Juan Carlos Association
About JCO

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Juan Carlos Organization is to stimulate joy, acceptance and achievement for people of all ages with physical, sensory or cognitive challenges through guided dance and rhythmic exercise programs.


The "Dance Therapy Exercise Program" is targeted towards individuals with special needs, especially those with movement challenges due to age or physical limitations. The concept was born, first and foremost, from Lisbeth Garces' personal experience with her son Juan Carlos' wish to be as active as he could be, despite his disabilities due to Muscular Dystrophy. Development of the program also has been influenced by her experience of living with a mom who suffered from Parkinson's Disease before she passed away, and with an older sister who still lives with Cerebral Palsy. These life experiences stimulated her to build better relationships with the special needs community and with the world. This program of strengthening body movements in an atmosphere of personal trust encourages each participant to express his or her best efforts.


Every class in the Dance Therapy Exercise Program provides the special needs community with physical and mental challenges, as well as socialization opportunities. Having fun through an exercise program with Zumba® based routines enhances their health and wellness and acquaints them with the enjoyment and benefits of regular exercise in their lives. Stimulating their physical and mental capacities regularly can ensure more successful responses in achieving their everyday life-skills goals. Zumba® is a fusion of Latin and International high-energy music and dance moves. The routines are a gentler version of Zumba® with combinations of fast and slow aerobic dance movements that tone and sculpt the body. The program has built-in incremental routines to support steady improvement of the students.


1. Increased physical fitness promotes cardiovascular strength, tones muscles, and sharpens alertness.

2. Participation in music and dance therapy builds self-confidence and self-esteem and improves socialization skills.

3. Special needs people are among the most disenfranchised in our society. Participation in a craze that is sweeping the world promotes normalization.

For more information on the importance of physical exercise for adults with disabilities, see:
"Benefits of Regular Physical Activity and Exercise (for people with disabilities)" and
"Adults with disabilities should strive to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week..." -- in 'Key Guidelines for Adults with Disabilities,' p. viii, 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C., 2008

Program Director:

The professional leadership of the program director, Lisbeth Garces, certified Zumba® instructor, combines a personally-compelling family reality with her present instruction of these classes in San Diego through the YMCA, the Centrol Cultural de la Raza, the public high schools, and the branch libraries.

Zumba® and the Zumba Fitness logos are trademarks of Zumba Fitness, LLC, used under license.

Copyright© 2013 Juan Carlos Organization. All Rights Reserved. Juan Carlos Organization is a not-for-profit organization. Articles of Incorporation classifying the Juan Carlos Organization as a tax-exempt, non-profit with 501(c)(3) status were approved on May 4th, 2012 by the California Secretary of State, and the organization became IRS approved on September 21, 2012, retroactive to May 4th, 2012. See the IRS Determination Letter.