Group Fitness Instructors
Vielka is originally from Dominican Republic, she started at Waverley Oaks as a substitute Zumba Instructor in 2017, and shortly thereafter took on a regular class. She is an upbeat and positive person, and her class reflects her personality. What members enjoy most about her style of teaching is her selection of Latin music, and the contagious moves and energy in every class. She puts in a lot of time and effort preparing for each class with new music playlists and choreo’s making every Sunday morning a real Zumba party that boost our members energy for the rest of the week. Vielka also teach ME Body Conditioning every Monday, a totally different format where you can get a great shape and feel awesome. Vielka loves the interaction between teacher and members, the beautiful connection that fulfill her soul and spirit while she does what she more loves, Teaching.
Nicole has been a dancer since she could walk! She found Zumba in 2011 and has not looked back. Since she became licensed in the Latin dance fitness format in 2012, Nicole has found a true passion for exercise and wellness. It ignited her confidence and desire to help others. Now she is licensed to teach a variety of formats, including barre, spin, and Strong Nation, a favorite of hers at the club. While fitness is her passion and side hustle, Nicole is a social media manager with Beth Israel Lahey Health. When she isn’t teaching or working, she is bingeing on Netflix shows or trying out new restaurants!
Her fitness motto? “There are two rules to be successful in my class: Sweat and Smile!”
My journey in the fitness world began many years ago during my College years. I was captain of the dance team. Think Celtics dancers, but imagine cassette tapes for music, vinyl knee high boots and red-hot pants…haha!! This was the time I also joined my first health club and before I knew it, I was working there teaching classes and selling memberships.
Zoom ahead to today and while a lot has changed, my love for leading classes has never changed. I am a Fitness Professional with certifications ranging from Pilates to PiYO, Zumba to Body Pump, Personal Training to Specialization in Corrective Exercise. The industry is always growing, and I am a dedicated, lifelong student. Skiing, biking, swimming, golf, hiking, dancing, and an award-winning actress, these are some of my passions, but teaching group exercise remains at the center. I love encouraging a new member, helping them feel a part of the group and providing the guidance to help them feel successful and wanting to come back. I also love the camaraderie of teaching to a member for many years, knowing they keep coming because the class is fun, packed with variety and continual physical challenges.
Having great music, a warm smile and being just a little bit silly are my trademarks. Come and join us in class and be a part of the best hour of your and my day!!
“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”
This a motto Dawn Wessman has embraced over the last 16 years of leading group exercise. “I love people and I learning new things. Incrementally improving at each fitness discipline has shown me anything is possible, at any age, especially when you’re surrounded by great people who are trying their best.” She began by leading yoga and Pilates classes in Salt Lake City, becoming a master trainer, then adding cycling, weightlifting, barre, boot camp, personal
training, Zumba and five children into the mix.
-Working out makes me a kinder mother.
-I taught college level Russian, religion and am a professional photographer.
Emily grew up as a ballerina and received her B.A. in Dance and Human Development, summa cum laude, from Connecticut College. She has been practicing yoga for more than 10 years and completed her 200-hour power yoga certification in early 2016. Emily danced professionally in Boston for several years. Her yoga classes intend to empower practitioners to feel grounded and joyful. When Emily is not in the studio, she can be found writing, hiking, reading, making art, and eating sushi.
I’ve been in the fitness industry for over 20 years and I won’t stop till I’m in a retirement home and by then, I will probably still be teaching chair aerobics or line dancing:) Some of my career highlights have included being an IDEA presenter at the National Fitness Conference in Las Vegas, choreographing a flash mob in Florida & performing in front of 1000 people, and I’ve even been in a few videos with Denise Austin and Tamilee Webb. My fitness career has given me the opportunity to be a sports model for Reebok, Cybex, and Rockport. I even danced for Mikhail Gorbachov with my dance company The Hip Hop Fun Shop for a special leadership conference.
I started at Waverley Oaks in late 2012 and I have never felt more excited to go to work than I do now. I recently got married and the members showed me so much love and appreciation with their kind words, well wishes and more…. It really is a community here and the members are a second family to me. I am very excited for the future at Waverley Oaks. I hope to see all of you in my classes soon!
I call Pilates a FUNCTIONAL FITNESS program. Over time it has expanded from a basic concept of enhancing core muscles into a complete low impact workout. This will improve both the body and mind.
