Instructor Profiles


 
 

FLAVIA CUHNA

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In 2001, I won a raffle prize in a fundraising at my daughter's school: 5 Zumba classes. I had no idea how much that prize would change my life. I had been an active person during my childhood and adolescence, but as an adult I had not been very successful in committing to exercising regularly. I immediately fell in love with Zumba and, soon after, I started incorporating others kinds of exercise in my routine, such as BODYPUMP. Now, I cannot imagine my life without daily exercise.

I decided to become a licensed Zumba instructor in 2015, as a means to help inspire more people to exercise. Come to a Zumba class and you won't regret it - you will leave happy, healthy, and energized! 
 


HEATHER CUTHBERTSON

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Heather started teaching Zumba Fitness in 2009 and is still going strong! Although not a trained dancer, she brings her love of dance and music to every class. Heather’s classes are packed with rhythms from around the world, from traditional Latin styles, such as slasa and merengue, to newer electronic styles such as Moobahton and dancehall. And always, the rhythm of Trinidad-Soca. By day, Heather is a teacher of students with special needs. As a teacher, she knnows the importance of meeting the needs os all learners, and Zumba classes are designed with a series of progressions and clear cues to help all students achieve success. Heather also understands the importance of continuing education and personal growth. She attends workshops regularly to help improve her teaching, cueing, and choreography. Heather holds both Basic 1 and Zumba Toning licenses, in addition to having Zumba Pro Skills and Basic 2 training.


JANICE LAVIGNE

Janice took her first Zumba® class as part of a plan to help her get back into shape and exercise on a regular basis – and was immediately hooked. The exhilarating and effective workout that Zumba® classes provide helped her build stamina and endurance, and also nurtured a new-found love for fitness. With over 20 years of experience in the healthcare field, Janice understands and believes that leading a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle is far worse than the effort and time dedicated to working out. She loves teaching and shares her passion for Zumba® by encouraging, motivating and helping people reach their own fitness goals while they participate in her classes which feature Latin and International rhythms. Janice is licensed to teach Zumba® Fitness and several Zumba® specialty programs. She holds the following certifications: AFAA Group Fitness, Bodybeach’s PiYo, and is First Aid/CPR/AED certified through the American Red Cross.


KENDRA CARNEY

If you have yet to try and dance your way into shape, you are seriously missing out! I am a life-long athlete with years of dance instruction behind me - Zumba is the blissful marriage of those two worlds! I have been attending Zumba classes since 2009. I decided to take my passion for Zumba to the next level and trained to become an instructor. In July 2012, I trained with the stellar Kelly Bullard to become licensed in Zumba Toning as well. In November 2012, I honed my skills in new world rhythms with the amazing Tony Witt and inspiring Gina Grant. Add Zumba CORE and Zumba GLUTES to all of the above and you are in for a seriously awesome workout when you join me for a dance party! I am ecstatic to bring Zumba to a room full of folks who are ready to take care of themselves - anyone can do it and I am prepared to show you how.


KIERA LEITNER

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KIM DAVIDSON

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MARIAM ALLAM

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Kiera began dancing in Amherst over 30 years ago and hasn’t stopped since! She is a licensed Zumba Fitness instructor. Kiera is devoted to the Amherst community and instructing dance fitness, where it all began. This passion has allowed her the opportunity to share her love of dance and fitness with a wide range of folks of all levels. She has extensive educational and professional experience in movement instruction and community health education. In rural Guatemala, Kiera served in the U.S. Peace Corps where she created programs and facilitated trainings, while building capacity to improve the quality of life for community members. Kiera is energetic with a talent for motivating participants with enthusiasm and encouragement. Be prepared to have
a blast!


