Champion spotlight: Teressa Farough of Clarkston

Teressa Farough was living her life as a mother to three teenage boys when she started experiencing heart palpitations and chest pain. Shortly after, in 2009, 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,” Teressa shared.

But Teressa isn’t one to dwell on the negative. The doctor advised her to focus on three things: losing weight, engaging in cardiovascular exercise and eating a healthy diet. So she did. 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. A year later, 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 her health improvement.

Teressa joined the Team Priority Health Champions program because she wanted to add running and biking to her fitness routine. She also wanted to connect with a network of like-minded individuals who make health a priority in their lives.

“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. Anytime 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.

About Team Priority Health

The Team Priority Health Champions program is a close knit group of people focused on getting and staying healthy while inspiring others to follow suit. This program is open to everyone who has a passion to stay active and be healthy. Champions come together to compete in events statewide and share insights on how they live a healthy lifestyle. To learn more about the Team Priority Health community, visit