Our Staff

 Fitness & Dance Instructor Bios

Get to know our instructors by reading their answers to the following six questions:
  1. Why is fitness important to you?
  2. What is one way you incorporate fitness into your daily life outside of teaching?
  3. What is one quote that inspires you?
  4. What advice would you give people who have never tried your class?
  5. What are three elements that make your class your own unique offering?
  6. What animal represents you and why?

Fitness and Dance Instructors Spring 2018

Eldridge A.


  1. As a PhD student here at the UW, it is easy to get overwhelmed and lose motivation. Fitness gives me that extra boost of energy I need to get me through my day and get me a few steps closer to completing my degree.
  2. I incorporate walking a lot more and do my best to reach my daily goal of 10,000 steps on my Fitbit. Since I teach cardio classes, I also make an effort to incorporate strength training on my off days to balance it all out.
  3. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.” -Steve Jobs
  4. For those new to cardio kickboxing, I recommend being patient with it. The punches, kicks, and basic step sequences you learn will feel awkward at first, especially after only one class. Just commit to attending a few classes in a row, and I promise the moves will start to feel more natural and fun!
  5. The kickboxing combinations that I teach, which are self-choreographed and brand new every week; My teaching style, which emphasizes repetition and clear breakdown of all the moves to make sure we are all learning and in unison; My music playlist, which I mix myself every week and stays up to date with current Top 40 music.
  6. A deer because I’m a little reserved, but I’m also thoughtful, observant, and trustworthy.

Eldridge is teaching Cardio Kickboxing this quarter.

Halli B.


  1. “Cura Personalis” is a Jesuit principle meaning “care for the whole person.” Fitness allows you the opportunity to care for yourself physically, psychologically, and emotionally. You can’t be a whole person when you are imbalanced in any of these realms, and fitness helps provide that balance!
  2. I am a huge trail runner!
  3. “The mountains are calling and I must go.” -John Muir
  4. Circuit Training: Listen to your body! I can tell you what to do and how to do it, but ultimately you are limited by your body, so don’t ignore it when it’s telling you something.
    Core Conditioning: Your core is more than just your abs, so be ready to target your back, glutes, and quads as well!
  5. We utilize every minute together, so no time is wasted and you get the most out of your workout (and my workouts kick butt); My music is raaaaad (throwback playlists are the bomb); I am weird and have no shame (so I provide a lot of entertainment).
  6. Baby moose. At moments I may seem really majestic, but when I run I look like I just found out I have legs. That, and I like the mountains.

 Halli is teaching Circuit Training and Core Conditioning this quarter.

Jaron B.

  1. Fitness has been a part of my life since I was very young. While I started fitness to get an edge in sports, it has become an important part of my mental and physical health, and the best way for me to release stress and bad energy.
  2. Beyond my own classes, I also like to take fitness classes taught by other instructors, including HIT, Indoor Cycling, and Total Toning.
  3. “Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.” – David McCullough Jr.
  4. I see fitness classes as an open conversation. Even though I am giving instructions, your feedback helps me to design the class around your needs, and make it more fun for everyone. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions!
  5. I like to make my classes fun by incorporating challenges and a good sense of humor. I also seek input from my participants on what they would like to see more of in each class. However, I do encourage my participants to push themselves and reach beyond their perceived limits.
  6. An Elephant. I am genuine, loyal, and care deeply about those around me.

Jaron is teaching Core Conditioning and TRX this quarter.

Kat C.


  1. Fitness opens the opportunity to gain and maintain a healthy lifestyle and connect to community. It provides balance, an outlet and meditation thru movement.
  2. I run and lift weights on a weekly basis. When I’m not busy working and studying I like to hit the pacific coast to surf.
  3. “Knowing is better than wondering. Waking is better than sleeping, and even the biggest failure, even the worst, beats the hell out of never trying.” – Meredith Grey, Greys Anatomy
  4. Zumba Strong is a high intensity interval training format, not a dance class. This format is challenging for all fitness levels, its important for your to go at your pace and push yourself both physically and mentally. Know that you are part of a supportive community in this class and be sure to stay hydrated and stretch before and after.
  5. Fun, Motivation, and Community Building.
  6. Wolf: I love that they are both independent and community oriented mammals. Their presence in the moment is inspiring.

