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Check out the diverse class instructors who make group fitness at Sierra Fitness both fun and productive.
ANNDREA (Beginners Yoga, Flow Yoga)
Anndrea, MA, LPC, RYT, CYCL, is passionate about her love of yoga and believes in the power of embracing a wellness lifestyle. She earned a Master’s degree in Community Counseling + Wellness, 200-hour yoga teacher certification, including yoga life coaching.
Anndrea helps individuals realize their potential through a unique blend of yogic and therapeutic philosophy. Since 2013, she has been teaching as well as continuing to study in depth a wide variety of yoga asana methods, including vinyasa flow, restorative, yin, gentle, stand-up paddle board yoga, meditation and breathwork.
Carla is a 200 E-RYT (experienced yoga instructor) who received yoga training in 2013 and has been teaching full time since. Her dual passions are teaching and adding goodness to this world.
Carla specializes in working with seniors and in making yoga accessible to everyone. Teaching classes to all abilities; she adjusts intensity ranging from beginner to experienced practitioner. She gained additional training in street yoga and children’s yoga and has attended many local workshops to strengthen her practice and teaching skills.
Carla has specific experience teaching those with Parkinson’s disease and those with varying abilities. In addition to teaching a Saturday morning yoga class at Sierra Fitness, she also teaches hot yoga, community-based yoga, chair yoga at independent living/assisted living/memory care units.
CELIA (Pilates Fusion, All Levels Yoga)
Celia brings to her Sierra Fitness students a diverse physical fitness background, including having been both a gymnastics coach and sports trainer. Her goal? To help people become the best they can be physically, mentally and spiritually. How? Through body, mind and spirit connection.
Celia enjoys combining strength training, cardio endurance conditioning and Yoga balance. She has designed a training system that enhances muscle strength, tone and endurance.
She earned a B.S. in Psychology and is certified through Keiser Cycle, NASM and
AFAA. She holds a 600 level Yoga certificate from Aura Wellness.
ELISE (Flow Yoga)
Elise’s biggest challenge is sitting still! She draws from the lessons of Erich Schiffman, author of Moving Into Stillness, including his concept of honoring alignment while encouraging individual freedom. In doing so, she encourages students to practice both in class on their own.
Because music reaches students emotionally, Elise employs it during classes to inspire them to physically extend themselves or relax as appropriate.
As a long-time Pilates instructor, Elise is devoted to core strengthening. She is certified in Essentrics exercise (hybrid of concentric and eccentric movement).
GINA (Barre, Spinning)
Gina is an NASM certified personal trainer, weight loss specialist and group fitness instructor. She is certified to teach yoga (RYT 200 hour), barre (Barre Body), cycling (Schwinn), BODYPUMP and Zumba.
Gina has been teaching since 2008 and is the author of the bestselling book, HIIT It! which is all about High Intensity Interval Training. She’s thrilled to be a member of the Sierra Fitness family and share her love for movement with others.
HEATHER (Butts-Guts ‘n Guns, Cardio Trekking, Sport Conditioning, Total Body HIIT, Total Body Tabata, TRX)
Heather is a personal trainer and coach who works with all ages and fitness levels of clients to improve strength, endurance and flexibility. She enjoys assisting in their positive transformations. Further, she understands – through fitness – people can live longer, healthier lives.
Heather graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with a B.S. in Sports Medicine and dual minors in Speech Communication and Biology.
Over her 20-year fitness career, Heather has:
- worked for a chiropractor overseeing patient physical therapy focused on clients with disabilities, diseases and injuries
- worked with West Virginia University Athletic Department Football and Basketball teams to improve team flexibility as a means of injury prevention
- headed the fitness wellness program for West Virginia University Hospital employees
- was health coach for the Monongahela County homeless and teen runaway shelters – providing exercise and education to children
- offered post physical therapy to patients at a physical therapy clinic, helping them prevent future injuries
- taught fitness classes and personal training throughout
Since Heather’s return to Tucson in 2002, she has been teaching and personal training at Sierra Fitness and elsewhere.
