Amanda has always been moving, starting with dance as a child, volleyball in high school and then as dance major at Oklahoma City University. Her second year in college, she changed her major to psychology. After this change, she no longer danced hours a day, and something needed to fill the void. She began working at a local gym and found her next love…teaching fitness classes. She was first certified with the American Council on Exercise (ACE) in 1993 and taught all kinds of classes and formats. She trained in Las Vegas with semi-pro boxers and was later certified in KickFit Kickboxing in Florida by a female Muay Thai world champion. She taught every day after school – it was the yin and yang she needed to get mentally and physically though graduate school. She even competed in the National Fitness America competition. She completed her master’s degree at University of Nevada, Reno and her Ph.D. in psychology at Florida State (Go Seminoles!). Amanda began work in her field of behavioral psychology but always adored her after work fitness classes. She had the good fortune of being introduced to yoga in Sacramento in 2001. She trained for two years with YogaFit and became a level 4 instructor. Amanda then moved back to Reno where she opened a studio that offered dance, fitness, kickboxing and yoga. After her second child was born, a change was in the air and Amanda moved to Fresno to accept a position as a professor in the psychology department at Fresno State. While in Fresno, she taught at GB3, Shapemakers, and Gold’s Gym.
Two year ago, Amanda left Fresno State to open her own autism treatment center called the California Autism Center, where she serves as CEO. It was a big change, and after two kids and career, she needed a kick start to her tired fitness routine. Finding FitnessSocial was a breath of fresh air! Dina’s story was the inspiration she was seeking and the atmosphere and philosophy that she and Melissa have created captured Amanda’s attention and enthusiasm! She enjoyed taking classes and learning from fabulous instructors here at FitnessSocial for two years and thought, “If only one day I could teach here!” And then that day came! Amanda has trained with HCK and Strong First certified instructor Aaron Hunter and will continue with two more certifications in Dragon Door Kettelbells and TRX suspension training. She is so excited to be a part of the FitnessSocial team and hopes to pay forward the inspiration, challenge and beauty that she has found at this wonderful place!
My love of movement began at the age of seven when I started dancing. I studied Tap, Ballet, and Luigi style Jazz all through my childhood. In 1991, at the age of eighteen I began teaching. I taught in Fresno for my wonderful teacher and mentor Terry Clark for seven years. In 1993, Terry opened a second studio in Clovis which I managed with a colleague and taught classes until 1998. At the Dance Centre I taught Tap, Ballet, and Jazz to children as young as three and as old as sixty eight. Combining my love and dance movement with my love of children made all my years of teaching a wonderful and fulfilling experience. From 1995-1998, I also taught for Fresno Unified School District at Balderas Elementary School. They were fortunate to have a humanities program where all the classes rotated through art, music, story-telling and dance. At Balderas I was able to design classes that involved motor skill and movement pattern games and songs as well as cultural dance. This was a wonderful opportunity and challenge teaching in such a different environment from a studio setting, with so many different personalities, ages and backgrounds to interact with.
In 1998 I moved to San Francisco where I lived until 2002. While there, I taught for Lisa Brown at the Sunset Academy of Dance in San Francisco as well as for Cece Bechelli at Happy Feet Dancing School in Mill Valley, Ca. I was fortunate to meet and work with both of these talented ladies and share my love of dance with their students as well. There are so many ways to live healthy and enjoy the benefits of exercise and it was great to share my skills and experience with other talented people while of course learning from them as well.
In 2002, I moved to Seattle for a year where I worked in a day care center and was able to care for children who were younger than I had previously worked with. Working with the one to three year old children was a delightful surprise and my love of children grew.
When I returned to Fresno I began study in child development and taught part time. I soon became a full time mother and continued to teach part time until the birth of my second daughter in 2007. In 2010, I was introduced to kettlebells and interval training with a crossfit style. In 2011, I was introduced to Dina Juve, who is the only women Russian Kettlebell Certified (RKC) instructor in the Fresno area. With her I began study of RKC style kettlebell training and was introduced to the TRX suspension training system I fell in love and was thrilled to learn a new form of movement that I enjoyed so much. I was even more thrilled when I experienced such fantastic results and was able to return to my pre-baby weight and strength. I continued to increase the frequency of my workouts because I enjoyed every single one. In March 2013, I earned a certification in TRX Suspension Training and in November 2013 I received my Kettlebell Movement Code Certification with Kenneth Jay & The Kettlebell Institute. I continue to love this journey of movement learning and feel fortunate to be able to share my love of movement with others!