Meet the Tantra Fitness Team

Meet the Tantra Fitness team! Our team of professional, motivated, instructors are excited to work with you and help you meet your goals!

Alexis Marie

Alexis Marie

Yoga Instructor

Alexis has always had a love for physical movement. While completing her Master’s in Creative Writing at Oxford University, she began training in classical ballet and aerial circus arts. Her fascination with exploring the capabilities of the body led her to complete her yoga teacher training. She believes that yoga is an infinite journey that cultivates strength and flexibility of both the body and mind. Alexis hopes to help students on their own journey to discover freedom in movement. She enjoys bringing elements of dance and circus into her yoga classes which always include fluid sequencing, deep stretches, and a lot of play.

Alex Pearson

Alex Pearson

Aerial Hoop, Silks & Yoga Instructor

Alex has always loved performance arts. She comes from a background of yoga and some dance and theatre training when she was little. As a yoga instructor she strives to help her students find their own shapes in the asanas and their own ways of moving safely. She believes that movement heals the mind and body and that moving freely is one of the greatest gifts we can give people as fitness/movement instructors. She discovered Tantra Fitness and the aerial arts in 2012 and it was love at first sight. The sense of community within the studio is one of her favourite things about Tantra. Alex cherishes the time she gets to spend within this community and loves challenging students to try things they didn’t expect to be capable of!

Anna Von Rossum

Anna Von Rossum

Pole Fitness Instructor

Anna is a classically trained dancer, she began ballet as soon as she could walk and has continued to be involved in the dance arts ever since. She attended the professional Ballet program at the Escuela Superior de Musica y Danza in Monterrey Mexico, but left half way through to pursue school full-time. She obtained her Bachelors of Science in Microbiology from UVIC, and is now completing her PhD in Immunology at SFU. Anna re-awakened her passion for dance and athleticism when she discovered aerial arts in 2011, and came to Tantra as a student in the fall of 2013. She is excited to be an instructor and share her passion for the artistic side of pole, and hopes to encourage people of every age/gender/shape/background to join our growing community! Anna holds the CPR C and First Aid Certification, and is currently in the process of becoming BCRPA certified.

Cherry OnTop

Cherry OnTop

Burlesque Instructor

Cherry OnTop is a top-billed burlesque performer in Vancouver where she has been performing since 2003. She is co-founder of Sweet Soul Burlesque, the acclaimed West Coast troupe, and co-director of the Vancouver Burlesque Centre. Known for her energy and dance moves, Cherry has been featured on "The L Word" and has appeared on Fashion TV and MTV. Trained in dance, martial arts and yoga, Cherry OnTop has been bringing her sassy, high-energy brand to dance and workout classes in Vancouver for the past 3 years. She is very excited to kick your asses! With love ;)

Crystal Lai

Crystal Lai

Advanced Pole Dance Instructor

Crystal Lai is proud that her 5 years of pole training have culminated in her becoming Miss Pole Dance Canada and winning Best Entertainer and People Choice at the World Pole Dance Championships. Crystal enjoys bringing her bubbly personality to upbeat routines, but can also demonstrate grace and control to more melodic music. As a senior instructor at Tantra Fitness in Vancouver, she hopes to use her platform to educate the public about the sport of pole dancing. Crystal also hopes revealing her lack of a dance or gymnastics background will inspire future pole dancers who question their potential; pole dancing can truly stand alone to develop strength and fluidity. With her dancing, she wishes to help progress the technical and performance aspects of her sport.

Hannah Fletcher

Hannah Fletcher

Pole and Dance Fitness Instructor

Hannah Fletcher has been teaching fitness classes for almost a decade and teaches anything and everything including pole fitness which she has taught for the last 5 years! She is BCRPA and ISSA CRT and in 2009 was awarded BCRPA’s Fitness Leader of the Year.

