Group Fitness Instructors


Group Fitness Instructors


Adam: HIIT

Adam is a PhD candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology studying the genetics of organismal performance. As former D3 swimmer and current triathlete, Adam works to focus his HIIT and agility classes on developing individuals' aerobic-anaerobic threshold. His core goal is to engage as many muscle groups as possible and enhance functional strength, coordination, and cardiovascular endurance. Additionally, he works to make all exercises accessible to everyone, regardless of ability and age.

Alex: Cardio Kickboxing and Strength & Conditioning

Alex is a Resumed Undergraduate Education (RUE) student here at Brown University. Prior to returning to academia, she served in the United States Navy for six years, where she helped over 500 sailors maintain and improve their physical fitness through various strength and conditioning routines.  Alex has also been trained in hand-to-hand combat in support of the Navy's Auxiliary Security Force, which aids military police in overall base security and antiterrorism procedures. While deployed with the Army, she gained certifications in both Level I and Level II Army combatants.       
After separating from the military, Alex earned a "Personal Trainer" and "Sports and Conditioning Coach" certification through the American Council on Exercise (ACE).  From there, she worked at "LA Fitness" in Cranston, RI as a Personal Trainer to over 30 clients, while simultaneously teaching "Cardio Kickboxing" and "Aqua Fit" to club members.  
Last year, Alex began teaching the "Cardio Kickboxing" group fitness class at the Nelson Fitness Center, which includes a high intensity interval training (HIIT) stylized routine with choreographed influences from military combatants and mixed martial arts.  This year, she has added two additional days of resistance training with the "Strength and Conditioning" group fitness classes, which are intended to increase the trainees overall strength, performance, and physical fitness, while maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system in a safe and exciting way.

Anita: Yoga and Yin Yoga & Mindful Meditation

Anita is an experienced, Certified and Registered Yoga Teacher at the 1000 hour level with Integrative Yoga Therapy and Yoga Alliance (E-RYT500). She is a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT 1000) with The International Association of Yoga Therapists and has completed her training with Integrated Position Therapy to rebalance and correct muscular imbalances.

She has taken certified classes for teaching Adaptive Yoga to those with MS, Heart Disease and Cancer, is a Let Your Yoga Dance® Teacher and has completed trainings in iRest Yoga Nidra® for working with those who have PTSD, insomnia, stress and anxiety inherent in our modern lifestyles and continues to deepen her practice and teaching by exploring Somatics, Positional Therapy and other types of Yoga such as Bikram and Iyengar.

Currently teaches Group Yoga Classes and gives one-on-one personalized Yoga Therapy/Integrated Positional Therapy sessions.  Focused Workshops are given to address Back Health, Stress management and Personal growth and co-teaches Yoga Teacher trainings at the 200 hour level. For fun and exploring creativity she designs and make One of a Kind Jewelry with Moonlight Jewelry and is at many events in RI and CT. (facebook @moonlightjewelryri).

The intention within her classes is to share her knowledge of joyous and guided mindful movement while supporting others in connecting to and rekindling the joy within. Along the way we will build strength, stability and find increasing flexibility both mind and body. We are meant to move for resiliency and health!!! Join us on the mat.

More info can be found on her website


Barbara: Hatha Yoga

Barbara holds a master’s degree in Holistic Counseling, and is a certified instructor of Hatha, Prenatal and Therapeutic Yoga. She is also a Reiki Master and a certified Hypnotherapist. In addition to teaching yoga, she has a private practice in Smithfield, RI, where she offers sessions in holistic counseling, mind/body therapy and conducts workshops on stress management and personal development. More information can be found on her website:

Catherine: Spin

Cat is a sophomore studying Chemistry and History here at Brown University. She first discovered spinning at her local studio in 2015 and has since been hooked! With the encouragement of her cousins, Cat decided to give teaching a go and bring her love of spinning to Brown. Cat's classes are intense, fun and cardio-focused,  but she loves to incorporate arm weights and rhythm-based choreography to get a full body workout.  Cat is certified by Mad Dogg Athletics' Spinning Instructor Program.


