Perry and Judy Messer became the owners of the Hampshire Athletic Club in the fall of 2007. They have owned and ran HAC’s sister facility, Northampton Athletic Club for 32 years. Perry and Judy feel very fortunate to be apart of both the Amherst and Northampton community.
When they are not at the Club Perry and Judy enjoy running together, traveling with their children and volunteering as board members of the Northampton High School Booster Club.
Teaghan teaches private swim lessons (3 years experience) as well as group swim lessons at HAC. She has been a UMASS championship swim camp counselor for 5 years and a competitive swimmer for 16 years. Teaghan swam for Amherst Tritons Swim team for 12 years (along with being a volunteer swim couch for the team for 2 years assist head coach with younger swimmers in teaching them proper technique. Help first time parents learn swim meet proceedings. Team Captain for 4 years) Teaghan then swam for Division III Varsity Women’s Swimming & Diving Team at Springfield College for 4 years. Part of the Scholar All-American Team by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Part of the 2009-2012 NEWMAC Women’s Springfield College Swimming& Diving Academic All-Conference Team.
Jeannette recently moved to the Pioneer Valley from South Bend, Indiana. Jeannette has spent over 12 years coaching soccer at the college and youth levels. Most recently she was on the women’s soccer coaching staff at the University of Notre Dame. She then became a mom of two boys and a personal trainer for Rec Sports at Notre Dame and owner/operator of Movin’ Mommas (fitness for parents with their kids). Jeannette trains individuals of all fitness levels and abilities; men, women, and kids. Certainly contact Jeannette for more information about her fitness & well-being philosophy – Awareness – and her individual and small group training options.
Interests:Young athletes with sport specific goals and adults with life specific goals.
Background: Lifetime fitness geek and college coach turned full time mom.
As a college and youth soccer coach and mother of two young boys, I have understanding, drive, patience, and expectations for my clients. It is my honor to share in their journeys toward positive change.
Twelve years coaching youth and college soccer
Owner/Operator Movin’ Mommas (outdoor fitness for parents with their kids)
Evelin has had the pleasure of living in the Pioneer Valley for most of her life. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with her Bachelor’s in Kinesiology (formally Exercise Science)in 2013 and is currently working on her MBA at UMass Amherst’s Isenberg School of Business. She has been certified in TRX Training since 2013 and enjoys introducing others to healthier lifestyles choices. Evelin is also a full time Trademark and Licensing Coordinator at UMass.
Director of the Pioneer Valley Jr. Tennis Academy at HAC
A Level 1 USPTR coach and private coach since 1996, Matt served as Co-Head Coach and Assistant Coach for the Amherst College men’s tennis team from 2004-2015. While at Amherst, Coach Leitl helped develop the collegiate games of thirty-two “3, 4 and 5 star” recruits as well as six other highly accomplished international players from Germany, Estonia, South Korea and England. The Lord Jeff’s qualified for the NCAA tournament 10 times and amassed 2 NCAA National Championships, two NCAA runner-up finishes, one NCAA third place finish, and three NCAA elite-eight appearances. Coach Leitl also assisted in producing an NCAA national singles champion, an NCAA national singles runner-up, two NCAA national doubles champions, 16 NCAA All-Americans, and two ranked ATP doubles players.
In addition to his collegiate coaching resume, Coach Leitl has coached and trained numerous regionally and nationally ranked junior players that have gone on to play collegiate tennis at Amherst College, Wesleyan University, Dartmouth College, Boston University, LeHigh University, the University of Illinois, Earlham College, Bryant University, and RPI.
Coach Leitl is currently Head Tennis Pro and Director of the Pioneer Valley Junior Tennis Academy at Hampshire Athletic Club (founded in 2006). Matt is also in his 14th year as Assistant Director of the Nike Junior Tennis Camp at Amherst College.
A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Leitl was a three-time all state player. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1999 and attended graduate school at UMass-Boston. Matt currently resides in Amherst, MA with his wife Jen, son Elliot, and daughter Annie.
