Staff

                                                                                                                               

Our fitness and dance instructors are committed to the success of your workout goals! They are highly trained and certified to give you the best in fitness and health. While focusing on endurance and form, the workouts these instructors provide make every minute count. Spartan Fit Center staff believes in making our big variety of classes fun and energizing to keep your workouts exciting every time!

SDStaff_LR-44 Tiffany Russell, Owner & Instructor, has been dancing all her life. She was trained at Bay Valley Academy, Perry Woodard School of Dance, Russian Ballet Academy and Broadway Dance Center. She traveled internationally (1998-1999), touring in 7 countries and 55 cities and completed over 100 performances. In 2002, Tiffany obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in fashion design from the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago. Her artistic talents, knowledge and passion for the art of dance is the foundation for Spartan Dance Center. In 2011 Spartan Dance Center added another program to our schedule and Spartan Dance Company was launched under the instruction of Leah Seery. Our Company dancers compete at regional competitions. A couple years later in 2013, she opened Spartan Fit Center, which is our adult group fitness and dance program.


SDStaff_LR-10 Leah Seery, Instructor & Company Director, trained at Big City Dance Center and was a member of their nationally award-winning competitive company. She studied at Broadway Dance Center, the EDGE in L.A., and with choreographers such as Sonya Tayeh and Mandy Moore of So You Think You Can Dance. Performance experience includes: Walt Disney World, Premiere Cruise lines, the Moscow Ballet’s 2002 production of The Nutcracker, sporting events, and the premiere of Jeff Daniel’s “The Goodbye Girl.” Leah’s passion for performing, choreographing and teaching led her to coach high school dance teams; she has previously coached Walled Lake Western JV Poms and currently coaches South Lyon Varsity Pom, while teaching all levels of tap at studios across Michigan.


SDStaff_LR-16 Meghan Laskos, Manager & Instructor, was captain on her high school’s dance team and danced at nationally awarded dance studio, Suzette’s Masters of Dance. She attended Central Michigan University and danced on their modern dance company, Orchesis Dance Theater, while obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree with a Major in Interior Design and a minor in both Dance and Business Administration. She has been teaching and choreographing for 7 years at competition dance studios, attended regional and national competitions and conventions, and helped organize dance workshops with SYTYCD dancers. She also teaches Zumba® and other adult fitness classes at Spartan Fit Center.


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Becky Newcombe, Instructor & Fit Manager started dancing and cheerleading when she was in middle school and high school. Since then, she has been in the fitness industry for the last 8 years. She is a graduate of Michigan State University, with a Bachelors Degree in Child Development and a minor in Biology. She was an elementary school teacher in California for 5 1/2 years before raising her three school-aged children in Michigan. Becky started her passion in fitness with Zumba and continued further to get her specialty certifications in Zumba Toning, Aqua Zumba, Zumba Kids, Zumba Gold, Zumba Sentao and Zumba Step. She later added Z-box, Bokwa and Pound to her repertoire. In 2016 she became an AFFA licensed personal trainer. Becky manages Spartan Fit Center, runs our Off site fitness programs and teaches classes. Becky’s classes are fun, upbeat and positive. She teaches her classes to all levels and believes that all students should leave her classes feeling successful and confident.

SDStaff_LR-38 Shawn Heethuis, Manager, is a native of Muskegon, Michigan and came to East Lansing as a student at Michigan State University.  She has been active in the fine arts since a young age and is an alum of the MSU Spartan Marching Band.  Shawn is excited to join the SDFC family after spending 10 years at home raising her 3 children.


SDStaff_LR-26  Kathryn Hale, instructor, began dancing at the age of four. She began learning and performing at Miss Kathy’s School of Dance, and completed 6 years of competitive dance with the Encore Dance Company. Currently a senior at Michigan State University, she will be completing her degree in Elementary Education in the spring of 2016. Kathryn is also founder and third-year president of the MSU Spartan ShowStoppers. Kathryn has choreographed over 40 different performance numbers ranging from recreational classes, regional and national competitions, master classes, high school musicals, and Spartan ShowStoppers’ annual performances. She has studied the styles of ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, modern, hip hop, clogging, and musical theatre. She loves to share her passion for dance and enjoys working with her students at SDC


SDStaff_LR-50  Ben Owen, instructor, is a native of Grand Rapids Michigan. Ben grew up as an athlete playing baseball and soccer until high school. He is a graduate of Michigan State University where he earned his bachelor’s in Media Arts & Technology, where he specialized in video production. Since college he has ran the Lansing Lugnuts entertainment and marketing. Ben found fitness in 2013 and shortly after became a fitness coach. He became P90X certified in 2015. He enjoys strength and resistance training. Ben believes in correct form and finding a level of difficulty that is going to challenge you, yet not cause injury. When Ben is not working on our social media and marketing you can find Ben teaching Adult P90X and Adult Circuit classes.


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Ryan Thompson, instructor, Ryan danced with The Zone Dance Center from 2004-2007. In 2008, she switched schools and started going to Big City Dance Center where she was able to win scholarships at conventions they attended.  At WILD dance convention, she was able to win the Powerpak scholarship which consisted of assisting the teachers and touring with them. During the summer of 2009, Ryan attended Debbie Allen’s summer Intensive at her Dance Academy. There she worked with teachers like Cathie Nicholas and Madame Allah who was in the original Swan Lake and even Debbie Allen herself! In 2011, she left Big City Dance Center to attend Dancehouse in West Bloomfield, MI to widen my dance knowledge.  In 2012, Ryan returned to Big City Dance Center. She has worked with Tokyo at the studio, as well as Kacy Combs and Ade Obayomi. 