Kat is teaching STRONG by Zumba this quarter.

Ashley C.


  1. Fitness provides a healthy opportunity to get your mind off of everyday stresses that creep into our lives. Feeling strong and being active also gives a great sense of confidence and pride.
  2. Outside of teaching I incorporate a practice of Vinyasa Yoga, which provides some extra flexibility outside of my normal strength classes.
  3. “Be healthy and take care of yourself, but be happy with the beautiful things that make you, you.”Beyonce
  4. My advice would be to come into class with something that pushes you one step further, even if that means revisiting something that made you angry. Strength Training is a great place to set goals and to push your limits.
  5. Motivation, Music, and Bad Jokes.
  6. Flamingo, since they’re a little fun and unique!

Ashley is teaching HIT and Slam & Swing this quarter.

Helen C.


  1. Fitness is important to me because I want to be able to take advantage of any potential adventure that comes my way. I also recognize the importance of fitness in lifelong heath. But, mostly, if someone pulls up and says, “Get in loser, we’re climbing a mountain,” I want to be able to.
  2. As much as possible I try to walk places instead of driving. If I had all the time in the world I would walk everywhere!
  3. “No pain, no gain.” – My Boppa (I know he was not the first one to say this, but if I need motivation I picture him saying it to me)
  4. I thought I was going to have an actual heart attack and die when I first took a cycling class, but now here I am teaching at UW! My advice would be to remember that everyone starts somewhere, and there’s no way to improve other than to start working at it.
  5. A personal workout motto for me is that some days are a “better than nothing” workout day. If you come to class and need a “better than nothing” workout I will completely understand. However, if you are ready to be challenged, I will give you a “better than your best” class! I also try to keep a sense of humor while instructing and think I have pretty good music, if I do say so myself.
  6. Dolphin: social, friendly and I like the water. And, because I create community and I am an optimist.

 Helen is teaching Indoor Cycling this quarter.

Karen C.


  1. As I spent more and more of my life in front of screens, I realized fitness needed to be built into my life, the same as taking a shower every day. I fell in love with Zumba, with its international rhythms and the “just have fun” philosophy.
  2. Take the stairs!
  3. “You are already that person…Just put yourself in that place.” -Pharrell
  4. There’s no wrong way to do it. Nobody is looking at you (they’re looking at me!). You are going to surprise yourself.
  5. My love for music, my passion for the class, and the crazy things that come out of my mouth.
  6. A sloth: because my favorite thing to do other than dance is sleep :)

Karen is teaching Zumba this quarter.

Grace C.


  1. Being physically active has contributed to my happiness as it has improved my ability to enjoy activities I love (dancing, climbing, hiking), and I get better sleep since it wears me out and relieves stress. I hope to encourage others to explore these benefits of exercise for themselves, which is why I am so grateful to be an instructor for UW Recreation.
  2. I choose to walk rather than drive or bus whenever possible, and as a result, I end up walking at least 5 miles a day. This helps me feel fit as well as calm, since it gives me time alone with my thoughts.
  3. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” -John Lennon
  4. Everyone can dance! Be patient with yourself and the learning process. Ask questions in class, practice, watch YouTube videos, go out dancing and watch others, and you’ll find yourself having fun and meeting new people in no time!
  5. My co-teacher, Aileen G., and I come prepared with a lesson plan, but will adjust in the moment in response to the students’ pace. We also try to cover many facets of Salsa – culture and history, the moves themselves, styling varieties so students can add their own self-expression, and social etiquette. Finally, we strive to create an inclusive and supportive space for all students to feel comfortable to learn, practice, and grow in.
  6. An owl because I am an observer and thinker, and I really enjoy pondering the unknowns of the universe.

Grace is teaching Salsa this quarter.

Emily C.


  1. I like to think of dance as a vehicle for self-expression and a great way to utilize your whole body in a work-out. It can be a great outlet from daily life.
  2. I am constantly taking movement classes and practicing improvisational dance. Dance everywhere!
  3. “You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you.” – Isadora Duncan
  4. Be gentle and patient with yourself, and don’t worry about how it looks! Focus on letting go and having fun, and the rest will follow.
  5. Enthusiasm, fast paced, and wild abandon.
  6. Wild cat – quick, lithe, stealthy. 