Sundays, June 18th through August 13th * Dates are subject to number of enrolled participants
11am – 3pm
Please contact Matt for details
I have over 20 years of experience teaching swimming to children and adults of all abilities. I swam competitively for the Amherst Tritons growing up and continued through college at the University of Rochester. Shortly after graduating I began coaching with the Tritons and am currently the head coach of the Belchertown Sting Rays. I have worked with novice swimmers up to some of the fastest high school level swimmers in the country. I love the water and look forward to teaching any swimmer fundamentals of swimming, competitive strokes and stroke refinement.
Derek was born and raised in Southampton, Massachusetts. With a strong passion for sports especially basketball and track and field majoring in an exercise related field was only natural. He attended Westfield State University and received a Bachelor’s in Movement Science. While studying at Westfield Derek completed a semester long internship at The Hampshire Athletic Club. Upon completion of the internship he became a permanent front desk staff member and has been with the club for three and a half years. When Derek is not working at the Hampshire Athletic Club he enjoys running, playing basketball and spending time with friends and family.
“My love is sports. My passion is coaching. Growing up I played basketball and baseball for my town. In high school I played varsity football, basketball and golf. In college I played football. I have dedicated myself to try to help youth athletes reach their athletic goals. I am the Junior Varsity Boys Basketball Coach and the Assistant Varsity Coach at Northampton High School. I believe that if you set your mind to something you can accomplish anything!”
Len, a Northampton native, graduated from Keene State College with a B.S. in Health/Fitness and earned a M.A. in Exercise Physiology and Performance from East Tennessee State University, where he also served as a strength and conditioning coach. As a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the NSCA he has worked with young aspiring athletes to college, Olympic and professional athletes. Len also serves as adjunct faculty and Clinical Educator for Westfield State University’s, Movement Science Department. Len works with all ages (6-76yo) and abilities (youth fitness to multi-joint replacement recipients to professional athletes and everyone in between).
“I’ve had an interest in health & fitness since I was a teenager. I noticed that lifestyle mattered and played a huge role in how we feel and how we age. I also saw how adding healthy habits in your life can change your life at any age. Exercise is like a fountain of youth! I worked in a stressful professional office for over 30 years, and I saw the struggles my co-workers were having with working, raising children and trying to balance their lives. It was taking a toll on their energy and overall health. Most were over weight and had poor eating habits. Although I worked in an office, I always dreamed of being a personal trainer, so I could help others to reach their fitness potential, as well as enrich their lives with good health. I made up my mind that it was time to change careers and start doing what I love.”
“I’ve studied qigong with numerous masters since 1995. I offer an eclectic mix, a variety that includes some martial applications, but primarily forms and methods for centering, relaxation, strength, and learning to move qi, methods to maintain and improve health. Qigong is a graceful, easy practice, the forms millions of Chinese do in the parks in the early morning.”
Eric’s practice and teaching unite the physical alignment details of Iyengar Yoga with the breathing and dynamic movement of Ashtanga Vinyasa and the emotional attentiveness of Kripalu Yoga. He is a deeply knowledgeable teacher with an excellent understanding of sequencing that has developed over many years. He presents a strong, slow flow class that promises to take you deeply into the classical and modern yoga postures, following the rhythm of your natural breathing. Eric’s teaching creates an atmosphere of exploration, reverence and self-respect.
RYT – 200
Michael Dalton, former Broadway dancer, is a certified Kripalu yoga teacher. He taught yoga in NYC, volunteered at Kripalu in the Karma Yoga program and has taught yoga in the Amherst area for the past year. Whether as a form of exercise or a spiritual practice, Michael approaches yoga as an exploration of balance — in the postures, in the inversions, in the practice itself. His dance informs his yoga teaching with a deep understanding of how the body moves and stretches.
Mollie has been a full time tennis pro in the Valley since 2008. She is also in her third year as the Amherst College Women’s Tennis Assistant Coach. A former standout at Division I Cornell University, Mollie played first singles and first doubles for the Big Red, while serving as a team captain during her senior season. Named to the All-Ivy doubles second-team in 2005, she also excelled in the classroom, garnering ITA All-Academic praise, while graduating cum laude in 2006 with a bachelor’s of science degree in communication.
Mollie is a USPTA certified instructor and a USTA certified tournament director. Having coached in USTA New England High Performance clinics, she has worked with many of the top junior players in the region.
A native of Amherst, Mollie became the first, first-year to win the MIAA State Singles Championship in 1999, while also earning a USTA New England No. 1 doubles ranking from 1998-2001.
