DANIELLE MERRILL: Studio Owner / Ballroom Dance Instructor
Danielle began dancing at the age of three in her hometown, Norwich New York, under former Broadway Performer Bernie Windsor. She began Tap Dancing only a few years later and fell in love with rhythm. She tapped and competed over the course of the following ten years.
After attending Cazenovia College and receiving a degree in Communications, she began her professional Dance career with the Fred Astaire Franchise. Danielle now instructs Ballroom, which includes a large array of dances, rhythms, and stylings from all over the world including:
Foxtrot, Rumba, Waltz, Tango, Swing, Cha Cha Cha, Samba, Quickstep, Meringue, Viennese Waltz
Follow her on Facebook
KASSANDRA BAGGS: Dance Instructor
Kassie, a native of Boston Massachusetts, is a dance teacher and performing artist, who holds a Bachelors of Science in Dance from SUNY College at Brockport. From a young age she took interest in the art of dance and began studying Ballet at a local Gymnastics Center. She continued to pursue her passion in dance and, while in high school, studied Jazz at the Rochester Academy of Performing Arts, and took several modern dance classes at the Park Avenue Repertoire Dance Company. As a senior in high school, she taught a semester-long Hip-Hop/Jazz class to fellow students in fulfillment of her senior project requirement.
While in undergraduate at SUNY College at Brockport, Kassie majored in dance studying a wide variety of dance genres and discovered a love and passion for Contemporary Dance and African Caribbean Movement. As a college student, she was an active member of the Menzeko Dance Company, directed by Patrice Ann Mead.
After graduating, she attended Garth Fagan Dance, for several years, as a scholarship student and received extensive training in Fagan Technique. Kassie also holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from the Greater Rochester Collaborative MSW Program. Having experience working with youth for over 12 years in conjunction with the Rochester City School District, she has a passion for young people and a strong desire to see them succeed. Kassie taught Dance Fusion for a local youth development organization in February of 2009 and, during the fall of 2012.
Kassie’s most recent accomplishment was the design and implementation of a dance curriculum for the Young Women’s College Prep School, where she taught Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary Dance, and African Caribbean Movement from August 2012-February 2013. Kassie also has a love for the dance ministry, where she ministers the gift of dance through praise and worship.
Follow her on Facebook
MARISSA BLAND: Yoga Instructor
Marissa found yoga during college 4 years ago as a self-taught yogi. During this time she became involved with Yogis In Service, a non-profit organization that brings yoga to communities that have little or no access. She has taught ages 2 to 85 years on Buffalo's East Side every weekend for over a year and a half with Yogis In Service, and has watched yoga transform the lives of the individuals she gratefully serves. Marissa has taught children's yoga for at-risk populations, and is trained in trauma-sensitive yoga. She went on to graduate Grad school as a licensed and registered occupational therapist. She currently lives in Rochester, and works as an early intervention pediatric therapist for ages birth to 4 years on the west side. She specializes in sensory processing disorders, and incorporates sensory yoga into every therapy session. Marissa enjoys teaching whenever and wherever she can- from donation-based park yoga, to helping host hundreds at yoga special events. Marissa is beyond grateful to join the Nu Movement family and is so looking forward to meeting you and your little ones.
Follow her on Facebook
KELSEY CRETEKOS: Yoga Instructor
I have been an active yogi for five years and have been practicing for more than seven, but it wasn't until my third year that I began to understand the magic of yoga and put it into my daily routine. I am a 200 RYT through Breathe Yoga in Pittsford, a Baptiste affiliate school. I have also spent a weekend immersed with Bryan Kest, who is recognized as a creator of power yoga. I was a dancer (tap, jazz, ballet) for 13 years and have competed around various places on the East Coast. I am a Reiki Practitioner, Crystal Healer, and Hula Hoop Instructor. I also have experience teaching barre, Pilates, and spin classes.
It is my joy to bring Power Yoga to the community and help others learn the connection of linking breathing and movement, one breath at a time. I hold such dear love for yoga and plan on spreading it to whomever is open for interest. I like to keep my classes fun and focused. Through flowing, freedom, heat, and strength, these classes allow you release what is no longer serving you. Your 'stress' and 'worries', whatever may be, are no longer needed when your mind, body and spirit are in alignment. You will leave feeling surprisingly relaxed (after moving and sweating) and the rest of your day will glide along perfectly when you are n'sync with what is going on around you. "Energy flows, where attention goes." ~James Redfield
HEATHER FARQUHAR: Barre Fitness & Dance Instructor
Heather Farquhar found her love for dance at age two when she participated in her first ballet class, and since has developed into a passionate and accomplished dancer, performer and teacher. With more than twenty years of training and performance experience, she has studied many different styles of dance including Ballet, Tap, Modern (Graham and Limon technique), Highland, Jazz, Burlesque, Hip Hop, Acro, Lyrical and Contemporary. Heather received Honours on her Intermediate R.A.D ballet examination and completed her B.A.T.D Teachers Associates in Dance and is a NCCP Level 1 gymnastics coach. She also attended the National Ballet School of Canada Summer School Program. Heather opened and operated her own dance school for multiple years in Chatham, Ontario to students ranging in ages from 3 to 16, offering a variety of styles.