Hector Orellana-Boucher

Hector Orellana-Boucher

Fitness Instructor

Hector‘s passion for fitness and health is not just going to the gym on a treadmill but rather a lifestyle. As an instructor I strive to make the most of every class. Hector’s focus is to challenge and motivate members to achieve their fitness goals while creating a fun environment. He is excited to learn/try pole dancing and possibly might even try to become the next "Magic Mike" 😉 Hector is a Red Cross First Aid Instructor and is in the process of becoming a Fire Fighter.

Jen Yan

Jen Yan

Pole and Dance Fitness and Silks Instructor

Jen has dabbled in all kinds of fitness: pilates, yoga, rock-climbing, dodgeball, kickboxing, crossfit and of course, aerial silks and pole dancing! Her background coming into these sports was a certificate in teaching piano…no dance, gymnastics or even organized sports! Jen hopes to inspire those who have “never done anything like this before” to come on out and give it a try!

In school to become an Expressive Arts Therapist, you’ll often find Jen making descriptive arm movements and sound effects to aid in her teaching :D. Laughing, grunting, tears and sweat are welcome in any and all of her classes!

Jenne

Jenne

Pole Fitness Instructor

Jenne has been pole dancing since 2013 and has found her passion through exotic dance. After leaving competitive gymnastics due to injuries, Jenne found pole dancing as a new way to express her sensual side, while gaining strength, flexibility and fluidity. Jenne’s love of dance also extends to latin styles, including salsa and bachata.

Judy Madarasz

Judy Madarasz

Dance Fitness Instructor

Athletic, energetic, and passionate, Judy has been instructing dance classes since 2004 and attained her BCRPA Group Fitness Certification in 2008. She grew up training, performing, and competing in various dance styles (hip hop/tap dance/jazz/highland), specializes in Hip Hop/Street Jazz dance, and currently enjoys regularly training in Hip Hop, House, African, and Dancehall dance styles. Judy met pole dancing first back in 2008 when she first learned and instructed some pole moves at a pole dance/fitness studio. She is now back at Tantra Fitness teaching Pole Fitness. Her fitness tip: “Get out of your comfort zone and you’ll get wicked results”.

Julianne Chapple

Julianne Chapple

Pole and Dance Fitness Instructor

Julianne is a classically trained dancer, choreographer and instructor with a passion for all things dance! With an extensive background in ballet and contemporary, her classes introduce students to the proper alignment and technique while improving balance, coordination and grace that can be applied to any style of performance. Professionally, Julie has performed with a variety of companies and productions in Canada, Germany, Italy and Ireland and continues to work as a contemporary dance artist here in Vancouver.

Kathryn Schellenberg

Kathryn Schellenberg

Burlesque Instructor

Kathryn, a Vancouver native, has been professionally performing and teaching in the dance industry for over 12 years. Performing in shows abroad from Los Angles to Florida, Spain to Bermuda. She has trained in LA, New York and Vancouver in a wide variety of dance styles. Most recently she is working on her own production Endeavours and is the director of The Darlings Cabaret, a modern cabaret show.
Some of Kathryn’s performing and choreography credits include, The Russell Peters’ 20th Anniversary Tour, The Tina Turner Tribute Show, Bermuda Red Cross, Telus, Flight Centre, Holt Renfrew, recording artist Cory Lee, opening acts for Chingy, Jordan Knight, Shawn Desman and Keshia Chante. Some of her TV and film credits include:”Hellcats”, “Sucker Punch”, “Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief”, “Sorority Wars”, “Frankie and Alice”, “Caprica”, “Another Cinderella Story 2″ and “White Chicks”. As well Kathryn has been featured in numerous music videos and live shows.

Katie Cresswell

Katie Cresswell

Head of Aerial Arts

Katie is a circus artist who specializes in aerial hoop and partner acrobatics. She is an ACSM/OFA certified personal trainer and NCCP1 trampoline coach. Katie began training in dance, gymnastics and circus at the age of 3, with dreams of the stage. Over the years, Katie attended McGill University’s Conservatory of Music, The National Circus School of Montréal, and Circomedia of the U.K. She is also co-founder of the experimental circus company “Random Acts of Circus”, a founding member of CircusWest’s “Avatar Circus Project”, and has taught, choreographed and performed throughout Western Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. Plagued by injuries through most of her career, Katie returned to study personal training with a goal to develop aerial and acrobatic training that strengthened and balanced the body, improving performance and consistency while focusing on injury prevention and body awareness. She loves being part of the Tantra Fitness team!

