DANIELLE MERRILL - Studio Owner / Ballroom Dance Instructor
Danielle began dancing at the age of three in her hometown, Norwich New York, under former Broadway Performer Bernie Windsor. She began Tap Dancing only a few years later and fell in love with rhythm. She tapped and competed over the course of the following ten years.
After attending Cazenovia College and receiving a degree in Communications, she began her professional Dance career with the Fred Astaire Franchise. Danielle now instructs Ballroom, which includes a large array of dances, rhythms, and stylings from all over the world including:
Foxtrot, Rumba, Waltz, Tango, Swing, Cha Cha Cha, Samba, Quickstep, Meringue, Viennese Waltz
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KASSANDRA BAGGS: Dance Instructor
Kassie, a native of Boston Massachusetts, is a dance teacher and performing artist, who holds a Bachelors of Science in Dance from SUNY College at Brockport. From a young age she took interest in the art of dance and began studying Ballet at a local Gymnastics Center. She continued to pursue her passion in dance and, while in high school, studied Jazz at the Rochester Academy of Performing Arts, and took several modern dance classes at the Park Avenue Repertoire Dance Company. As a senior in high school, she taught a semester-long Hip-Hop/Jazz class to fellow students in fulfillment of her senior project requirement.
While in undergraduate at SUNY College at Brockport, Kassie majored in dance studying a wide variety of dance genres and discovered a love and passion for Contemporary Dance and African Caribbean Movement. As a college student, she was an active member of the Menzeko Dance Company, directed by Patrice Ann Mead.
After graduating, she attended Garth Fagan Dance, for several years, as a scholarship student and received extensive training in Fagan Technique. Kassie also holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from the Greater Rochester Collaborative MSW Program. Having experience working with youth for over 12 years in conjunction with the Rochester City School District, she has a passion for young people and a strong desire to see them succeed. Kassie taught Dance Fusion for a local youth development organization in February of 2009 and, during the fall of 2012.
Kassie’s most recent accomplishment was the design and implementation of a dance curriculum for the Young Women’s College Prep School, where she taught Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary Dance, and African Caribbean Movement from August 2012-February 2013. Kassie also has a love for the dance ministry, where she ministers the gift of dance through praise and worship.
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LAURYN BATES - Zumba Instructor
Lauryn has been a Zumba instructor for about four years, and absolutely loves it! She took her first Zumba class in her hometown of Weedsport, NY and was immediately hooked. As a lifelong dancer, becoming a Zumba instructor seemed to be a perfect fit. Lauryn studied dance at the New York Institute of Dance and Education, and was later a choreographer for the Roberts Wesleyan College dance ministry teams. She is also involved in various musical theater productions in the Rochester area.
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MARISSA BLAND - Yoga Instructor
Marissa found yoga during college 4 years ago as a self-taught yogi. During this time she became involved with Yogis In Service, a non-profit organization that brings yoga to communities that have little or no access. She has taught ages 2 to 85 years on Buffalo's East Side every weekend for over a year and a half with Yogis In Service, and has watched yoga transform the lives of the individuals she gratefully serves. Marissa has taught children's yoga for at-risk populations, and is trained in trauma-sensitive yoga. She went on to graduate Grad school as a licensed and registered occupational therapist. She currently lives in Rochester, and works as an early intervention pediatric therapist for ages birth to 4 years on the west side. She specializes in sensory processing disorders, and incorporates sensory yoga into every therapy session. Marissa enjoys teaching whenever and wherever she can- from donation-based park yoga, to helping host hundreds at yoga special events. Marissa is beyond grateful to join the Nu Movement family and is so looking forward to meeting you and your little ones.
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KIMBERLY BURNS - Yoga Instructor
Kimberly Burns is Certified Yoga Instructor with roots in both Baptiste style Vinyasa and Bikram yoga. She is also currently furthering her studies to complete her 500 hour certification.
