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Corporate Fitness

About Us

Valerie Patrick – Owner and director of Fitness & Dance of CNY.  She is a certified 3rd Generation Pilates Instructor, a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) and is listed among the Yoga Alliance Teacher's Directory

Corporate Fitness

Valerie Patrick is the owner and director of Fitness & Dance of CNY.  She has an extensive fitness and dance background and over 25 years of teaching, performing and choreography experience.  Valerie has been dancing since the age of 4 and has years of experience in body mechanics, alignment and technique.

Valerie is a 3rd generation instructor through Balanced Body University and Power Pilates and is one of the only instructors in the area to achieve her Full Comprehensive Certification in Pilates.  Valerie is also a certified 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) and a member of Yoga Alliance.  She is also trained in Yoga Seniors, Kids and Prenatal.   Valerie has worked with master trainers such as Brooke Siler, Mari Windsor, Alycea Ungaro, Seane Corn, Baron Baptiste and Doug Swenson. 

Valerie has been an instructor at Syracuse University where she trained the women's crew team in Pilates and Yoga. She holds corporate classes at Crouse Hospital, the Syracuse Post Standard, Hutchings and with Onondaga County employees. She was the past director of dance at the CNY Gymnastics Center and the National School of Gymnastics.  Valerie has also trained the Cirque du Soleil Alegria National Touring Performers.

Some of her choreography credits include Chicago, Fiddler on the Roof, Jesus Christ Superstar and Bye, Bye Birdie. In addition to choreographing several local stage productions, Valerie has also played numerous roles in many musical theater productions, including Chorus Line, Chicago, Cabaret, Anything Goes and The King and  I.  Valerie is also a contributing fitness writer for Syracuse Women’s Magazine.

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Emily Janisch – Certified Zumba Instructor

I have always loved working out and taking classes at my gym. As much as I loved working out, there wasnít anything that I ever really wanted to teach, that was until I started taking Zumba. I was very nervous to take my first class, but when I did I absolutely fell in love with it. After taking classes for a few months, I decided that I was going to go for my certification. I love everything about Zumba, including the endless results. It doesnít even feel like Iím working out because I have so much fun and the music is awesome. I donít have a favorite song or style because thereís just too much to choose from! I canít wait to see what theyíre going to release each month. I love sharing my passion of Zumba with other people and getting them to love it as much as I do!

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Heather Erikson – Certified Zumba Instructor

Hi! My name is Heather Erikson and I'm a newly licensed Zumba Instructor. I have loved to dance my entire life so Zumba is a perfect fit. I began taking Zumba classes in October of 2009 and after my first week of classes, I was hooked. It didn't even seem like I was working out! Every class feels like a party! Come join me and you'll see what I mean. You don't even have to know how to dance. Just move your body and follow my lead. It's easy! Come try it, I guarantee you will have a blast!
Currently, I am licensed to teach basic Zumba and Zumba Toning. I am also CPR/AED certified.

I have had 10 years of formal dance training in tap, jazz and ballet at studios including Empire Center of Dance in Marcy, NY and United Academy of Performing Arts in Oneida, NY.


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Amy Ligoci – Yoga Instructor

Amy has been teaching yoga for over 10 years around the Syracuse area.  Since discovering the joys and benefits of yoga in 2000, she has dedicated herself to the practice, study and teaching of Hatha yoga.  Amy has had the pleasure of instructing classes for West Genesee Adult Education for 8 years, Ballys Fitness Centers, Club Body and Salt City Karate.  She is currently continuing her yoga education through Aura Wellness Center.

~If I'm losing balance in a pose, I stretch higher and God reaches down to steady me.  It works every time, and not just in yoga.~



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Rachel Belair

Rachel has twenty years of dance experience which has expanded into the realm of fitness. Rachel studied ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and hip-hop while growing up and studied modern dance at LeMoyne College. After college, Rachel found Zumba as a way to continue dancing and became a certified instructor in 2010, wth a few months of her first class. She has taught at numerous facilities but has found a new studio to call home at Fitness & Dance of CNY. Rachel is very appreciative of Valerie for allowing her the oportunity to return to her dance roots and teach Hip-Hop Cardio Dance classes. Rachel loves helping others acheive their fitness goals while having fun. She is continuing her fitness education by studying to become a Pilates instructor through the Balanced Body program. Rachel would like to invite you to take part in one of her classes - have fun, work out & dance!

