Ames Fitness Center

MEET OUR GROUP FITNESS STAFF!


MANDY MCGUIRE, GROUP FITNESS DIRECTOR

Sports and fitness has been a huge part of my life as long as I can remember. I have always had some great role models to follow, and I hope I can be that person for others through teaching classes. We are given one body to work with for an entire lifetime - shouldn't we treat it well? Now stop reading and get into class!

KAT KILLEEN, ASST. GROUP FITNESS DIRECTOR

I grew up as a track coaches daughter and was part of a national competitive dance company, so being fit has always been a huge part of my life. I had to learn how to balance being a powerful sprinter while also being a graceful dancer. I'm so excited for the opportunity to learn more while working at Ames Fitness Center while also helping others become fit in whatever way they want!

ABBEY PODLISKA

 
I grew up playing all kinds of sports and try to remain active. I enjoy running and have recently acquired a love for weight lifting (being strong is awesome!). I love good food and believe in letting yourself enjoy the good stuff in moderation. I work for a local non-profit and in my free time I love spending time with my husband and our son.

ALECIA JOHNSON

I am a stay at home mom of 3. I enjoy working out, and I love group fitness. Group Fitness keeps my workouts interesting, and it motivates me to push myself harder! I hope to do the same for you!

CATHY SLADE

No one can work out for you, but it is nice to be able to take a group fitness class and have the instructor make sure you get a workout. That is what I hope to do as a fitness instructor, make sure you get a good workout! I enjoy being active and pushing myself to reach new fitness goals. Come check out the energy and comradeship of group fitness classes, it is a great way to meet new people (while you get a great workout)!

ANGIE HUNT

Until I tried Group Blast, my workouts were always solo missions that generally involved running. I never thought group fitness was for me. I was wrong. I love the variety, the energy, the group atmosphere and having a blast while getting a great workout. Now as an instructor, I want to help others have that same positive experience.

BUFFY CLATT

Fitness for me is like the air mask on an airplane. It's the first thing I do for myself each day that helps me to do, feel and be better in all aspects of my life. I enjoy teaching group fitness for the accountability and fun it offers. I love helping people embrace a healthy lifestyle and seeing them feel good about themselves. Sweat now, shine later!

CARLA AUBRY

The quickest way to acquire self-confidence is to do exactly what you are afraid to do.

CARLIE SMITH

Group fitness is one of my passions. I love motivating people to give their best at every workout and see real results! Not only physically, but mentally as well. I thank God for the gift of fitness, and the joy that comes from keeping your body healthy at every stage of life!!

CORINNE MATTSON

My name is Corinne Mattson. I teach cardio drill. My number one job is being a mom to my 5 children. Upon moving to Ames, joining AFC was one of the first things my husband and I did. I found participating in group fitness to be fun, rewarding and a great form of stress relief. I was excited to become a member of the staff and hope to share my passion for fitness with others. I have a BS in psychology from Iowa State and BS in nursing from the University of Iowa. I hope to see you in class!

DINY PATTERSON

I used to be so out of shape until 5 years ago when I found Zumba®. It was my introduction to a group fitness and after about a year, I felt stronger and became a Zumba® instructor. I gradually tried other exercise formats; from kickboxing, resistance training, running, to Pilates and yoga. I look forward to seeing you in my class! “Fitness is not about being better than someone else... it's about being better than you used to be.”

ED MORAN

Wow, what a difference a couple years makes! I remember just being that scared, overweight guy who had heard of spin classes and had visions of a bike being used as a torture device but still decided to give Group Ride a try and before long I was hooked! The combination of fantastic instructors, powerful and varying workouts, driving music, and yes, buckets of sweat (and don't forget calories) made me a believer in the results that Group Ride can deliver to anyone. Be warned however, before long you may have cycling shoes, new pedals on your bike and the urge to go somewhere outdoors! Regardless of you fitness level, if your looking for results with a fast and fun workout come give Group Ride a try, I bet you'll be happy you did!

INNA KUZNETSOVA

I can't imagine my life without dancing. I have danced since I was 5. I had 8 years of ballet, 3 years of ballroom and Latina, and 3 years of jazz. However, my biggest passion is Middle Eastern Dancing (Belly dancing). I studied belly dancing in Egypt, Russia and Turkey. There is nothing more exciting for me than dancing to Arabic beat. My students are a lot of fun and I enjoy teaching at AFC!