When Kimberly is not practicing or teaching yoga she works as a full time Interpreter for the Deaf. Kimberly became a yoga instructor after realizing that yoga was the transformative and healing power that allowed her to overcome emotional trauma. “Finding yoga was a gift, one that I would love to be able to give back to the universe. I love helping others find and recognize their mind body connection. It is amazing to watch others become empowered as they find their intention in this life. It is truly a beautiful experience to be
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KELSEY CRETEKOS - RYT
I have been an active yogi for five years and have been practicing for more than seven, but it wasn't until my third year that I began to understand the magic of yoga and put it into my daily routine. I am a 200 RYT through Breathe Yoga in Pittsford, a Baptiste affiliate school. I have also spent a weekend immersed with Bryan Kest, who is recognized as a creator of power yoga. I was a dancer (tap, jazz, ballet) for 13 years and have competed around various places on the East Coast. I am a Reiki Practitioner, Crystal Healer, and Hula Hoop Instructor. I also have experience teaching barre, Pilates, and spin classes.
It is my joy to bring Power Yoga to the community and help others learn the connection of linking breathing and movement, one breath at a time. I hold such dear love for yoga and plan on spreading it to whomever is open for interest. I like to keep my classes fun and focused. Through flowing, freedom, heat, and strength, these classes allow you release what is no longer serving you. Your 'stress' and 'worries', whatever may be, are no longer needed when your mind, body and spirit are in alignment. You will leave feeling surprisingly relaxed (after moving and sweating) and the rest of your day will glide along perfectly when you are n'sync with what is going on around you. "Energy flows, where attention goes." ~James Redfield
HEATHER FARQUHAR - Barre Fitness & Dance Instructor
Heather Farquhar found her love for dance at age two when she participated in her first ballet class, and since has developed into a passionate and accomplished dancer, performer and teacher. With more than twenty years of training and performance experience, she has studied many different styles of dance including Ballet, Tap, Modern (Graham and Limon technique), Highland, Jazz, Burlesque, Hip Hop, Acro, Lyrical and Contemporary. Heather received Honours on her Intermediate R.A.D ballet examination and completed her B.A.T.D Teachers Associates in Dance and is a NCCP Level 1 gymnastics coach. She also attended the National Ballet School of Canada Summer School Program. Heather opened and operated her own dance school for multiple years in Chatham, Ontario to students ranging in ages from 3 to 16, offering a variety of styles.
Heather attended York University in Toronto and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with Honours majoring in ballet and modern. She danced extensively in different dance companies in Toronto giving her an abundance of opportunities to perform in various industry events, music videos, commercials, on Much Music television and many corporate events throughout the city. She also was part of the performance team selected to travel to Dubai to dance in a month long festival.
She was a member of the Toronto Rock Cheerleading Team from 2014-2016, performing at all homes games in front of crowds of 10,000 plus. She also worked as one of the teams choreographers.
Heather is also certified personal trainer and a Level one Pilates Mat instructor.
Heather has recently made the move to Rochester, NY and is excited to start her teaching career at Nu Movement.
NICOLE GILBERT - Yoga Teacher
Since the first day I took a yoga class, I became excited about the idea of teaching yoga. I love teaching and inspiring people to find their best and fullest potential. I believe in the power of teaching and learning. For over fifteen years I coached ski racing as a certified alpine race coach, I teach online classes as an adjunct teacher and train student employees working in university dining. I received a MS degree in Instructional Technology and MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology. As a recent graduate of Yoga Teacher Training with Breathe studio and a registered 200-hour yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance, I look forward to guiding you in your yoga practice.
I have practiced yoga for over ten years now, starting my practice to alleviate back issues. Through regular practice, I found that yoga not only helps my back feel better, but also creates space for me to consciously listen to what makes “me me” in a deeper way. I realize yoga is not just an activity, but also a way of life. As I continue to benefit from my yoga, I am increasingly passionate about sharing my experience and knowledge. What I love about yoga, it’s accessible to everyone looking for balance in their life and connection with their body, through intentional work one breath at a time.
