Group Exercise Instructors
Brutsche, Chuck (Body Combat): Chuck has been an active member and supporter of Pottruck since the facility opened in 2002. A Penn alum and Associate Director of the Fox Leadership Program, Chuck is a certified Body Combat instructor and enjoys creating a challenging and fun environment that encourages members to reach a fitness level they otherwise would not achieve on their own. Chuck enjoys teaching Body Combat’s mixed martial arts’ inspired moves such as Karate, boxing, Taekwondo, Tai Chi and Muay Thai as a way to unleash stress, build a strong heart, gain physical stamina, and ultimately get in the best shape of your life.
Dalton, Lauren (Spinning): Teaching Spinning at PennRec since 2009, Lauren loves to challenge the participants and feel the excitement and energy while teaching. A quote she tries to live by is “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” Other activities she’s interested are watching college sports, working out, and hanging out with friends.
Davison, Ann (Spinning): Ann is a registered nurse who currently works for the University of Pennsylvania in Cancer Research. She has been involved in the fitness field for over ten years. Ann became a certified personal trainer and advanced to a group fitness instructor while working for a local center city health facility. She currently holds certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Spinning and Yogafit. Ann enjoys training for sprint triathlons and small distance running races for fun and fitness. Before coming to Penn, Ann owned her own Baby Boot Camp franchise that specialized in Pre & Post-natal fitness. She loves helping people to move their bodies and to feel stronger and healthy. She also loves good food & wine and her little old lady kitty-cat Audrey.
Edgar, Christopher J. (Spinning): Chris is currently certified in Spinning (AFAA) and Yoga Alliance. You can find him teaching early in the morning with Spinning & Abs. He loves meeting and getting to know the people who come to group exercise classes. One of his own personal fitness goals is making daily exercise a part of his life.
Enwereuzor, Amarachi (Spinning): After tearing her ACL while playing field hockey, Amarachi started spinning to stay in shape and, after college, started participating in triathlons and long distance cycling competitions to counteract the effects of sitting all day as an investment banker. While she also practices yoga and pilates, her love of music and “hardcore cardio” has kept her on the spin bike for over a decade. Inspired by a wide variety of music (indie, rock, pop, hip hop, country – you name it), she tries to structure her classes so that everyone, from a first-timer to a seasoned athlete, can feel challenged and motivated to achieve more. “I have a deep respect for the people who come to my classes and I want to make sure they leave feeling that their time was well spent and that they had every opportunity to challenge themselves in new and different ways.” Amarachi is Madd Dogg certified and is currently completing her MBA at The Wharton School.
Gaines, Gail (ZUMBA): Gail has been teaching Zumba since 2009. She loves when people have fun in her class and leave with a smile. Gail strives to live healthy, eat healthy and stay fit. Something you might not know about Gail is that she is a fashion designer and teaches at the Moore College of Art and Design! “Do it and be your best at it,” is a quote Gail likes to live by.
Hillman, Jillian (Freestyle): Jillian taught her first group exercise class in 2006, and has been LOVING it ever since! She enjoys teaching step aerobics and turbokick, as well as full body workouts such as the Body Blitz class she teaches at PennRec. Jillian prefers the group fitness environment and enjoys the way everyone in the class motivates each other. When Jillian is not teaching aerobics, she can be found doing research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, or spending time with friends and family.
Johnson-Gleaton, Lynn (Spinning): Lynn is new to our Group Exercise staff. Now teaching spinning here at PennRec, Lynn loves to see people challenge themselves with their fitness goals. Aside from teaching Spinning, she enjoys yoga, Zumba, and running. One day Lynn hopes to use fitness and wellness as a means to help those who are diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness as a means to manage their symptoms.
Johnson, Matt (Body Pump): Matt has been teaching Body Pump since 2010. He loves encouraging his participants to push themselves to the next level. He also loves getting to know them, because they’re all very interesting and friendly people. “Natural talent only determines the limit of your potential. Dedication and willingness to discipline your life are what make you great” is a quote Matt tries to live by. Something you might not know about Matt is growing up he was a swimmer and a 4-time NCAA champion and national record holder in the 100-yd butterfly (Div III)!