Chelse: Dance Fitness

Chelse is a senior at Brown and is originally from Atlanta, Georgia. She started dancing formally when she came to Brown and since has loved training in styles such as Traditional West African, House, and Hip-Hop. She's always loved the way that dance made her feel and the joy that it brought to other people and is eager to share that through her new Dance Fitness class which brings together modern African dance, hip hop, and house to create a body-positive, high-energy, and confidence-building space for dance and community! She's thrilled to join the Nelson group fitness community!

Christina: Les Mills™ BODYPUMP™ and Spin

With more than 14 years of group exercise instruction experience, Christina is certified in Spinning and Body Pump. Her classes are high energy, full of fun and appropriate for all fitness levels. When she's not teaching, Christina is "mom" to her two young daughters - Grace and Charlotte - and super fan of Brown Wrestling (Go Bruno!)

Diego: Drums Alive, Latin Dance, and Zumba

For Diego, dance has always been a part of his family and encouraged by his parents at a young age. He can recall fond memories of dancing with his older brother in a community dance group called Cumbiancheros. Shortly afterwards, Diego enrolled in La Casa del Artista, a school dedicated to the arts, where he developed a sense of personal dance style and began choreographing. Diego's passion for dance turned professional; the obvious career choice for him was Fitness Instructor - a perfect blend of fitness and health. More recently, Diego became certified in Zumba, Drums Alive and a variety of cardio programs that share the power of music fused with dance and bits. Diego is grateful for now being able to share his craft with the Brown community.

Eileen: HIIT and Insanity Mix

Eileen is a junior at Brown University studying Anthropology and Public Health. She has loved fitness from a young age but fell in love with Insanity in highschool, when she was looking for a rewarding physical challenge. Eileen has adopted MAX interval training principles into her HIIT and Insanity Mix classes, working toward improving all components of fitness: muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, coordination, balance and agility. The classes may not be easy, but they are guaranteed to leave you in a pool of sweat, with a satisfying burn in all the right places. Eileen received her certification from AFAA for Primary Group Fitness.

Felix: Bootcamp, TRX & Weight Training, Kettlebells

Felix has been a trainer at Brown for over 6 years. His training technique consists of interval training with a variety of exercises from different disciplines while guiding participants through proper form. Felix's philosophy is that everyone should take care of their body and mind trough healthy eating habits and a consistent training regimen to be the best they can be. His goals are to make people feel stronger, healthier and happier at any age or any time. His certifications include AFAA for Primary Group Fitness, MADD dog Athletics for Spin And Crossfit L1.

Halle: Hip Hop Workshop

Halle is a senior at Brown University. She has been dancing since age 4, but her love for urban dance began at 8 years old when her babysitter began giving her private lessons. Halle sees the genre of hip hop/street jazz as an invaluable tool for self-expression and cultivating body confidence. As a result, she strives to make class an intentionally challenging, interactive and empowering experience for each person in the room. She dances, choreographs and co-directs publicity for Brown's Impulse Dance Company. Most of all, she cherishes being a part of Nelson's expanding dance community.

Janet: Les Mills™ BODYPUMP™ and Spin

Janet’s journey began at the OMAC as a class participant. After the loss of her husband to cancer, she returned to the gym to fulfill a promise made to him to stay strong and healthy for their family. The positive impact that experience had on her life and the desire to share the power of fitness with others, propelled Janet into her first group fitness certification in 2013. Eight certifications and teaching experience in two area gyms later, she returned to Brown Recreation, as a seasoned instructor. The opportunity to teach fitness at Brown is a perfect pairing with full time job of 24+ years as a Manager with Brown Dining. Certifications include: Les Mills™ BODYPUMP™ Certified Instructor, Les Mills™ BODYFLOW™, Les Mills™ SPRINT™, Les Mills™ RPM™, Spin, BTS/Mossa Group Power BTS/Mossa Group Ride, BTS/Mossa R30, CPR, and First Aid.

