Meet our group fitness instructors
Meet your Group Fitness Instructors!
Here at Macquarie University Sport we have a number of Group Fitness Instructors qualified to deliver a variety of different classes. Make sure to check out the profiles below to see who will be delivering your class - rest assured that our they share your goals, want to see you succeed and know how to get you there!
Katie is a passionate Les Mills instructor who has taught classes at Macquarie Sport for 6 years. You’ll find her teaching Body Pump, Body Step, Body Balance and CXWORX. A graduate of Macquarie University, Katie values the fulfilment both body and mind exercise offers us when it comes to overall wellbeing. Katie has completed several advanced trainings and bootcamps with Les Mills so you know your class experience will include high level coaching, driving music, inspiring movement and connection. Beyond the gym, Katie has recently qualified as a counsellor so expect to come into an environment that is open-minded, accepting, motivating and fun 😊 Katie is also engaged with mentoring other instructors so you will often experience double the energy on stage!
1. Heidi Milligan inspired me to become an Instructor - my favourite GX instructor from when I was 15-16 years old 2. I teach LES MILLS Body Attack, Body Pump, Body Step, CX Worx, Zumba, Cycle, Pilates, ABT 3. I love teaching at MQ Sport because the members appreciate the classes. They love the workout and are obviously happy and engaged in the classes. Plus they bring enthusiasm and energy to every class. 4. Every class I teach at MQ is memorable because the members are always engaged and enthusiastic and show that they are enjoying it which makes me love what I do 5. The funniest thing in general is that I manage to put some sort of dance aspect into any class I teach. Coming from a dance background.... I can't help it.
1. Who inspired you to become an Instructor? One of my instructors. She always made it look so fun and I loved doing classes and socialising with all of the other group class “groupies” so I figured it was worth the transition. 2. What programs do you teach? I’m a bit of a jack of all trades, I currently teach or cover RPM, Pilates, Boxing, Yoga, Aqua, Zumba 3. Why do you love teaching at MQSport? The members are MQSport are so much fun and make teaching a class so enjoyable. It is such an amazing job and it is so much better when you get to share your time with genuinely awesome people. 5. Tell your most memorable Group Fitness class and why? Just one? We did a huge charity aqua class at MQSport where we had almost 50 people in the pool and four instructors on deck including a master trainer who I very much look up to. It was an amazing class and raising all that money for charity was a bit of a cherry on top. A 6. Share your funniest or most embarrassing moment teaching? I was teaching a Zumba class and doing a routine to a common Zumba song with a new group I had never taught before. They had obviously done this song before and as we did a spinning move in the choreography and faced the front, the entire class yelled “oi” at the top of their lungs (something they were obviously doing with their regular instructor). I nearly fell over firstly from fright and then from laughing hysterically at the look on their faces in response to my initial reaction.
Faria’s passion for dance began when she was very young while watching a ballet performance at Bolshoi Theatre. She walked out knowing that dance is the only form of expressing the inexpressible. Faria is trained in Indian classical dance (Kathak) and has performed in several stage performances in Moscow and South Asia. Faria teaches Zumba, Zumba Toning and Bollywood dance.
Faria says, “Teaching Zumba is more than being just an instructor, it is about inspiring and being inspired. Any form of fitness gives you empowerment, strength, vitality and confidence. I am a new mum and Zumba gives me the chance to let my hair down and get fit in a fun way with friends.”
Chooky originally trained as a Les Mills instructor more than 20 years ago while at university studying in Dunedin, New Zealand. Since then, she feels incredibly lucky to have taught BODYATTACK®, BODYPUMP®, BODYCOMBAT® and BODYBALANCE® across NZ, Australia and the UK. In New Zealand, Chooky was a Les Mills regional workshop presenter for BODYBALANCE®, and before that, she was an international gymnastics representative and competitive gymnastics coach.