In the past twelve years of teaching I have expanded my training skills to include the latest techniques including Barre and other Pilates equipment, all of which I am certified to work with. My workouts are all about precise and controlled movements while maintaining proper alignment. My low-impact approach has been proven to sculpt strong, lean bodies, improve muscular imbalance, flexibility and posture, as well as help release tension.
What more can you ask for…AND…your body will thank you
I am so happy to be a part of the WOAC community. This is such a warm and welcoming club for both instructors and members.
In 2003 I was helping dear friends open a fitness center for seniors and physically challenged individuals. There was an evident need for Yoga at the club, but I had never taken a yoga class in my life. My friend was adamant that I would enjoy it and should teach it. So, off I went to a ViniYoga training program. The philosophy of ViniYoga is anyone can practice. Surprise, I loved it from the very first class. I taught yoga there for 3 years and became a “sub” yoga teacher at Waverley Oaks Athletic Club.
Yoga is a union, combining the inside and outside, being mindful and in the present. The most meaningful lesson for me in my ViniYoga journey has been learning to be in the present and not expending a lot of mental energy ruing the past or worrying about the future. I believe it is important we make our lives with what we have, not what we do not have. Practicing yoga is key to keeping that balance in focus.
Anyone can practice yoga – tall, short, overweight, underweight, young, old – my classes are about doing what you can. If your fingers do not reach the floor in a forward bend, that’s ok – you can still reap the benefits of a forward bend to your own ability. Moving through the postures is only one element of the yoga experience. I am there as your yoga guide, the hour is your own personal yoga experience. I offer posture adjustments and alternatives to meet differing ability levels. Overall I aim to have the participants in my classes leave feeling more relaxed, centered and in the present moment.
Once upon a time there was a curly haired girl named Dory who had a two-pack-a-day cigarette habit. A smoker for 13 years at age 23, she realized her life-style HAD to change. A friend dared her to join a health club, which was a big deal since she had always ridiculed health clubs, viewing exercising indoors as a complete waste of time. A few months into her membership, Dory reluctantly joined an aerobics class. After a lot of struggling, as most do, with the moves, directional changes, and generally keeping up, she eventually got the hang of it. More importantly, Dory saw an incredible change in her body, her attitude, and her energy. Six months later Dory became a certified aerobics instructor.
Dory has been teaching group exercise for nearly 29 years. She loves all forms of group exercise, but is most passionate about water aerobics. Join Dory for a spirited, joyful water workout at Waverley Oaks. Or attend BodyPump with Dory as she leads you through one of her favorite Les Mills programs with energy and enthusiasm. Come find out why Dory loves what she does so much!
I joined my first gym (parental signature was required!) at the age of 15 and got into weightlifting on a daily basis after school. I had no license and had to find rides to the gym in Cambridge, but I never wanted to miss a workout.
I started teaching Group Fitness at a small club in Watertown 12 years ago. My first certification was in Cardio Kickboxing and Cardio Sculpt — and I never would have pursued fitness as a part or full time career had I not been asked to do so back then! It wasn’t something I volunteered for, but so happy that someone noticed my skills.
Teaching is important to me because fitness and a healthy lifestyle are such a huge part of my life, I love that I get to share that with others on a near daily basis. It works well when you believe in something and have passion for it. Others notice and want a part of it too. My job is to spread health and build strength in others. It’s a privilege.
There are so many significant memories over the past 12 years that have made me love my job… members overcoming illnesses, moms whipping their bodies back into incredible shape before my eyes, countless tryouts where I thought I didn’t know what I was doing only to be hired on the spot (confidence boosters!), and classes that I had to give up that I miss dearly and won’t ever forgot, obviously.
What I love most about my classes are the people. There have been SO many instances where driving to a certain location or continuing to teach at a certain club just no longer makes sense for me or my schedule and yet I find myself continuing to teach there for years after simply BECAUSE of the members that I see every week. They appreciate what we do and it makes it worth it.
Kim Clements has worked in the fitness industry for over 30 years as Instructor, Program Director and Studio Owner. During this time, Kim’s focus has gravitated more and more towards focusing on woman’s fitness … for women of all ages! Her classes emphasize strength, balance and alignment borrowed from her training in Stott Pilates, Vini Yoga, Stretch, Strength Training, and Classical Ballet. Kim believes exercise, in any form, is a way of life, and should be approached in the safest and least-stressful way possible. Humor and fun are a big part of Kim’s Zumba classes, … likewise,… focus and control play a big part in her Barre Basics and Body Conditioning classes.