JACK WILKES

I came to yoga from injury and soon realized the benefits keep me centered in mind, body, and beyond in daily life. Sharing the attributes of a practice has been a natural fulfillment over the last decade of teaching. I have 500 RYT in Freestyle yoga with more than 1000 hours toward my EYT certification with Yoga Alliance, and an additional 160 hours in Yoga Wellness. I have taught for several years in a hot yoga studio incorporating Bikram, Barkan, and Ashtanga methods of Yoga.

JENNIFER GENTILE

I earned my RYT200 in 2015, and became certified in Trauma Informed Yoga Therapy in 2018. I like to keep my classes lighthearted, relaxing, and encouraging for everyone. If you can breathe, you can do yoga.

JENNIFER SAMUELS

Being active has always been a big part of my life and I love sharing my passion of fitness with others to help them live their healthiest lives. Group fitness is one of my favorite ways to work out - the group atmosphere not only motivates but creates camaraderie as well! Staying active is not only a great endorphins boost, but helps me keep up with my two kids!

JODY GATEWOOD

Physical well-being is an important part of overall personal well-being. When you make your physical health a priority, you are making yourself a priority, and that is important. As a group fitness instructor, I look forward to being part of your journey to making you your best self!

JOEL GESKE

Yoga has transformed my life! It brings mind and body together to provide calm relaxation with flexibility and fitness. I love teaching and sharing my yoga experience.

JOHN TAYLOR

Excited to teach anyone willing to take my yoga classes. I teach Power Yoga, which many sound intimidating, but it really is just matching breath to movement. Although it is a little faster pace than other yoga classes, it is still open to people of all levels. I always like to help people find a way to really express themselves through their practice and I will do all that I can to help you find an expression of a pose that serves you the best. Thank you all for taking time to understand my practice and my teaching.

JORDAN PLANTE

I am a dietetic student in my senior year at ISU. My love for a healthy lifestyle includes both nutritious food and any form of working out from running and lifting to group fitness classes and hiking. I try to push myself and have fun in everything I do and can't wait to motivate you to do the same in class!

JULIE SCHUSTER

My goal is to encourage each participant to improve their level of fitness, push their limits, and enjoy themselves during their exercise journey.

KAREN PAXTON

I believe our bodies are a gift and I know that everything in my life goes better when I take good care of mine. I want everyone who comes to ARFC to feel like they belong and that they can find what they need. I love teaching Aqua Fitness and Zumba Fitness because the classes are filled with variety; give safe full-body workouts and the moves can be adapted for any fitness level. Whether you are experienced or a complete beginner you are welcome. Come join me and I will do whatever I can to help you have fun while getting a great workout!

KATHY VINCE

As a registered nurse I have always enjoyed helping others. For 19 years now I have helped participants and clients by teaching yoga, group and pole fitness as well as personal training them. I help them to reach their fitness and wellness goals in a fun and safe way.

KELLI ROSE BROWN

Fitness is a key ingredient to a healthy lifestyle; group fitness is a great way to incorporate fitness into a schedule and enjoy the energy level and motivation it brings.

KIRSTEN FETT

I consider myself a late comer to the fitness world, but once I started I was infected for life. Fitness is my addiction. My form of therapy. I've relied on fitness to get me through the character building moments in life. After two major injuries, I came back stronger than ever using the trust of my surgeon and Group Power as my main form of physical therapy. Now, I get the opportunity to share my enthusiasm for the program with others.

KRIS JURIK

I teach aqua fitness classes. I think it is a wonderful exercise for any age and for all abilities. Aqua classes can encompass a well balanced work out that includes aerobics, strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility. The social aspect is also a big plus. I have always loved being in the water and it is fun to have classes in the water.

KRISTINE SNYDER

Fitness is not something that people have to be great at; it is something everyone can work towards. I love the fact that group fitness classes may have a triathlete participating next to someone that is a beginner. My goal as an instructor is to help those at all fitness levels reach their goals. Being fit is a way of life and by sharing my knowledge and passion with others I can help them feel stronger both mentally and physically which is such a rewarding feeling.

LEIGH ELSBERRY

I have participated in sports most of my life and was used to being in a gym. But after having 3 kids it became more of a challenge to get to the gym. I found that I need to keep it in my schedule to make sure I save that time for myself. I enjoy weight lifting in Group Power, spinning in Group Ride and now teaching Group Active. The group atmosphere promotes accountability, building friendships, steady improvement and goal setting. I like the fact that I can now help others to achieve their fitness goals as well as having fun while doing it.