Kim graduated from UCLA with a Business and Economics degree and has been actively involved in the fitness industry since 1985. She is a veteran instructor and respected presenter for NASM and AFAA.  She has taught classes and presented programs throughout the United States and also in Europe. Kim holds many Internationally recognized fitness certifications, including ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist; Precision Nutrition Level 1 and Level 2 Certified Coach; LesMills: BODYPUMP™, BODYSTEP™, BODYCOMBAT™, and BORN TO MOVE™; TRX® Qualified Trainer for Suspension Training, Functional Training, and Rip Training; Spinning® Star 3; ACE Group Fitness; AFAA: GFI, Step, Kickboxing, Personal Trainer; CPR/AED and First Aid, and has completed advanced instructor training in BODYPUMP™ and BODYSTEP™. She has consistently directed Group Fitness programs on the West Coast, in the Mid-West, and on the East Coast. Kim also teaches CPR/AED and First Aid courses and is an Adjunct Professor and Academic Advisor at Holyoke Community College.


Mariam just joined UMass Amherst as a postdoctoral research associate in the Civil Environmental Engineering Department after graduating with a PhD from MIT. She started her fitness journey back in 2015 after leading a relatively sedentary life and being challenged by a kickboxing class. Ever since, Mariam got hooked to anything fitness related! She enjoys long outdoor runs, HIIT training, multi-joint functional strength training and dancing. In 2016, she became certified as an AFAA group exercise instructor and BollyX instructor and made it her goal to spread the love of fitness and always relate it to a joyful body empowering lifestyle. If you are looking for a way to maximize the calorie and fat burn, train your heart,  and tone your muscles, BollyX is your go-to class. Just bring your swag, lose yourself to Bollywood music, dance with new and old friends, have fun and smile BIG.


NADINE SHANK

Nadine Shank has been teaching Group Fitness for over 35 years, in nearly every club existing in Amherst during that time.  She teaches Step, Spinning, High/Low Aerobics, Light Aerobics, and Body Sculpting. Off the aerobics floor, Nadine is Professor of Music at the University of Massachusetts and is Chair of the Piano and Collaborative Piano Areas. She is Principal Orchestral Pianist with the Springfield (MA)Symphony Orchestra and organist at the Florence Congregational Church. Nadine made her musical debut at the age of fifteen, performing the Prokofiev 1st Piano Concerto with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra as winner of the prestigious concerto competition at the National Music Camp, Interlochen MI.  She has degrees from Oberlin College (Rudolph Serkin and Pi Kappa Lambda Piano Prizes) and Indiana University (Concerto Competition Winner).


ROBIN SONG

Robin graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2016 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. She first discovered her passion for fitness when she started weightlifting in college. She rapidly gained muscle, lost fat, and transformed into a healthier, happier, and stronger version of herself. Her friends noticed her transformation and began asking for training sessions and workout tips. Through helping her friends, Robin realized that she wanted to share her passion for fitness with others by becoming a fitness instructor. Her goal is to help individuals effectively and efficiently get fit in a more sustainable method, opposed to the common mistake of deprived eating and strict cardio. Robin is one of our BODYCOMBAT® instructors and loves teaching it because it is a fun and intense workout that combines cardio with muscle building and MMA skills. Robin’s classes motivate people to push themselves harder than they would working out alone all while having fun and having the support of others in the class.


PATRICIA GORMAN

Patricia has loved to move all her life. She majored in Dance and Psychology at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and danced with a modern dance company in Minneapolis. She eventually chose a career in psychology while sustaining her love of movement through her involvement in yoga, qi gong, Pilates, and social dance. Currently, Patricia is a faculty member in the Psychology Department at Springfield College and has a private psychotherapy practice. She is particularly interested in the importance of exercise in supporting optimum mental health and loves the benefits of group fitness classes. A BODYPUMP™ aficionado for nine years, she decided to complete the instructor training process and has been a certified BODYPUMP™ instructor for two years.


STEVE BRAUN

Steve has been an outdoor enthusiast all his life, with primary passions in skiing (downhill and cross country), hiking, and kayaking. He discovered BODYPUMP™ nine years ago and has directly experienced how valuable it has been, not just for improving performance in outdoor sports, but also for strengthening the entire body so that everyday chores are easier and less likely to provoke injury. Steve is also a professional medical writer, so he understands (and enjoys sharing) the anatomy and physiology behind the many changes that are possible with regular participation in BODYPUMP™. He is excited about helping others improve their strength, endurance, and overall fitness.