Heather is certified through ACE fitness personal trainer, AFAA primary group fitness, 200-hour E-RYT Yoga Instructor, Kettlebell Training, Tabata programming, TRX-suspension Training, Cycling, dynamic flexibility, Pilates Mat, Bosu core conditioning, Strength Conditioning for the aging population, Pre-Natal fitness, foam rolling myofascial relief, aquatic aerobics, cardio combat and functional training for all stages of life.
J LYNNE (Zumba)
Born and raised in Oklahoma, an Air Force veteran and stating she has never met a stranger, J Lynn has been licensed (since April, 2009) to teach Zumba Basics 1. Subsequently she became licensed to teach Zumba Basics 2, Zumba Step and Zumba Gold. Good thing! She loves to wear her Zumba gear!
J Lynne believes that dance is the key to leading a longer, happier and more productive life.
Joel Gray moved to Tucson from Iowa in 1987. He is a registered nurse with a master’s degree in nursing. He currently works as a National Healthcare Sciences Senior Manager for Centric Consulting.
He is a certified cycling instructor; he loves to spin!
KARLA (Bootcamp, Butts-Guts ‘n Guns, Cardio Sculpt, Pilates Circuit, Spinning, Total Body Sculpt, TRX, Yoga, Zumba)
Fitness changed Karla’s life. Her dad grew fruit trees and named them after Karla and her sisters. Karla’s fruit tree was called “Karla Pudgy Plum.” Until she discovered fitness, she struggled with not only her weight but also her self esteem.
After attending countless boring group exercise classes, she shared her frustration with her husband who responded “Why don’t you become an instructor so you could teach fun, inspiring classes?” She did; she’s been teaching ever since! Karla’s objective was and remains to continue creating a fun and inspiring fitness environment that bring results which keep her students coming back for more.
Karla has been a certified group exercise instructor for over 30 years during which time she has worked hard to stay fresh in fitness trends and evolve with other outstanding fitness professionals. She teaches most all types of classes (except yoga). She is certified in Pilates apparatus, spin, Zumba, barre and more.
She loves fitness; it loves her back!
MARK (Pilates Mat)
Mark is a Pilates instructor having been a member of Sierra Fitness for over 10 years. Always an avid fitness practitioner, Mark first took up yoga at SF and became hooked on the practice, working with many of the teachers who have taught at SF since its opening in 2002. He transitioned from Yoga practice to a full-on Pilates teachers’ training program in Fall 2017.
Mark earned a BS, MA and M.ED in Psychology; General, Counseling and Organizational respectively. Mark is a 60+ firm believer in staying fit for life and bringing that enthusiasm to his teaching.
Mark is eager to teach and share his love for Pilates to a broad spectrum of students: young and older, men and women with a focus on increasing range of motion, working with physical challenges, balance and stamina.
Michele brings almost 30 years of experience in the Group Fitness Industry. For the past 24 years she has been a full time Fitness Specialist and Personal Trainer at Canyon Ranch Spa. During this time, she has also enjoyed being a part of the Sierra Fitness family. Teaching a wide variety of modalities ranging from Spin, Strength and Dance fitness.
In addition to subbing when available, Michele offers master classes in various dance/fitness formats to Sierra Fitness members as well as non-members in the community. In her free time, Michele stays current in her professional development by taking dance and fitness classes in the community. And maintaining her certifications.
Her certifications include ACE- Group Fitness, NASM-Certified Personal Trainer, Zumba, KettleX-Kettlebell Certification, Burdenko Method of Land and Water Athletic Conditioning (Level 1).
MIDJI (Pilates, Reformer)
Midji, BS and MS, has been an ARA certified water fitness instructor since 2009 and an ADAA certified personal trainer since 2004. In 2003 she obtained her Pilates mat and machine certification from Long Beach Dance Conditioning and has been teaching Pilates ever since.
She also has completed Yamuna Body Rolling training, Levels I and II and NIA white belt training. Additionally, Midji has completed training in Practical Yoga, Stability Ball, BOS and Body Bar Flex.
A Stage III breast cancer survivor, Midji has both the understanding and knowledge to work with populations with special requirements, i.e., cancer survivors and older clients with unique challenges.
Renee’s love for fitness began as a very young child. Her father was a very good athlete and his love of sports sparked her own passion. The two ran together, played softball and threw a football. You might say she was definitely a tomboy.
