Qualifications: A certified Fitness Specialist by the Cooper Institute in Dallas, Texas. The Artistic Director of the Miami Dancers’ Theatre Workshop. B.A. degree in Dance and Theatre - Bowling Green State University. Teacher at the Luigi Jazz Centre, NY. Member of the Imperial Society Teachers of Dance. Member of the National Association of Directors and Choreographers. Author of “Bunnetics,” “The Back Book,” “Twenty Days to a Trimmer Torso,” and “Let's Dance.”
Personal History: I started my classical ballet training at age 12 with the National Ballet of Cuba. I made my professional debut in New York as a dancer in the Broadway musical "Man of La Mancha" and as a choreographer with the Broadway staging of "Under the Yum Yum Tree." In between shows, I trained in competition ballroom dancing, winning a Gold Medal at the United States Professional Championships in 1976. I then went to dance with the Miami Ballet and, ultimately, became Artistic Director of Dancers Theatre Workshop of Miami. I made a career change after fracturing my hip while dancing in a production of “West Side Story,” starring Patrick Swayze. Months of physical rehabilitation led me into learning more about other ways to get and stay in shape. Ultimately, I opened a personal training and rehabilitation center in New York City that catered to injured members of the Broadway community. This led to my writing fitness articles and to authoring several fitness books. Around that time, a multimedia company asked me to host a ballroom dance instructional video. Little did I know that it would turn my life around. Since, I've produced and directed over 300 fitness programs that have reached over forty million video consumers, featuring many of today's top fitness personalities, i.e. Denise Austin, Leslie Sansone, Johnny G, Kathy Smith, Jennifer Kries, and the TV reality show-related programs, “Dancing With the Stars,” “The Biggest Loser” and “American Gladiator.”
Workout Philosophy: Today, my workout philosophy is much the same as it was when I first started teaching dance and fitness forty years ago. Whenever possible, I still attend two or three ballet or jazz dance classes a week. I do Pilates and weight training regularly. It not only keeps me in shape, but it also allows me to feel a program from a viewers point-of-view and, therefore, direct camera angles to how I think it will facilitate a viewer's ability to follow a program.
Sucess Story: I would have to say that my favorite client success stories are those of Denise Austin, whose programs I have produced for the past 19 years, and Leslie Sansone, whose programs I produced when she first started and through the following years. I have been truly honored by watching how their personal drive, their perseverance, and their constant focus on their audience's wants and needs have helped them successfully transcend through the many facets that the fitness industry has experienced over the past twenty years. I owe much of my work and success to their own work and trust. Moreover, I feel that today's up-and-coming video instructors owe women like them a lot, not only for having helped create and foster an industry, but also for setting precedents in the quality of video production in general.