Jeana: Spin and TRX

Jeana has been a Personal Trainer for 25 years. She is also certified Nutrition Specialist, spin instructor, gravity personal Trainer, TRX and Bootcamp instructor. She works with people of all abilities and/or disabilities. One of her specialties is pre/post rehabilitation and working with physical and emotional handicapped. Jeana’s approach to training is challenge the body in a safe, effective manner. Whether looking to lose or gain weight, build muscle, increase endurance or just tone up, Jeana will help you achieve your goals, by continuously switching up your workouts to challenge your body and keep you motivated. Her knowledge, skills and experience have proven successful in helping others to reach their full potential.

Jessica: Vinyasa Yoga

Jessica is a junior studying Development Studies and Middle East Studies. She began doing yoga as a child, and some of her earliest memories include watching children's yoga tapes on TV. As a young adult, she learned more about classical yoga and meditation while volunteering at a yoga ashram. In 2015, she was completed a 200-hour teacher training certification program at Yoga District in Washington, D.C. Her classes are dynamic, with an emphasis in linking breath and movement and listening to your own inner teacher.

Jill: HIIT, Spin, and TRX

Jill is an AFAA Certified Personal Trainer and AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor with Specializations in TRX and Spinning. In the CCRI Physical Therapist Assistant Program her studies included Anatomy, Kinesiology and Physiology. She has competed in the Masters Division races in swimming, cycling and running. Jill’s ultimate goal is to design programs and classes that help others to discover and achieve their own personal fitness goals and learn the importance of technique and form. She believes these are the essential components to success in total body strength, flexibility and a lifetime of fitness.


Kay: Les Mills™ BODYPUMP™, Cycle, and Spin & Pump

An MD certified in BodyPump and RPM (indoor cycling), Kay believes physical activity is one of the most important determinants of well-being and lifetime health. She encourages individuals of all ages and abilities to start wherever they are, then challenge themselves in ways that work best for them. Kay leads group exercise classes full of energy, fun, and motivating music, while providing a great workout!

Kim: Barre Burn, Les Mills™ BODYPUMP™, Power Yoga, and Yoga & Tone

Kimberlee brings over 30 years of fitness experience, concentrating heavily on strength training with weights to Barre and yoga. Kimberlee is a 200-hour Certified Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance practicing a Baptiste inspired Vinyasa Flow Yoga. She offers a Power Yoga class as well as Yoga & Tone incorporating light hand weights into her sequence. After recovering from cancer in 2014 and as part of her rehabilitation, she trained in Body Barre and combining her background with dance and fitness.

Out of the gym, Kimberlee combines her stand-up paddleboard experience with fitness routines and yoga sequences on the water. She is PaddleFit ® CORE certified allowing her to coach proper techniques to maneuver safely through the water as well as performing fitness movements including yoga on the board for a fun enjoyable fitness option.

Lora: Yoga

Lora LoPiccolo has been practicing and teaching yoga for 15 years. What initially began as a search for a way to heal a shoulder injury soon became a full time passion to help others find their own inner calm and strength.
Lora is a certified yoga teacher in Integrative Yoga Therapy, a Thai Yoga Massage Practitioner, and an AFAA Certified Personal Trainer. Her extensive training includes studying with such notable yoga and massage instructors as Judith Hanson Lasater, Dharma Mitra, and Rob Martin. Lora received the 2013 Woman of the Year for RI Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
An avid athlete and outdoors woman, Lora enjoys hiking, skiing and traveling, especially to the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire and to the beaches of St. John, USVI. Lora and her husband Phil have been married for 26 years and happily reside in a log home in the woods of Foster, RI. They share their love and lives with children Ben, Sam and Charlotte and dogs Bella and Blue.