SDStaff_LR-32 Brian Daniels, instructor, is a certified personal trainer. He attended the American Academy of Personal Training in New York City and graduated in 2010. Brian lived and trained in New York City for four years before moving back home to East Lansing. Brian teaches CrossBox, Circuit and Strength classes at Spartan Fit Center. We are lucky to have Brian’s intensity and motivational skills as part of our group fitness program.


SDStaff_LR-13 Angela Maniaci, instructor, has been a certified CrossFit Level-1 Trainer since December of 2013 and enjoys teaching many styles of group fitness at Spartan Fit Center, including Crossbody, Strength, Plyometrics, and Stretch and Tone.  In addition, she also trains clients in Longevity and Mobility to help them stay limber as they increase their strength training and to improve quality of life.  Angela also holds a Nutritional Science bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, and works with clients to optimize their athletic performance and achieve wellness goals through nutrition.  She loves many activities, from lacrosse to horseback riding to beach volleyball – anything to get her moving and having fun.  She competitively ballroom danced for Michigan State University and continues to teach ballroom dancing at Spartan Dance Center and through MSU.



SDStaff_LR-1 Julie Maloney, instructor, started break dancing in 2008 at Michigan State’s Break Dancing club. After she watched the Bboy club dance on their linoleum with a big boom box at Sparticipation, she instantly knew she had to do it. Julie started gymnastics at a young age, and competed on Varsity throughout high school so a lot of the the balance and strength aspect of break dancing came naturally. She became a board member of the Bboy club my first year and sessioned atleast 3 times a week throughout college. Julie has Competed in battles all around Michigan and through out the United States. She hope that all students will fall in love with bboying and bgirling the way that I did when I first saw it! Julie graduated from MSU with a degree in education and when not teaching at SDFC she teaches second grade in East Lansing.


SDStaff_LR-47 Carmen Ruiz-Sanchez, instructor, is originally from Seville, Spain. She has taught Flamenco Dance, Kickboxing and Core classes in the United States since 1999. She is also a certified Zumba and Zumba Tone instructor. Carmen brings lots of fun, energy and a little bit of a Spanish flavor to her classes.


SDStaff_LR-29 Anne-Michelle Tessier, instructor, has been a dancer and a rhythmic gymnast since she was 5, and she has been hanging around the Spartan Dance family since its very beginnings. For the last five years, AMT has been a certified instructor of cardio kickboxing, step aerobics and group strength classes for YMCA Canada in Edmonton, Alberta. As of 2015, she is now based in Okemos and very happy to be teaching at Spartan Fit. Her specialty is teaching classes that blend high intensity, co-ordination skills and functional strength. She is also a East Coast swing dancer (especially Lindy Hop and 1930s Charleston) and a long-distance runner, and one of her favorite half marathons is the Lansing Capital City river run.


SDStaff_LR-23 Brianna Hamilton, instructor, is currently an Advertising student at Michigan State University, with a passion for fitness. She danced for 9 years in her hometown of Novi, Mi before joining the fitness realm. Once she began taking group fitness classes she was hooked, and decided to get licensed to teach Zumba in 2012. In the following years she got licensed in more Zumba formats including step, sentao, toning, and Aqua. She then decided to expand her skills and got certified to teach Spinning through Madd Dogg and barre fitness classes, which is her current specialty. Her barre classes are filled with fresh, and effective movements to challenge your body in a completely different way.


Emily Kieliszewski, Instructor is an Alpena, Michigan native, who graduated from Michigan State University majoring in both Political Science and Spanish. A dancer in her hometown for 16 years, she put her passion to work by becoming a tumbling instructor before moving on to instructing hundreds of athletes as a Cheer! Michigan staff member. Her training and talent in acrobatics helped secure a local title within the Miss America Organization, giving her the opportunity to compete for the title of Miss Michigan in June 2010. Emily has been lucky to be able to share her personal passion of dance with others throughout her life, and is excited at the opportunity to help others discover their own passion through SDC. And now we congratulate her on winning the title of Miss Michigan 2015, and we'll be cheering for her at the Miss America pageant in the Fall of 2015! Emily Kieliszewski, Instructor, is an Alpena, Michigan native, who graduated from Michigan State University majoring in Political Science and Spanish. A dancer in her hometown for 16 years, she put her passion to work by becoming a tumbling instructor before moving on to instructing hundreds of athletes as a Cheer! Michigan staff member. Her training and talent in acrobatics helped secure a local title within the Miss America Organization, giving her the opportunity to compete for the title of Miss Michigan in June 2010. Emily has been able to share her personal passion of dance with others throughout her life, and is excited at the opportunity to help others discover their own passion through SDC. And now we congratulate her on winning the title of Miss Michigan 2015!


FullSizeRender-4  Lauren Vollinger, Instructor, is a Chicagoland native with over 20 years of dance training from various studios and companies including the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, and River North Dance Company. She began teaching group fitness classes during undergrad while on DePaul University’s dance team. After graduation Lauren became the Head Dance Team Coach and Fitness Trainer for the DePaul University Spirit Squad. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Community Psychology at MSU with a research focus on human trafficking. Lauren’s classes combine her love of dance, music, and fitness to give all levels a fun and challenging class!
 SDStaff_LR-4 Erin Quinn, instructor, has over 32 years of Irish Dance experience and 20 years teaching experience. She has competeted all across the US, Canada and Ireland and has performed at the Whitehouse, DTE and was part of an LG Electronics commercial. She also toured with Trinity Irish Dance Company and Riverdance. In 2001, after graduating from MSU with a degree in Zoology, Erin opened The Quinn School of Irish Dance. Over the years she has shared her passion for Irish Dance with hundreds of students and is excited to share her culture with the students at Spartan Dance Center.


 

 

 

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