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
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 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.
Annette Stein – Certified Pilates and Yoga Instructor
Annette has been practicing yoga for 10 years and Pilates for 6 years. Originally as a way to stay fit, yoga and Pilates helped Annette reach her fitness goals. Now Annette Rejoices in bringing fitness to others. As an instructor Annette is Certified in Pilates through Power Pilates, a student member of Pilates Method Alliance and is currently working towards her 200 hour Registered Yoga Instructor status through Yogafit Training Systems. Annette has also trained in Yoga Seniors and Yoga Kids. Continuing education is an integral part of Annette’s strong belief in building a firm foundation to bring quality instruction to her clients. Annette has trained with 2nd generation, classically trained Pilates guru Mari Windsor as well as Ellie Herman. Annette’s continuing education for yoga includes training with Doug Swenson, Lisa Black and Doctor Ray Long. Most of all Annette enjoys helping others find the mind body connection. “The attitude of physicality is an amazing connection to make and once made, it can change your life!” Working exclusively for Fitness and Dance of CNY Annette is committed to making sure clients safely enjoy reaching their fitness goals.
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!
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.
Theresa Masse – Pilates Instructor
I have always been an athlete and have a passion for working out and staying fit. I was a division 1 collegiate lacrosse player in college and started running competitively when I finished my final season in 2003. Like many athletes, my muscles were tight and I had chronic back pain. A year and a half ago I was in physical therapy three times a week because of bulging discs and was faced with the fact that I may never run again. The Physical Therapist discharged me after 6 weeks and suggested I try Yoga or Pilates to stretch and strengthen my core muscles. At 28 years old, I was willing to try anything rather than deal with chronic pain. This is when I started taking Pilates from Val and Annette at CNY Fitness and Dance….the rest is history!!! My back is free of pain and I am running faster and stronger than I ever have in my life! On November 21st, 2010 (my 30th birthday) I ran my fourth marathon 25 minutes faster than I have ever run before. I finished the Philadelphia Marathon in 3:35 and qualified for the Boston Marathon. This accomplishment could not have been possible without Pilates and the strength that I have gained from it.
I decided to become certified to teach Pilates this past fall because I believe in it and I know personally the depths of it’s healing power. As a high school varsity lacrosse coach in the area, I plan to have my team practice Pilates once a week to help prevent injuries and to strengthen their core- the key muscles for athletic performance. I am so excited to spread the word and my love of Pilates to others in the community!
Gina Galli – Certified Yoga Instructor
I started taking yoga classes in 2003 when I was riding on a long distance cycling team in Philadelphia, PA. I began to see the physical benefits of yoga as well as the benefits from breathing techniques that helped me in my competitive sport. I continued to practice different types of yoga off and on and explore different yoga studios, teachers and philosophies. My passion for yoga grew as I was drawn to the classical yoga philosophy of melding together the spiritual, intellectual properties, with the physical asanas as we studied the Yoga Sutras. I completed my 200+ hour certification through Yoga Life Institute in Devon, PA and am registered through Yoga Alliance as a ryt 200. Practicing yoga and being a student in the past few years has truly helped my life bloom and armed me with such great tools that will forever pave my way on this earth. Through this passion I hope to continue to be part of a strong community of yogis, share with others the powerful path of yoga and the various therapeutic attributes of yoga practice. I enjoy teaching others and encouraging them through their personal discovery. In my teachings I blend various breathing techniques, meditation, guided relaxation, restorative, spiritual teachings as well as beginner and more vigorous asanas and vinyasa. I recently moved back to Syracuse, the town where I was born and raised after leaving over 20 years ago. My life has come full circle as I return home to share my love and practice of yoga in a wonderful yoga community her in Syracuse.
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.~
Kelley Purcell – Yoga Instructor
I first was attracted to the practice of yoga while living in Savannah, GA. I was immediately drawn to the personal journey and moments of self-discovery it offered, as well as the increased physical comfort and improved strength, agility, and bodily awareness. Yoga provided a life philosophy, personal depth, and physical exploration that I had never before experienced.
I met Linda Winnick (RYT, MA) of Shakti Yoga Studios in Woodstock, NY and enrolled in a year-long, intensive program with her to become a yoga instructor. I am now thrilled to be joining Val and the staff of CNY Fitness and Dance here in Syracuse. In addition to CNY, I instruct classes for the Healthy Mondays Program at Syracuse University. I also provide focused instruction for intermediate level yogis and as a supplement to athletic performance, especially with high school athletes in Syracuse. My classes emphasize the benefits of proper breathing, connecting that breath to movement, and developing a solid understanding of movement principles of the body (alignment, joint rotations, etc.).
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!
Mission 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.