 Emily is teaching Modern Dance and OULA Dance Fitness this quarter.

Maggie D.

Bio coming soon.

Maggie is teaching Indoor Cycling this quarter.

Danika D.


  1. Being involved in fitness is my favorite way to boost confidence, relieve stress and do well by my body. It’s an incredible way to accomplish self-care and keeps me happy.
  2. I incorporate fitness outside of teaching everyday, whether it be a full body workout or a long walk. Being active is my favorite way to fill free time.
  3. “Prove them wrong.” -My Momma
  4. Be confident and don’t compare yourself to other participants. Classes are designed to support a large spectrum of participants and everyone has to start somewhere :)
  5. I care about using proper form and make it a priority in my classes. I know how to push participants without being overwhelming. My passion for fitness is demonstrated in every class I teach.
  6. Elephant: I am incredibly loyal to the people I care about, I never forget, and I am a strong female leader.

Danika is teaching ABSolute Conditioning, Indoor Cycling, and Total Toning this quarter.

Lindsay E.

  1. Fitness is so important to me and has become a huge part of my life. For me, it has been the jumping block for my self-confidence, positivity, and leading a healthy lifestyle. Fitness is a way to challenge and push the mind, and is a way to celebrate what the body can do.
  2. Outside of teaching and Pilates, I do regular resistance, plyometric training, and HIIT sessions. I’m always inspired to build my strength and I love jumping! I also am frequently taking dance classes.
  3. “What would you attempt to do, if you knew you could not fail?” – Unknown
  4. If this is your first Pilates class, I think you will quickly find many benefits. With many modifications available to beginners, within a few classes you can expect a stronger core, improved posture, and to be sore in places you’ve never been before. Pilates is a great overall workout, and you can apply the technique in your other workouts and in your day-to-day activities.
  5. Class will include a flow that is challenging and fun, individual modifications and advancements, and progressions focused to strengthen the core.
  6. A bunny. I have my first pet bunny and I have to say we’re pretty similar. Tiny, but has the strength to jump powerfully and run very fast.

Lindsay is teaching Mat Pilates this quarter.

Natalie F.

Bio coming soon.

Natalie is teaching Ballet this quarter.

Krista F.


  1. Fitness is important to me because I like seeing my progress over a period of time and pushing myself to try new things. Starting or ending my day with a workout feels great because it is something I am truly doing for myself. Fitness centers are important to me because of their power to bring communities together.
  2. I try to walk everywhere I can! Especially when I travel- I feel like that is the best way to get to know a new place.
  3. “Don’t let perfection be the enemy of the good.” -Unknown
  4. Cardio kickboxing (skills & drills) is all about having fun while you work out! As long as your body is moving and you’re enjoying the music, you’ll surely find your groove in class.
  5. All moves are choreographed to the music; Routines are consistent enough from class to class but change frequently throughout each class so you get a wide variety; Short routines help you to push yourself a little bit more (knowing each routine is only 3-5 minutes).”
  6. Lemur: they are fun and social animals. They are also unique in that they get a variety of perspectives as they climb among the trees.

Krista is teaching Cardio Kickboxing (Skills & Drills) this quarter.

Meghan F.

Bio coming soon.

Meghan is teaching Zumba this quarter.

Jaime F.


  1. Fitness is both a stress reliever and a motivator for me. I love to run to let stress melt away but also to set goals such as running marathons.
  2. Exercising outside whether running, tennis or hiking.
  3. “You dream. You plan. You reach. There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, with belief, with confidence and trust in yourself and those around you, there are no limits.”-Michael Phelps
  4. To make fitness a long term part of your life the key is finding something you love. Keep trying new classes until you find what clicks.
  5. Playlist, my personality, and motivation.
  6.  Lion because I’m an early riser and very goal oriented.

Jaime is teaching Indoor Cycling this quarter.

Alieen G.


Bio coming soon.

Aileen is teaching Salsa this quarter.

Ray H.