MELANIE JONES: AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor
Melanie Jones is an AFAA certified group fitness instructor. She has been teaching The Masala Bhangra Workout©, Zumba©, Kettlebell AMPD© and other fitness formats for kids and adults of all ages and stages. Her biggest joy within the safe supportive space of her class are her participants from all walks of life challenge themselves together and hone their own flair. She splits her time during the day working with older kids and adults at Monroe Community College and also is the Director of Arts and Enrichment with a local outreach agency. When not teaching classes, Melanie enjoys bird watching, ethnic studies, art house films, oil-painting, drawing, writing, reading, and appreciating music of all sorts.
LINDA BAYER LAWRENCE - Yoga Instructor
Linda rediscovered yoga 5 years ago and has been a devoted yogi ever since. An artist and art educator, Linda chose yoga for its physical benefits but mostly as a way to bring peace, calm and mindfulness into her busy life. She also uses yoga in her artistic pursuits as a method of opening to creative possibilities. The mind, body and spiritual connection that yoga offers is similar to the art making experience.
Linda completed her 200hr certification in 2016 followed by a certification in teaching yoga to children. She also became certified in Hikyoga in July under Nicole Kasimer. This summer Linda has taught yoga classes outdoors at I-Square in Irondequoit and hosts Hikyoga events around Rochester. Linda is excited to be part of the Numovement community and looks forward to leading you in a sweet vinyasa flow class linking breath and movement.
In addition to teaching and practicing yoga, Linda is an art educator in the Greece Central School District to k-5th grade students. She sells her glass beads & jewelry at galleries, boutiques and festivals in New York and elsewhere.
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MEGAN LORIA - RYT
My journey in the holistic arts has evolved over the years, rooted in healing touch as a licensed esthetician. My passion for health, wellness and living the best life imaginable naturally evokes the same in others.
I completed my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training at the Marianne Wells Yoga School, a Yoga Alliance Registered school, in Costa Rica.
It was an honor to learn from Marianne, a teacher so deeply rooted in traditional Yoga. As a student of B.K.S. Iyengar, real, authentic yoga with the emphasis on spirituality was the focus of my training.
I was at crossroads in my life when I decided to immerse myself in the yogi lifestyle. The weeks I spent in the Jungles of Costa Rica changed the trajectory of my life forever. What I thought would be adventure for myself evolved into my soul’s purpose on this earth. Sharing authentic yoga and the teachings of the past with my community is my passion.
In my classes, you will experience Yoga as it was meant to be. Non-judgmental and perfect for both beginners and the most advanced practioners.
"Yoga does not just change the way we see things, It transforms the person who sees”
LESLIE MACDONALD, MSC., RAD-TC, Certified Pilates Matwork Instructor
Leslie started her long life in dance in 1967 at the age of 5 at the National Ballet School in Toronto, Ontario on Saturday mornings, then studied as a teenager at the Lois Smith School of Dance, and in the George Brown College dance program in Toronto. After extensive training as an adult under Patricia McLeod and Linda Godwin at the Royal City School of Dance in Guelph, Ontario, she passed the required executant exams then successfully undertook the Teaching Certification examination of the Royal Academy of Dancing, passing with honours. More than 10 years of teaching students of every age followed. Her Pilates teacher training began soon after at Pilates in Guelph, with certification as a Mat Specialist completed at Body Harmonics in Toronto. Studies at Dance Theatre David Earle in Guelph sparked a strong interest in modern dance, and a deep respect for mature dancers in general, and for Martha Graham in particular. After moving to Rochester in 2009 she was privileged to have studied with and taught for Christine Fendley of the Park Avenue Dance company, and recently for Elizabeth Clarke.
She has also worked with students of trumpet at the Eastman School of Music and at brass player’s symposia, applying the principals of Pilates for improved breathing, posture and increased confidence while performing. In the fall of 2016, retiring after a 30 year career in biological sciences research, Leslie is now focused full time on exploring teaching opportunities working with dancers, musicians and athletes and playing a lot more trumpet in local orchestras and small ensembles. After an intensive 100 hour Pilates retraining and recertification program with Body Harmonics in Toronto in the fall of 2016 Leslie is delighted to be a member of Nu Movement and the possibilities it offers for teachers and students alike.