Heather attended York University in Toronto and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with Honours majoring in ballet and modern. She danced extensively in different dance companies in Toronto giving her an abundance of opportunities to perform in various industry events, music videos, commercials, on Much Music television and many corporate events throughout the city. She also was part of the performance team selected to travel to Dubai to dance in a month long festival.
She was a member of the Toronto Rock Cheerleading Team from 2014-2016, performing at all homes games in front of crowds of 10,000 plus. She also worked as one of the teams choreographers.
Heather is also certified personal trainer and a Level one Pilates Mat instructor.
Heather has recently made the move to Rochester, NY and is excited to start her teaching career at Nu Movement.
NICOLE GILBERT: Yoga Teacher
Since the first day I took a yoga class, I became excited about the idea of teaching yoga. I love teaching and inspiring people to find their best and fullest potential. I believe in the power of teaching and learning. For over fifteen years I coached ski racing as a certified alpine race coach, I teach online classes as an adjunct teacher and train student employees working in university dining. I received a MS degree in Instructional Technology and MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology. As a recent graduate of Yoga Teacher Training with Breathe studio and a registered 200-hour yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance, I look forward to guiding you in your yoga practice.
I have practiced yoga for over ten years now, starting my practice to alleviate back issues. Through regular practice, I found that yoga not only helps my back feel better, but also creates space for me to consciously listen to what makes “me me” in a deeper way. I realize yoga is not just an activity, but also a way of life. As I continue to benefit from my yoga, I am increasingly passionate about sharing my experience and knowledge. What I love about yoga, it’s accessible to everyone looking for balance in their life and connection with their body, through intentional work one breath at a time.
LINDA BAYER LAWRENCE: Yoga Instructor
Linda rediscovered yoga 5 years ago and has been a devoted yogi ever since. An artist and art educator, Linda chose yoga for its physical benefits but mostly as a way to bring peace, calm and mindfulness into her busy life. She also uses yoga in her artistic pursuits as a method of opening to creative possibilities. The mind, body and spiritual connection that yoga offers is similar to the art making experience.
Linda completed her 200hr certification in 2016 followed by a certification in teaching yoga to children. She also became certified in Hikyoga in July under Nicole Kasimer. This summer Linda has taught yoga classes outdoors at I-Square in Irondequoit and hosts Hikyoga events around Rochester. Linda is excited to be part of the Numovement community and looks forward to leading you in a sweet vinyasa flow class linking breath and movement.
In addition to teaching and practicing yoga, Linda is an art educator in the Greece Central School District to k-5th grade students. She sells her glass beads & jewelry at galleries, boutiques and festivals in New York and elsewhere.
Follow her on Facebook
LESLIE MACDONALD: MSC., RAD-TC, Certified Pilates Matwork Instructor
Leslie started her long life in dance in 1967 at the age of 5 at the National Ballet School in Toronto, Ontario on Saturday mornings, then studied as a teenager at the Lois Smith School of Dance, and in the George Brown College dance program in Toronto. After extensive training as an adult under Patricia McLeod and Linda Godwin at the Royal City School of Dance in Guelph, Ontario, she passed the required executant exams then successfully undertook the Teaching Certification examination of the Royal Academy of Dancing, passing with honours. More than 10 years of teaching students of every age followed. Her Pilates teacher training began soon after at Pilates in Guelph, with certification as a Mat Specialist completed at Body Harmonics in Toronto. Studies at Dance Theatre David Earle in Guelph sparked a strong interest in modern dance, and a deep respect for mature dancers in general, and for Martha Graham in particular. After moving to Rochester in 2009 she was privileged to have studied with and taught for Christine Fendley of the Park Avenue Dance company, and recently for Elizabeth Clarke.
She has also worked with students of trumpet at the Eastman School of Music and at brass player’s symposia, applying the principals of Pilates for improved breathing, posture and increased confidence while performing. In the fall of 2016, retiring after a 30 year career in biological sciences research, Leslie is now focused full time on exploring teaching opportunities working with dancers, musicians and athletes and playing a lot more trumpet in local orchestras and small ensembles. After an intensive 100 hour Pilates retraining and recertification program with Body Harmonics in Toronto in the fall of 2016 Leslie is delighted to be a member of Nu Movement and the possibilities it offers for teachers and students alike.
