Michelle A: Owner, Pole Dancing, Tone & Tighten, Burlesque Instructor
Michelle has been a performer all of her life, from her first recital at age 3, to performing in front of millions as a New England Patriot Cheerleader at Superbowl XXXVI.
She has studied a variety of dance styles ranging from ballet, tap, and jazz in her younger years, to funk-jazz, cheer-dance, pole dancing and cabaret/burlesque in her later years. In total, Michelle has performed for 10 professional sports teams ranging from NFL, WNFL, AHL, AFL, AFL 2, CBA, and USBL.
Michelle has been teaching dance for over 11 years in the Connecticut area and continues to perform locally. Michelle is a X-Pert, Vertical Dance, and PDC certified pole instructor, as well as a member of the PFA and the APFA.
Tony A: Owner, Pole Dancing Instructor
Tony became interested in learning to pole dance after watching his wife Michelle train for years. He would use the pole that Michelle installed in their living room to do pull ups and leg lifts every morning. As he noticed his body becoming stronger, he became even more interested and started to take classes with Michelle to gain more formal training.
After more than a year of practicing, Tony decided he was ready for the next step and went through the rigorous X-Pert Teacher Certification. Tony passed with flying colors and became Work It Dance and Fitness’ first male pole dancing instructor.
Erika A: Pole Dancing Instructor
Erika grew up in the small town of Brookfield, CT. She never felt she was part of the “in” crowd due to her love and passion for the fine arts (her areas of expertise are urban, multicultural, and feminine studies). By day, she is a school teacher, and by night she has a passion for the art of pole dancing.
Erika became interested in pole dancing to help build her self-esteem after she was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease. With the use of medication and physical fitness, Erika battles to keep her symptoms under control. She started pole dancing in December 2009 under the instruction of Michelle Abbruzzese(Owner).
Erika also trained in several pole dancing studios across CT and in NYC as her passion became deeper. She continues to challenge herself by taking various pole classes from leaders in the industry. Erika is a certified X-Pert and Vertical Dance Trained Pole Instructor.
Growing up a tomboy, Paula was a natural track athlete who hated the gym. She has always had a love for dance and movement and in college she was part of a Latin performing group called C.O.L.A.D.A. Now as an adult, she was looking to find something that played to her desire for fitness, friendly competition, and fun.
One day Paula and her friends decided to take a Intro to Pole class. One problem…Paula’s friends all decided to cancel and she ended up coming to class alone! Nervous and unsure what she was about to try, Paula decided to stay and see what is it all about. Little did Paula know that she was about to embark into a whole new exciting world.
Tava N: Bellydancing Instructor/Performer
Tava is a life-long dancer who began her training in bellydance as a New Year’s resolution in2000. Now, as a highly regarded instructor, choreographer and performer in the tri-state area, Tava has choreographed for theatrical productions ranging from Fantasy Bellydance to Shakespeare. She has performed at many prestigious theaters including DNA, Merce Cunningham and The Gene Frankel Theater, as well as clubs, restaurants and cultural events.
Known for her fluid and expressive style, Tava has appeared on television, in print, and on multiple DVD’s. www.BellydancebyTava.com
Jeannie S: Yoga Instructor
Jeannie Stevens has been teaching Yoga for many years. Her classes are geared toward creating a safe, warm and healing environment.
Jeannie has a 200 hour Vinyasa Yoga certification with Rolf Gates, a 200 hour Forrest Yoga certification with Ana Forrest, a 50 hour Ashtanga training with Valerie Schneiderman, Yoga Shala, in addition, has taken workshops with many amazing teachers and believes that the “Practice” is the true teacher.
Jeannie teaches yoga to Athletes, Coaches, Executives, Construction Workers, Dancers, Moms, Dads, Children to Seniors. Whether you are brand new to yoga or have been practicing for a while, Jeannie has the unique ability to teach to beginners and advanced students in the same class.
Whether you are looking for an active vigorous class or a gentle passive class Jeannie can gear the class to meet your needs. If you are not sure because you are new to yoga, just come and experience what Jeannie has to offer.
Naja M: Flexibility and Stretch Instructor
Naja has over 10 years experience in Circus Arts, as a teacher, choreographer and performer.
Naja studied at the San Francisco Circus Center where she received specialized training and study in Chinese acrobatics, doubles, hand-balancing foot juggling, rope, static trapeze, hoop and tissue.
She worked for 10 years with The New Pickle Circus, Vau de Vire Society, Velocity Circus and Earth Circus and at the San Francisco Circus Center as a Choreographer, Coach and Asst. Director for the SF Youth Circus productions.
Naja has performed in contortion, doubles hand-balancing and hoop. Naja graduated from North Carolina School of the Arts with a Ballet Concentration and has worked/performed in New York and Connecticut while continuing her education at Joffrey Ballet, New Haven Ballet and Hartford Ballet. She also acquired working knowledge of modern, ballroom, character, hip-hop and jazz dance.
Prior to circus arts she was a classically trained dancer and performed with the New Haven Ballet, Hartford Ballet, Moscow State Ballet and the Paul Hall Contemporary Dance Theater.
Cory M: Fusion Dance Fitness Instructor
Cory started his studies in modern dance while in his ninth grade year of high school. Growing up in Fayetteville, NC, Cory studied under two highly skilled dance instructors: Asha Bala, a well trained modern dance and Indian Bharatanatyam instructor and Charlene Cox a well known Modern, Jazz and African instructor.
Cory’s skills include West African, Modern, Hip-Hop and Jazz dance styles. He has taught in various workshops and performed in different venues throught out the east coast and the mid west.
Beth D: Zumba Instructor
Beth has been involved in fitness for over 10 years. She is well travelled, having lived in 3 continents, the experience has allowed her to have an open approach to life. After moving to Connecticut, she was looking for something to do when she stumbled upon her first Zumba class, Beth fell in love immediately and has been dancing for four and a half years and teaching for one and a half years.
She believes exercise is a necessity whether in a gym, a walk in the park or dance class in at a studio. Her philosophy is do whatever moves you, diversify your activities, try new things, keep and open mind and above do it safely.
Beth is a Certified Fitness Group Instructor (AFAA), licensed TRX® Instructor and a licensed Zumba® Instructor.