  1. My life is enhanced daily by the exploration of movement, balance and stillness.
  2. “The mind when housed within a healthful body, possesses a glorious sense of power.” -Joe Pilates
  3. Pilates connects the body and mind. It is a subtle system that will enhance your activities, posture, and flexibility.
  4. My class is a place that is about you working at your level without comparing you to anyone else. Having fun while working at your ability. Walking out feeling better then when you walked in.
  5. The animal that represents me best depends on what I am doing: a swan when arching my back, an elephant as I walk silently across the floor, a cat as I stretch, a dog as I go to different students to help with form in a friendly manner. I get to be them all depending on what I am doing and how I am feeling.

Ray is teaching Mat Pilates this quarter.

Jill J.


  1. Our bodies are can do amazing things, and the better we take care of ourselves, the more we can do with our amazing bodies. I’m endlessly fascinated by the power of human potential.
  2. I just returned to my deep love of swimming and have been loving the IMA pool!
  3. “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – poet Mary Oliver
  4. Be open to an entirely new experience, and be prepared to go for a swim.
  5. I strive to make something that is new for most and potentially intimidating for some as accessible and clear as possible. It’s so cool to be with someone as they do something new – my goal is for that to be as positive an experience as possible so that they keep wanting to do new things.
  6. Cat: curious, independent, loves to nap

Jill is teaching Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga this quarter.

Jason K.


  1. Fitness has been a major part of my life for over a decade. It is a great way to unwind from school and work, and to constantly push and test your own limits.
  2. I race triathlons competitively, and have been fortunate to be able to race at the national and international level.
  3. “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.” -Jerry Rice
  4. Spinning is a great because people of any level can participate in the same workout together. I will push everyone during the class, but each person controls his/her own effort.
  5. I come from a competitive cycling background, and my workouts are focused around that. Many of them are directly modified from my own training rides, and are geared at improving your aerobic fitness and performance.
  6. Cheetah.

Jason is teaching Indoor Cycling this quarter.

Chris K.


  1. For the ability to perform everyday tasks, and not so everyday tasks, throughout my lifetime.
  2. Through my daily food, fitness & stretching; through chores & favors where I can, and in my full-time job.
  3. “Make your body your machine” – TRX
  4. TRX & Indoor Cycling – Try it out and really apply yourself. The results will speak for themselves.
  5. I would say my style of teaching, motivation, & music.
  6. Fox because with a personality like mine, I can get myself out of any sticky sort of situation.

Chris is teaching Indoor Cycling and TRX this quarter.

Teresa K.


  1. Fitness means readiness — for life, for adventure, for the unexpected. I like to be fit so that I know I’m ready for whatever life throws at me!
  2. I walk or bike to work (3 miles round trip! Uphill, in the snow both ways! Just kidding…), always use the stairs (I work on a 5th floor and live on a 3rd), stretch in meetings, shop like it’s a sport, and take Chris K’s classes whenever possible!
  3. “The flower doesn’t dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes.” – Mark Nepo
  4. All you have to do is show up with an open mind! I’ll bring the great tunes, fun drills, and my commitment to do everything in my power to motivate and challenge you.
  5. Ever wondered in a cycling class exactly what you should be doing and how it should feel? My classes pedal to the beat, taking the mystery out of the experience while mimicking an authentic outdoor ride, complete with heavy climbs, demanding sprints, and high fives.
  6. Minnie Mouse. Because polka dots.

Andrea L.


  1. Aside from the obvious health benefits, fitness helps me balance out the stress in life, providing a mental escape from the day to day. When I work out I have better mental clarity and sometimes I come up with my best ideas during workouts.
  2. Every day at work, a group of co-workers get together to do what we call “lunchtime abs” where we pick a 10 minute or less video and do it where there’s room in the office. It’s usually core focused, but we’ve incorporated more full body moves as well. I also have running and other workout buddies, in and out of the office, who help me get motivated to work out when I’m feeling lazy. It also helps switch up the workouts. No matter what, I try to get a good cardio workout in about 3 times a week outside of teaching.
  3. “Dance like nobody’s watching.” I don’t know the true source
  4. If you’re struggling to “pick things up,” focus on one thing at a time (footwork, for example), and then start adding on the arms/attitude/intensity, etc. No one cares if you’re on the wrong foot, just keep MOVING. Smile, it makes it feel easier and you’ll have more fun!
  5. I choreograph all of my dances and warmups – specific to the music. I incorporate a variety of song styles so there is something for everyone. The moves are all-level and I take the time to teach any of the more intricate or difficult moves – making sure there is an option for everyone. We build up dances throughout the quarter, but I make sure to review every few classes so people aren’t left behind after missing a class or two.
  6. Lion or other cat. I tend to be independent and prowl in the background, but when the moment is right I will easily take charge and lead the pack.

