Meet YWCA’s Certified Fitness Instructors

Every fitness instructor at Charlotte’s YWCA is certified in CPR, First Aid and AED (using an external defibrillator) as well as the specific certifications required for their specialty. (A list of organizations referred to in the credentials of each instructor are at the bottom of the page for your easy reference.) 

Mary Casey, fitness instructor, yoga, health

Mary Casey
Certifications: RYT 200

Mary Casey is a longstanding, devoted member of the YWCA, where she loves to swim laps. She is also a committed yoga practitioner. Mary is excited to guide you in an engaging yoga practice where she intends to impart her learnings on yoga philosophy, postures, breathing, and mindfulness.

Hank Talmadge                        YWCA’s Fitness Coordinator

Hank has had a passion for fitness over the last 10 years and serves as the Fitness Coordinator at the YWCA. HIs background is mainly in strength training and yoga, but believes any activity that gets you engaged and active is healthy! Hank especially loves water training for all of the wonderful benefits it provides. 

Bryan Crouse, instructor, fitness instructor, aquatics classes

Bryan Crouse
Certifications: NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Bryan has been a certified personal trainer and metabolic specialist for over 5 years.

His major focuses are core strengthening, balance, flexibility and range of motion to help prevent/limit pain. He is a certified metabolic technician and incorporate specific cardiovascular zone training with heart rate monitors. As a met tech, he strives to help maximize cardiovascular health and fat burning for any fitness level. Overall, he likes to help people push themselves past their “perceived” limits and improve mentally and physically…inside out!

him hall, cycle, instructor, YWCA fitness

Jim Hall
Certifications: ASFA Cycling Instruction Certification 

Seventeen years ago, Jim and his son joined a cycling group through church. His son only lasted a season but Jim kept at it, riding regularly from March to November. Then in 2019, Jim was introduced to YWCA and loved it! Cycling classes here have improved Jim’s endurance, and other workouts have improved overall fitness – and he’s made some new friends with similar values.

Jim looks forward to leading both aerobic and fun cycling classes – join him! 

swim instructor, fitness instructor, ywca fitness, ywca gym

Lina Heron
Certifications/Training: Red Cross Lifeguarding, AED/CPR/First Aid, YWCA Orange Method Swim Lesson Instructor

Lina has been teaching swim lessons/coaching since 2021 and has been swimming competitively since 2011. Lina likes to make swim lessons fun while encouraging swimmers to better themselves.

Sarah Cousar headshot

Sarah Cousar

Sarah is a yoga instructor at YWCA Central Carolinas. She typically leads the Monday night Vinyasa II/III class.

rose epps headshot

Rose Epps
Rose is an aquatics instructor at YWCA Central Carolinas, leading the weekly Aqua Yoga class.

Keightlyn Edwards
Certifications: Red Cross AED/CPR/First Aid, YWCA Orange Method Swim Lesson Instructor

Keightlyn has been teaching swim lessons since 2017 and has been a Swim Instructor at the YWCA since 2019. She loves to teach swim lessons. She likes to see the impact she makes on both children and adults in growing their confidence and breaking down their fear of the water. Keightlyn can teach swim lessons to all ages and all skill levels.

Kay Fuller
Certifications: PhysicalMind Institute of New York in Pilates; Kripalu Yoga

Kay began teaching Pilates in 1999 before moving around the country. Returning to Charlotte, she now enjoys sharing her broad knowledge of exercise and movement through her ongoing teaching.

fitness instructor, pilates, ywca

Anne Krause-Huckleberry
Certifications: Pilates Mat; Pilates Anatomy; Biomechanics; Posture Analysis

While certified in Pilates Mat, Anne continued her education on the Pilates Apparatus. She has a Masters in Music Theatre, Dance, Anthropology and Education; and a Dance Diploma in Modern Dance and Contemporary Dance.

Anne grew up in Germany and moved to Charlotte in 2012 where she lives with her husband, 3 children and 2 dogs.
Lindsey Lesh
Certifications: Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor, Red Cross WSI Instructor
Lindsay has been teaching swim lessons and coaching since 2006. She swam competitively throughout high school and college. She has had the pleasure to learn from some of the country’s elite coaches and swimmers, thus gaining a more in-depth understanding of the sport and its mechanics. Lindsay loves the water and enjoys helping swimmers of all ages and abilities reach their goals in the pool. She has been with YWCA since January 2019. 

