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Madonna fans anticipate music icon's arrival for Toronto fitness club launch

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TORONTO - The Material Girl is coming to Canada.

Madonna is scheduled to be in Toronto tonight for the official grand opening of her luxury gym brand Hard Candy Fitness.

The music icon will be leading a class at the downtown facility for 30 others who earned the chance to dance alongside Madonna following several auditions.

Madonna is set to take the reins of the cardio-based Addicted to Sweat class.

Group exercise director Lori Kirwan says it blends the best of the dance and fitness worlds, combining elements of high-impact aerobics with choreography.

The Hard Candy Fitness Toronto club opened for business in October, joining international locations in Berlin, Rome, Sydney, Santiago, Mexico City, Moscow and St. Petersburg. Classes were created by Madonna and are based on her daily workouts.

Kori Marin's favourite Madonna memory was one she shared with her sister. The siblings would swath themselves in sheets to resemble nuns for their own take on the "Like A Prayer" video, which their dad would videotape on VHS.

"As soon as the music for the beat came in, we would take off our sheets and we'd come out with our Madonna wannabe outfits on and lip-synch the entire song. I think we did that every weekend for a year," recalled Marin, who is club member and part-time fitness instructor there.

She'll have a chance to cement new memories as one of the select chosen few who will dance in the Madonna-led class in Toronto.

"She's definitely a big part of my life," said Marin, who regularly plays Madonna music in her classes and has seen the pop diva on tour.

"She has vision, she has discipline and she's fearless. Fearless. Absolutely fearless," she added, saying that the chance to dance with Madonna would be "insanely amazing."

Another Madonna devotee set to take part in the Toronto session is Jamie Madigan, who has been following the star's career since the release of her 1986 "True Blue" album. He recalled his family cutting their trip short one Thanksgiving weekend so that he could see Madonna perform during her Girlie Show tour stop in Toronto — his first concert in high school.

"I love everything about her. I've just followed her whole career," said the 37-year-old Madigan.

"She was a straight A student, smart person, smart businesswoman. She kind of doesn't really care what anyone thinks, does what she wants to do, stays current, knows how to stay current, and that's why I love her."

Follow @lauren_larose on Twitter.

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Online:

www.hardcandyfitness.com

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