Kim received her classical training at Boston Ballet, and in her spare time, competes around the country as a Ballroom and Latin dancer.
If you have ever been to one of my classes, you know I love my hats and I wear many of them. I’m the friend that pulls over when I see you in the parking lot to see how your day is going. I’m the mom that races to my son’s elementary school because he forgot that Wednesday is violin lesson day. I’m the spouse that picks up my husband’s favorite pot stickers from Trader Joes…and, I’m also your fitness coach.
You know how fitness peaks and flows in your life? Yeah, same over here! It’s always been in my life but it’s taken so many turns, ups and downs and I love the journey it has taken me on. After my son was born 9 years ago, I was looking to get back in shape. I had a laptop so I ordered some workout DVDs. I jumped around to the routine in my living room. I had no idea at the time but I was planning my future. Strength takes time and that’s exactly what I gave myself- the gift of patience. Working out is a mindset. Hard work will pay off. You will become stronger. You will learn the importance and beauty of rest. And, committing to fitness is understanding when to push and pull back. I know this because I walk this talk every day. What was jumping around in my living room is now training for road and obstacle races, managing/teaching a Kids program at my son’s school and cheering on my friends and family as they find their fitness paths. I hope you’ll join me, all you need to do is show up and then we will figure out the rest. Promise!
Ken started his fitness journey in 1985 when he started running as a way to finally quit smoking. At first, running a block seemed like an impossible goal, but soon running became part of his daily life, with training runs of up to 12 miles several times a week and regular 5 Mile and 10K races. He joined Waverly Oaks Athletic Club to add weight training to his routine, but running remained his primary sport.
Alas, twenty years of running took a toll, and after suffering repeated chronic injuries, Ken had to give up running. When his physical therapist recommended spin classes, Ken wasn’t convinced…how could a group fitness class replace running? Finally he gathered up enough courage to take that first step into the dark, loud, scary room and was hooked! He became a certified instructor shortly after.
In addition to Spin, Ken’s fitness routine now includes distance road cycling, weight training, yoga, and even some running. “The cross training that Spinning provides is really important to build strength and maintain cardio fitness, especially during the New England winters” Ken notes. His classes incorporate high intensity intervals, hills for strength building, and speed work for endurance. “While I try and make my classes challenging for everyone, I always remember my very first class and how intimidating it was, so I encourage everyone to work at their own pace. The members at Waverley Oaks are great, and they welcome newcomers and cheer them on…they really inspire me!”
Ken works at Education Development Center in Waltham during the day. He has a BA in Music from the University of Delaware, as well as a Master’s in Education from Harvard University. He often travels internationally for work, and says the wildest spin classes he has taken were in Manila, Philippines and Maputo. Ken also sings with Boston Jazz, an a cappella group based in the Boston area.
Julie Montalto is a graduate of Boston University Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. After spending several years working in the fields of benefits and education, she took her anatomy and physiology education and applied it to becoming a Certified Personal Trainer in 2000. Having taken her first Les Mills BodyPump class in the mid-nineties, she enthusiastically became an instructor in that program.
She truly values the science behind Les Mills programs and the energy, challenge and FUN that comes with the workouts. She encourages her training clients and class participants to achieve their personal best in each and every workout and class. She hopes to inspire participants to appreciate the challenge of the workout and to especially have a great time during class. Taking her training to the next level, she received a certificate in nutritional counseling and guides people in viewing food as fuel and understanding that calories are their energy, not their enemy. She is also a certified Indoor Cycling instructor.
Julie is thrilled to bring her love of fitness to Waverley Oaks Athletic Club and is inspired by the members’ efforts and participation. She is truly honored to be an instructor and is thoroughly enjoying the enthusiasm and passion for fitness that the members have. Her favorite part of the workout is the smiles of the participants as they sweat it out and take their fitness to the next level.
Julie has lived in Natick, Massachusetts for over 25 years with her husband, daughter, and beagle.