Jones, Portia (Body Pump): Born in Cuckfield, England and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Portia received her BA from Penn and is certified in Body Pump. She became part of PennRec in 2008 when she first starting teaching Body Pump. One thing she loves about teaching is the participant’s energy (it just keeps her going), seeing the results of the workouts and meeting new people. Before Body Pump, Portia was a member of the Pennsylvania Ballet for 15 years.
Lewandowski, Carla (Spinning, Body Pump): Coming from her hometown of San Antonio, TX, Carla has taught for a little over a year now here at PennRec. As a Body Pump and Spinning instructor, she has found a passion for motivating people to become healthy and realize how great they can feel. Aside from teaching, running triathlons, and climbing Mt.Kilimanjaro, Carla also went through Officer Candidate School for Marine Corps and is currently working on her PhD. in Criminology.
Lioutas, Nikos (Spinning): As a former college soccer player, Nikos knows the value of a good cardio workout. No longer practicing 6 days a week, he got into Spinning as a replacement for those high intensity workouts, and he tries to keep this in mind when putting together profiles for classes that are full of fun music and challenging sets. Nikos might love the music in a class even more than the workout itself, and he is always looking for energetic songs to push his class to the next level. He also has experience coaching soccer and swim teams and treats his class like a team training for excellence. He is always looking for new team members and hopes you join in on the fun!
Martin, Nina (Spinning, Body Pump): Top three things Nina is known for in her spinning classes: great music, intensity, and positivity (and maybe her skort!). She is constantly listening to new music, thinking about new ways to get that spin burn on, and reading about techniques to integrate into class. Nina originally got into spinning five years ago as a way to cross-train for marathons. She soon found herself to be completely obsessed and excited to lead her own rides. Nina has been teaching Spinning (Mad Dogg certified) and Body Pump (Advanced Instructor Module 1) at Penn since January 2009. She believes that adding spinning and weight lifting to her running schedule has improved her racing, core strength, and motivation —after all; she did just finish the Great Wall of China Marathon! Nina’s motto: “Challenging, but doable!”
Mello, Susan (Freestyle): Sue has been teaching Cardio Step since Spring 2011. She loves choreographing material that is fun and challenging, putting a modern spin on step aerobics. When she gets participants to sweat and smile simultaneously, she’s done her job! “Everything in moderation,” is a quote Sue likes to live by. Aside from Cardio Step, Sue enjoys running, Body Pump classes, and cooking. One thing you may not know about Sue is that she’s a PhD student at the Annenberg Center for Communication!
Minetti, Lisa (Spinning): Lisa has been a certified Spinning instructor through Mad Dogg Athletics since 2004 and teaching classes at Pottruck since 2005. She enjoys creating rides for Spinners of all fitness levels, and shares her enthusiasm for Spin with everyone she meets. Over the years she's taught English as a Second Language, calligraphy, and Italian cooking but now spends her professional time developing new educational programs and working with innovative faculty members to improve their teaching. At Penn, she designed the Penn LPS Commons, an online social learning platform, and currently works at Columbia University as the Director of Instructional Design and Assessment.
Nairn, Michael (Spinning): Michael has been a spinning instructor at PennRec since 2007. As he has grown older, Michael has realized the importance of exercise in the maintenance of optimal health. For him, keeping fit is the most important component of healthy aging. “Anyone who says age doesn’t matter is way younger than me,” is a quote James likes to live by. In addition to spinning, he loves long distance cycling, gardening, and spending time with his two dogs and three cats. One thing you may not know about Michael is that he has Master’s Degrees in Landscape Architecture and Business Administration, and though he is originally from Bakersfield, California, he has been living in Philadelphia for 30 years.