Mollie currently resides in Amherst with her husband Smokey, son Jack, and their dog Otis.
I am a grateful Tai Chi and Qigong student of Master Yang Jwing-Ming (1988-present). I’ve taught at his international headquarters in Boston for ten years (1992-2002), before moving to Leverett.
In the valley I study Embodyoga with Patty Townsend (2002-present).
For over a decade Makani has trained in hard style martial arts, studied various styles of Qigong and Tai Chi and added yoga to his repertoire of movement practices. He has taught adult and youth martial arts and self-defense. Makani teaches Qigong and Tai Chi in many venues and for four years has co-taught with one of his Qigong/Tai Chi teachers at Kripalu. He also teach beginner Salsa.
Makani’s teachings draw from ancient traditions making them relevant to modern life. Among the goals of Makani’s instructions are: healing, growth, opening, connecting, working towards embodied wholeness and relaxation, while feeling grounded & centered. He brings a focus on learning to be individuals in community as well as honoring one’s own spiritual journey, attaining joy & peace, and fostering presence through compassionate (self) discovery. Ambient music is carefully selected to enhance the practice and experience.
Marji has been teaching group fitness classes at Hampshire Athletic Club for 13 years. She has had the opportunity to teach a variety of classes, including interval style formats, strength training, senior fitness classes, and step aerobics.
In her work outside the club, Marji is a clinical psychologist in a private practice in South Hadley. Though her role in each job differs quite a bit, she firmly believe that mental and physical health are intricately linked and depend upon each other to a great extent.
Victoria is a clinical therapist and educator by trade and has been teaching a variety of fitness classes for over 30 years. She enjoys sharing her love and passion for group fitness with others. Exercise has always been an essential part of Victoria’s life, and she hopes to help you make it and important part of yours.
“I love it that yoga, which is such an integral part of my life is so portable. I can take it anywhere, whether it’s the red rocks of Sedona, the beaches on Cape Cod, my home studio or the club. My practice has deeply informed and transformed my life and it is a gift to be able to share that with my students, both privately and in classes. My training and certification was completed through the Kriya tradition over the course of a couple of years. But my personal practice began in my early twenties and became more focused in my forties when I decided to become a teacher. My style is very hands-on, working with students individually for correct alignment and respectful engagement. We incorporate pranayama, or breath practice, which supports a depth in each pose, allowing a student to listen and find his/her edge without going beyond the body’s acceptable range. I love teaching, and my hope is to instill that passion and care to my students, as they open to transformation in body, mind and spirit.”
Susan has been an avid cyclist and spinner for more than 25 years, cycling the White and Green Mountains, as well as the Berkshires in the summer and Europe where she lived for 10 years before returning to the Valley. Her spinning experience began in Los Angles in the mid 1980’s with some of first spin groups to gather on modified Schwin bikes. She continued to train with indoor stationary bikes in New York in the early 1990’s where the first official Spinning classes were born on Spinner bikes.
Susan’s classes emphasize cycle posture, cardiac and respiratory control and tension free form to build endurance and avoid injury. Susan’s musical tastes are quite eclectic and refreshingly reflected in her classes.
Knightly is also a renowned chef, author and educator, she opened the first vegetarian in Amherst in the early 1970’s. As executive chef at New York City’s Au Natural she created New York’s first “all organic haute cuisine menu”. Susan was also the chef for LA’s premier macrobiotic restaurant East/West in Los Angeles and for Ambrosia Catering where her client list included Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Liza Minnelli, Crosby Stills and Nash, William Shatner, the Academy of Motion Pictures and the Oscars. She designed a line of delicatessen foods for New York’s Grace’s On The Go in Brooklyn.
Susan has written and contributed to a number of books and publications on food and health related topics including Molly O’Neill’s New York Times Cookbook and Vegetarian Times. She co-authored Food For Recovery, Random House Books with the former head of Harvard’s Public Health Department, Dr. Joseph Beasley.
As an educator, Susan designed courses for the Natural Gourmet, the first Whole Foods Chef’s training program in the US. She created classes for the New York’s Open Center on Indian, Puerto Rican, Middle Eastern and Asian fusion cooking. She has lectured on food and nutrition for 30 years on such varied topics as Geriatric Nutrition, (Cooley Dickenson Hospital, 1994), Eating Disorders, Addiction, Weight loss, Diabetes and Organic Foods.
