Group Fitness Instructors

Interested In Becoming an Instructor?

Antonio Brito

Antonio Brito

Antonio is the Fitness and Wellness Program Assistant at Aztec Recreation. After receiving his degree in Kinesiology from SDSU, Antonio has worked in multiple aspects of the fitness industry all around San Diego and has earned multiple certifications from National Strength and Conditioing Association, National Academy of Sports Medicine, and USA Weightlifting. Antonio specializes in functional training, performance enhancement, and Olympic Weightlifting he is currently a personal trainer at the YMCA Tobey Wells and pursuing his Masters in Kinesiology at Point Loma Nazarene University. Antonio is a firm believer in what does not challenge it will not change you.

Bethany Mendenhall

Bethany Mendenhall

Bethany is a native San Diegan and undergraduate student at SDSU majoring in psychology. Her love of fitness stems from a place of self-love and she firmly believes that one of the best ways to take care of yourself is to keep both your body and mind active and healthy. One of her main goals is to help people feel good about themselves just as they are. When you come to class, you can expect mood-boosting motivation and a great workout. When she’s not teaching group fitness at the ARC, you can find her hanging out at a local coffee shop or farmers’ market.

Bob Mueller

Bob Mueller

Hello, my name is Bob Mueller. I'm a retired Naval Officer who has been an avid road cyclist for over 30 years. I don’t race, but enjoy long day rides in our local mountains. I’m a Sierra Club, Chapter Outings Leader for the Bicycle Section and lead regular rides of 40 to 100 miles for the Club. I have also lead organized bicycle tours in Colorado, Washington State’s San Juan Islands and Olympic Penninsula, Vermont and New York. If you want to develop muscles and form to cycle long and strong, check out my class and take a spin.

Brandon Rhodes

Brandon Rhodes

With a lifelong interest in sports and fitness, Brandon’s wellness journey began at a young age. Growing up in the suburbs  of Chicago, Brandon transferred to SDSU to study Sociology. Finding a passion to help people, Brandon began teaching youth PE and sports through the YMCA after graduating. Upon furthering his education in health and fitness, he began a career in teaching and helping others achieve their own goals and helping them be the best version of themselves, all while having fun!

Brittney Conroy

Brittney Conroy

Brittney is a Psychology major at San Diego State University and working towards a future career in counseling. She believes in the importance of maintaining a healthy balance between mental and physical wellness. As a group fitness instructor, Brittney  seeks to provide a welcoming environment that encourages participants to embrace their individual goals! Her favorite form of fitness is Crossfit because it has challenging workouts that incorporate the values of comradery, perseverance, and enthusiasm. Brittney strives to replicate this same positivity throughout all of her fitness encounters!

Cali Tolbert

Cali Tolbert

Cali is the Fitness and Wellness Coordinator for Aztec Recreation. She began teaching group exercise classes during her time in college at James Madison University and graduated in 2013 with a degree in Kinesiology, Exercise Science. She is a certified AFAA Primary Group Fitness Instructor as well as an ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist. Her favorite formats to teach include yoga, dance, TRX, and cycle but she enjoys teaching just about any format. One of her strongest beliefs is to make your heart happy which includes, but is not limited to, your physical well-being. When she is not helping and motivating others achieve their fitness goals, you can find Cali with her dog, Brodie, at the beach, trail running, or hiking!

Cameron  Vinoskey

Cameron Vinoskey

Cameron is a graduate of UC Davis, and is now in the Dual Master’s program for Exercise Physiology and Nutritional Sciences here at SDSU. Her whole life has been a process of picking up new activities to try, including soccer, karate, diving, color guard, aerial acrobatics, and dance. She earned her ACE group fitness instructor certification in 2015 and is constantly looking for new formats of exercise to bring to her classes. A strong advocate of proper form and consistency, Cameron focuses on the purpose of movement to create fresh and interesting classes that will help with everyday function. She believes there is something for everyone in the exercise world, and hopes to help people find what they love to stay healthy for life!

Chris Czarnecki

Chris Czarnecki

Christopher is a San Diego born athlete, and Aztec Alum. Upon graduating with a degree in Psychology, he became a certified yoga teacher through San Diego State University’s first Yoga Teacher Training. After 10 years of weight training and collision sports, Christopher found introspection, peace, discipline, and new kind of strength enhancement within yoga. Coming upon his 5th year of practice, his curiosity and persistence for improvement continues to refine his flow. Catch him practicing frequently and substituting for the variety of classes we have to offer at the ARC!