KEN PLOSSL: Yoga Instructor
Ken was introduced to yoga in 2010 during a visit to his sister in Denver and is excited to incorporate it into his life. Besides being a yogi, he is also an avid runner and Crossfitter. Yoga has been beneficial in helping Ken to breathe more effectively in his other athletic activities and he would like to share this and other benefits with those around him!
He is a highly energetic person and very excited about his new journey in teaching yoga! He just recently finished his 200 hour YTT and is looking forward to learning, growing and sharing his story with those around him.
In addition to yoga, Ken is a client support specialist for employee benefits and loves his dogs, coffee, and being with friends and family.
HOLLY RIZZO: Yoga Instructor
Yoga is all about connection....
In 1998 I had chronic all over body pain that had me nearly bed ridden for months. I had been to all the right doctors, done all the right tests; yet none of them could diagnose this pain. This was 20 years ago, I was living in Florida and had never heard of yoga. When the last doctor I saw recommended I do some research into alternative healing methods, yoga resonated with me. I got a yoga cd and began practicing at home, with this intense focus on the sensations of pain in my body and sensations of not pain. My body was communicating through these levels of not pain and pain, and that was what informed my movements in practice. Practicing this way also lead to greater awareness in how I lived my life. I started to make changes in my life to improve my health and that of my family. The intense pain that brought me to yoga, slowly went away. Back then it was hard to put my finger on one single reason for its departure, as I had changed so many things simultaneously and I was busy living! I know today, the mind and body connection I found in my yoga practice is what made and continues to make healing possible in my life.
I practice yoga almost every day and my curiosity has continued to grow and evolve right along with my practice. I have so much direct experience with yoga practice leading to healing in my life, I feel compelled to share it with others. It truly is an honor for me to guide students as they discover connection and healing within themselves through the practice of yoga.
Holly has 700 hours of Yoga Teacher certifications. She recently earned a teaching certificate from Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy School, where she plans to continue her education to become an internationally certified Yoga Therapist. She is a volunteer at the Women's Sanctuary and a Yoga Service Council member. She is a mom and grandmom to many fur and non-fur beings whom she adores. She loves to sing, although not everyone loves when she does. She gardens, paints, writes and loves summertime and chocolate. You can connect with her here or on her website Mbodiedyoga.org
VESNA SANDERS: Yoga Instructor, Gong Practitioner & Om Chanting Coordinator
Vesna has been a devoted yoga student for over twelve years and part of Nu Movement since almost it’s very beginning! Her yoga practice began with faster (Ashtanga Vinyasa) yoga styles, but she later naturally transitioned into a slower and more alignment-based practice. She became a certified yoga teacher, (CYT) in 2012 through Shakti Yoga in Geneseo, NY. Vesna obtained her Prenatal yoga teacher certification, (CPYT), through Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, MA.
She offers Gong Sound Healing classes and is grateful to have had the legendary Gong master Don Conreaux as her teacher. She is also the only certified OM Chanting Coordinator in Rochester, NY and leads regular OM chanting circles.
Vesna’s teaching style is intuitive but precise, caring and non-judgmental, and her focus in always in creating more awareness – in our practice and in our lives. Her goal as a yoga teacher is to help students find their own inner truth, and to awaken to inherent possibilities they may not be aware of.
Vesna has taught yoga in both Europe and the US, and currently lives in Rochester, NY with her husband Paul and their six-year-old son Teo Levi. In addition to Hatha yoga, she is a devoted Atma Kriya Yoga practitioner and she enjoys photography (www.vesnasanders.com), walks in nature and, of course, a good book.
LIZA SAVAGE-KATZ - Yoga Instructor
Liza (pronounced Leeza) Savage-Katz has been teaching yoga and fitness at premiere health clubs, fitness studios, retreats, corporations and privately since 2002. She has taught yoga in Los Angles, London, Thailand, and New York, designing unique programs for each individual. Her students range in age from 2 to 92 (literally). She has worked with professional athletes as well as children and adults with special needs and those recovering from addiction. Liza transforms bodies and lifestyles using her dynamic expertise as well as her infectious, motivational personality. Ms. Savage-Katz’s intention is to support everyone that enters her life to realize their best selves. She has trained extensively receiving teaching certifications in Kathmandu, Nepal, New York City, Los Angeles, and Rochester.
Liza currently resides in Rochester, New York and is a yoga instructor at Nu Movemnt and the JCC of Greater Rochester. She is a Certified Movement & Mindfulness Curriculum Trainer for Move with Me Yoga Adventures and teaches yoga enrichment at Trinity Montessori as well as facilitating professional development workshops and retreats for teachers.