Melissa & Sheila MacDonnell (The MAC ATTACK)
We love group fitness. This is probably because we come from a family of 10 children and two very active parents and we would often workout together. This is also why it is awesome to co-teach cycle class! Our favorite part of teaching is picking out fun and motivating songs to ride to and creating challenging terrains
ranging from fast sprints to heavy climbs. Cycle is a perfect way to get a vigorous cardiovascular workout and great strength training in a low impact way. It allows athletes of all fitness levels to participate in class and get an amazing work out. As sisters and best friends, we always encourage each other to hit our own individual fitness goals, and we love helping our class do the same! We also try and have a lot of fun and build great friendships in the process. If you’ve never tried cycle or our class before we would love to meet you!
I cannot remember a time when fitness has not been part of my life.
Whether it be running a marathon or biking to New York, running up Mount Washington or teaching a spin class…. I have one switch and it’s ON!! I get the same enjoyment and satisfaction crossing a finish line as I do seeing a first timer or a “regular” in spin class push themselves beyond their comfort zone. I took the very first spin class offered here at WOAC back in 1995 and have been hooked ever since. It is the perfect balance of movement and music where you can challenge yourself individually all while having a sense of team where everyone is working together. Class is not a race it’s a ride and some days you need a little push up that hill and other times your pulling but either way we start and end together…and good news we haven’t lost anyone yet!!
Fun-loving, pink-haired children’s theater teacher who began practicing yoga sporadically in 2012 in hopes to alleviate low back pain. She did not fully commit to the practice until 2016 after having a powerful emotional experience in pigeon pose on her living room floor.
In that moment, she realized that something deeper was happening in these physical shapes, and she couldn’t get enough of it. Inspired by her own personal growth and discovery, she completed her 200-hr certification through MANTRA Yoga in Danvers, Massachusetts under Marlena Bruno in 2018.
Her hope as a teacher is to not only help others to manage physical, mental, and emotional stress, but to help people experience the profound connection between all three. She is also committed to holding a space where all walks of life, levels of ability, genders, races, and ages feel both welcomed and supported. Her teaching style is silly, playful, but also committed to breaching the gap between the poses and the reason behind them.
When she’s between cracking bad jokes, Tina is providing explanations with simple language to help her students find a deeper understanding of the practice, and help beginners feel invited into the community. When she’s not on her mat, she’s dancing, singing, playing ukulele, swimming or hiking – always with the biggest smile on her face!
Amy began teaching HI-LO aerobics back when leotards and legwarmers were the exercise fashion (she actually knit her own) – thankfully, we can now say, “We’ve come along away baby!” Though she didn’t know it at the time, her instructor abilities started blooming at Bedford High School where she was a three year varsity cheerleader. After high school, Amy continued to stay active by hiking and jogging. She discovered the recreation department in town offered a Jazzaerobics, a privately owned trademarked class. Twice a week you could find Amy and her friends dancing.. somewhat a little rigid – remember it was a fitness class, to 80’s Pop hits like Flash Dance, Hit Me with your Best Shot, Physical and Centerfold. After a year and a half of being a participant to the “Solid Gold” dance parties in the high school’s gymnasium, Amy was approached by the Jazzaerobics instructor, inquiring whether there was an interest in teaching. Amy didn’t have to think twice, the answer was YES and that’s how it all began.
Over the pass 30+ years as exercise fashion improved, Amy has extended her instructor fitness career to include: step, muscle conditioning, yoga and indoor cycling classes. She has and still teaches at a variety of venues: nonprofits, schools, churches, private corporations and fitness centers. Her certifications include: AFAA Fitness Instructor (Aerobics & Fitness Association of America), Mad Dogg – Spinning, YogaFit, FreeMotion’s RIP:60, Les Mills: BodyPump, BodyStep, BodyFlow, CXWORX and most recently an ACE (American Council on Exercise) Personal Trainer.
A graduate of Bentley College in Waltham, Amy is a full time accountant for Instrumentation Laboratory in Bedford Massachusetts. She has one adult daughter. During Amy’s free time, she enjoys running (always in a training mode ), yoga, cooking, reading, knitting, gardening and baking – her specialty being cookies.
Corinne has been passionate about exercise from a young age. She grew to love the conditioning drills she learned at her dance, gymnastics, and all-star cheerleading practices, and moving to the beat of music always came naturally to her. She was first introduced to LES MILLS by her mom, who is a BODYPUMP and BODYSTEP instructor. During long car rides to cheerleading practice, they would listen to the music for the newest releases and review choreography together.