Cindy Fifield

Cindy Fifield

Cindy is a San Diego native and an SDSU alumnus, where she earned her BA in Communication. Her love for sports and fitness began at the young age of five and continued to play sports every year thereafter upon high school graduation. She went through the same question every young athlete goes through; how do I stay active and fit now? Luckily, as a freshman at a SDSU she discovered yoga at the ARC in 2011. She loved how yoga transformed her body mind and spirit and wanted to share this beautiful practice with others. One month after graduating SDSU, she received her 200hr Yoga Teacher Training certification in 2015 and recently completed her 500hr certification in April 2018, both at Prana Yoga Center in La Jolla, CA. Cindy is excited and honored to be back at her alma mater, where her love for yoga began and hopes to inspire her students the same way she was inspired after her first yoga class.

Daniel Dominguez

Daniel Dominguez

Born and raised in Argentina, Daniel came to San Diego in 1997 to work as a Ph.D. doing research in the SDSU Psychology Department. He became an ARC member as soon as the gym opened and started practicing yoga regularly in 1999. Along the years, Daniel participated in yoga classes and yoga retreats with many wonderful instructors at the ARC, learning different styles of yoga. He obtained his yoga teacher certification in CorePower Yoga, in 2008. Around the same time he graduated from IPSB as a Holistic Health Practitioner and Massage Therapist. Since then, Daniel has been teaching yoga and doing bodywork in different institutions around San Diego and South America. In 2011, Daniel completed a SUPcore certification as a Stand Up Paddle (SUP) and SUP Yoga instructor through Surftech SUP Academy (SSUPA) and has been teaching SUP and SUP Yoga at Mission Bay Aquatic Center ever since. Daniel’s passion for Nature and traveling has brought him to teach yoga (volunteer work) and practice SUP in the Amazon (Peru), experience he plans to repeat annually before visiting family and friends in Argentina.

Erica Macht

Erica Macht

Erica has been teaching group fitness classes since 1996 (and started teaching at Aztec Recreation in 2002!) and still loves teaching as much as she did when she first started. She grew up in Connecticut and earned her Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science from Springfield College in Massachusetts (Class of 1999). She holds several different fitness certifications, but enjoys teaching spin, total strength and Pilates the most. Currently, in addition to teaching fitness classes, Erica is a volunteer coordinator for a local non-profit that works with adults with developmental disabilities. In her free time, Erica enjoys spending time with her 10-year old daughter, being outside hiking and camping, and watching NASCAR as well as cheering on her New England Patriots.

Flo Pierce

Flo Pierce

Flo is a lifelong teacher – from Middle School to the University, and from Active Adults to Law Enforcement Officers. At the ARC, she teaches Pilates and Barre Blast, emphasizing precision and posture. Flo holds certifications from ACE and ACSM with specialties in Pilates, Cycling, Yoga, PIYO, Barre, Gravity, and Aquatics. She would love to see you in one of her classes!

Grace Gama

Grace Gama

Grace is the Fitness and Wellness Program Assistant at the Aztec Recreation Center. She graduated from SDSU with her Bachelors in Foods and Nutritional Sciences and is currently working towards her Masters in Integrative Wellness at Point Loma Nazarene University. Grace has remained active in many sports such as dance, cheer, triathlon and climbing. She believes that group fitness is a fun way to stay active as well as an opportunity to connect with like-minded fitness friends. During her free time she enjoys hanging out with friends, eating good food and having good laughs. As an instructor, she aspires to be a good role model, as well as a friend, to her students looking to stay active and healthy throughout their college careers.

Jo-Ann Humphus

Jo-Ann Humphus

Jo-Ann is an SDSU alumnus, and earned her BA in Psychology. She has been a regular at Aztec Recreation since its opening and has been serious about her physical activity ever since. After taking almost all of the classes Aztec Recreation had to offer, Spinning® was the one exercise she couldn’t get enough of. Jo-Ann is a level 3 Mad Dogg Athletics Spin® Certified Instructor, holds an AFAA certification in Primary Group Fitness, and is also trained as a R.I.P.P.E.D and CoreBar instructor. She has been teaching Spinning® at Aztec Recreation since 2006, and uses rock and roll-based music for a fast-paced exhilarating ride, focusing on building endurance. Jo-Ann also teaches Circuit Challenge, a high intensity class guaranteed to push your limits. Jo-Ann really enjoys the physical and emotional benefits from teaching. "Having newcomers return, and become regulars is one of the greatest rewards I can receive. It’s a great cardio workout, and a wonderful way to start the day."

Kashmone Hamilton

Kashmone Hamilton

Kashmone Hamilton graduated with her Masters in Public Health in 2014 from San Jose State University. She began her fitness journey by practicing and performing dance. Kashmone began taking U-Jam fitness class in 2010. She received her certification in U-Jam Fitness in 2014 in San Diego CA. She is also a certified AFAA Group Fitness Instructor. Kashmone’s passion for dance and making fitness fun and engaging is the driving force as an instructor.

