Instructors

INSTRUCTORS

Dana McAtee – Studio owner – Pole – Pilates – Anti gravity/Aerial yoga Instructor

Dana Mc atee Grew up in the south bay, she was always outside keeping busy . A mother of 3 grown children and 3 grand children. Owner of Believe fitness studio and Illusions salon . Dana really enjoys working with everyone no matter what their fitness level is . Everyone has to start somewhere, her favorite saying is Just Believe You Can. In 2006 she found her love for pole and has been started teaching pole since in 2008. Certified Pilates instructor through Pilates Institute of Southern California under Stacey Vargas in 2009. Certified in Anti Gravity Yoga in 2011, and a IPSF national judge.

Adam McAtee – Pilates Instructor

Adam McAtee graduated from El Segundo High School in 2007 before becoming a certified Pilates Instructor through the Pilates Institute of Southern California under Stacey Vargas in 2010. Growing up in the South Bay, Adam found love and passion through basketball. Although, in 2010 his passion quickly turned to the movement of the human body through Pilates. Teaching Pilates for the past three year, he has become fascinated with anatomy and enjoys helping those around him. Adam is currently working on his Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology Exercise Science. Adam has been the Pilates Director at Believe Fitness Studio since it opened in March of 2011. Through his journey at Believe, he has become in the best shape of his life without picking up a single dumbbell. With his less-is-more approach he has found the benefit of cross-training with Pilates, Vertical Pole, Aerial Arts, TRX, and Anti-Gravity Yoga. To contact Adam for a complimentary private Pilates lesson call Believe at (310) 648-8023 or email at adamatbelieve@yahoo.com

Beata Harison – Pilates Instructor

BeataHarison, originally from Poland, arrived in the United States in 1992. During her 18 years in Physical Therapy, Beata found a passion for Pilates. As her passion grew, Beata received her Pilates certification in 2011 under Stacey Vargas at the Pilates Institute of Southern California. Beata is very dedicated to helping her students live a happier and healthier life. Beata began teaching at Believe Fitness Studio as soon as she became certified. She enjoys the positive energy of our staff as well as the professional quality of our work.

Mei Wang – Aerial Arts Instructor

Born and raised in New Mexico, Mei moved to LA for greater opportunities. When she first discovered aerial arts, she instantly fell in love with it’s beauty and challenge. She has performed in many outdoor festivals such as Symbiosis, Yosemite National park and other beautiful venues like Supperclub LA and The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. She has performed on silks, hoop, hammock, tippy hoop, and specializes in doubles with long time aerial partner Kate Minwegen. They both joined and continue to be apart of the underground cirque troupe, The Wandering Marionettes. Since she has joined the Believe family, Mei has become a yoga instructor and teaches TRX as well. “I love aerial because it challenges you mentally and physically, while building strength and confidence. At Believe, every class is like that! Everyone is so encouraging, the staff and instructors are amazing. I feel so fortunate to be part of such an incredible studio!”

Karen Maassen – Aerial Arts Instructor

Karen Maassen grew up training and competing in dance in jazz, tap and ballet up until college. She earned a bachelor’s of Arts degree in dance from University of California, 2005. In college she expanded her dance styles learning hip- hop, ballroom, modern, belly- dancing and also training in Pilates. After college she went on to work as a dancer at Disneyland, doing parades and shows. She left Disney to take a contract in Mexico as a dance captain at an all- inclusive resort in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. When the contract ended she continued her work at Disney until she injured her hamstring and decided to apply to United Airlines. Karen worked as a flight attendant for United Airlines for a year, working on domestic and international flights. While she loving traveling, she missed being a part of dance shows and studios and had always hoped to train as an aerialist. She left United to work as a dance company teacher, traveling all over California to different public schools top teach hip- hop and ballroom. Inspired by Cirque Du Soleil and seeing aerialists in the Disney parade, Karen also started training in aerial arts. Karen has been a a professional aerialist since 2009, working as a dancer, aerialist and stilt walker at private parties and events and with the Aerial Showgirls and other dancers. She has done TV work for the discovery channel on tissue and performed with live bands. Training with Rachel Bowman, really helped create her style as an aerialist and pushed her to want to train more and become stronger. She was thrilled to be asked to teach at Believe. Karen truly loves seeing her students grow and learn. Karen loves training and taking classes from other instructors here, who push her to her limits of creativity and strength. She recently went to an aerial festival in Colorado which lead her to have her own apparatus created, combining aerial arts and vertical pole. Karen loves teaching at Believe and continues to be inspired daily by the determination, dedication and fellow love of aerial arts of her students.