AMY MANGIERI: AFA Certified Group Fitness Instructor
Amy Mangieri is an AFAA certified group exercise fitness instructor. She has been teaching Zumba©, Kettlebell AMPD©, The Masala Bhangra Workout© and other fitness formats for people of all ages and fitness levels for over two decades. Her favorite thing about teaching group exercise classes is seeing the participants smiling and laughing, having fun together, while at the same time improving their fitness capabilities and goals for healthy living. Being employed by a local corporation keeps Amy’s attention during the weekdays. However, during leisure time and when not teaching a fitness class, she enjoys attending dance, music and art related events with friends and family.
RAPHAELA McCORMACK: Qigong Instructor
I grew up in the West of Ireland and I come from a family of three generations of physicians and surgeons, so of course Western Medicine was integral part of my early life. I have always known deep within me that there had to be more to health and wellness than just the Western approach, and so my long journey began towards a more holistic practice. Becoming a vegetarian and studying T'ai Chi in my early twenties, eventually led me to discover Qi Gong.
In 2001 I began my studies in Qi Gong and immediately knew I had found my passion and what to me, was a way to bring health and wellness to the body AND mind. It gives me great joy to share what I know and what I have learnt. When I am not giving Qi Gong treatments and teaching T'ai Chi and Qi Gong, I am in my art studio. I am a sculptor, making vessels from abaca fibre and mixed medium. I have exhibited my art work both nationally and internationally. Isee a deep connection and balance between Qi Gong and art. In my life they bring me joy and keep me in a more balanced state of mind and body. I believe life is a journey filled with many lessons to be learned along the way and we are given opportunities to embrace these teachings if we quiet the mind and open our hearts.
I am a certified Qi Gong Therapist, completing studies with Master Lisa B. O'Shea, at the Qi Gong Institute in Rochester NY, in 2004 and with Master Robert Peng, at the Elixer of Light Healing School of Qi Gong, in 2008. I have been a student of Qi Gong since 2001, and practicing as a therapist and teacher in the greater Rochester area since 2004. I have given talks and workshops on the benefits of Qi Gong and works with cancer survivors on a regular basis. I look forward to sharing the benefits of a regular Qi Gong practice with you!
DANIELLE RINALLO - Yoga & Dance Teacher
Danielle fell in love with yoga in California, where she had moved for a corporate job at age 22. After climbing the corporate ladder, Danielle found herself less than satisfied and questioning what might make her feel more fulfilled. Since then, yoga has become a deep source of inspiration and guidance in her life, and she derives such joy and purpose from sharing and coaching other’s in the practice. Danielle is known for her compassionate and engaging teaching style; she is committed to creating a safe space for any student to roll out their mat and explore the benefits of the practice. She’ll meet you “where you are” on your personal journey, and whether you’re interested in the physical, mental, or spiritual benefits, you are welcome in her class.
Her teaching style emphasizes deep, mindful breathing and incorporates fun, challenging sequencing. Her intention is to teach practical and inspiring classes that support students in their overall wellness, fulfillment and satisfaction in their lives. Danielle is also passionate about mentoring current and aspiring yoga teachers, supporting them as they bring about their “purpose-full” work in the world.
Yoga Alliance Designations Include: 200hr E-RYT (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) and YACEP (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider)
When Danielle isn’t practicing or teaching yoga, she is dancing, enjoying live music, attending a film or the theater, spending time with family and friends, planning her next travel adventure, or brainstorming some other way to connect fully with life and one another. <3
VESNA SANDERS: Yoga Instructor, Gong Practitioner & Om Chanting Coordinator
Vesna has been a devoted yoga student for over twelve years and part of Nu Movement since almost it’s very beginning! Her yoga practice began with faster (Ashtanga Vinyasa) yoga styles, but she later naturally transitioned into a slower and more alignment-based practice. She became a certified yoga teacher, (CYT) in 2012 through Shakti Yoga in Geneseo, NY. Vesna obtained her Prenatal yoga teacher certification, (CPYT), through Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, MA.
She offers Gong Sound Healing classes and is grateful to have had the legendary Gong master Don Conreaux as her teacher. She is also the only certified OM Chanting Coordinator in Rochester, NY and leads regular OM chanting circles.