As years passed, her passion for fitness manifest itself in playing softball, cheerleading and dance. Renee was a cheerleader both during high school and college.
Upon graduating from college, she sought an outlet to pursue her love of exercise. First certified in 1983, she taught aerobics/dance. 30 years and counting, Renee is AFFA certified in body conditioning, step, spin, Zumba, yoga, Pilates and kick boxing.
RHINA (Beach Body Boot Camp, Spinning, TRX)
Rhina has been a member of the Sierra Fitness family since its opening. Her 30+ year health and wellness background includes positions at Canyon Ranch and the JCC. She has worked with physicians, nutritionists, behaviorists and physical therapists.
Among Rhina’s clients are athletes or people trying to improve bone density, prevent/recover from injuries, lose weight or simply get stronger. Rhina is well known for her in-depth knowledge of Functional Training and is certified as a Functional Movement Specialist.
Teaching group fitness classes continues to be one of her favorites. Rhina teaches and is certified in various formats including TRX, HIIT, Les Mills Body Pump, Spinning and dance. She holds certifications by the NASM, American Council on Exercise and Functional Movement Screening.
In 2015, Rhina was voted Top Instructor by Tucsonans and the Arizona Daily Star.
Having played competitive tennis in high school and introduced to strength training by his coach, Rick has been a personal trainer and group fitness instructor since 1985.
Following college graduation, he opened a health club in hometown, Rockaway Beach NY. From 1997 – early 2018, Rick worked at Canyon Ranch and also owned a local personal training studio. He is an avid triathlete and has completed all distances from Sprint to Ironman.
Rick loves teaching multiple classes – from indoor cycling and bootcamp to water classes and stretch. His certifications include: Madd Dog Cycling, Schwinn Cycling, Stages Cycling, USA Cycling Level 2 Coach, Revo2lution Running Coach, KettleX Kettlebell, TRX, AFAA Group Fitness, NSCA Personal Training, and ACE Personal Training.
SUSIE (Cardio Sculpt, Tabata Sculpt, TRX)
Susie has been teaching group fitness since 1987 and taught at a Sneakers Fitness in Wisconsin. She became a fitness instructor at Sierra Fitness in 2009 following a move to Tucson with her husband, Steve.
Susie is certified in group exercise, barre, strength conditioning and Tabata and HIIT training.
In 2011, Susie expanded her fitness education and was certified by the NASM as a personal trainer.
Active in dance and fitness over 50 years, Tina was certified AFAA in 1988. Her fitness guru is Jack LaLanne, well known and beloved American fitness, exercise, and nutrition expert and motivational speaker. Her fitness mantra? Work out…because designer bodies aren’t made in heaven.
Tina’s deep and diverse fitness experiences crisscross California, Arizona and Nevada in roles in various university dance arts departments (including UCLA and ASU), athletic clubs and departments of recreation. She alternately has been owner/instructor/trainer in several private fitness centers and Activity Director of a Bay area retirement community. She even served as a technical advisor for 20th Century Fox Studios in L.A.!
Additionally, Tina co-authored with Dr. John Yacenda, The Fitness Flash, Monthly Newsletter in Reno as well as being a presenter at fitness conventions.
Her previous instructor roles gave way in 2008 to Tina discovering her new ‘fitness’ home as Instructor at Sierra Fitness.
TOVAH (Barre, Barre Fusion, Beginners Yoga, Pilates Fusion, Spinning)
Each class Tovah teaches varies while keeping every one exciting, fun and fresh…for people of all ages. She encourages and demonstrates modifications so her students feel comfortable, benefit from the exercises and experience the ultimate workout. While keeping her students on their toes, her goal is to ensure they leave her classes feeling better and stronger both mentally and physically.
Tovah began her fitness journey working at the Alternative Center for Research and Development at Harvard. There she studied the Placebo effect. She earned her degree in Exercise Physiology and Organization Communication…fascinated by the mind/body effect.
A certified Red Belt in Budokon, she also studied for 16 years with mentor and teacher Bryan Kest, the creator of Power Yoga. Tovah also trained with Tracie Anderson who blends hybrid fusion moves derived from Pilates with dance. She is also certified from Nina Kaptchuck’s Pilates, “The Method.”