Katherine Sasseen

Katherine Sasseen

As a professional massage therapist and dancer, Katherine found yoga a fairly natural path of continuing education. She took her first class in 1995 and loved how it made her feel. The fact that yoga is good for people is a bonus. Katherine has been learning and practicing various styles of yoga ever since and began teaching in 1998, having apprenticed in the Vinyasa Style of White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara, CA. Katherine enjoys helping people find their own way in Yoga, helping bodies and minds to expand and heal and feels blessed to guide her students o discover the fruits of a regular practice. Katherine says she never stops marveling at the gifts Yoga brings. Katherine has been in the Healing Arts for 18 years as a Certified Massage Therapist, Yoga Instructor & Therapist, and Healing Herbal Practitioner. Namaste.

Visit Katherine’s You Tube Channel for yoga and pranayama videos.

Keith van der Walde

Keith van der Walde

Keith is a passionate athlete and is involved in activities as diverse as cycling, tennis, yoga, running, boxing, weight lifting and swimming. Always in search of the hardest and most efficient and strategic workout, Keith discovered Yoga Sculpt in 2013 and was immediately hooked. Blending weights with yoga postures, this class is every bit as fun as it is challenging, offering the full-body benefits of yoga, coupled with the metabolism boost and conditioning benefits of exercises that hit major functional muscle groups, enhance flexibility, tone, balance, and build core strength. Convinced that there is little better way to spend an hour each day, Keith regularly practices Yoga Sculpt and enjoys nothing more than providing the experience for others. By introducing themes in class that inspire and elevate his students, Keith provides an immersive environment that facilitates growth and reinforces the magnificent potential of each participant. Keith is an aerospace engineer and artist who has started a company around his inventions and believes there is no limit to what we are able to dream and achieve.

Kelly Strona

Kelly Strona

Kelly is an SDSU alumnus, having earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Public Health in 2010. Athletics have always been a large part of her life: she ran track, surfed competitively, and was a competitive cheerleader for over 10 years. A couple of years ago she took to running, completing several 5, 10, and 15k races. Lately, Kelly has been dedicating her spare time to learning to write HTML/CSS code for websites, and enjoys reading and walking around her neighborhood of North Park. Kelly holds specialty group fitness certifications in Insanity® and Piyo®, and is pursuing her primary group exercise certification through AFAA.

Mariah Leonard

Mariah Leonard

I’m an undergraduate student studying Kinesiology with an emphasis in fitness. I’ve always enjoyed being active; when I was younger, I was that kid whose feet were black from running around without shoes ‘til the street lights came on, but didn’t realize how much I loved being active until high school. Around that time I was very depressed, what kept me going were my trips to the gym, hikes, runs around the park, or roller derby practices. I used exercise to heal myself. Because of fitness I was able to turn my life around.

I’ve always thought about becoming a fitness instructor, I figured if exercise could save me, maybe I could use it to save someone else. When I heard about the group fitness training at the ARC I had to jump on it! GFIT solidified my passion for instructing and I also gained a newfound respect for the instructors and all the classes.

Megan Hollyfield

Megan Hollyfield

Megan began practicing yoga in 2012 as a form of physical therapy.  Yet the more she practiced the physical postures; the more yoga became a refuge to work on her mental strength.  Apparent that the mind-body connection is invaluable, she dove into a teacher training to deepen her own practice.  Now a certified 200 Hour Registered Yoga Teacher, she hopes to share the benefits of focus, determination, and positivity to all her students.


After realizing she enjoyed teaching power, sculpt, and hot yoga classes, she started to branch out to teach other formats at the SDSU Aztec Recreation Center.  Megan now teaches many additional formats such as Total Strength, Barre Blast, and Cardio Dance.  Whenever you step into one of her classes whether to relax with yoga or workout, you will find a positive atmosphere and a class geared to challenging both the mind and the body.

Michelle Lodini

Michelle Lodini

Michelle is a senior at SDSU studying Business Marketing IMC from New York. An ARC member since 2013, Michelle credits the ARC for positively impacting her life and for developing her passion for health and fitness! She loves a variety of fitness activities such as SPIN, Pilates, weight lifting, hiking, CrossFit, HIIT and TRX. Michelle became SPIN certified in 2016, after shadowing other ARC SPIN instructors who inspired her to become an instructor! She hopes to not only provide you with a good workout, but to also help you become the best version of yourself!

Nikki Winters

Nikki Winters

Nikki started dancing since she can remember and trained mostly in ballet. After she turned 18 she danced with various professional ballet companies. It wasn’t until she joined up with a company called Physical Rhythm Project that was ballet/hip-hop fusion that she found her love for street dancing. Sponsored by NIKE, she then taught hip-hop classes in Portland, Oregon and discovered her love for group fitness. She since has been teaching various fitness classes on both the West and East Coast, with various certifications since 1992 and has been teaching at Aztec Recreation since 2001. She currently is a Commercial Real Estate Broker, a wife to an amazing husband, and a mom to two awesome boys.