Ngai, Hoi Ning (Freestyle): Hoi Ning has been teaching Step it Up! for PennRec since January 2011. She loves being able to motivate people to get and stay happy, healthy, and fit. Hoi Ning thinks exercise is a great way to release endorphins, and she loves encouraging people (especially students) to build exercise into their schedules and lifestyles. “You are your own compass. Direct your own life,” is a quote Hoi Ning likes to live by. Something you might not know about Hoi Ning is that she has a brown belt in taekwondo and is addicted to ice cream!
Olson, Lehla (ZUMBA): (pronounced “Layla” like the Clapton song) joined the Zumba movement in 2009 when she attended her first class and was hooked to the great music and energy that embodies a class. She has been teaching classes since the spring of 2011. She is interested in making sure her participants enjoy the music, the atmosphere, and get the sweat out of them by the end of each class! Lehla is a school teacher and keeps up with her many musical interests as well. She encourages her participants to push themselves mentally and physically with as much fun, smiling, and sweat as possible! She hopes to see you at her next class.
O'Neil, Colleen (Body Combat): Colleen has been teaching Body Combat since Spring 2011. Colleen loves motivating people to meet their potential. “Just keep swimming!” is a quote she likes to live by. Colleen’s goal is to never stop reaching for the next level of fitness because though it is hard and demanding, it is very rewarding to push beyond your personal record. Colleen is also a student in Penn Dental and will be serving as a dental officer in the U.S. Navy once she completes her degree
Oxenford, Megan (Spinning, Body Pump, Freestyle): “Sugar, it’s no parade but you’ll get down the street one way or another, so you’d just as well throw your shoulders back and pick up your pace.” is a quote Megan tries to live by. With a BS in Kinesiology-Athletic Training, Megan can be seen teaching Spinning, Freestyle aerobics, and Body Pump. Aside from teaching she enjoys spending time with friends, family, and her twin!
Parvanta, Sarah (Spinning, Body Pump): Sarah has been a certified Body Pump instructor since 2010. She became a certified Spinning instructor in January of 2011. She loves when there is lots of energy in the room and when people are really enjoying and challenging themselves. When her participants are having an amazing time and a great workout all in a one-hour class, her job is done. She no longer exercises to change “problem areas” but she has learned to exercise to become healthier and stronger, and to build confidence about the body you have. Still she can’t ignore that BodyPump, along with other group exercise classes, can make everyone’s bodies look pretty darn good!
Sadashige, Jacqui (Spinning, Body Combat): Currently teaching Spinning, Body Combat and various forms of Yoga, Jacqui loves being able to share what she loves with a group of enthusiastic and positive people. Helping people live life more fully, delight in their bodies, and just have fun. Other activities she enjoys are world travel, global culture, dance and film. Jacqui wants to live well into her “golden years”. She hopes to be just like her Mom, who still sweats it out at her gym at 80+ years!
Williams, Debra (Spinning, Freestyle, Group Circuit at Fox): Deb has been a certified Spinning instructor since 2004. In 2006, she was certified as a group exercise instructor with AFAA and in 2009, she was certified as a personal trainer with ACSM. Today, you can find her teaching Spinning and TBC class here at PennRec. She loves having the opportunity to make physical activity and fitness fun for those who come to her classes. She especially loves motivating and educating anyone about the benefits of fitness and living a healthy lifestyle. When Deb isn’t teaching she enjoys traveling and sightseeing.
Williams, Leah (Spinning): Certified spinning instructor, Leah has been teaching around the Philadelphia area for over 6 years. She loves motivating her students to achieve their fitness goals and hopes to accomplish a goal of her own by completing a third marathon run. Leah also enjoys taking Pilates and traveling the world.
Yecco, Angela (Body Pump, Body Combat): If you have a question about exercise and nutrition, don’t be shy to ask Angela. Not only is she constantly doing research and educating herself about fitness but she loves sharing her new found information with others. Currently, she can be found getting people energized and fit in Les Mills Body Pump and Body Combat class. Angela truly enjoys an takes pride in teaching so much that she has even received the status of “distinction” on her Body Combat training video, which is a pretty big deal in the Les Mills world. Congrats!