Rates and schedules vary, please call Mansion House for more information.
Ann Richards has more than 35 years in Health and Fitness. She is the former owner of Fitness Firm, a privately owned training center on Martha’s Vineyard, and has been training individuals and small groups for decades. She is certified through ACE (American Certification on Exercise). Ann currently teaches group exercise classes, Senior Strength & 55+ Strength & Core, and trains both seasonally and year-round at Mansion House where she specializes in building and maintaining strength and mobility for the senior population.
Fitness and Yoga Instructors:
Brenda began teaching 15 years ago as an apprehensive sub for a Spinning class. After a couple of anxiety induced classes she discovered that she loved teaching group exercise and sought other modalities to teach. She is a Certified Mad Dogg Spinning Instructor and has completed YogaFit’s Level 1 & 2, BodyArt Teacher Training and Exhale’s 40 hour Barre Certification Program.
Brenda’s passion for movement started at an early age with gymnastics, dance and swimming and then moved into group sports during her teen years. She loved competing in sports like lacrosse and field hockey and always found a way to incorporate exercise into her day well after her high school years.
Brenda and her husband, David, have lived year round on the Vineyard for close to 30 years. They enjoy taking daily walks in the forest with their dog, watching their two sons play soccer and discovering new places to visit.
She has cultivated lasting friendships with people of all ages through the connection of movement and is grateful to be able to support and encourage people to become a healthier version of themselves. Brenda believes ‘being fit’ has no final destination but is a lifelong journey that takes commitment, compassion and a sense of humor.
Megan began teaching Yoga in the late 1980’s after a decade of professional dancing in Chicago and New York. She trained with Yoga Master’s Erich Schiffman, Douglas Keller and John Friend. She unites her Yoga Teaching with Bodywork, expanding into Anatomy Training, Sustainable Body, Neurocore, and Zero Balancing. Megan uses the instrument of her own embodiment and life experiences as the lab for personal inquiry and is grateful to be able to share her discoveries with others.
Reflecting others into the great insight and brilliance that exists within them is exciting and rewarding for her. She believes yoga is a terrific tool for cultivating skillful access into inner wisdom. Megan has called the Vineyard her home for 25 years and shares an extended family with her partner in life. She loves to be able to spend time with her two sons, three grandsons and awesome daughters-in-laws.
Freedom has been teaching Fitness for 20 years. She is a Certified Madd Dog Spinning Instructor as well as a Certified Yoga Teacher. She founded Om of Motion Spinning Studio in West Tisbury where she cultivated a large following of Cycling enthusiasts. Kimberly’s compassionate personality sets her apart from the ‘intense’ reputation that many Cycling Instructors have. She believes that love is the reason we are here and is what makes our lives meaningful. She applies this Philosophy to exercise and believes that with love as our guiding principle, exercise becomes a celebration of energy and abundance, a form of blessing and meditation which raises the level of joy in every aspect of our experience.
Freedom moved to Oak Bluffs 23 years ago with her partner Ewell. Together, with their three kids, 91 years young mother-in-law Esther and chocolate lab, Leroy Brown they have called the Vineyard their home.
Sian has been teaching Yoga for over a decade. She received her 500 hour Teacher Training at Kripalu with Shiva Rea and has studied intensively with Yoga Masters Ana Forrest, Baron Baptiste, Jonny Kest, and Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa.
Sian was a runner for years before discovering yoga. She has always been into health and fitness and appreciates the spiritual connection she gains from her practice. She is a published writer, an avid kayaker and a devoted dog walker. Sian is the mother of five children and has lived on the Vineyard for 30 plus years.
Vanessa began teaching Kripalu Yoga eight years ago after receiving her 500 hour Professional Level Yoga Teacher Certification. Her practice allows her to listen to her needs throughout the day. Sometimes her energy calls for a run. Sometimes a nap beckons her. And at other times study calls to her. She feels that it’s important to tune in and honor what is most needed, not just for body but also for mind and spirit. Practice is an ever changing ongoing conversation for her.
Vanessa was born and raised on Martha’s Vineyard and has raised her two children on the island as well. She left the island long enough to appreciate it and return. In addition to teaching Yoga she also works in the school system. When her busy schedule allows, she enjoys traveling, reading, drawing, writing and napping.
Emily holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, another in Fitness Management, and certifications from ACSM, NASM, and in BodyArt and yoga. She earned her B.A. from Tufts University, in English. Emily has worked in-house at Reebok headquarters as a fitness specialist, and taught yoga at New Balance headquarters, as well as at Equinox Health Clubs and Exhale Spas – all in Boston. While in Los Angeles, Emily was personal trainer to exercise star, Kathy Smith and on Martha’s Vineyard, she has trained actress Rooney Mara. In addition to studio classes, Emily also leads trail hikes and fitness retreats – all with a focus on breath, alignment, and feet.
Brenda has been in the fitness field for 40 years. Her love of movement began as a teen when she started dance lessons. She moved to the island in the mid ‘90’s with her husband and daughters and became a personal trainer at Fitness Firm. She is a certified Stott Pilates Instructor and also holds certificates in Total Barre and TRX.
Brenda has completed training for Special Populations, Postural Analysis and Anatomy. Her focus on posture, alignment and form is central to everything she teaches no matter if she’s teaching on dry land or in the water. She is a Certified Red Cross Swimming Instructor and has been teaching Water Exercise for several years.
She enjoys spending time with her three young, spirited grandsons, getting out on a good hiking trail and continuing to educate herself in the world of fitness.
Casey joined the team at Mansion House in the Spring of 2019 as a cycling instructor. Her own indoor cycling practice began in 2016 when she discovered the joys of the rhythm ride— a combination of dance and high intensity cycling. She has a Schwinn Indoor Cycling certification, and also holds current first responder and CPR certifications. Casey studied Kinesiology as an undergrad at University of New Hampshire, and went on to receive dual master’s degrees from UNH in Kinesiology and Social Work.
When Casey is not teaching she is busy with her nonprofit Vineyard- based program, FUEL, which helps young adults transition into adulthood. She’s passionate about the water, sailing and beach walks with her rescue dog, Charlotte.
Abby Bender is a choreographer and performer who has taught dance and fitness over the past 15 years. She is the creative force behind Built on Stilts, the island’s community dance festival, now approaching its 24th year and she was the longtime director of Triskelion Arts, a dance theater in Brooklyn, NY.
Abby loves to jump around and has been working out quite heartily for decades. Doing so has kept her sane AND fit. A summer resident since 1995, she moved to the island with her husband and cat year-round in 2016 and has since enjoyed slinging coffee at Motts, developing new movement-based performance work, and conjuring live game shows.
Jen (aka Max) has worked in the fitness industry for 17 years. She is a ACE certified Personal Trainer & Group Fitness Instructor, Level 2 Zumba instructor and also completed the 500hr Hatha Yoga Teacher Training.
She was the Company trainer for Chimera Physical Theater and Kicking Pig Productions 2000-2006 and Youth Theater Choreographer and acting coach in Western Mass and Martha’s Vineyard.
She lives in West Tisbury with her kids and dogs and spends her free time making dance and theater in the community.