Vesna’s teaching style is intuitive but precise, caring and non-judgmental, and her focus in always in creating more awareness – in our practice and in our lives. Her goal as a yoga teacher is to help students find their own inner truth, and to awaken to inherent possibilities they may not be aware of.
Vesna has taught yoga in both Europe and the US, and currently lives in Rochester, NY with her husband Paul and their six-year-old son Teo Levi. In addition to Hatha yoga, she is a devoted Atma Kriya Yoga practitioner and she enjoys photography (www.vesnasanders.com), walks in nature and, of course, a good book.
LIZA SAVAGE-KATZ - Yoga Instructor
Liza (pronounced Leeza) Savage-Katz has been teaching yoga and fitness at premiere health clubs, fitness studios, retreats, corporations and privately since 2002. She has taught yoga in Los Angles, London, Thailand, and New York, designing unique programs for each individual. Her students range in age from 2 to 92 (literally). She has worked with professional athletes as well as children and adults with special needs and those recovering from addiction. Liza transforms bodies and lifestyles using her dynamic expertise as well as her infectious, motivational personality. Ms. Savage-Katz’s intention is to support everyone that enters her life to realize their best selves. She has trained extensively receiving teaching certifications in Kathmandu, Nepal, New York City, Los Angeles, and Rochester.
Liza currently resides in Rochester, New York and is a yoga instructor at Nu Movemnt and the JCC of Greater Rochester. She is a Certified Movement & Mindfulness Curriculum Trainer for Move with Me Yoga Adventures and teaches yoga enrichment at Trinity Montessori as well as facilitating professional development workshops and retreats for teachers.
Ms. Savage-Katz is the founder of a small productions company that produces wellness and fitness content. In 2015, she launched an exhibit call Embrace Every Angle. Embrace Every Angle is a multifaceted project celebrating our origins while encouraging acceptance for ourselves and our ever expanding tribe. It is a community-based collective movement facilitating artistic expression, transforming it into financial support for both the artist and various charitable causes. In addition, its versatile platform promotes personal empowerment, planet sustainability, inclusion, community and collaboration. In addition tothe Embrace Every Angle Exhibit, Liza is also developing a children’s program called Kaleidoscope ME. Kaleidoscope ME is a social and emotional educational series with a fitness component, co-created with Leah Kalish, founder of Move with Me Yoga Adventures. Liza has served as faculty of the Center for Movement Education and Research since 2003 and was the talent and choreographer for their Kid’s Get Movin’ DVD. She is also a wellness coach and fitness expert and has written articles and been featured in Yoga Journal, SELF, Rochester Woman’s Magazine, and Healthy Edge Magazine. She works with DoTerra Essential Oils, and has started a signature essential oils line called LOVE… A Little Goes a Long Way.
Liza has been a competitive rower since 1998, rowing at Sons of the Thames and Tideway Scullers School. She is presently a masters rower and rowing coach. She started rowing while living in London where she was a Senior Art Director in advertising, working on accounts such as Disney, Coca-Cola, Vidal Sassoon and L’Oreal.
Liza’s greatest accomplishment is being a Mother to her son, Zuma. Come join her Monday through Saturday for her Morning Practice at Nu Movement.
ANNE SKIVINGTON-SIMES - Yoga Instructor
Anne Skivington-Simes has been a practitioner of yoga since 2008. Her yoga journey brought her to Bodhi Tree Yoga in Penfield, NY, where she began to learn the importance of getting into poses safely; and continues to learn and explore the philosophy of yoga. In January 2016, she completed Yogafit Warriors Trauma Sensitivity 100 Hour RYT. She completed her 200 RYT teacher training in December 2016 at Shakti Yoga in Geneseo, NY.
Currently, in addition to Nu Movement, Anne teaches yoga sessions at a local Inpatient Chemical Dependency Facility, where she has been working for 22 years. She began teaching weekly classes to the clients in 2015. She has been a practitioner of Tae Kwon Do since the late 1980's, beginning with Genlee's Tae Kwon Do. Anne is excited and honored to be a student at Master Kim's Tae Kwon Do Institute, where she is currently training to earn her 3rd Degree black belt.
