Samara VanDerLinden, Group Fitness Director
Samara has been teaching yoga for over 15 years and loves share her passion with others. She was born into a family of yogis. Her father and mother taught her to live with the yogic teachings from birth. She has traveled the world learning the yogic traditions in "Siddha Yoga Ashrams" and fully immerse herself in the teachings. She is certified through "Yogafit" as well as "Instituto de Salud Integral" of Sonora, Mexico. In her class you will find you are challenged both physically and mentally to your highest potential.
She first heard about Zumba in January 2010. She could not believe that the parties she grew up with had become a fitness class. Zumba is now one of her joys because it brings back memories of her childhood and it creates a party on a weekly basis! Zumba includes samba, salsa, merengue, reggaeton, bali, arabic, hip hop, and so many other fun rhythms. What better way to burn calories? So, let go of your inhibitions, step onto the floor and enjoy what dancing brings into our life!
Jacqueline has been in the fitness industry for more than 20 years. She has certifications with AFAA, NASM and The Pilates Coach. Group Fitness has been a main focus of hers since she was 20. At first she just started taking classes,but before long, she was leading them.
The benefits of taking a Group Fitness class seem obvious, consistency (same time and place every week), socialization (making friends make it fun and increases accountability), variety (you can take different types of classes throughout the week to cross train), you don't have to think-just do (my job is to lead, you only need to follow creating less stress and more fun).
"I believe everyone can be successful no matter what your current fitness level. I teach multilevel classes allowing each person to exercise at his or her own pace. This also allows for progression. You may start as a beginner and then build to intermediate or advanced. I love what I do and it's an integral part of my life. So join me in one of my classes and let's have fun!"
Growing up in Davis, CA Susan rode her bike everywhere. She went to Chico State University, graduating in 1994 with a degree in Fashion Merchandising. After graduation Susan lived in San Francisco, traveled to Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa, and then moved back to the Sacramento area.
After working in property management Susan pursued a career in Education. This is also when she started her running program, completing 10Ks and half marathons. After moving to Grass Valley in 1997, she began swimming daily. In 2001, she completed her teaching credential and began teaching 4th grade. After her first child was born she needed to shed some extra weight so she began spinning and lifting weights. Soon after, she got certified to teach spin and she's loved it ever since.
Susan began teaching at Auburn Racquet Club in 2011. In 2013, she went back to work as a 4th/5th grade teacher. "Working with people and fitness has been a great blend of two of the things I love most".
Debbie Prince has been teaching cycling for five years, and she absolutely loves it! She has lived in the Auburn and Grass Valley areas since she was ten years old. Debbie is a graduate of both Sierra College and CSUS where she earned both her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Social Work.
Nowadays, Debbie works as a Realtor selling homes in Placer, Nevada, and Sacramento counties. She has four children, ranging in ages from seven to seventeen. Her hobbies include—in no particular order—exercising (of course!), hiking, flying, traveling, spending time with family and friends, and reading. Debbie looks forward to meeting new friends and spending time with old friends at ARFC.
Bonnie has been fitness professional for over twenty six years and holds certifications as a group fitness instructor through American Council on Exercise as well as a group fitness kickboxing instructor. Bonnie currently teaches a variety of classes, including Abs & Back, Cycle and Weight Interval, Cardio Fusion, and the ever popular Butts and Guts.
Bonnie is also a personal trainer. She enjoys the many friendships she has made during the 22 years she has been teaching and training at the club. "Helping people reach their goals and seeing our clients and students live healthier, happier lives is tremendously rewarding."
In her spare time Bonnie enjoys hiking, biking and running. Bonnie holds a first degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is an avid tap dancer. Bonnie brings high energy, enthusiasm and fun to all her classes, so come join her in class and prepare to sweat, get fit, have fun, and be entertained.
Ashley is a young energetic individual who has been an employee at the racquet club since May 2010. During that time she has gone from babysitting, to front desk, to accountability, to sales, group fitness instructor, and now personal trainer.
Ashley is Zumba, RIPPED, Group, Cycle and personal training certified. She is constantly continuing her education and finding new exercises to share with ARFC members. She is carrying on her love for teaching and helping others find their personal fitness story. "I like to push people to the limit, to a place they thought they could never reach."
Wendy has been teaching water aerobics at AR-FC for over 5 years. She holds certifications from AEA and Aerobics Pipeline International.
Currently, Wendy is obtaining an additional certification on Aquatic Fitness through Exercise Science Alliance. Wendy has been an elementary teacher for over twenty years with the Placer Hills Union School District.
Patricia has been a Yoga instructor for over 35 years. She has studied the art of Yoga, meditation, and philosophy, in the Siddha Yoga Meditation Ashrams in India, Mexico City, and the United States. She has certifications in Anusara inspired Yoga, Iyengar Classical, and Ashtanga power Yoga. For her, HathaYoga has proven to be without a doubt a mind, body, and spiritual transformation and a journey to the heart.