She currently resides in the Valley and New York City with her husband, Canadian filmmaker, Leonard Yakir and her daughter, violinist, Sarah Hadley Yakir.
Health and Fitness has been a lifelong passion for me. After I graduated with my undergrad degree, I started competing in sport karate tournaments; a year later I held the number one ranking in women’s black belt fighting for the New England region. Soon after that I started teaching aerobic exercise at Northampton Nautilus (predecessor of NAC). It’s really great to be working with Perry and Scott again, teaching at HAC. I teach kickboxing on Tuesdays, where I focus on developing cardiovascular endurance, strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility through basic kick and punch combinations, along with weight work. I also teach intervals on Saturday mornings, where I alternate weight work with various cardio sets. My day job is at Babson College, where I’m an entrepreneurship professor. But my fun job is at HAC where I get to spend time with a group of enthusiastic and dedicated people that come to work out with smiles, laughter and encouragement for others.
Heidi is an economist by day but changes gears in the spinning room. Her love of
fitness, music, and people align when she’s leading a ride and helping others push
themselves. Heidi lives in Amherst with her partner and three young sons.
Kerry Saunders is a fun and dedicated tennis instructor who understands the benefits of teaching to the individual. Because everyone learns differently, His focus is on smaller group sizes, semi private, and private tennis lessons. His basic tennis philosophy is to have fun, be aggressive, but provide for consistency first. Kerry has over ten years of experience teaching tennis. Working with kids and adults at levels ranging from beginner to advanced USTA competitor, Kerry has successfully built players from the ground up. He taught tennis to his own daughter and she has gone on to win many USTA junior tournaments.
Aside from teaching tennis, you might find Kerry fly fishing, running the Boston Marathon, or spending time outdoors with his family. Kerry lives in Amherst, MA with his wife Molly, and his two children, Nya and James.
Diana began practicing yoga 25 years ago in an effort to alleviate back pain. She found it beneficial in so many other ways including feeling more balanced in body and mind. After 15 years of personal yoga practice, and studying with a variety of teachers, she decided to share her love of yoga with others. In 2002 Diana completed Yoga Teacher Training at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Since then, she has taught yoga classes at Holyoke Hospital and prenatal yoga at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. In 2004, Diana began teaching yoga at HAC where she very much enjoys the friendly, non-competitive atmosphere, and creating community through yoga.
Catherine has taught different types of group fitness classes since 1993 in a number of places, including Princeton (NJ), Atlanta (GA) and Amherst/Hadley (MA). But since 2001, she has taught exclusively double step.
Catherine is also a professor of Psychology at Amherst College, and teaches classes related to fitness, including Health Psychology and Sports Psychology.
Ahna has been teaching a variety of group fitness classes in the Pioneer Valley for over a decade. Ahna fell in love with group fitness while attending Syracuse University where she completed Masters’ Degrees in Communication and Education. Her fitness interests are diverse and include everything from intense interval training, body sculpting, and step, to exploring the art of Argentine Tango and other dances. Ahna loves to move and loves to motivate others to do the same!
Nadine Shank has been teaching Group Fitness for over 32 years, in nearly every club existing in Amherst during that time. She has taught High/Low Aerobics, Body Sculpting, Step, Spinning, and Les Mills Body Pump.
Off the aerobics floor, Pianist Nadine Shank is Professor of Piano at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is Chair of the Piano and Collaborative Piano programs. She is Principal Orchestral Pianist with the Springfield (MA) Symphony Orchestra.
Nadine made her debut at the age of fifteen, performing the Prokofiev 1st Piano Concerto with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra as winner of the prestigious concerto competition at the National Music Camp, Interlochen MI. She performed at such venues as the Phillips Collection, D.C.; Jordan Hall and Tsang Performance Center, Boston; Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, and the 92nd Street Y, NYC; the Cleveland Orchestra’s Blossom Chamber Festival; the Monadnock Festival; and Mohawk Trail Concerts. Ms. Shank has appeared in festivals and international conventions in Europe and the Virgin Islands, with the Lark String Quartet, West Point Band and the Springfield Symphony and University Orchestras, and performed in a duo with violinist Charles Treger for 12 years.
