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!
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".
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.
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.
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, "Mr Acorn", 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!
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.
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.
Bryan Twardus was born in Auburn and grew up playing football and baseball throughout school. After graduating from Sacramento State with an Exercise Science degree, Bryan went right into the fitness industry where he's been ever since. He enjoys playing with his twins Eden and Jackson as well as going on trail runs. He believes fitness should be fun and you should enjoy the process.
Paula Colin is a certified fitness professional with decades of experience offering motivation, expertise and a passion for healthy living. She is also a certified personal trainer and incorporates many techniques in her classes acquired as a Pilates specialist, massage therapist and health and wellness coach.
As the former caretaker of parents with cancer and alzheimers, Paula understands the importance of patience, love and encouragement. She is the mother of three sons and a Nana to many grandchildren. She and her husband Steve stay fit in order to keep up with all the fun and energy a full life requires. She has participated in triathlons, 5K and 10K runs, the California International Marathon and has even climbed Mt. Whitney and Half Dome.
You can find Paula instructing a wide variety of classes at the Auburn Racquet and Fitness Club including Yoga, Pilates, Aqua Fitness, Strength, Kickbox, and Spinning®. Whether you are looking to get in shape or just increase your fitness, Paula is excited to meet you and join in your journey one class at a time.
Welcome back Debbie Prince! Debbie has been a cycling instructor for ten years and she absolutely loves it! She's super excited to be back in the rotation at ARFC!
Debbie has lived in the area since she was ten years old. "I love it here and even commuted to college at Sierra and CSUS, where I earned my bachelors and masters degrees in social work." Nowadays, Debbie works as a Realtor, selling homes in Placer, Nevada, and Sacramento counties.
Debbie is married and has four children ranging in age from 13 to 22. Her hobbies include exercising (of course!), hiking, flying, traveling, spending time with family and friends and reading. "I look forward to meeting new friends and spending time with old ones at ARFC. Thank you for making me feel so welcome!"
Jacquelyn started her fitness journey 15 years ago with her certified in Zumba, RIPPED, YogaFit, TRX and Ace Personal Training. After graduating with a degree in Performing Arts, she decided fitness training would strengthen her knowledge of the human body and it’s movements. She’s been a professional dancer and teacher for over 10 years and loves to bring the dance and fitness worlds together in her classes.
When Jacquelyn’s not at the gym, you can find her outdoors paddle boarding, trail running or hanging out with her kids.
Michael has been practicing yoga for 10 years and has completed three 200 Yoga teacher trainings. With roots in Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga, he combines inspiration from many areas. His classes are challenging, but with modifications, suitable for all levels. He emphasizes correct posture and alignment throughout the class.
Michael is passionate about maintaining the roots and philosophy of yoga that served him greatly in his own practice. He believes in empowering you with the tools you need to feel confident and comfortable in your own body. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, traveling and taking landscape photography.
Sarah comes to ARFC with over 500 hours of yoga teacher trainings under her belt. Through these trainings she's found her strength (mentally and physically), her voice and her true passion. Sarah enjoys teaching adults but loves working with kids.
“It is my desire to teach children in my community the tools to navigate this thing called life. Can’t wait to meet you.”
Rose West is a certified yoga instructor who received training through the Omni Flow Life Alchemy Program! She is also a certified Buti Yoga instructor and has been in the Health and Wellness industry for more than 15 years. Rose competed as a body builder, and has 13 years of nutrition coaching as well as personal training experience!
Becky is excited to join ARFC as a group fitness instructor! Although she grew up in Truckee, after getting married and having kids, Auburn has become her forever home. Growing up as a competitive swimmer and skier, Becky is a dynamic athlete who is passionate about guiding others and watching them evolve. Her workouts are always tough, but she’ll make you feel good after every class. She aims to make every workout the best part of your day by celebrating movement and empowering others through positivity. Becky loves the sense of community group fitness has brought to her life and is delighted to share that gift with others
Amy Martin has been in the fitness industry teaching group exercise and personal training for over 20 years. She grew up in Yreka, a small town in Northern California, where she started teaching at a gym during her senior year of high school. Since then Amy has taught just about everywhere from L.A to Portland, Honolulu and Arizona, Santa Rosa and Davis and now Auburn!
"I enjoy teaching and training all kinds of formats from step aerobics (back in the day) to cycle! My husband Jason and I have three children. We enjoy boating, where we ski, tube, wakeboard and surf!"