Andrea is teaching Cardio Dance this quarter.

Laurie L.

  1. Fitness is important because it increases possibilities. I was raised by fit, active parents – they met climbing Mt. Rainier when they were 16. I’ve never considered not being fit, even when I’ve been injured and less active.
  2. I take IMA classes from other instructors. I take at least 1 other fitness class plus a yoga class every quarter. I change it up each session, from Belly Dancing to Swim Conditioning. All of the classes are great.
  3. “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving” – Albert Einstein
  4. Pilates was developed by Joe Pilates to train boxers and acrobats. It teaches you how to move much more efficiently in all activities. You feel amazing after even one Pilates class and it just gets better the more you do.
  5. We move – we get started with exercises, including modifications, the very first class. We build – I add at least one exercise per class while making sure you understand what I previously taught. We mix it up – while everything is based on Pilates, some days we need to stretch more, other days we need to kick.
  6. Salish Sea Orca. It’s local, swims well, and we both look good in black.

Laurie is teaching Mat Pilates this quarter.

Melissa L.

  1. It’s an awesome outlet for my mental health. Fitness also brings people together! It also prepares me to sprint to catch my bus….
  2. Sports! I usually play tennis but have been trying to improve my soccer game. I also try to take the stairs whenever possible.
  3. “Sometimes you have to take a break from being the kind of boss that’s always trying to teach people things. Sometimes you just have to be the boss of dancing.”Michael Scott
  4. EVERYONE is there to push and motivate you! Leave your worries at the door, this class is your time to focus on you, your strength, and health!
  5. We are focused on your goals, I’m just here to guide you! I also take music requests! :)
  6. Zoboomafoo the lemur! He’s quirky, full of energy, and always learning!

Melissa is teaching Circuit Training and Total Toning this quarter.

Stacy L.

  1. Because everyone deserves to see what their bodies are capable of, and feel the best they can!
  2. I do Charity Bootcamps (where the money raised go to the charity of the week), am a fan of the (free!) Charity Miles app, and am currently building my own personal gym!
  3. “The question isn’t who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me.” -Ayn Rand
  4. TBD
  5. The range of dance styles, the ability to select what music you will dance to, my eclectic dance experience(s)!
  6. Tiger. Rawr! They are big and muscular, look adorable, and like to eat.

Stacy is teaching Cardio Dance this quarter.

Sarah N.


  1. Because everyone deserves to see what their bodies are capable of, and feel the best they can!
  2. I do Charity Bootcamps (where the money raised go to the charity of the week), am a fan of the (free!) Charity Miles app, and am currently building my own personal gym!
  3. “The question isn’t who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me.” -Ayn Rand
  4. The range of dance styles, the ability to select what music you will dance to, my eclectic dance experience(s)!
  5. Tiger. Rawr! They are big and muscular, look adorable, and like to eat.

Sarah is teaching Cardio Kickboxing and Core Conditioning this quarter.

Trent N.

  1. My fitness is something I can directly control. Thus, it is a great source of power for me. Being fit provides me with a strong foundation, which I can then carry over to other areas of my life.
  2. I lift weights and practice Vinyasa yoga regularly.
  3. “There is more reason in your body than in your best wisdom.” – Frederich Nietzsche
  4. Cycle & Flow will be a FUN class, more than anything else. I want you to get an amazing workout. Don’t worry if it’s your first time trying the class, as it will be everybody’s first time trying…since this is the first quarter it’s being offered!
  5. I am an energetic teacher, and I don’t like to take myself or the class too seriously. With that I try to keep the atmosphere light while giving students the tools they need to push their body and find their power.
  6. A bear.

Trent is teaching Cycle & Flow this quarter.

Jessica N.

Bio coming soon.

Jessica is teaching Indoor Cycling and Step this quarter.

