Dana McAtee – Studio owner – Pole – Pilates – Anti gravity/Aerial yoga Instructor
Dana McAtee grew up in the south bay, always outside keeping busy. A mother of 3 grown children and 3 grandchildren, Dana is the owner of Believe Fitness Studio and Illusions Salon. Dana really enjoys working with everyone no matter their fitness level because “everyone has to start somewhere.” Her favorite saying is “Just Believe You Can.” In 2006, she found her love for pole and has been teaching pole since 2008. Dana became a Certified Pilates Instructor through Pilates Institute of Southern California under Stacey Vargas in 2009. She was also certified in Anti Gravity Yoga in 2011.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
Heather Daye – Jumping Fitness Instructor
Born and raised in Columbus, OH, Heather has been dancing since the age of three. With her education in jazz, tap, ballet, and modern, Heather was able to become a youth company member of Rhythm in Motion Dance Collective directed by Jessica Wilt at sixteen. While attending Cornish College of the Arts, she joined Cornish Dance Theater. CDT gave her the opportunity to work with many top choreographers and teachers, including: Pat Hon, Gérard Théorêt, Wade Madsen, Tim Lynch, Christy McNeil, and Jason Ohlberg. Heather was fortunate enough to spend a summer at the American Dance Festival in 2008 honing her technique and performance skills.
After graduating with Cum Laude honors in 2009, Heather promptly moved to Los Angeles where she has been a member of: The LA Follies, Brockus Project Dance Company, Stretch Dance Company, Vista Dance Company, LA Unbound, and a featured dancer in the “Suffer Someday” music video by State Shirt.
In the Fall of 2015, Heather became certified in Jumping Fitness after falling in love with the intense cardio aspect of the technique. It has helped her not only lose weight, but become a more efficient mover in conjunction with her Pilates training, It is easy on the joints and an ideal addition to anyone’s current fitness schedule.
Melody Randolph – Pole Instructor
Melody Randolph is a nurse and longtime pole-r who teaches beginning pole, with a focus on fun and injury prevention. She firmly believes that pole is for everybody and every body, regardless of fitness background. Every person deserves to feel strong, confident, and comfortable in their own skin. Her own fitness background is in wrestling, though she dabbled in many disciplines before taking her first pole class here at Believe many years ago. Since then, she has trained with pole champions, performed with Pangea Cabaret, and credits pole with improving all aspects of her life. She holds a BA in Psychology, certification as a personal trainer, is currently working towards a Masters in Nursing, and is always down to dance it out.
Julie Harrison – Jumping Fitness Instructor
Originally from Chicago, Julie has been a resident of the South Bay since 2000. Prior to that, she graduated from University of Dayton with a marketing degree. She is now mom to two daughters who keep her busy with school, soccer and dance. Her passion for exercise has grown over the years and she became a certified jumping instructor in August 2015. When she’s not jumping, she enjoys cross-training, HIIT, kickboxing and spin classes.
Lynn Janovich – Aerialist
Lynn Janovich has been a competitive athlete since the age of 10. She ran Division III Track & Field at Ithaca College with her career highlights including six Ithaca College school records and becoming a 4-time NCAA All-American athlete. She also was a dance minor in college studying ballet, modern, and jazz. She moved to Los Angeles in 2003 and was part of the burlesque dance company, The Pinup Girls, the hip-hop company, The Fanatix, and has been a dancer and choreographer for LA Unbound.
She first discovered aerial arts in 2009 and immediately fell in love! Circus, for her, is the perfect combination of extreme athleticism and artistry. She has performed in various local Southern California gigs and has coached for a few Los Angeles-based studios. She won 3rd place in the Circus Star 2015 competition. Her primary apparatuses are corde lisse, silks, and static trapeze and she also has a duo trapeze partner, Kennedy Kabasares.
Melissa Hellewell – Aerialist
Melissa was immediately hooked when she first tried silks in early 2011. One week later she tried lyra, and then six months later, she began training on the flying trapeze (and hasn’t stopped since!). As an instructor she loves to encourage students to notice the progress they are making no matter how big or small. Melissa feels the same sense of accomplishment she felt as a beginner each time a student succeeds.