifully designed spot in the middle of Newtown. Leigh Ferello, who heads up design and marketing, is credited with turning the vacant location into a usable space in just 17 days. Leigh notes that it couldn’t have been done without the assistance of members, who showed up to paint, decorate and carry boxes -- the definition of love and commitment to a brand.

The studio space, only 30 days in, has the feel, energy and look of a well-established business with packed classes and smiles abounding. Leigh’s saying “don’t be shy, modify," along with Chris’ line “come as you are” are preached to members, who are referred to as “The Tribe." That acceptance is part of what drives the continued success:  Ignite is not just a workout business, it’s the formation of fast-friends in class and out.

Community is the theme that continues to show up at Ignite. Besides offering workouts, they're busy hosting monthly charitable events, such as the first “Pink Out” fundraiser that benefited Unite for HER, a breast cancer nonprofit. Ignite also spotlights local businesses in social media to help push the 'Shop Local' initiative. Lastly, members, and the community, are invited to various events at the space, including creative painting parties and other ways to bring people together.

What else makes Ignite unique to the fitness space? Most providers offer one piece of the fitness puzzle, such as workouts, meal plans and support. Ignite packages it all and more in the very popular “Ignite Your Fire” plan, run by Kristen D’Angelo, a nutrition coach. “The joy is in the journey," says Kristen, who herself experienced a life-changing transformation that made her driven and passionate about helping others.

If a members' hectic schedules prevent them from making it to the studio, Ignite offers a tremendous library of classes on demand and livestream for current workouts -- a fusion of workout classes online and in-person offers something for everyone. This has enabled Ignite to build a member base with national presence, including a member from Michigan who flew in to surprise the team at the grand opening.

Ignite's social media further proves the community and local aspects of the business. Positivity “shoutouts” to members by name, along with birthday wishes and motivational chatter portrayed in a fun non-invasive way, is commonplace on all sites. They are known for presenting a warm feeling of belonging and friendship online, for members of the Tribe or those just browsing.

36 Richboro Road


Dance Fitness:  Belly Dancing, Dance-Abilities, Danz Insanity Ignite Dance, LaBlast, Latin Cardio

Barre:  Bootie Barre

Circuit Training And Strength:  Mary Jane Trains, Work Your ASSets

Combination Classes:  Body Pilates PLUS, Boot Camp And HIIT, Box 'n Bells, Cardi-Yo

Yoga:  Mo-Yo, Stretch and Renew Yoga, Yoga for Every BODY

Nutrition Services:  Ignite Your Fire Nutrition And Exercise Program

AfterBurn:  Maintenance Program To Keep It Off

  • Chris Lanctot, owner/instructor, Ignite Fitness of Newtown
  • Photo by Leigh Alison Design
  • (L-R): Leigh Ferello, marketing; Chris Lanctot, owner/instructor; Pam Weisner, admin; Kirsten D'Angelo, nutrition coach; Amy Haas, coordinator/instructor.