Sharron O.

Bio coming soon.

Sharron is teaching Cardio Dance and Hip Hop this quarter.

Anissa S.


  1. Fitness is important to me because not only is it my passion, but something which is going to benefit me long term. I believe that fit individuals are happier and have more fulfilling, full lives, which is exactly what I strive for. Overall, I feel like fitness is important in bringing out a person’s best self, and something you do not have to prove to anyone but yourself.
  2. I try to take Pure Barre classes 5 days a week, as well as incorporating cardio in when I can. I love teaching, but also love the class structure of Pure Barre, the community, and being taught and encouraged to push myself by someone else!
  3. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou
  4. Try it!! For total toning, I had always known I loved classes of this sort. For cycling, however, I never thought I would like it, but it has turned out to be my favorite class to teach. Try it, and if at first you don’t love it, try it again just to be sure- results come with consistency.
  5. I would say that my music choices, my personal teaching style in the way I organize my classes, and my dance background make my class my own unique offering. I have more of a cardio background, yet I teach both strength and cardio classes, offering something other than someone with only a strength background might.
  6. Lion: fierce, determined, ambitious, and respected, but graceful, elegant, and caring all at the same time.

Anissa is teaching Indoor Cycling and Total Toning this quarter.

Alysia S.

Bio coming soon.

Alysia is teaching Indoor Cycling this quarter.

Jorge S.


  1. Fitness is important in my life because it provides me, in addition to improved health, a therapeutic escape from the routine of day-to-day life. Furthermore, it enables me to carry out the activities that I enjoy, like hiking, camping, and nights out with friends, without getting excessively tired.
  2. Outside of teaching, I try my best to practice safe body mechanics when lifting just about anything, from boxes and groceries to furniture around the house. Many of the activities I enjoy, like dancing and hiking, also enable me to work on my aerobic fitness outside the gym!
  3. “Don’t give up on a dream because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass, anyway.”-Unknown
  4. Be open-minded: if you’ve never tried fitness classes before, allow yourself to experience learning something new. Have fun: everyone is here for similar reasons, and one might be because you don’t like to exercise on your own. Therefore, have fun and enjoy the camaraderie!
  5. I do my best to provide modifications for the high-fit individuals down to the beginner who has no experience with exercise; I encourage camaraderie by asking class members to acknowledge others’ hard work in the studio, which often results in high-fives throughout the class, smiles from ear to ear, and increased motivation; I take the time to answer questions class members may have about certain exercises, fitness in general, and extra comments and tips on their form.
  6. Wolf. The way wolf packs work as a team is astounding, and it showcases how certain goals can be more easily attained when working as a team. As a future physical therapist, this represents the type of inter-professional environment I will find myself in daily to help rehabilitate patients. Also, wolves like the cold, as do I!

Jorge is teaching Circuit Training, Core Conditioning, and TRX this quarter.

Kat S.

  1. Fitness is an amazing way to set frequent goals for yourself and feel pride in accomplishing them. I love using fitness as a means to destress, wake me up in the morning, and see myself achieve things I never thought possible.
  2. As an ex-cross country runner in college, I love to run frequently and incorporate races of all distances into my routine as much as possible. I also love hiking and attending a variety of strength training and yoga classes to keep a healthy balance.
  3. “There is no certainty; there is only adventure.”Roberto Assagioli
  4. Indoor Cycling is an amazing way to have tons of fun while getting a tough, sweaty workout. This is also an ideal workout for people of all fitness backgrounds because you can control your own destiny on the bike!
  5. Playlist, Enthusiasm, Variety!
  6. A Giraffe – Not just because of my height but because I am always striving to reach for my next highest goal.

Kat is teaching Indoor Cycling this quarter.

Evelyn T.

Bio coming soon.

Evelyn is teaching Zumba this quarter.

Melissa W.


