Group Fitness Instructors

Interested In Becoming an Instructor?

Amber Laurie

Amber Laurie

Amber began practicing yoga in 2008, exploring various types of practice including Vinyasa, Bikram, Hatha, and Restorative classes. In September of 2018 she finally decided to deepen her practice and earned her 200-hour certification in January, 2019. Her classes have a strong focus on providing various options so that students can feel empowered to listen and respond to their own body’s cues and needs. Amber earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology as well as her master’s degree in Psychological Science from California State University, Chico. She is now a graduate student at SDSU and is in the process of earning her master’s in social work. She hopes to utilize her knowledge in these areas to instruct yoga classes that support students in regulating their own nervous systems, connecting with their bodies, and feeling safe and happy in their own skin! Amber enjoys teaching deep stretch yoga, which allows students to increase their strength and flexibility—a great addition to any physical health plan!

Antonio Brito

Antonio Brito

Antonio is a lifelong athlete and student of human movement and performance. During his undergradute degree at SDSU Antonio discovered a passion for campus recreation by first being a participant of everything Aztec Recreation had to offer and eventually becoming an instructor his senior year. After completing his Masters Degree in Sports Performance from Point Loma Nazarene University, he began working for the United States Marine Corps as a Combat Fitness Coordinator. He hopes to not just train the people who come to his classes but educate them about their bodies capabilities. Antonio is a firm believer that strength is health. When not in the weight room Antonio can be found playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends.

Bethany Mendenhall

Bethany Mendenhall

Bethany is a native San Diegan and and graduated from SDSU in 2019 with a B.A. 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.

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. More recently she received her Masters in Integrative Wellness from PLNU. She is a certified AFAA Primary Group Fitness Instructor, ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist, and a National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach. 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!

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.

Cindy Solomon

Cindy Solomon

Cindy started teaching indoor cycling classes at the Aztec Recreation Center in 2016 after falling in love with the group fitness classes and instructors as a freshman at SDSU. She grew up competing in all kinds of sports, but was especially fond of basketball and waterpolo. While most people always dreaded the idea of conditioning week, Cindy absolutely loved it!  So, when she came to SDSU, she decided to join the club triathlon team in order to challenge herself and stay in shape. It has been three years now, and she can proudly say that both joining the triathlon team and becoming a group fitness instructor were two of the best decisions she made as an undergraduate. Cindy is a firm believer in doing whatever it is that makes you happy--and for her; health, fitness, and good friends are what make her happiest. She graduated with her bachelor of science degree in Kinesiology in May, 2017 and is currently teaching classes and looking to further her education in the medical field. If you ever see her around, please do not hesitate to say hello or send a smile. Go Aztecs!

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.

Grace Gama

Grace Gama

Grace is a dedeicated member at the Aztec Recreation Center who serves as the Fitness and Wellness Program Assistant, and as both an ENS and Group Fitness Instructor. She graduated from SDSU with her Bachelors in Foods and Nutritional Sciences and recently earned her Masters Degree in Kinesiology - Integrative Wellness from Point Loma Nazarene University. Additionally, she is a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach and Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Coach. 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 tasty foods 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.

Julia Karczewki

Julia is a Child and Family Development major at San Diego State University and working towards a future career in Occupational Therapy. She is involved in Dance Marathon, Younglife, and is passionate about fitness. She discovered her passion for fitness through dance at a very young age. She is a skilled endurance athlete as she competes in both half and full marathons. As a group fitness instructor, Julia strives to create a welcoming environment while encouraging others to push themselves to be their best selves! In her free time, she loves to relax at the beach, hike, and hang out with friends!  

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.

Lisa Lamont

Lisa is a Stott Pilates certified Pilates instructor and a Mad Dogg Athletics Certified Spinning® instructor. She has worked in the fitness industry for over twenty years.

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!

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!

Tim O'Neal

Tim is passionate about promoting health through diet and exercise. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.S. in dietetics. He became a registered dietitian (RD) and served for one year in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps. There, he worked as a wildland firefighter, built houses with Habitat, and encouraged outdoor recreation with state park development. He worked on sustainable organic farms in New Zealand before completing a concurrent M.S. in Nutritional Science and Exercise Physiology at SDSU. He earned his group fitness instructor certificate and is currently finishing his health coach cert from ACE. He is thrilled to have this opportunity to improve wellness through physical activity by teaching cycling and total strength classes at Aztec Recreation.

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