Meet the new instructors joining us for 2021 (Season 1)
Updated: Jan 15
Happy New Year Rae Studios Family!
We want to give some love to our newest instructors joining our crew as well as some veteran instructors returning to our schedule. We're super excited about all your artistry, knowledge, and work showcased in your weekly classes. Be sure to try out their class and share the Rae Crew love we all have.
Heather Leigh McKenzie Cardio Kickboxing Mondays 5:30pm PT
Heather Leigh McKenzie is a veteran trainer/instructor with 23 years of consistent training, teaching, and education. Heather Leigh teaches multiple formats and trains clients with a unique combination of knowledge, passion, compassion, and high-energy. She lives in Marin with her three kids and three dogs. When she’s not delivering sweaty smiles, you can find her mountain biking, surfing, hiking, and spending time with her kids! You can find Heather Leigh at @getheatherfit and check out her other online formats at www.moveyourasanafitness.com
Sheena Grams Booty Blast Mondays 5:30pm PT
Sheena has been dancing, performing, and teaching in San Luis Obispo County and Southern California since childhood and in the Bay Area and Las Vegas since 2008. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a Minor in Holistic Health from San Francisco State University in 2010, certified in Mat Pilates through A Body of Work Integrated Teacher Training in 2012, and became a Certified GYROTONIC® Trainer in 2013. She has worked with dance companies such as Detour Dance and Sarah Gould and Dancers and bands “Fans of Jimmy Century”, Robot de Niro, and Seeking Empire. She teaches gymnastics at San Francisco Gymnastics and AcroSports here in the Bay, has trained in aerial tissue, hoop, and steel apparatus. Sheena currently teaches fitness classes at Elevate Group Fitness, RAE Studios, and other fitness studio’s mixing cardio, resistance training, ballet barre, pilates core, and yoga into one total-body workout class.
Effie Mantzouranis Beg Heels "Femme & Flow" Mondays 6:30pm PT Int/Adv Heels "Queendom Heels" Mondays 7:30pm PT
Another veteran teaching back! Effie is a lifelong dancer that has trained in many styles of dance, from the fundamentals to dance hall, urban contemporary, afro, and hip hop. She has spent time in LA training in high heels fundamentals with Aisha Francis, Sienna Lyons, Kirra Harper, and she is an Alumni of the Galen hooked method. She currently teaches heels classes, as well as somatic and sensual movement workshops to help women and female of center individuals dance into their power, confidence, sensuality, and authentic self-expression.
Chandni Patel BollyX Wednesdays 5:30pm PT
We are so proud to bring Chandi back! Chandni is a BollyX instructor based out of San Francisco who has loved to dance for as long as she can remember! While moving around the country as a young kid, she stayed connected to dance through the addictive energy of Bollywood music. In the Bay Area, she competed with a Garba/Raas (a high-energy Indian folk style) team for a few years while also falling in love with dance fitness classes of different styles such as Zumba and U-Jam. Once she was introduced to the BollyX format, she knew it was the PERFECT fit for her and became a certified instructor in 2015! Since then, Chandni has loved to share her passion for dance and fitness through BollyX because people of all dance experience levels can join in, have fun, and get a great cardio workout! Besides Bollywood, Chandni also likes to train in different dance styles with particular interest in Dancehall, Afrobeats/fusion, and Reggaeton.
Claire Yanta-O'Mahoney Power Burn + Sweat Wednesdays 5:30pm PT
She's BACK and ready to kick our butts into this new year! Claire is originally a Midwest Gal from St. Louis and currently calls Denver home but has since lived in every corner of the country (New Orleans for 6 years and San Francisco for 2 years were favorites!), thanks to school, work, and her husband's military career. She found dance at 3 years of age, competed, performed in the London New Year's Day Parade, Disney World Thanksgiving Day Parade, was selected to perform through Showstoppers in Hawaii, and was a member of the San Diego Enforcer Girls Dance Team.
In high school Claire found the gym and fell in love with both fitness and wellness. She holds an American Council on Exercise Personal Training and Group Fitness certification, and is a Nutritious Life Certified Nutritionist. Claire holds a MS in Psychology from Tulane University in New Orleans and loves combining her favorite elements of various exercise disciplines into effective, empowering, and uplifting experiences.
Through fitness and nutrition coaching worldwide online through her Fleur de Lis Fitness business, Claire provides wellness solutions that help even the busiest professionals. She enjoys the intimacy of one-on-one coaching and also loves teaching group fitness here at Rae Studios, Athleta/Gap Headquarters, Equinox, Exubrancy Corporate Wellness, and NFC Amenities.