Lori: Cycle and Pilates

Lori has been teaching group exercise for 18 years...with expertise in Pilates. She applies Pilates principles to all training, encouraging good form and posture. Lori is inspired by Joseph Pilates’ philosophy: “You are only as old as your spine is supple!” Lori is Power Pilates certified and believes in their motto "Movement heals." She loves to encourage a community atmosphere and likes to turn people on to Pilates calling it the "breakfast of exercise" essentially a wonderful compliment to all else you do.

Maya: Hatha Yoga

Maya is a sophomore at Brown University. Yoga has had a presence in her life for many years. She was drawn to a physical yoga practice because of the opportunity it offers for cultivating awareness of the body and mind. She obtained her 200 hour teaching certification with High Vibe Yoga in Ubud, Bali in July 2016. Her class encourages a playful exploration of each student’s own abilities and intentions.


Mike: Les Mills™ BODYPUMP™, Les Mills™ BODYCOMBAT™, Cycle

Mike is a fulltime Information Technology Consultant who began his career in group exercise when a Group Fitness Administrator approached him after an indoor cycle class and asked him if he’d be interested in becoming a cycle instructor.  This offer was enthusiastically accepted and 14 years later the energy and passion of offering the best exercise class he can give is stronger than ever. With a never ending desire to grow, not only as an individual, but to also provide more substance to his cycle classes, Mike became certified by Mad Dogg Athletics' Spinning Instructor Program, earned his Personal Trainer certification through the American Council on Exercise (ACE), and soon after followed with Running Coach certification through the Road Runners Coaches of America (RRCA). Two of the most passionate programs Mike has recently been certified in is the Les Mills Body Pump and Les Mills Body Combat programs.

Otto: Aikido

Otto Sensei is a 5th degree blackbelt with over ​25 years in Aikido​. He runs a local Aikido school (Broad Street Dojo) and founded Brown Aikido at the invitation of Brown University Athletics and at the direction of his teacher Shuji Maruyama Sensei. He believes Aikido is self-defense for everyone, regardless of physical limitations or athletic ability​; Aikido training develops mindfulness in self-defense aiming for non-harmful but effective conflict resolution where possible. He has trained ​trained police, marines, prison guards but also students, ​athletes, teachers and school principals​!

Roberta: Body Sculpt, Bootcamp, Cardio & Core, Circuit Training, Pilates, and Zumba

Roberta believes that in order to maintain an optimal personal fitness level, it is necessary to continually step outside of your comfort zone and cross-train with safe execution prioritized at all times. In each class, Roberta addresses various fitness levels by offering modifications and advanced options. Group classes challenge the body and mind while providing social benefits as well. Why workout alone? Please join us!

Certifications include: Les Mills™ BODYPUMP™ and BODYVIVE™ Certified, ZumbaⓇ licensed plus 7 Specialty ZumbaⓇ licenses. Personal Trainer Certified. Group Exercise Certified in Pilates, Yoga, Aqua Aerobics, Cycle, Boot Camp, Step Aerobics, Stability Ball Fitness, Core and Functional Fitness, Kickboxing, Myofascial Release Foam Rolling Therapy, CPR, and First Aid. 


Serena: Body Sculpt

Serena is a positive, heartfelt and motivating coach/instructor. She is passionate about empowering her clients with the knowledge, skills, guidance and resources to inspire them on their journey to a healthier life. She has a dance background in jazz, salsa and ballet, and was the owner of a Personal Training business in Miami for 10 years.  She has 24+ years teaching a variety of fitness classes and is currently teaching Body Sculpting and personal training at Brown. She creates personalized exercise and nutritional solutions tailored to the individual client to achieve successful health goals. "It's important to customize the exercise to the person and not demand the person fit into the exercise." "Excellence Is Not An Act, It Is A Habit" -  Aristotle

Credentials: AAA/I Certified Personal Trainer, Zumba, Pyio, Pilates, Pole fitness, spinning, Kickboxing, Wellness Coach, Nutrition. CPR/AED, M.S. Education