Acia Frishman – Pilates Instructor

Acia has been a personal trainer for fifteen years. She takes training seriously and derives great personal satisfaction from providing the gift of health to her students. She is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association, National College of Exercise Professionals, TRX, and The Pilates Coach. Having a wide range of specialties enables Acia to design personal, effective training programs for individuals with a variety of goals including fat loss, muscle gain, endurance, strength and maintenance as well as addressing her students health issues. Acia has witnessed the importance of exercise through both her clients improved lifestyles and her own life experiences. In 2000 Acia had major back surgery, requiring two ten inch rods to be inserted along her spine. The fact that she was in such good physical condition, prior to surgery, and being an expert in the most up to date training methods she returned to her intense pre-surgery exercise regimen within four months. Although giving birth to two children in her forties and having major back surgery in her fifties, Acia proudly claims to have discovered the fountain of youth. Acia regularly inspires her clients with simple, no nonsense advice. “If you combine regular exercise, a healthy diet with supplements and maintain an optimistic, positive attitude you can live a more fulfilling, productive life.” Believe provides Acia with the opportunity to share my knowledge and skills with a variety of people who desire to improve their lives by enhancing their fitness level. With many skilled trainers and instructors, Believe also affords her the opportunity to participate in other highly professional classes offered. The environment at Believe is up-beat and positive with an emphasis on improving lifestyles through fitness and having fun on the journey. You won’t find a better place to get started on the road to a healthier, happy life.

Mina Mortezaie – Advanced Pole & Aerial

Mina graced the December 2009 cover of Pole 2 Pole magazine where she was featured as Pole Star of the month. Other press Mina has been featured in includes an article in the LA Times titled: “The pole vaults into a new role.” The LA times described Mina by saying her “forte seems to be perfectly executed vertical and inverted split maneuvers.” Mina has also been seen on national television teaching pole lessons to adult film stars in “The Secret Lives of Women” which airs on the Women’s Entertainment channel. Mina’s clientele includes teaching the girls next door/playboy playmate twins Karissa and Kristina Shannon at the playboy mansion. Mina says: From my first pole dancing class I instantly became addicted and couldn’t get enough. The movement is an incredible workout and a powerful boost in confidence. I definitely recommend this for all women; not only will it tone up your body, but it can transform your life. Mina’s titles include: 2010 USPDF Amateur Champion, Pole Vixen Los Angeles Champion, East Meets West Doubles Champion (with partner Nadia Sharif). Mina currently teaches at Evolve Dance Studio and Be Spun in the Los Angeles area.

Kristen Swain – Aerial Yoga Instructor

Kristen Swain grew up in south Florida, and moved to California in December of 2010. She got into aerial fitness doing pole for 2 years, and found her passion for yoga soon after practicing vinyasa and hot yoga which brought her to getting a certification for Aerial yoga which she’s been teaching for a year and a half now. Sharing what she is passionate about has pushed her towards getting her personal training and nutrition certification. She’s all about helping people workout and achieve happiness through fitness. She enjoys cooking, skateboarding, yoga, lifting, adventures and the beach.