When she's not teaching, Claire can be found exercising, cooking (aka health-ifying recipes), reading, traveling near and far, and spending time with loved ones. Or oftentimes you'll catch her dancing. ;)
Kristie Lui Waacking Wednesdays 7:30pm PT
How excited are we to have Kristie joining us for the very first time at Rae Studios. Kristie has been training in Hip-Hop dance for seven years. While she primarily trains in waacking/whacking, she loves fusing multiple styles including popping, housing, and locking. Kristie is Co-Director of Str8jacket and has performed with them in America's Got Talent Season 12 and NBC's World of Dance Season 3. She is passionate about preserving the Bay Area Hip-Hop Dance Community and spreading the philosophies and culture of Hip-Hop.
Stefanie Schlief Belly Dance Wednesdays 7:30pm PT
Stefanie is a Bay Area performer and instructor specializing in belly dance and fusion dance. She has studied extensively at the internationally renowned Salimpour School, whose founders are credited with bringing the art of belly dance to the West Coast of the United States. She has received multiple certifications from the school and continues to pursue higher levels of training in the format for both on-stage performance and in-studio instruction. She has toured with the biggest and longest-running belly dance show, Bal Anat, and can be seen performing at many venues and music events throughout the Bay Area and California.
She currently dances in the Salimpour Collective and is a signed dancer at Rae Model and Talent Agency. Stefanie believes in combining a strong level of technique, knowledge of cultural significance and respect, and the creation of a positive, supportive environment to help her students get the most out of their classes. She welcomes all skill levels to join her in a safe, non-judgmental environment to shimmy, dance, and learn some new moves!
Iris Perkins Zumba Thursdays 5:30pm PT
Welcoming Iris back for a second season! Iris started dancing when she first watched Janet Jackson’s “Miss You Much” music video at the age of 6 and has never stopped. Trained in contemporary, modern, jazz, ballet, and hip-hop she’s brought her experience to middle and high schoolers in the past two decades through workshops, classes, and as a part-time teacher. She now teaches ZUMBA for all to break a sweat and dance out their worries from the day. When Iris isn’t dancing, she’s working as the Director of Adolescent Programming for a national non-profit.
Dina Figueroa Intermediate Choreography Saturdays 1:00pm PT
Bringing back DINA for Season 4. Dina took some time off to readjust with moving, but she's back and READY to DANCE! Dina Figueroa began her dance career in the heart of LA where she would sign herself up for dance battles or join cyphers down by Venice beach to practice and learn the art of freestyle. Her main and preferred style of dance is Hip-Hop and Popping. She has been on multiple different dance teams and crews, one in which she began herself named Kinetic Flow. She has competed at multiple dance competitions throughout her life including World of Dance Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Bay Area. She is currently a competitive dance member on Str8jacket Dance Co. where she trains in multiple styles of dance such as Waacking, Housing, Breaking, Locking, and Popping. Besides dancing her other hobbies include Acrylic Painting and Photography. Additionally, she is new to the bay area as of 2018, since her move to the bay area she has met the most incredible dance teachers and leaders. With over 10 years of dance experience, her goal as a dance teacher is to educate new and ambitious dancers on the fundamentals of dance while also enjoying themselves in a fun and friendly environment.
Tiffany Ishihara 305 Fitness Sundays 12:00pm PT
Back on the schedule is Tiff, our veteran instructor teaching virtually for the first season. Tiffany is a bay area native and has been dancing all of her life. She grew up as a competitive tap, jazz, and hip hop dancer in the East Bay and, during her college years, she was a member of a hip hop crew out of San Jose, Soul Conspiracy. In recent years, Tiffany has developed a passion for fitness-forward dance classes. She currently teaches Cardio Dance at RAE Studios.
We at Rae Studios are so proud and honored to receive a holiday testimonial gift from our community and wish to send out a huge thank you to all our students, staff, and community members for the continued support over these past years. These past months have been especially challenging for us considering the many operational obstacles we faced with the closing, reopening, and re-closing of the studio. We couldn't be more thankful to receive this special gift from you our community. We wish you a year fully loaded with joy, laughter, and love.
A special Thank you note to Jessica Bari and Anna Bolender for collaborating on this special video testimonial and all our teachers, students and staff for these kind words.
PS. Don't miss out on our updated January schedule + New Year Monthly Unlimited Offer
More info: raestudios-sf.com