Nadine has recorded 17 CDs and can be heard on the Albany, Centaur, CRI, Gaspari, MRS, New World, Open Loop, Spectrum, and YAL labels, including “Sonata No. 2 for Piano of Yusef Lateef;” “Calls and Echoes: American Sonatas for Trumpet and Piano,” with Eric Berlin, trumpet, three duo recordings with saxophonist Lynn Klock and numerous Play-Along CDs for saxophone and clarinet for Open Loop.
Nadine earned degrees at the Oberlin Conservatory, receiving the Rudolph Serkin and Pi Kappa Lambda Piano Prizes, and at Indiana University (Bloomington) where she was a Concerto Competition winner. Her teachers included Menahem Pressler, Sanford Margolis and John Wustman.
Lynne Nicole Smith is a Certified Yoga Instructor and Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance. She is also a Certified Qigong/Tai Chi Instructor through the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi based in Santa Barbara, California as well as a Certified Psychosynthesis Counselor and Expressive Arts Therapist. Lynne’s teaching style reflects her passion for Yoga and Qigong as both being powerful tools and practices for releasing physical, mental and emotional blocks in the body. Through Yoga, we access a stronger connection to breath, a deeper awareness of our body and increase our level of energy and healing on all levels. Lynne is constantly astounded by the profound benefits Yoga and Qigong have had on her own life and students. Lynne also offers private lessons and individual sessions in addition to group Yoga and Qigong classes. Visit www.yogaandhealingartstherapy.com to learn more about Lynne’s work in integrating Yoga, Qigong and Counseling to support healing, peace and wellness in people’s lives.
“I’ve been in the fitness industry since 1983. I’ve lived a life time of fitness and continue to pursue constant education to keep up with the ever changing information in the fitness and massage and spa life. As your trainer I can calculate your lean to fat body composition with the elf 2 body analyzer. I can design a nutrition and exercise program allowing you to reach your ideal lean to fat ratio. When your muscles are fatigued I can massage you or help to rejuvenate your skin with a facial or spa treatment.”
“I fell in love with Zumba on a trip to Florida a few years ago. I was there for work (I’m a professor at UMass in my “real” life) – and decided to try out a Zumba class. I was hooked! I decided to go way outside my comfort zone and get licensed, which I have been since 2012. Depending on the time of the year, I’m either teaching full time or subbing as much as I can in Amherst and Northampton. I go to ZIN Jam sessions and go to as many classes as I can to keep my routine fresh and fun.”
Brandon began his career at the Hampshire Athletic Club and Northampton Athletic Club in 2008 while attending the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. In 2013, Brandon worked with the Amherst Leisure Services Department as an Assistant Sports and Recreation Director, where he helped coordinate the Amherst Youth Basketball League for area youth. Brandon has developed a passion for helping young athletes reach their athletic goals while training at Strides Human Performance Institute. As a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, he believes that people of all ages and fitness levels can reach their full potential through hard work and dedication.
My classes integrate steady attention on the breath with yogic philosophy, meditation, and carefully articulated guidance. I offer an alignment-focused class that maintains a balance between effort and ease.
In 2000 I began practicing “Power Yoga” at a gym in MA, within weeks of discovering yoga I began to attune to the subtle energies and started studying chakras and how the energetic body manifests itself in the physical, mental, and emotional bodies. Over the past 15 years I have studied and practiced many forms of yoga including Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Classical Hatha, Kundalini, Restorative, as well as Meditation and Mindfulness practices.
After a short career in costume design for film and TV I became aware that I wasn’t contributing to the world in any kind of significant way. I took a look at my life questioning what was really important to me and realized that no matter where I had lived or who I had loved or what type of work I was doing, the one constant in my life had always been yoga. It was then that I decided to dedicate my time to teaching and serving the world in this capacity. In 2009 I began teaching fulltime in both studios and gyms, but also in alternative spaces such as community centers, offices, classrooms, hospital settings, parks, empty warehouses and private residences.
I have taught 1,000’s of kids in the NYC public schools through Bent On Learning, a non-profit that brings yoga and meditation to NYC schools, and Sonima Foundation- a growing enterprise that is bringing mindfulness practices to city schools across the country. For 6 years I was a lead instructor and YTT mentor with Bent On Learning.