After years playing team and individual sports, Nancy was open for something different. She took a tai chi class and became "hooked" on the activity! She has been studying and teaching chi kung and Tai Chi Chuan (Yang style) ever since.
Her style of tai chi incorporates balance, focus, stretching, full body strength and stress relief. She welcomes all levels and ages to her class — so go and experience chi kung and tai chi with Nancy!
Trish has worked in the group fitness department at ARFC for almost twenty years. She holds certifications from ACE and AEA. Trish currently teaches Low-Impact Aerobics and Water Aerobics. Her classes are easy to follow, safe and fun. It's the music that makes exercising fun, whether in the pool or up in the aerobics room, and Trish strives to make every participant in her classes feel welcome and successful.
Trish and her husband Jim live in Meadow Vista. They have been married for 35 years and have three grown children. Trish's interests include gardening and reading. Every year she enters a scarecrow in the Auburn Community Fall festival. One year her entry won first place!
Mercedes first discovered the benefits of fitness at the age of eleven and she has been at it ever since. Learning how to define and strengthen muscles while her body grew and changed has always been a fascination for hers. Little wonder she was awarded the most athletic girl in her high school class!
Mercedes is currently working in three other departments here at the Club: as a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, YogaFit Certified Instructor, and with the kids in Babysitting. But her true passion is dance. She's been practicing ballet five days a week, four hours a day, at In Sync Dance Studio for the past three years. In December she played the Arabian Peacock in the Nutcracker!
"I like the longer, leaner, more defined, but extremely feminine look that this workout has given me. Dance instructors strongly encouraged her to stop running for the sake of flexibility. She was fearful of not being able to maintain her current fitness level without running, and that's when she discovered the full benefits of the dancer's Barre workout. She is eager to share those benefits with anyone and everyone
Natalia Monteval is from Chile and has lived in United States for four years. She's always had two passions, Marine Biology and Dance. Naty has been a dancer most of her life, so when she came to the US she gravitated toward Zumba. "I love teaching Zumba, it fulfills my passion for dance and music."
After receiving her Zumba Instructor Certification in 2013, Naty found she really loved the rhythm, music, fitness, and most of all her students! So, she continued her training, branching out into Zumba Toning, Aqua Zumba, Aqua and Pop Pilates. "I'm so happy teaching classes! Most of all, I love the energy and the happiness exchanged in every class."
You can join Naty in the pool on Tuesdays at 9am for an Aqua Zumba experience that you won't want to miss!
Monya has lived in the Auburn area all her life, and has an 11 year old son. She currently works for her father's family-run construction company and has been there for 17 years.
Monya has always loved the fitness world. She went to jazzercise with her mother at age 3, and danced from age 3 to 18. After dance, she started with workout DVD's at home, then at age 35 hired a personal trainer. A few years later she entered a fitness show and took 4th place. She joined the Auburn Racquet Club in 2014, and her love for fitness grew even stronger. She now holds certifications in Spin, RIPPED, Core Training, Integrated Flexibility Training, and is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer. She plans to become a Fitness Nutrition Specialist.
"There is no greater feeling than helping others achieve their fitness goals, feel strong and empowered, and be the best version of themselves."
Kelly was born and raised in Auburn. She worked as a Financial Analyst before having two children and staying home to raise the boys.
Kelly has been involved in fitness classes for over 20 years, and thought about becoming a fitness instructor, but wasn't sure it would work with her kid's schedules. It took an injury that prevented her from working out (along with some encouragement from a fellow instructor) to get her to commit to becoming certified as a Spinning instructor. Kelly enjoys group classes, she likes being around people, as it pushes and motivates her. Kelly started subbing classes last year, and now has her own cycling classes.
Outside the gym, Kelly enjoys hiking, backpacking, running and baking. Kelly also volunteers for several organizations.
Danielle is a former collegiate soccer player and is Schwinn Cycle Certified. She holds a Qualification in TRX and has a Small Group Exercise Certification, which allows her to teach a variety of high impact classes. Danielle has competed in several half and full marathons along with many triathlons.
Danielle moved to Auburn from the Bay Area a year ago, with her husband and two young children. They have been ARFC members ever since. Danielle and her family like to hike, explore and adventure together. She loves motivating people to push past their comfort zones in a fun and supportive way.
Nancy Bender returns to ARFC having worked here for 25 years as Director of Group Fitness and a Group Fitness Instructor. In 2006 she pursued fulltime employment as an internal medicine nurse practitioner. Having recently retired, she is happy to be back in the group fitness department. She is proficient in instructing water aerobics, dance aerobics, step aerobics, and spinning. She has also worked at the club as a personal trainer.
Nancy is both a marathon and hike coach for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. As an avid hiker, she has trekked extensively in the US, Spain, and South America.