MEET THE INSTRUCTORS

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CARISSA PAJO

Carissa grew up with an active lifestyle. Her childhood and teen years included competitive gymnastics, hula, Muay Thai, air riflery, soccer, judo, and track & field. However, Carissa's group fitness journey began in 2010 when she attended her first Zumba® class. She was shy and always claimed a spot in the back row. In 2012, she was encouraged by many to flip the script and became a licensed Zumba® instructor. Over the years, this first step has cascaded into a series of additional certifications for other group fitness formats, including Turbo Kick, Insanity, Core De Force, PiYo, SH1FT, L1FT, M1ND, R1ZE, and STRONG Nation™ (formerly known as STRONG By Zumba®). Her newest certification is for GROOV3.

Connecting with people through group fitness has developed from Carissa's hobby into her passion. In early 2020, she left her position as a Loan Analyst at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to pursue her dream of opening her own fitness studio. A few months later, she made it happen. Carissa's Fitness Studio opened in July 2020.

Whenever you attend a class with Carissa, you'll definitely be sweating with a smile.

Leilani Simons

LEILANI SIMONS

"Aloha, I’m Lei!  

 

I'm a dancer at heart...dancing is definitely in my blood!  A hula dancer since a very young age, with a little Tahitian here and there, and other than that whenever I hear music I just need to dance! So once I started doing Zumba® as a student I was swept away!  It did so much for me physically, mentally, & emotionally. I became an instructor in 2015 which allows me to share the awesomeness of Zumba® with everyone! It not only keeps us physically active, but helps us let go of all that may be going on around us! Even if it’s just for that hour, it helps us reset!

 

I lead 1 hour of Basic Zumba®. All are welcome, no experience needed. In Zumba®, there are no mistakes, I call that "freestyle," we just keep moving! You choose your own pace, but you can definitely get that intense Zumba sweat from my class! So come join me, let's dance it off!

 

Remember:  We can do everything through Christ, who gives us strength.

 

Philippians 4:13"

~Lei

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MARYLINE KETTAVONG

"Aloha I am Maryline!

 

Growing up in France, I started at the age of 9 with Ballet. I continued my journey with Jazz and Contemporary in my teens years. I discovered Zumba® when I moved to the United States and it reminded me that Dance was always in me! So I decided to become an instructor and started teaching in 2017.

Dance is my passion, my light, my happy place! I teach Zumba® Toning, Zumba Gold®, STRONG Nation™."

~Maryline

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MICHELLE GALLI

"Yoga has been a powerful tool that has supported me on my health & wellness journey. My hope is that it can also help you on yours!

Aloha- my name is Michelle & I'm excited to be offering yoga classes at Carissa's studio. A world traveler who has planted roots here in beautiful Hawai`i, I enjoy spending time in nature with family & friends, listening to music, and serving my community whenever I can. Kickboxing, swimming, pilates, Zumba & yoga are some of the many styles of fitness I enjoy. I am certified with Yoga Alliance with my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Certification. I love to sequence classes according to themes- relaxation, detox, yoga for manual labor, grounding, etc. in order to reach an attainable goal of releasing tension while building on flexibility & strength. Anyone can practice yoga! What's important is the desire to learn & be present with an open heart & mind. I look forward to practicing with you soon on the mat!

~Michelle

"Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self." -The Bhagavad Gita

Mie Fowler

MIE FOWLER

"I grew up in a very active family, learned how to snow ski at age 3, played basketball in middle school, started running at age 35 (yes, I still run short distance races), and became a STRONG Nation™ instructor in 2019. Wellness is my passion as I work as a healthcare provider, and focusing on building a STRONG body and STRONG mind. Come join me and let's sweat together!"

~Mie

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TANYA NAKAMA

Tanya is licensed to teach Zumba®, Zumba® Toning, Zumba® Kids, and STRONG Nation™.