What programs do you teach? Les Mills Barre, Body Attack, Body Balance, Body Pump, CX Worx and Zumba. Who inspired you to become an Instructor? Dale, a Body Attack instructor. I used to do her classes here when I was studying at MQ for my first degree. She was so fit and funny, I loved her classes. I realised they were the best part of my day and I wanted to be able to share that with others. Why do you love teaching at MQ Sport? I love the members here. I love the energy they bring to class every week and how passionate they are about fitness. I also love how supportive and encouraging the atmosphere is at MQ Sport. It is such a pleasure to watch friendships grow and develop between our beautiful members. It is a great community to be a part of. Share your funniest or most embarrassing moment? I like to think I have at least one funny moment per class, mostly intentional but not always. My most embarrassing moment? Well, one time I accidentally called a member lover on the microphone...so embarrassing. I meant to say lovely and it came out wrong.
1. . What programs do you teach? Body Combat, Body Pump, Body Attack, Body Balance, Boxing, Fit4Life 2. Who inspired you to become an Instructor? Jess encouraged me four years ago when I was attending her Pilates classes. 3. Why do you love teaching at MQ Sport? The members at MQ Sport are the most amazing people ever. There's always an atmosphere of community and fraternity within the centre. 5. Tell your most memorable Group Fitness class and why? The Body Attack Gold we did at MQ Sport with about 200 members. It was a great experience with the best team and the most dedicated athletes. 6. Share your funniest or most embarrassing moment? The day Anna taught my allocated track during the Body Attack launch. We were so much into the moment and when I tried to tell her about it, she couldn't understand what I was trying to say. Oh and I am always about to fall off the stage
1. Who inspired you to become an Instructor? A Body Combat instructor in the UK. She was so friendly, had a beautiful smile, high energy and was such a caring and genuine person. 2. What programs do you teach? Pilates, Body Pump, Yoga, Body Balance & Body Combat, CX Worx 3. What do you love about teaching at MQ Sport? The vibe and energy at MQ is so great, our members make it a fun place to work, and I love my team - they are awesome.
1. Who inspired you to become an Instructor? I was a member at Vital Fitness when my passion was born, participating in Ina Hutton's classes 20 years ago. 2. What programs do you teach? Previously trained in 5 Les mills programs, I now focus on Barre, Pilates, Aqua, Spin and any freestyle aerobic classes. 2. What do you love about teaching these programs? Due to my own experiences and my background as a remedial massage therapist, I am passionate about building strong stable mobile bodies from the inside. 3. What is your funniest or most embarrassing Group Fitness moment? Teaching Mat Pilates to a team, one of my front row triathlete males wearing running shorts, notably forgot to pop his underwear on. Nothing more to be said...👀
1. Who inspired you to become an Instructor? My beautiful wife Charell who had been teaching for at least 10 – 12 years prior to me taking it up. 2. What programs do you teach? Body Pump, Boxing, Basic Training, Cycle, RPM & Bootcamp 3. Why do you love teaching at MQ Sport? The members!!! The members are what make the Club awesome to teach at 6. Share your most memorable experience teaching? When I first started teaching in 2006, I took on as many classes and covers that I could find. Had to cover a Cycle class at a gym that had a large illuminated panel next to and above the Podium. I bent down to grab my gear out of my bag and when I stood up, smacked my head into the sign, it made one heck of a sound and I was nearly knocked out!!! I taught the class and two days later I started remembering where I was and what I was doing (concussion). To say it was memorable for the class participants would be an understatement!