ABIGAIL SMITH - Barre Instructor
Starting in college Abbey turned to yoga and barre for a low impact option to fitness after having bilateral knee surgeries. During a period when she lived on Maui, HI, Abbey got her barre certification and has been teaching on and off for over a year. Her teaching style is encouraging, positive, and motivating - always catering to each individual’s level of fitness. Her goal is to help her students feel stronger and more in tune with their bodies and to support their overall physical and mental wellness.
Abbey grew up in Syracuse, NY and has since graduated from RIT with a Bachelor’s of Fine Art in New Media Design. She works as an User Experience designer in Webster, NY. In addition to fitness and design, Abbey is also a freelance photographer.
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BROOKE SOFINOWSKI - RYT
Brooke first discovered yoga at a small studio in Toronto more than a decade ago and dabbled at home with DVDs for several years. After moving to the Rochester area in 2014, she joined a gym and discovered that she could attend as many yoga classes as she wanted to, all the time, every day. Brooke immediately fell in love with the experience of a face-to-face class in a room full of yogis with a real live instructor, and quickly developed a (not sustainable) six-class-per-week yoga habit.
She has been working on embracing balance and moderation, but admits that it's not exactly her forte. A passionate trail- and ultra-runner, Brooke completed her first 100k in 2017, and recently finished three trail ultra-marathons in a span of less than four months. She integrates her yoga practice into her training plans and credits yoga with her ability to cover distances on hilly and technical terrain, recover quickly, and touch her toes even after a long run.
Brooke is a firm believer that a regular yoga practice can enhance all areas of our lives, cultivating self-awareness, deepening personal relationships, developing resilience, mitigating the effects of stress, improving overall health, and preventing injuries. She completed her 200-hour certification at Midtown Athletic Club and taught previously at the Town of Webster Recreation Center. Brooke is beyond excited to share her love of yoga with you in her weekly classes!
TARA SULLIVAN - Jivamukti Yoga Instructor
Tara Sullivan started her professional life as a soprano, and after graduating from Sarah Lawrence College with a Music degree she sang sacred and secular music professionally in and around New York City. Her profound experiences as a student of the Alexander Technique led her to complete the rigorous three-year teacher certification program at the American Center for the Alexander Technique (ACAT) in 1998. She then became a member of the Music faculty at Long Island University's C.W. Post Campus for several years where she taught the Alexander Technique as an integrated part of the Music curriculum. Her nearly twenty years teaching the Alexander Technique include an extensive private practice as well as a host of settings including universities, retreats, and community centers.
Tara has lived and worked in New Zealand, Central America, Woodstock, NY, and most recently Berkeley, CA. She is a graduate of the yoga teacher training at Samadhi Yoga in Sydney (now Jivamukti Yoga Sydney) and the Jivamukti Yoga teacher training at the Omega Institute with Sharon Gannon, David Life, Yogeswari, and Ruth Lauer Manenti. Tara has studied natural vision improvement and the Eyebody Method extensively with Peter Grunwald, including organizing all his work in the United States for over a decade, as well as responsibility for his English language printed and recorded matter, and editing both editions of his book, Eyebody - the Art of Integrating Eye, Brain and Body (2008).
While the Alexander Technique has always been her touchstone, Tara taught yoga extensively in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the yoga philosophy portion of Square One Yoga's teacher training program. She brings her love of Jivamukti's rigor, beauty, musicality and depth to not only her Jivamukti classes but also pre- and post-natal, corporate, and most recently gentle yoga classes. Nearly 10 years of daily home practice have yielded experiences that are her motivation to share the teachings with others.
Above all, Tara is grateful to have had amazing and generous teachers in her life, without whom she would be lost. Among these are Ruth Golden, Daniel Singer, Sandhi Ferreira, Sharon Gannon and David Life, as well as the work of Paul Watson and the music of Mark Deutsch. She is solo mother to a young feral boy, who she is raising vegan, anti-speciesist and punk rock.