Laura Gorden

Laura Gorden

Bellyfit Dance Fitness Instructor

Laura is a classically trained dancer, performance artist and fitness enthusiast. Her fitness credentials include: BCRPA Group Fitness Leader, Bellyfit instructor training and Zumba instructor training. The core of her technique comes from over a decade of training in ballet, jazz, tap, modern and bellydance. These days, Laura dazzles audiences regularly around Vancouver with her hula hoops, LED props and fire shows. Laura has taught at many venues around Vancouver but is thrilled to call Tantra Fitness her home studio! Her teaching style is always upbeat, fun and creative. Expect to find plenty of shimmies and booty shaking moves in her classes – a fusion of feminine and fitness. In August 2012, Laura will have completed her program in Holistic Nutrition and will be a certified Nutritionist!

Lola Frost

Lola Frost

Burlesque Instructor

As Vancouver’s Rock’N’Roll Flapper, Lola Frost is best known for combining her anachronistic styles of vintage and modern – a true 1920’s starlet with a kiss of Ramones grit. Performer, teacher and mentor, Lola is co-director of the Vancouver Burlesque Centre and an integral member of Sweet Soul Burlesque. She is an internationally award winning and headlining performer recognized at Teaseo-Ramma and the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival where she was awarded “Sexy, Sultry, Sizzlin’ Striptease” (2009) and “Most Dazzling Dancer” (2013). She is proud to be a RED Burlesque signature shade girl and to have been voted into the Top 50 industry figures of Burlesque by Burlesque Magazine 3 years running!

Marilu Retana

Marilu Retana

Dance Fitness Instructor

Born in Mexico City Marilú has been dancing and teaching dance for more than 10 years. She received a bachelor degree in Contemporary Dance in the National School of Arts in Mexico City and worked with many important choreographers, Latin Artists and on various Mexican TV shows. She also has a background in Pilates, Hip hop, Jazz and all kinds of Latin dance styles. Now in Vancouver she has been sharing her passion for dance by collaborating with contemporary local artists and teaching dance fitness, Zumba, Contemporary Jazz, Salsa and all kinds of Latin dance styles. After she won Vancouver’s Sexiest Dancer award in 2013 she partnered with SENSALSA to develop profesional latin dance classes. “Dance is my Freedom ……. is my life”.

Rachel Noemi

Rachel Noemi

Instructor and Web Administrator

Rachel first joined the Tantra Fitness team as one of the studio coordinators because of her love of health and fitness. Passionate about singing, acting, nutrition, dancing, yoga and all things creative, she was excited to learn how to Pole dance and immensely enjoys being a part of such a dedicated and beautiful community of people!! She now teaches stagette/bachelorette pole and lap dance parties and assists the Director of Communications from behind the scenes. :)

Ricky Pang

Ricky Pang

Owner of Tantra Fitness Richmond and Pole Fitness Instructor

Ricky’s introduction to pole life came upon watching Steven Retchless compete on America’s Got Talent in the summer of 2011. This was Ricky’s summer of “Yes” where he must experience anything without hesitation and truly live outside of the comfort zone. Inspired by a male pole performer’s artistry and athleticism, pole lessons immediately followed. Ricky’s gratitude to Tantra Fitness and the fellow instructors is endless for the on-going wealth of knowledge and guidance provided toward all members throughout the increasing popularity of this sport. Ricky currently holds the CPR C (Adult and Children) and First Aid Certification.

Sara King

Sara King

Fitness Instructor

Sara started ballet at the age of 7 and has trained for 10 years or so. She has since then explored many other areas of fitness, including fencing, Chinese martial arts and kickboxing. She fell instantly in love with pole dancing after signing up for some classes at Tantra Fitness and is excited to continue developing her pole skills. Sara currently works as a Personal Trainer in various locations, specializing in teaching Kettlebells. She is also working on obtaining the credentials necessary to become a firefighter and hopes to apply to the Vancouver fire department in a couple of years.