Sam Gardner
Certifications: Red Cross Lifeguarding, AED/CPR/First Aid, YWCA Orange Method Swim Lesson Instructor

Sam has been working for YWCA since 2021 and teaching swim lessons since 2023. He wears many hats here at YWCA and can be found working as a Swim Instructor, Lifeguard, Childcare Representative, and Front Desk Specialist.  Sam specializes in beginner Swim Lessons and loves to teach those valuable water safety skills to children.

fitness instructor, yoga, ywca, hiit

Yael Powell

Yael leads YWCA’s HIIT, LIIT, Pure Body Strength, Cycle and Move & Groove classes and she specializes in Yoga.

fitness instructor, YWCA fitness, YWCA gym, exercise class, HIIT, Cycle, weight loss, student athlete

Kacy Rhyne
Certifications: Spin, Les Mills CORE

Kacy fell in love with group fitness classes quickly after she moved to Chicago in 2016. She was a collegiate swimmer and had always been passionate about everything related to sports and fitness! In 2018, Kacy began her instructor journey and has loved every minute of it. She’s seen the power that community has in reaching health and fitness goals, and having fun along the way! Kacy has taught many formats including Studio Cycle, HIIT, Les Mills CORE and Les Mills BODYPUMP, in addition to coaching swim practices and lessons.

Hampton Thrower
Certifications: RYT 500; Kripalu Yoga

Hampton, a 500-hour Professional Kripalu Yoga Teacher, guides students with a detailed and fluid approach that has emerged from his own search for healing. He began teaching classes in 1997. Dedicated to supporting students with special needs, he became Yoga of the Heart certified.

Headshot of Instructor Jody Frazier

Jody Warren
Certifications: USAT; Spin: Red Cross Lifeguard; Pre/Post Natal Fitness

Jody has been teaching fitness classes and doing personal training for over a decade. She also serves as Head Coach for the YDub Tri Club (Triathlon training club).

fitness instructors, ywca fitness, aquatics

Shelley Warren
Certifications: AEA Aquatic Fitness Professional Certification

Shelley’s number one passion is the water, and she combines that passion with her love of instructing each week at YWCA’s heated indoor pool. She has taught both shallow and deep water aerobics at YWCA since the 1990s.

Emily Ciccarella
Certifications: Les Mills BODYPUMP and BODYCOMBAT

Emily moved to Charlotte from Buffalo, NY in 2019 and is a proud Bills fan these last few years. In her free time, she enjoys hiking in National Parks, playing sports, going to sporting events, and finding new things to do around Charlotte. 

Latrisha Barr
Certifications: IFTA Aqua Certification, AFFA Group Fitness Certification

Latrisha has been a part of the fitness community for 10 years. She loves group fitness and helping people reach their fitness goals while having a good time doing it. – Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. 

Brian Coffey
Certifications: Les Mills Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor, Red Cross WSI Instructor

Brian has been working in the Aquatics Industry since 1992. He has been teaching swim lessons and/or coaching since 1995 and has been the Orange Crush Head Swim Coach since 2016. He also teaches CPR, First Aid, Lifeguard Training and Water Safety Instructor Training.

The table below lists the organization represented by the initials found in the certification citations:

ACE American Council on Exercise Certification
ACSM American College of Sports Medicine Certification
AEA Aquatic Exercise Association
AFFA Aerobic and Fitness Association of America
AFWWE Arthritis Foundation Walk With Ease
ASFA American Sports and Fitness Association
CPO Certified Pool/Spa Operator by National Swimming Pool Foundation
E-RYT Yoga Alliance Certification: Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher
IFTA Interactive Fitness Trainers of America Certification
NASM National Academy of Sports Medicine Certification
RYT 200 Yoga Alliance Certification: Registered Yoga Teacher with 200 hrs of training
RYT 500 Yoga Alliance Certification: Registered Yoga Teacher with 500 hrs of training
USAT USA Triathlon Certification
WSI Red Cross Water Safety Instruction Certification
YMCA Partnered with American Council on Exercise to create YMCA Foundation Certification Courses