MACKENZIE CAHILL

My journey as a group fitness instructor began while I was in dental school as it was an enjoyable and rewarding escape from the stresses of school. It didn't take long for me to realize that teaching group fitness wasn't just a temporary hobby; it was an innate lifelong passion of mine. I love sharing my enthusiasm for health and group fitness with individuals of all fitness levels. The energy in the room is contagious. Each class is invigorating and inspiring as we bounce that energy off each person, allowing us to take fitness to levels which would be difficult to accomplish alone.

MEGAN MYERS

I find group fitness classes to not only be a great workout, but a great way to connect to a community and to empower oneself. I am so excited to help introduce War - a cardio kickboxing class - to AFC! After playing basketball in college, I found group fitness to be a great outlet and I am passionate as an instructor about keeping the energy level high and helping participants to meet, and push beyond, their fitness goals. When I'm not at the gym or outside running, I am teaching language classes or playing with my two-year old!

MEGAN WOODBECK

Exercise has always been very important to me, every since high school athletics. I am a Registered Nurse who loves to teach the benefits of exercise and health on the body.

MICHELLE FLATTERY

I feel so blessed to help people with exercise. There are so many different ways to get exercise as a part of your routine. I would love to have you in my yoga classes. If you try my class and don't care for that type of exercise....lucky you have SO MANY classes to choose from! You should be able to find one that fits you!. Having cancer this pass year made me realize what exercise is all about.....staying healthy and having your body ready to fight if something should come your way. Luckily I exercised regularly before and it helped me with my battle and I WON! You can do it...never give up!

MONIC BEHNKEN

After decades of living with back pain I decided that I didn't want to spend one more day of my life in pain, so I started working out. I was invited to a Cardio Dance class and was instantly hooked. Sometimes people say they can't come to Cardio Dance because they can't dance. I respond, “All you need to do is come to have fun. I'll do the rest.” See you on the dance floor!

NATICA BOLAND

My bike has always been my happy place; discovering Group Ride and the cycling classes at AFC helped fulfill my everyday need of adding more saddle time. Every day I train makes the rest of the day so much brighter and more fulfilled. Being able to share my passion as an instructor makes cycling all the more sweet and fulfilling. Hope to see you all in a class or two!

NICKI STRABALA

I have a background in teaching martial arts and related fitness classes. I joined AFC to get back in shape after kids and becoming inactive. I never wanted to miss the fun classes and the chance to hang out with great people! That consistency helped me reach my fitness goals. I became certified to teach Zumba because I enjoy it so much. Anyone can do Zumba, the coordination will come if you just move and have fun!

KATIE COOLEY

For the past decade I have focused on advancing my career as an emergency veterinarian, but I have finally decided to branch out and extend my love of teaching and fitness into something more! Group fitness is a great way to release stress and keep your workouts exciting! I hope I can help bring this joy to others, too!

REBECCA HARKEN

I am passionate about empowering people to take control of their health and to help them learn to love the process. Teaching group fitness is one of my favorite ways to do that. No matter how I feel before teaching a class, I always come out feeling better than when I started. I have experience teaching a variety of classes, including Pilates, cycling, and strength, and I love them all. After seeing the positive changes that taking care of my body has made in my life, I am excited to share my passion with others to help them find ways to move their body that they enjoy and that make them feel good!

RYAN TRUE

Self-care is a crucial behavior to be mastered throughout life. Serving our needs day-to-day (making time for and commitments to ourselves), while juggling our stressors and responsibilities isn't always easy. Movement is a fundamental form of self-care, which is directly linked to our quality of life, both now and in the future. My intention as a health & wellness professional is to make movement easy, stress-free, and as enjoyable as possible so that you may reap the many benefits of movement for years to come. That is why I teach and that's what I hope to do for you.

ROCHELLE DOTAS

As a full time graduate student battling the pressure and stress of school and everyday life, I have experienced for myself both the positive physical and mental impacts fitness has made on my life and I am grateful to have the opportunity to share that with others. It truly brings a smile to my face knowing I am able to encourage, motivate, and inspire you to challenge yourself and promote personal growth wherever you are at in life!

STACEY HENSLEY

My husband Doug and I have two girls and recently relocated to Nevada, Iowa from Illinois. I love group fitness and have been teaching almost 10 years. I really enjoy getting to know others in class and working out with them.