Samantha Hall

Samantha Hall

Aerial & Acrobatics Instructor

Samantha started training when she was 11 years old at a local dance studio, Art of Dance and then became a member of Westcoast Contortion when she was 16 years old. Continuing her training in Las Vegas with world renowned Mongolian contortionist, Otgo Waller and Aerialist Kristi Togochi. Samantha has been performing professionally for the past 10 years and running her own classes since she was 18 years old. She spent the past 5 years performing abroad on cruise ships and in all inclusive resorts around the world. She is currently living in Vancouver sharing her passion through performing and teaching around the lower mainland.

Tammy Morris

Tammy Morris

Founder, Owner, Head Instructor

Tammy Morris has been a professional pole dancer for 16 years travelling all over the world to perform. She started as an exotic dancer and moved in to the fitness industry in 2003. She is a certified Pole and Group Fitness Instructor and is an owner of Tantra. She has won over 15 titles over the span of her career including 1st Runner-up Miss Pole Dance World and Best Pole Tricks at Miss Pole Dance World. Her passion for teaching shines through in her classes. Her upbeat distinctive style is sure to keep you challenged and entertained! Tammy has taught thousands of women of all shapes and sizes how to pole dance. Her breakdowns and patience help students understand the moves and achieve their goals.

Vanessa

Vanessa

Pole and Dance Fitness Instructor

Vanessa is an ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer and Specialist in Performance Nutrition and has been working in the industry for 6 years. She has been active her entire life having been a competitive Equestrian from the age of 8 and through various dance training throughout the years. Vanessa has a passion for health and wellness and prefers to teach clients the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of exercise and nutrition instead of just telling them what to do. A healthy and balanced approach to every aspect of one’s life is the only way to achieve the fitness level and physique desired and that’s what she strives to instill in her clients. It’s a lifestyle choice and she leads by example. Vanessa teaches a hard core bootcamp and “Abs and Butt” class for corporate clients such as Vancity and The Center for Blood Research at UBC and is happy to now be part of the Tantra team! Her approach is specific to sculpting the female form and building long, lean and firm bodies. She is available for personal training sessions catered to you specific needs and nutritional consultations which include such services as reviewing your current eating plan, grocery excursions and healthy cooking techniques and meal planning.

Veronica Solimano

Veronica Solimano

Athletic Director & Head of Pole Fitness

Veronica has always been drawn to acrobatic activities and was a competitive gymnast while growing up. She discovered her love for teaching sport while teaching non-competitive gymnastics in university. Veronica first discovered pole in 2004 and was instantly hooked. She now balances full time work as a pediatric physical therapist with teaching the advanced pole classes at Tantra Fitness. In 2012 Veronica placed an increased focus on pole and became the 2012 Canadian Pole Fitness Champion and a finalist at the 2012 World Pole Sport & Fitness Championships. Since then, Veronica has gone on to become 2014 World Pole Cup Champion, 2013 PanAmerican Pole Champion, and 2013 Canadian Pole Fitness Doubles Champion (with Diana Pietroianu). Veronica loves how pole creates an empowering and supportive environment for everyone. She strives to share her passion for the acrobatic side of pole and hopes she can inspire and motivate you to keep challenging yourself to achieve that next level.

Winnie Lai

Winnie Lai

Owner, Studio Manager

Winnie began exploring her passion for pole dancing in Toronto in 2005. She found her home studio in 2008 when she discovered Tantra Fitness and the wealth of instruction offered there by pole dance maven Tammy Morris. In 2010, Winnie left her full-time job in order to pursue her pole dance teaching career with Tantra Fitness. As of August 2011, Winnie is proud to announce her co-ownership of Tantra Fitness Vancouver, and enjoys her role as Studio Manager for this vibrant community of teachers and dancers.