The thought of dancing can be intimidating but if you like music and like to move, check out our Sunday, 10 a.m. Latin dance fitness class! Get fit, have fun and dance!

What exactly is Latin Dance Fitness? What are the benefits?

Latin Dance Fitness or “X-treme Latin Dance,” is a class where you are taught authentic club style Latin dance steps. You learn about its movement and timing, while you are getting a cardio workout.

Aside from learning real dance steps and moves, the greatest benefit is that you will get an amazing cardio workout to authentic Latin music and you will not feel like is that you are working out! Well, you will feel the next morning 😉  

Tell us about your relationship with dance, what does it mean to you? 

I believe that music and dance are gifts from God. Dance has been one of my greatest teachers. Aside from prayer, I believe that dancing is the way that I connect with my soul and my divine Beloved. So, dancing means the world to me and is one of my most beloved spiritual practices. But when you are in my class my beliefs are mine and class is just all about you!!!!  

When did you start dancing and why you decided to become a professional dancer?

I started dancing in 1996 and became an instructor very shortly after that. I taught dance before I became a professional dancer. I didn’t “look like a dancer” and so my road to becoming a professional dancer was not without struggles and breaking down walls.  I don’t think I “decided” to be a professional dancer – I think I was born with that desire.

What’s your biggest joy when teaching a class?

My biggest joy when teaching is seeing the face of the person who “Gets It.” By getting it, I don’t necessarily mean they have perfected the step. I mean when the student realizes they can do it, it’s more a mental breakthrough than a physical one. But it’s amazing and so wonderful to see something feel accomplished.  

How is your class structured?

My class structure is very simply: we warm up, we laugh, we sweat and we work really hard, then we cool down!  The “we work hard” part is the one that is the most difficult to explain. Each class is different; we dance to Merengue, Bachata, Cha Cha Cha, Mambo, Hip Hop and of course SALSA!!! We dance our hearts out and we incorporate exercise in-between.

What would you say to those who claim not to have rhythm or coordination?

To those who claim they don’t have rhythm or coordination my response is: of course you have it, you just haven’t found it!!!! It’s my job (my goal and intention) to help you find it. It may not look like mine but everyone has it!! It’s a gift we were all given.

What should people expect from your classes?

They should expect to exercise hard, form community, to laugh out loud, to sweat a lot, to learn about dance and themselves and “To Shake What Their Mama Gave Them!!”

Theresa Conlon

Theresa is a Yoga Alliance certified instructor (200-hour RYT) who has been teaching since 2013. She is skilled in various yoga styles including Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow, Restorative, and Meditation. Theresa also brings an extensive dance background to her yoga practice, which includes teaching both modern dance and ballet. She has over 40 years of dance/theater performing experience and currently showcases her choreography as part of Bergen Dance Makers, a dance collective in northern New Jersey. Theresa’s yoga classes offer a calming mix of traditional asana postures and creative movement flows, supported by energy-moving breath. Students of all skill levels are invited to find ease and peace in their bodies/minds/spirits through the joyful bliss of yoga movement.

Carrie Parker Gastelu

Carrie Parker Gastelu, E-500 RYT, has been teaching yoga since 1993. Carrie began her journey when Yogi Raj Mani Finger initiated Carrie into the ISHTA Yoga lineage after training with Mani’s son, Yogi Raj Alan Finger. In addition, she has studied many other yoga traditions as well as anatomy, physiology, movement, and awareness practices to create an eclectic style all her own. She is known for her honest, non-dogmatic yet passionate approach.

Carrie is a regular speaker and contributor at conferences, websites, and print publications and has been featured in Fit Magazine, the Yoga Zone Book, and in the Yoga Zone Video, “Flexibility and Stress Release.”

Lisa Podesta-Coombs

When Lisa found yoga in 2008, she started to find herself again and it set her on a path of health and healing. She received her 200HR RYT certification from Raji Thron of Yoga Synthesis, and her 30HR Chakra Yoga Teacher Training certificate with Anodea Judith and holds a Y12SR (Yoga of 12 Step Recovery) certification. She is also a Holistic Health Coach (certified through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition). Lisa believes we’re all on a journey of learning how to trust ourselves; she helps her clients build that trust by supporting them in creating better habits for a better life through various functional movement modalities like yoga, barre, Pilates & strength training, mindset, and whole food nutrition.

Forever a student with a passion for people, holistic health, and self-actualization, Lisa is always embracing opportunities to advance her education to better serve; Ayurveda workshops & immersions have been of particular interest as she continues to deepen her knowledge of and experience with food as medicine and she recently completed Unleash Her Power Within, a transformational program of rediscovering our truest selves, powered by Tony Robbins.  

As she continues to give herself space and grace to nourish her natural self and actualize her potential, Lisa continues to share the gift of movement as medicine to inspire authenticity & health in body, mind, and spirit. You can expect mindful, accessible, dynamic, playful, and uplifting classes from Lisa.

Tanisha Sutton

Tanisha’s yoga journey began when she was an undergraduate student studying at university. Changes in her health coupled with anxiety over grades, relationships, and life in general, forced her to search for healthy lifestyle choices she could implement to help manage the stress that she was experiencing as a new adult. A friend of hers suggested that she attend some community yoga classes to help with the anxiety and increase her daily physical activity. Initially, she was reluctant and filled with all these false ideas about yoga and the people who practiced yoga. Like many others, she was concerned that her body type and lack of flexibility automatically excluded her from being a student. Curiously yet hesitantly, she journeyed on to her first class and began laying the foundation for a home and public practice that has supported her over the years.

On this journey, she has discovered that yoga has nothing to do with appearances nor is there anything, but an open mind needed to begin. She intends to provide you with a gentle yoga session that is safe, inclusive, and accessible. Her classes are an expression of self-love and are a deliberate choice to tend to ALL the parts of our being that are neglected, ignored, or disregarded during the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Through meditation, deep breathing, and gentle movement we will collectively share space to observe, rest and re-set. Tanisha is honored to share her practice with you and looks forward to seeing you on the mat!