  1. Fitness is important to me because it’s all about feeling good: mentally and physically. I love the excitement of working out and the satisfaction I get once I’ve done it. It’s all about picking an activity that you enjoy and that makes you happy.
  2. I love the simplicity and tranquility of going for a walk. It’s a great way to wind down after a long day and sometimes it even turns into a run if you’ve got the energy!
  3. “The only time you should look back is to see how far you’ve come.” -Unknown
  4. I always tell students who are new to Zumba not to worry about getting all the steps right. Chances are, they aren’t the only people in the class that are new and everyone will be looking at the instructor; not them!
  5. I cater each class to my students’ likes and dislikes. I always ask for their opinions and feedback; My class includes all different kinds of music and rhythms. I am constantly on the hunt for cool moves and songs; Sometimes I sing along to the songs… feel free to join in!
  6. Dog: I love being around people, I’m very positive, and I am not a fan of cats.

Melissa is teaching Zumba this quarter.

Substitute Instructors

Angelica D.


  1. Movement is important to me. Sharing space with others creates community, connection, and an opportunity to learn and to share. Moving together with others brings love and understanding. It is the most powerful thing we can engage in; being active in a group setting, especially dance, expressing the body through movement.
  2. If I am not teaching, I am dancing, training at the gym, or performing! I also enjoy strength and resistance training, yoga and Pilates!
  3. “Art does not exist only to entertain — but also to challenge one to think, to provoke, even to disturb, in a constant search for the truth.” – Barbara Streisand
  4. If you have never tried dance before, or taken a Hip Hop dance class, it will change your life so you should! When function meets expression, that is where the joy in being physical and active is! To move with intention! Come try it! Its never too late! Martha Graham (known as the mother of American Modern dance) didn’t start dancing until she was in her 30s!
  5. Discover this exciting and fun dance style that moves and grooves! This Hip Hop dance class will explore various dance styles that developed from the vibrant culture of Hip Hop! Dancers will learn movement vocabulary and will develop their own expressive voice through freestyle! This dance class focuses on facilitating creative play, collaboration, and building a supportive community among my students and myself as the teacher!
  6. Bunny: I have a deep love for bunnies, always have since my childhood when I had a Holland Lop named Boo.

Lauren F.


  1. Fitness wakes me up in the morning and helps me reset at the end of a stressful day!
  2. I am part of the UW Triathlon Club. In addition to cycling, I also run and swim.
  3. “Resistance trumps talent.” – paraphrased from a quote by Calvin Coolidge
  4. Indoor cycling is a class that allows the participant to get out exactly what they put in. It allows for ability level to participate!
  5. I play all genres of music including awesome throwback songs that people sing to, I incorporate triathlon workouts into the cycling class design, and I can guarantee a tough workout every class.
  6. I think I am most represented by a sea otter. I like to swim, take naps on my back, and enjoy good seafood.

Katherine F.

  1. Fitness is the way I decompress and clear my mind. It brings me more energy and focus in daily life.
  2. Walking my dogs.
  3. “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison
  4. My strength classes are challenging but doable. Be patient with yourself. You will see yourself improve over the quarter.
  5. My focus is on the individual, their ability, and a welcoming environment.
  6. A Sandhill crane.

Alexa G.

  1. Fitness is a lifestyle! I don’t do well sitting for long periods of time – I am my best self when I am active, moving, and letting out my creative side through dance and other athletics.
  2. I love being active outside of teaching. I hike with my husband and dog almost every day and we love other activities such as kayaking, skiing in Whistler, taking new gym classes, and going for walks even if we squeeze it in after a long work day. I also practice hot yoga, kick boxing, and really, just about anything.
  3. “Life is all about balance.” My mom!
  4. Come in ready to sweat and disengage from your day-to-day life. Cardio dance, with some practice, allows you to feel the music and the moves and create a positive, memorable experience. Get ready to unleash your inner dancer!
  5. The style of the class – we use a whiteboard and create a long and challenging routine that is new, yet familiar, every day. The environment – we have loud music that doesn’t stop for the entire class, so we get really into it; Lastly, me! – I bring my own experiences from being a professional dancer and competitive gymnast into the class and I think that makes it both fun and challenging.
  6. A Sea Otter. I’ve just always liked them for some reason. They are laid back, sweet animals, yet they are smart and quick in the water.

Letty L.