Olivia Kallai

Olivia Kallai

Olivia is a Kinesiology major at San Diego State University, currently working toward becoming a Physician Assistant. She has been passionate about health and fitness from a young age and has always embraced an intuitive joy in helping others. Growing up, Olivia could often be found working out with free weights or machines at the gym and learning everything she could about exercise and nutrition in her free time. She also became intensively involved in competitive swimming for seven years. During her second semester at SDSU, Olivia discovered the power of mindfulness and meditation. In her free time, she continues to enjoy learning about the intimate relationship between the mind and body. One day, Olivia hopes to work with others combining her love for physical fitness and cultivating a joyful spirit. Her current favorite class to teach is Total Strength!

Sara McDonald

Sara McDonald

I began teaching Group Fitness in 1995. Back then, I was working on my Master's degree and found that I was in the gym all the time - why not get paid? I love TAKING group fitness classes and wanted to give back by hopefully making exercise an enjoyable and challenging experience for my students. I get such an endorphin rush from both taking and teaching classes and I hope the students come away with the same endorphin rush. I definitely feed off the energy of the students, and hope I reflect back that energy for the students. Wherever I move, the gym is always the first place where I feel most at home. It's a place not only to deal with stress, anxiety, and even the isolation of being in a new place, but also a great way to meet people and create a community for yourself. I’m very excited to again be teaching on a college campus! Just prior to moving to CA, I taught for the Duke Group Fitness program while working on my PhD. I like the idea that I'm helping students build the healthy habit of a lifetime of fitness and that over the years to come, they benefit as much as I have from being a devotee of group fitness.

What I teach: I specialize in cardio kickboxing, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), boot camp, body weight and strength training, and circuit training. All of my classes use original choreography. I appreciate the wide variety of classes offered at the ARC.

My interests and hobbies: As a marine biologist, of course I love the beach, the sun, salt air, and sand between my toes, and being on the water in a boat. My husband and I have renovated two historic homes. Despite the hard work and many challenges, it's very rewarding when you finally achieve the finished product. The older I get, the more I enjoy hanging out with friends at someone's house for game night or watching some good shows - probably sounds boring to most people, but I really enjoy it!

Sofia Parker

Sofia Parker

Sofia is an undergraduate student at SDSU studying Marine Biology and Environmental Science.  Sofia loves yoga because of its ability to heal the mind, body and soul. Every time she steps onto her mat, she learns something new about herself and world in which we live . Yoga has given her a greater sense of self worth, love and acceptance. Practicing Baptiste Power Yoga in particular has reinforced her belief that yoga is a personal journey to discovering and rediscovering ones inner power. Sofia hopes to share the manys gifts of yoga and inspire others as her teachers have inspired her. She has been a yogi for 6 years. In 2016 she received her Level 1 Teacher Certification for Children's Yoga, in 2017 her Baptiste 200 Hour YTT Certification and in 2018 completed a Teaching Mentorship with one of her favorite studios back home in New Jersey. She is looking forward to meeting you and spreading the yogi love!

Theresa Perales

Theresa Perales

Theresa first graduated from SDSU in 2006 with a B.S. in Spanish and then again in 2011 with an M.S. in Spanish linguistics. Since 2008, Theresa has been teaching English to international students at the American Language Institute at SDSU. In 2013, Theresa returned to Mesa College to study in the American Council on Exercise Fitness Specialist Program and completed the Madd Dog Athletics Spinning® training. Anyone who knows Theresa knows that she loves all things in the world of physical activity. You name it, she has tried it, loved it, and become addicted to it. Theresa is a marathon runner, an avid Bikram Yoga practitioner, and Spinning® instructor. Additionally, she is a fan of hiking, boxing, circuit training, weight lifting, and Pilates. Theresa enjoys getting to know the people in her class, their interests, music preferences, and feedback is always welcomed and encouraged.

Vanessa Laniawe

Vanessa Laniawe

Vanessa would love to get to know you and learn how to support you! Her favorite quote is: "When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too." -- From "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. Vanessa discovered a passion for health in college after beginning in a kickboxing program. That passion further flourished into healthier eating, studying other forms of fitness, and becoming a certified personal trainer. Expanding on her love for working with kids and educating others, she enjoys leading group classes of all ages and backgrounds. She values and appreciates all aspects of wellness, ranging from CrossFit to yoga, and nutrition to sleep. As an alumni of SDSU (2011), she is grateful to be involved with the ARC. She has recently completed her Master’s in Kinesiology in Integrative Wellness at PLNU, and is excited to continue to make a positive impact in people’s lives.