Sheryl: Body Sculpt, TRX, Circuit Training, and Ab Attack

Sheryl A. Marsland is a Master Trainer and has been in the fitness industry for over 33 years.  Fitness is her life, her passion and her love.  She is certified through ISSA and holds 15 certifications including Personal Trainer, Fitness Nutrition, Group Fitness, Yoga, and TRX just to name a few.  She is very proud of her accomplishments in life.  She has been a successful bodybuilder and have placed first place in Miss RI, Miss MA, and Miss Gold’s Classic Championships.  She has also placed first place in competing against the American Gladiator’s.  Teaching health and phys-ed at an all-girl Catholic High School for 8 years taught her a lot about students growing up in today’s world which makes her feel very comfortable about training at Brown.

Sheryl teaches Body Sculpt, Circuit Training, TRX, Ab Attack, and Yoga and has been at Brown for over a decade.  She is energetic and full of life!  If you are tired when you walk into class, the warmup will energize you.  Her sense of humor will keep you on your toes as well.  She believes that you will get results in her classes.  She will push you when you need to be pushed and tell you when to take it easy. That’s why new members keep coming back and her regulars look great and love her classes.  She comes into class early and will stay later to answer any questions that anyone has for her.  Being a Personal Trainer for over 3 decades gives her the ability and knowledge to handle anything you have to ask.  She loves to help anyone get the results that they want.

Sheryl cares about her participants both old and new.  She takes the time to know your name and believes in a family like environment. 

Stefanie: Zumba

Stefanie brings charismatic energy, dynamic choreography, and a great playlist to every Zumba class. She became a Zumba instructor in 2010 and has previously taught credit-bearing and recreational Zumba courses at Marlboro College, Truckee Meadows Community College, the University of Nevada-Reno, and RISD. Stefanie is a seasoned outdoor educator with a passion for adventure (especially backpacking, hiking, watersports, and obstacle course racing) and has also enjoyed performing with local Bollywood and West African dance troupes.


Sydney: Cardio Kickboxing and Strength & Conditioning

Sydney is a sophomore at Brown University planning to study Literary Arts. Although regularly active all her life, Sydney first participated in group fitness at the Nelson during her freshman year at Brown. Empowered by the classes, she obtained her certification as an AFAA Group Fitness Instructor during the Summer of 2017, and now seeks to provide her class participants with the same positive fitness experience she received. Currently, she teaches engaging and fun Cardio Kickboxing and Strength & Conditioning classes throughout the week.

Tarsha: HIIT and Spin

Tarsha brings to Brown over eight years of fitness/wellness experience. She is a certified Personal Trainer as well as a certified Group Fitness Instructor. Her certifications include, AFAA Personal Trainer, AFAA G.E.A.R. Cycling, Mad Dogg Cycling, AAAI/ISMA Cycling, and The Shaw Academy/Nutrition. Her specialties include Bootcamp, HIIT, Cycling, and Race training. Tarsha delivers high energy, interval-based workouts to all fitness levels. She also lives the lifestyle she promotes to her students. The best advice Tarsha can give, is that despite all of life's craziness, there is ALWAYS time for fitness. Make the time. "I've never completed a race or a workout and regretted it. Its just the opposite, I praise myself for doing it."



Tommy: Les Mills™ BODYCOMBAT™

Tommy is a student at the Rhode Island School of Design, class of 2020, studying Furniture Design where he also works as a Resident Advisor. He was dragged to his first Les Mills: BODYCOMBAT class by his loving sister, where he immediately fell in love with the program. Since then, he has been an active participant of the class for 3 years, and received his instructor certification in September of 2017.  Similar the classes he attended and loved, he aims to create a fun and empowering environment for his class participants while pushing them towards their limits and goals. Outside of academics and fitness, Tommy is also an active member of Brown University and RISD's Tink Knit where he leads in teaching low-income single mothers of the Providence community to knit various products and earn profit,  as well as explores his own love for knitting/crocheting.