  1. Fitness is extremely important to me in a number of different ways: it helps keep me feeling strong and healthy, it helps me feel more connected to my body, it helps me manage stress, it even helps my brain – numerous studies have found that regular exercise benefits cognition, focus, mood, and even boosts creativity! Really, it all comes down to physical activity being fundamental to self-care!
  2. As a dancer, cross-training in both strength and cardio is super important for avoiding injury and supporting technique. I try to lift weights twice a week and go for runs three times a week – or at least incorporate some natural movement, like walking, into my day!
  3. This is not so much a quote as a concept. Carol Dweck’s research on Growth vs Fixed mindset has profoundly affected the way I approach my goals, experience failures, tackle challenges, and even teach my classes! Maria Popova gives a nice, succinct summary of the two mindsets: “A ‘fixed mindset’ assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens which we can’t change in any meaningful way, and success is the affirmation of that inherent intelligence, an assessment of how those givens measure up against an equally fixed standard; striving for success and avoiding failure at all costs become a way of maintaining the sense of being smart or skilled. A ‘growth mindset,’ on the other hand, thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities. Out of these two mindsets, which we manifest from a very early age, springs a great deal of our behavior, our relationship with success and failure in both professional and personal contexts, and ultimately our capacity for happiness.” – Maria Popova
  4. You can expect to both have fun and be challenged in my class – belly dance takes time to learn, and a lot of repetition! Be patient and kind to yourself as you are making new connections in your brain and your muscles! It’s also a great class to take with a friend!
  5. As a dance class, belly dance can really help you connect with your body in a new way – you’ll find yourself moving in ways you never thought possible! You’ll also experience a lot of different, interesting music in my class and you’ll learn a complete choreography over the course of the quarter!
  6. A Yeti! Because yetis are introverted, gentle giants with cold hands and warm hearts :)

Kai O.

  1. Fitness is an amazing break from our busy days. It give people a chance to connect to themselves and their communities. We can only be the best version of ourselves if we practice self care!
  2. Fitness is more than just physical, it also has to do with a healthy mind. It is important to make healthy and happy decisions for yourself.
  3. “I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed, embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good.” – Roald Dahl
  4. If you have never tried Cycle & Flow, its a great way to explore two different workouts. The level of cycling is as challenging as you want to make it and the class ends with yoga, which is a great way for your body to recover. Come try out this physically and mentally satisfying class.
  5. I hope to offer welcoming, mindful, and accessible classes.
  6. I would say I shark best represents me. Even when they sleep, they have to keep moving to stay alive. I feel best when I am active, involved, and staying busy.

Lauren R.

  1. Fitness keeps me grounded, clears my head, and connects me with amazing people show share a love of fitness and health. Plus, I love getting and feeling stronger every day!
  2. I am in the process of restoring a vintage bike, and can’t wait to start riding it to work.
  3. “Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just… start.”– Ijeoma Umebinyuo 
  4. One indoor cycling class can change your life and today is your day to try. Starting is the hardest part – but before you know it – you’ll look forward to getting lost in the music and having the time of your life every week!
  5. My classes are music-driven and filled with positive, high-energy. You’ll also leave a sweaty mess, every time!
  6. Lemur: highly active, playful, social, and energetic!

Dominique S.

  1. Fitness is important to me, because it helps me do everything else in life with more ease. Having a healthy body will help you explore the world, try new things, and feel more successful.
  2. As a dancer, it’s important to constantly take classes and expose myself to as many styles, techniques, and movements as possible. I also do Pilates everyday to help support my dancing.
  3. “Change happens through movement and movement heals.” – Joseph Pilates
  4. Come and be ready to dance! Be open to exploring new movements, and don’t be shy. We’re all learning how to move together, and one thing that makes dance fun is being able to dance with and alongside other movers.
  5. I love to have you work together to build material! After the warm up and technique portion, we’ll do longer phrases that’ll build more stamina and strength. During those, I sometimes have groups or pairs build a little bit of material to add onto the phrase. It’s so much fun to work with another person and use creativity! Dance is art so let’s make some art together! Also, love hearing song requests and I will try to work in into class.
  6. A Sloth. So peaceful and calm, but also powerful and strong. I love slow, big movements that eat up space, just like how I imagine a sloth would dance.

Program and Fitness Assistants

Sofia A.

Bio coming soon.

Chad C.

Bio coming soon.

Brittany V.

Bio coming soon.

Gabriella W.

Bio coming soon.