Many years later, her mom’s experiences building strength and confidence in herself and others as an instructor inspired Corinne to start teaching classes of her own. Corinne became a BODYPUMP instructor in 2014 and has since completed four other LES MILLS certifications: BODYCOMBAT, LES MILLS GRIT, LES MILLS BARRE, and LES MILLS SPRINT. She is honored to be part of the Waverley Oaks LES MILLS team, and she hopes that her high-energy classes will encourage members to fall in love with exercise and keep coming back for more. The energy of a group fitness class is contagious – you are able to push your limits and accomplish more than you ever thought was possible!
Practicing Vinyasa yoga for over 20 years has been transformational. However, finding the practice that worked best for me and my body was not obvious at first. As a child I was not physically active, I was overweight, lacked energy and had chronic back pain. I also suffered from scoliosis and hip alignment issues.
A little later in life a friend introduced me to yoga. Immediately I was drawn to the physicality of it, improving my core strength, balance, and alignment. I also discovered all the benefits of mental wellness it delivered. With these improvements to my body I began to explore other forms of exercise and eventually became an avid snowboarder. Unfortunately, I sustained several injuries in races which never self-corrected. It was all in thanks to my yoga practice that my physical ailments rectified themselves and I found more energy and strength to do all the activities I loved so much. I became calmer, clearer, and more focused on enjoying life in the moment. It was the mind body connection developed in my practice that kept me coming back for more.
For this reason, I pursued teaching and truly enjoy recreating that feeling for my students.
If you feel stressed, depressed, lethargic, overstimulated, unable to focus, tired-but-wired then yoga may be what you need to bring you back to balance. Yoga classes are modified for all levels. Come join me. Namaste.
Aly grew up locally in Belmont, Massachusetts and has recently returned to the area after being away for 10 years. She has been an avid athlete since starting to play soccer at age 5. After years competing on state-level track and soccer teams, Aly knew she did not want to give up athletics when she went to college. It was during her time at BYU that she took up long-distance running and completed 3 half marathons and 1 full length marathon, but she still felt that the *fun* aspect to working out was missing. In her senior year of college, she discovered High Fitness, and her life has not been the same since!
Aly loves how High Fitness combines intense athleticism with crazy fun music, and that it can be modified to accommodate people at all fitness levels. When she started instructing in 2016, she discovered that High Fitness creates a space where people feel happy and welcome while they are working out, and that is what keeps them coming back. When Aly moved to Houston, TX in 2017 she was the only High Fitness instructor within 30 miles, and thanks to her efforts there are now over 15 classes a week in that area. Since moving back to Boston this summer Aly has introduced High Fitness to two local gyms and has grown to love her participants, regulars, and newbies. She cannot wait to meet you and help you fall in love with this format!
When Aly is not teaching High Fitness, she is chasing around her active 16-month old daughter, Giorgia, and planning her latest travel adventures with her husband Sean. She is also a full-time graduate student at Antioch University studying Marriage and Family Therapy.
Ellen Gaies has been a fitness instructor for 25 years, for both adults and middle school students. She has studied ballet, modern, contemporary, and jazz dance. Her passion for dance and fitness is evident in the heartfelt way she teaches her classes. Ellen emphasizes how to improve core strength, balance, and flexibility. She will help guide you to levels beyond your expectations. Her gentle encouragement and expertise provide a safe, relaxed atmosphere while keeping everyone challenged, smiling and on their toes! We welcome everyone to try this energetic and friendly class and learn how to move with grace and confidence.
Despite yoga being physical movement, Angela believes that yoga is more of a mental practice. Your thoughts be-come your reality. Yoga is challenging yourself to become aware of your thoughts/feelings, releasing judgement of yourself & others, becoming in sync with your breath and decompressing. Often, we get so caught up in our daily lives and in our head, we forget to be present and enjoy each moment. As a mom this is something she is personally working daily on. After experiencing the benefits of forming a practice her newfound love for yoga lead her to enroll in Power Yoga Teacher Training Yoga in 2015 and later complete her Pre/Postnatal Yoga Certification. Often a person with tight or sore muscles, Angela is a strong believer that Yoga is not just for the flexible, it is for everyone of all abilities. Angela encourages you to listen to your body and honor that asana practice looks differently in every-body. Through her desire to help others she is dedicated to motivate, inspire, and challenge you to work to your capacity.
When Angela is not on her mat, she enjoys coaching MX4, working on her own fitness, reading a good book & getting outdoors with her husband and two children.