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Kristin Weigl – Certified Yoga Instructor

I received both trainings at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. I began practicing yoga years ago as a skeptic with the intention of just getting in shape but what I acquired from my first class was much more. I discovered that yoga was an invitation to try something, see what happens and accept whatever occurs. With the calm and compassionate mind I gained for myself and others I knew this would now be a part of me.

Keeping in mind that yoga is practice, I strive to take it with me once off the mat. I hope to remain in awe of the world around me taking in my experiences and sharing what I've learned. As a teacher I cannot tell you what you will experience, your experience is your own. I am simply a guide.

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Tracey Gregory – Certified Pilates Instructor

Through Pilates I’ve discovered an entirely new way to exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle; a way that makes it easy to look and feel your best. I am truly amazed at what Pilates has done for me! Through my 4+ years of practice, I have relieved years of lower back pain due to 12 years as a gymnast, and I have gotten leaner, stronger, and more toned all over.

Beginning in March of 2012, I decided I wanted to share the principles, joy and restorative power that Pilates has brought to me, with others. Through Balanced Body University, I have taken the Mat Pilates Instructor Training.  I’ve come across 2 big misconceptions about Pilates. 1. You have to be flexible, and 2. The workout isn’t effective because you may not be dripping with sweat. In my opinion, both are untrue – I will work with your flexibility level which naturally improves as you learn the exercises and become stronger, and I do my best to ensure that each student will break a sweat! I want to make this is as challenging as possible for your fitness level, so that you will see improvement and results.

Anyone can benefit from Pilates; those seeking positive changes in self-image, those looking to increase athletic performance, and even those just looking to ease the ability of performing everyday tasks. Like anything, change takes time, but if you are dedicated to regular Pilates sessions, positive changes in your life are inevitable! I look forward to meeting and working with each and every one of you. Change starts today!

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Caitlin Kraushaar Ė Certified Zumba Instructor

In 2009 my mother dragged me to my first Zumba fitness class, and I've been hooked ever since.  After picking up on most songs rather quickly, and with a little helpful nudging from my Zumba family,  I became an Instructor in February of 2011.  9 months later, I decided teaching adults just wasn't enough and I jumped into Zumbatomic (now Zumba Kids and Zumba Kids Jr.) as well.   I love Zumba because what you put in to it, is what you get out of it, and that allows people of all experience and fitness levels to find a place together.   Besides, since when does dancing and having fun with your friends feel like a chore? 

Ditch the Workout, Join the Party!!

Yoga StretchMission and Philosophy

My goal is to educate people on the benefits of fitness.

  • As of 2007, 1.4 million American adults are overweight according to a survey done by the American Heart Association and the percentages have been steadily increasing since 1960.
  • According to the American Chiropractic Association 31 million Americans have had experience with some type of back pain in their lives. Back pain is the most common job related disability in the U.S.
  • The American Psychological Association released a survey that says 1/3 of all people are now considered extremely stressed.

I see fitness as preventative maintenance. For the body to be strong, the core must be stable. Pilates strengthens the core muscles and the surrounding spinal muscles. Yoga is beneficial in relieving stress through stretching and breathing. Dance is a fun way to burn calories and sculpt your body at the same time. And what better way to improve your golf game! All classes are different and taken separately are a wonderful compliment to each other.

Making fitness a part of your weekly routine will leave you feeling refreshed and accomplished. We all need to do things for ourselves. Setting goals and attaining those goals gives people a sense of self satisfaction.
We all take time for our busy lives, our families and our jobs. Knowing that you have done something for yourself is important. If you are apprehensive about being in a class setting private sessions are always an option. A private session is a great preemptive to a group class.

As a certified professional, I work with each client individually to ensure modifications are followed and that all students train at their own level. Every student is challenged to work at their full potential in a non-competitive relaxing atmosphere and all levels are welcome.