Meet the women behind the studio!
"In 2012, a friend called me and said she wanted to try pole dancing and would I come with her. She said I was the ONLY person she could think of adventurous enough to try it. Well, I tried it and was instantly hooked. Something about this art form grabbed hold of me and wouldn’t let go. The power, strength and beauty of the women in the class blew me away and I knew this wasn’t just a passing hobby. We opened our first studio later that year and little did I know then that I would find a whole new family of like-minded women and men. People who pole aren’t looking for a traditional gym workout. They are looking for something challenging mentally and physically and something fun! Pole is a form of athletic expression unlike anything else. I truly believe that as physical strength and health grows, so does emotional strength. I am amazed every day watching my students blossom into confident, happy, healthy people. Find something you love and it’s no longer a workout. It’s play, it’s art, it’s fitness!"
Jenn started poling at Aerial Arts Fitness in the summer of 2013. When lyra was introduced in the studio she immediately knew she had a passion for the hoop! Jenn received her Aerial Hoop Instructor Certification from Atmosphere Fitness. In addition to teaching Lyra (aerial hoop), bungee, aerial hammock, silks and static trapeze classes. Jenn is also a skilled flying trapeze artist! Jenn played an integral role in getting our studio through the COVID-19 pandemic and took on the role of Studio Manager in 2020.
Sarah joined the studio in 2021 looking for a low-impact exercise due to a service connected disability. Sarah trained in every apparatus at the studio prior to becoming an instructor in 2023. Sarah is the Aerial Fabrics Manager as well as the Technology Manager for AAF; managing both the website and the mobile app. She is joined at the studio frequently by her husband and so and teaches Aerial Hammock, Lyra, and Children's Aerial Classes.
Ashley has been taking pole classes at AAF since shortly after the opening. She instantly fell I love with pole and couldn't wait to learn and accomplish a new challenge. Ashley is married to her husband Joel for 14 years and has two daughters, Bryn (12) and Camryn (9) who also love to do all the aerials! She grew up dancing (ballet, tap, jazz, modern) and on stage doing community theater. Ashley is now a pediatric physical therapist and works with physically challenged children in a school setting. Ashley has never stopped loving all things fitness and continues to share her passion with everyone in her classes. She is the choreographer for our Troupe and also teaches Introduction to Pole Dance and her signature class Pole Strong. Besides pole and choreography, Ashley loves to run and fly trapeze.
Julie started taking aerial classes at AAF in 2016. She was looking for a fun and different approach to build muscle and stay fit. She had been an aerobics and kickboxing instructor for 15 years. She fell in love the very first class! Currently, she works as an ultrasound technologist. She is a Navy veteran of 20 years and mother of 4. Julie has a passion for pole fitness and dancing and feels extremely lucky to be able to share this passion as an instructor. Julie is CirqFIT Pole Teacher Certified and she teaches Beginner and Intermediate Pole Dance and Hell on Heels.
Liz took her first pole class in the summer of 2018 and was immediately hooked. She burned through a 5-class package and immediately signed up for an unlimited membership. She has tried every apparatus AAF has to offer and has taken over 1000 classes, but her love has always been pole. She dreamed of becoming a pole instructor and completed the first Aerial Arts Fitness Instructor Certification in 2021 to make that dream come true. She now teaches Introduction to Pole Dance and Introduction to Heels classes.
Before starting pole, Liz was going through a rough patch after finishing her master's degree. She had lost her spark and was lonely and unhappy. Through pole and AAF, not only did she find a great place to work out, but she found her passion and has made some of the best friends of her life. It's not an exaggeration to say that pole and AAF changed her life, entirely for the best!
Emily joined aerial Aerial Arts Fitness in June of 2022, thinking she would take one class to say she tried something new. Instead Instead she ended up falling in love with aerials! She has since trained on every apparatus, but her favorite is lyra! She completed Aerial Arts Instructor Training in 2023. You can find her teaching intro to lyra, beginner low flow, and beginner lyra. AAF has given her confidence, purpose, joy and amazing friendships!
AJ started her Aerial Arts journey in 2020, expecting to check one class off her bucket list. Instead, she fell in love. The more classes she took, the more she wanted to have her life centered around aerial arts. After taking the Aerial Arts Instructor Certification, she was so excited to start working at AAF. It has helped her to become so much more comfortable and happier with herself, and she aspires to do the same thing through instructing. Besides aerial arts, she loves traveling and adventuring, reading and writing, photography, and animals. Being able to incorporate animals and aerial arts as the main sources of happiness and being able to make a living from them is her goal in life.
Elyssa has been dancing her whole life and decided to join us at the studio in 2018. Elyssa is the choreographer for the elite dance troupe that performs at our showcases. When troupe is not in session, Elyssa instructs acro chair, contemporary pole, chair hip hop and more! Outside of dancing, Elyssa is a very talented tattoo artist at her studio black velvet ink!
Zoe's fitness journey began in the gym as a weight lifter. She started pole in 2018 when she saw a friend post about it on social media and she instantly fell in love! Zoe loves pole but has recently been exploring all that AAF has to offer in other disciplines too. Zoe teaching Beginner and Intermediate Pole dance. She enjoys watching her students learn and seeing the excitement on their faces when they get that trick they've been working on!
Cammy took her first pole class at AAF in 2017 and fell in love with it right away. She loves the confidence that pole has given her and seeing that confidence in others as well. She especially enjoys flips, drops, and strength-based tricks and helping students achieve their own goals. Cammy completed the Aerial Arts Fitness Instructor Certification in 2021. She is also a mom and enjoys nature hikes with her son in her free time.
Fred Maerkle is knowledgeable and well versed in many healing modalities. He is a Usui Holy Fire II Reiki Master/Teacher, Kundalini Reiki Master, Certified Biofield Tuning practitioner, Certified VFRT & Gua Sha Therapist, Certified Tui Na practitioner, & Certified Tibetan Singing Bowl Master Healer. He works individual healing sessions specializing in IASTM (Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization) and Vibrational Sound Therapy. It is common that clients may have multiple or complex conditions that they would like to have addressed. He starts a client session with a quick 2 – 3 minute consult to determine what issues they would like to me to focus on, and ofttimes will customize the session treatment based on their needs. The customized sessions can include not only physical issues, but also can address emotional and spiritual issues all in the same session. Fred also does group sound healing meditation sessions in public, private, and corporate sectors.