1. Where did your Instructor journey begin? I started teaching in Nelson Bay, near Newcastle in February, 2015. Body Combat was my first program. The alluring combination of working out to music, the rewards of exercise, and, of course, the thrill of being in the spotlight, all shared with members, who quickly become like an extended family, seemed too good to be true :) 2. What programs do you teach? Body Balance, Boxing, Body Combat, Cx Worx, Body Pump (Elite), Pilates 3. Why do you love teaching at MQ Sport? MQ Sport offers a unique cross-section of members. From local residents, to international students, to staff from multi-national companies, and all across the University faculties - you never quite know who you may be teaching to on any given day. Our group fitness members are colourful, enthusiastic, hard-working, and always so supportive. The spectrum is vast, and their backstories are both interesting and often surprising. It keeps me on my toes, and drives me to be the best I can be at what I do. 4. What is the best part of your role as a Group Fitness Instructor? My job is to coach people through intelligent, challenging, and musically-driven workouts that have a profound effect on the health and well being of both mind and body. Playing to the strengths of my physicality, intelligence, and convivial nature, I'm empowering people to realise an enhanced version of themselves through the magic of exercise. I can honestly say I LOVE MY JOB!! 5. What would be your advice to someone new to Group Fitness? My favourite quote is "We don't stop playing because we grow old. we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw Group Fitness is meant to be fun, challenging, enjoyable, rewarding, social, and so many other wonderfully positive things... The best thing you can do, if you are curious about Group Fitness, is to come along and join in. Try the fantastic selection of classes on offer, and see what resonates with you. Once you've found that which suits you, embrace it, give it your best, be patient, and most importantly, enjoy your journey.
1. Who inspired you to become an instructor? All of the instructors at this gym inspired me to take a step further in my fitness journey. Watching each and every one go above and beyond for their participants really made me feel important, special and successful and I wanted the opportunity to do that for others. 2. What programs do you teach? Body Attack, Body Step and Zumba. And possibly a few others on the way! 3. Why do you love teaching at MQ Sport? The best thing about teaching at MQ Sport is the opportunity to meet such awesome members. All of our participants are enthusiastic, energetic and excited to be here which makes teaching so much more fun. 4. Tell us your most memorable group fitness class and why? I'm really struggling with this question! I've experienced so many memorable classes, it's really hard to narrow it down to just one. Each class has been different, fun and I always get something awesome out of them. 5. Share your most embarrassing Group Fitness moment? I was participating in a Zumba class and we were singing and shouting along to some of the lyrics in the song. I stumbled on my foot and fell to the floor just as we were about to shout - which resulted in me falling to the floor while letting out the loudest and most awkward scream I had ever screamed in my life. I laugh every time I think about it!
Joanna is a research student in social entrepreneurship here at Macquarie. Wellness and meditation played always part of her life. Joanna completed her group fitness certificate III in 2012 and the 200h yoga teacher training in 2013. She took up the challenge of teaching yoga the same year. With the support of the fabulous team at Macquarie University Sport, Joanna was also able to take on her next challenge and completed the Les Mills international body balance certificate in 2018. Joanna’s classes focus on breath, the physical movement and positive energy.
1. Who inspired you to become an Instructor? Freestyle guru's Marcus Irwin and Michelle Dean 2. What programs do you teach? Zumba, Vinyasa, Hatha and Yin Yoga, Cycle, CX Worx, Booty Barre, 3. Why do you love teaching at MQ Sport? The members and the team are amazing. I wish I lived closer so I could work there more often. 5. Tell your most memorable Group Fitness experience? My first presentation and Network 2002. I presented my first group fitness freestyle session to a huge group of instructors and the energy and buzz was unforgettable. 6. Share your funniest and most embarrassing moment in Group Fitness? I was teaching a Body Jam class with my fabulous new jam pants. Whilst going into a very energetic bendy dance movement, I heard a big rip, and yes my new pants were now ruined. However, the situation made for a very funny and eventful Body Jam class.
I teach Hatha yoga based on the Iyengar system which is about creating balance, harmony and wellbeing. I started my journey with karate and kick boxing but always were into alternative concepts of thoughts. I met Australia’s #1 yoga practitioner of that time, his name was Shandour Remete. When I saw the agility, flexibility and strength in his body I desired to have the same. This started my 10-year apprenticeship and dedication into yoga, which created a strong foundation of thought and strength within me. My most memorable class was a class of 95 people on the basketball court, one Saturday morning in spring.