Ms. Savage-Katz is the founder of a small productions company that produces wellness and fitness content. In 2015, she launched an exhibit call Embrace Every Angle. Embrace Every Angle is a multifaceted project celebrating our origins while encouraging acceptance for ourselves and our ever expanding tribe. It is a community-based collective movement facilitating artistic expression, transforming it into financial support for both the artist and various charitable causes. In addition, its versatile platform promotes personal empowerment, planet sustainability, inclusion, community and collaboration. In addition tothe Embrace Every Angle Exhibit, Liza is also developing a children’s program called Kaleidoscope ME. Kaleidoscope ME is a social and emotional educational series with a fitness component, co-created with Leah Kalish, founder of Move with Me Yoga Adventures. Liza has served as faculty of the Center for Movement Education and Research since 2003 and was the talent and choreographer for their Kid’s Get Movin’ DVD. She is also a wellness coach and fitness expert and has written articles and been featured in Yoga Journal, SELF, Rochester Woman’s Magazine, and Healthy Edge Magazine. She works with DoTerra Essential Oils, and has started a signature essential oils line called LOVE… A Little Goes a Long Way.
Liza has been a competitive rower since 1998, rowing at Sons of the Thames and Tideway Scullers School. She is presently a masters rower and rowing coach. She started rowing while living in London where she was a Senior Art Director in advertising, working on accounts such as Disney, Coca-Cola, Vidal Sassoon and L’Oreal.
Liza’s greatest accomplishment is being a Mother to her son, Zuma. Come join her Monday through Friday for The Morning Practice at Nu Movement.
BROOKE SOFINOWSKI - RYT
Brooke first discovered yoga at a small studio in Toronto more than a decade ago and dabbled at home with DVDs for several years. After moving to the Rochester area in 2014, she joined a gym and discovered that she could attend as many yoga classes as she wanted to, all the time, every day. Brooke immediately fell in love with the experience of a face-to-face class in a room full of yogis with a real live instructor, and quickly developed a (not sustainable) six-class-per-week yoga habit.
She has been working on embracing balance and moderation, but admits that it's not exactly her forte. A passionate trail- and ultra-runner, Brooke completed her first 100k in 2017, and recently finished three trail ultra-marathons in a span of less than four months. She integrates her yoga practice into her training plans and credits yoga with her ability to cover distances on hilly and technical terrain, recover quickly, and touch her toes even after a long run.
Brooke is a firm believer that a regular yoga practice can enhance all areas of our lives, cultivating self-awareness, deepening personal relationships, developing resilience, mitigating the effects of stress, improving overall health, and preventing injuries. She completed her 200-hour certification at Midtown Athletic Club and taught previously at the Town of Webster Recreation Center. Brooke is beyond excited to share her love of yoga with you in her weekly classes!
TARA SULLIVAN - Jivamukti Yoga Instructor
Tara Sullivan started her professional life as a soprano, and after graduating from Sarah Lawrence College with a Music degree she sang sacred and secular music professionally in and around New York City. Her profound experiences as a student of the Alexander Technique led her to complete the rigorous three-year teacher certification program at the American Center for the Alexander Technique (ACAT) in 1998. She then became a member of the Music faculty at Long Island University's C.W. Post Campus for several years where she taught the Alexander Technique as an integrated part of the Music curriculum. Her nearly twenty years teaching the Alexander Technique include an extensive private practice as well as a host of settings including universities, retreats, and community centers.
Tara has lived and worked in New Zealand, Central America, Woodstock, NY, and most recently Berkeley, CA. She is a graduate of the yoga teacher training at Samadhi Yoga in Sydney (now Jivamukti Yoga Sydney) and the Jivamukti Yoga teacher training at the Omega Institute with Sharon Gannon, David Life, Yogeswari, and Ruth Lauer Manenti. Tara has studied natural vision improvement and the Eyebody Method extensively with Peter Grunwald, including organizing all his work in the United States for over a decade, as well as responsibility for his English language printed and recorded matter, and editing both editions of his book, Eyebody - the Art of Integrating Eye, Brain and Body (2008).
While the Alexander Technique has always been her touchstone, Tara taught yoga extensively in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the yoga philosophy portion of Square One Yoga's teacher training program. She brings her love of Jivamukti's rigor, beauty, musicality and depth to not only her Jivamukti classes but also pre- and post-natal, corporate, and most recently gentle yoga classes. Nearly 10 years of daily home practice have yielded experiences that are her motivation to share the teachings with others.
Above all, Tara is grateful to have had amazing and generous teachers in her life, without whom she would be lost. Among these are Ruth Golden, Daniel Singer, Sandhi Ferreira, Sharon Gannon and David Life, as well as the work of Paul Watson and the music of Mark Deutsch. She is solo mother to a young feral boy, who she is raising vegan, anti-speciesist and punk rock.