Anthony Languen – Dance Teacher

Anthony Languren is a contemporary dancer, and choreographer, based out of Los Angeles. He previously trained at Mount San Antonio College, under Amy Bates-Nakamura, Mike Esperanza, Will Johnston, and, four-time Ovation Award winner, Lee Martino. Currently, Anthony is a dancer on Kairos Dance Company, on faculty at Boogiezone Utopia and Believe-Fitness, and holds a B.A. in dance from Loyola Marymount University. He has had the privilege to present works and teach at The Lineage Artshare Emerging Artists Series, Mt. San Antonio College, The American College Dance Festival, SYNTHESIS, and numerous high schools/dance studios around Northern and Southern California.

Ashley Lawlor- Aerial Arts instructor

Ashley Lawlor, busy mother of 2, was looking to find a creative, fun way to strengthen herself physically, mentally and spiritually when she found yoga and the Aerial fit world. In spring of 2013 she became a 200 hour RYT/ Power yoga instructor. She also studies and obtained certification in restorative-Yin yoga and Trigger point therapy yogic techniques. Ashley is a certified child yoga instructor and is currently teaching at public and private schools all over the south bay area. Off the mat Ashley is an Aerial instructor for children and adults; training under Mei Wang and Rachael Bowman for the last 3years. All of Ashley’s classes are designed to inspire, strengthen and help you find your body’s source of expression, whether it’s on the floor or in the air.

Dana Jackson- Pole instructor

Dana graduated from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, with a BFA in Film/Theatre. Dana’s creative calling gives her a unique perspective when it comes to teaching. Add to that her desire for continued emotional exploration, and it’s obvious how Dana thoughtfully guides students from her heart and soul. Her day job is that of Producer in the overtly-masculine and fast-paced Hollywood industry. So her uniquely feminine outlet of dancing and teaching this movement is the safe haven she utilizes to decompress, empower & reconnect. It’s the perfect balance – sitting in a circle of women and moving unapologetic ally to seriously loud music. Dana began expressing her authentic self through the movement of pole almost a decade ago, and it continues to profoundly change her life. She hasn’t stopped swirling her hips and changing the lives of other women since.

Karin “DIRT” McDermott – Pole instructor

I’m Karin McDermott (aka: Dirt), Is a mom of two really tall men. I’ve been teaching women to inhale into their feminine bodies and exhale empowerment into their lives for well over a decade. The first woman I started with was myself. Every scared, mysterious, freaked-out + feminine morsel of my being was desperate to discover and nurture ME. I yearned for a shift of massive proportions. I dove in, shaking and surrendering, and forged a courageous path that brought me home to my body, my sexuality, my life. The personal transformation + self-help world is where my heart + soul breathe. It’s also my calling. Every piece of wisdom I’ve been blessed with and every ounce of learned courage I’ve endured informs how I guide others. My degrees are in psychology, but my body has a hard-earned PhD in life. I believe in the trans formative powers of pleasure, grace + sensuality. I also believe in laughter, tears, loud music and the pure poetry in motion found in a room full of women owning their power. But really, who wouldn’t love that?! Join me.

Melissa Coindreau – Advanced Pole & Aerial

Melissa Coindreau performed as a principal dancer with the San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet for five years. As a former international touring artist her professional credits include Grease, Cabaret, The Broadway Musical Swing, and she has had the pleasure of performing with such greats as the Cab Calloway Orchestra, Twyla Tharp, and Michael Buble. She holds US titles in Swing Dance and , is a certified yoga instructor. Consumed with the idea of taking dance into the air Melissa found her way to aerial arts. Melissa is an advanced level pole technician with competitive experience placing second in the Vertical Pole Challenge in Las Vegas. She has also coached championship pole artists, produced and choreographed aerial concerts, and loves any opportunity for a creative challenge. With over 20 years of professional experience, she is trained in aerial hoop, silks, hammock, and enjoys blending the world of dance and aerial arts together. Currently a performer and costume designer with Terry Beeman’s Mental Head Circus, Melissa is proud to share her love of dance and aerial innovation with her students.