SIMONE PETERSON

I was raised by parents who were movers. They steadily did things as they needed to get done. As I've gotten older, I've realized that has also kept them healthy. So, for me movement is good and necessary, and my favorite is dance. I've been dancing, according to my mom, since I could sit up in a high-chair, and I plan to do it forever.

TESS TAINTOR

I'm SO thankful to be able to MOVE my body! I've had seasons of life, due to injury, of very limited physical activity. Lesson learned: life is lived SO MUCH better when I am moving. And: I can't do this life without people. So, how about we workout together?

RACHEL BRITTEN

I have always had a huge passion for sports and fitness. I love working out with others because it's extremely motivating and challenging. Now, I can be your instructor and help you bring out a new passion, a new challenge or a new motivation deep inside you. It's time for you to feel lots of freedom and fun from fitness!

MARY LYNCH

I began practicing yoga as a means to stretch and diversify my workouts. I soon felt the beneficial aspects of the physical, mental and spiritual connections. Yoga has been and continues to be an important centering part of my life. In 2018, I completed my 200 RYT at Tapas Yoga Shala. I am grateful to guide you in your yoga practice.

ALISA WOODWARD

Fitness is my fuel for the energy I need to be the best wife, mom of 4, and friend I can be! Helping others look and feel their best has always been a passion of mine. Group fitness is a way for me to share this passion and an opportunity to help others to be healthy too! All while keeping myself motivated along the way.

ELLY ROCHFORD

My health has always been important to me, but it wasn't until about 3 years ago that I decided to really get a handle on it! So, I changed my eating and started with my first love, running, then moved to everything else, including fitness classes, cycling, yoga, hiking, and anything and everything that involves being around or in nature. So, I know the struggle! I hope my experience can help to unlock your goals and look forward to teaching and sharing my love of being active with you!

HALEY SCHANY

I started teaching group fitness because I am passionate about the many awesome benefits that exercise can give us all. I also am a big believer that the body can do just about anything we want to with the right mindset and motivation, and helping people see that through group fitness is one of my goals.

PAT JACKSON

My fitness journey started when I was 45. That’s when I took my first group fitness class. I had absolutely no prior experience exercising before that. It was exciting, fun and literally changed my life. I found other people who held me accountable and pushed me to be better. I started coaching classes in 2014, everything from cardio to Kickboxing, TRX, Kettlebells and Circuit training. Since then I have run two marathons and multiple half marathons.

GALE SEILER

My commitment to exercise and to Group Power comes from my love of the outdoors. I want to stay fit, so I can do the activities that I love to do outside in nature. And as an older Group Power instructor, I hope to motivate others to remain active regardless of their age. We are never too old to continue exercising or to start from scratch. So come on; join me!

DEB CLARK

Everybody needs yoga and yoga is for everyone. It helps you grow and become in one or more aspects of your life, be it the physical, mental or spiritual side of you. You can become a better athlete, a better human being, or a more authentic version of yourself. Try a class and see what changes in you. It is an amazing journey of growing upward and inward. I believe it is magic. See if you agree.

JOANNA BEATON

I have been lifting weights since 2012 and love the confidence that comes along with getting stronger. My goal is to empower others and share my love for health and fitness by teaching Group Power!

MEREDITH FRANCOM

I started teaching Zumba in 2013 after moving to France. I loved it from day one. It was a great way to connect with others and find my place in the community. But the best part about group fitness is that it's FUN. I love teaching. I love dancing. I finish every workout with an emotional high that sets the tone for the rest of my day. I look forward to sharing that with you!

MICHAELA THOMPSON

Hi, I'm Michaela! I am a yoga teacher and local musician in Ames. With loving support, we all have the best chance at growth and deeper joy. Yoga has allowed me to meet so many beautiful souls and be involved in a wonderful community. It has helped me listen to my body, allowing it to communicate to me what it needs. In addition to yoga, music has been an important part of my life. Combining meditation, yoga, and song is a powerful experience that I'd love to share. I look forward to meeting each and every one of you. Namaste!

SARA KLUTE BEHN

I have been a group instructor for 10 years with a passion for overall health, physical fitness, and a special love for yoga. I am currently completing a Master's in Yoga Therapy at Maryland University of Integrative Health. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as an instructor and share the practice with the Ames Fitness Center community.