Meet the Balance Trainers
Aamir Poindexter is a graduate of Temple University with a B.S. degree in Exercise and Sport Science. Born and raised in North Philadelphia, Aamir has been involved in sports his whole life. Along with 5 years of official training experience, Aamir credentials include: Certified Strength and Conditioning (CSCS), USA Boxing Coach, Schwinn Indoor Cycling Certification, CPR/AED and First Aid. He aspires to be a world championship boxer, trainer and lawyer. Along with competing in boxing and other activities, his greatest joy is putting a smile on people's faces, whether it's through laughter, encouragement, or helping others succeed in achieving their goals. Aamir sincerely believes that there is no ceiling when it comes to the potential each and every one of us possess. "You can look and feel however you want, but it takes sacrifice, hard- work, and dedication to achieve anything that is worthwhile.
Penny Sullivan is an ACE certified group fitness instructor over 20 years, certified in Pilates Mat I and II PIA, Barre/The Balanced Body Barre Method and Leslie Bender Barre method and has extensive ballet and modern dance training. She has taught all over the U.S. From Los Angeles, Ca., Denver, Co., New York City, N.Y. and here in the Philly area for the past 15 years.
Penny is known for her consistency and creativity having been in the dance and fitness industry either as a performer or teacher/trainer for over 30 years! Growing up in NYC, she studied with the best mentors from NYC Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and the Martha Graham school of dance while enjoying the hardcore fitness scene as well. She wanted a form of fitness that combined both the artistry of dance and the sweat factor of fitness, created a signature class/method of training that combines traditional fitness exercises with basic ballet, Pilates and yoga sequences. A hybrid of dance and fitness that anyone can do, long before the barre craze took hold of the fitness industry. Her classes and private sessions are never the same but always complete and balanced with upper body work, core strength, posture and balance exercises, flexibility training and lower body blasts.
When you train with Penny, you will always feel great after a workout, mentally and physically, clear headed and strong! She truly enjoys watching her clients discover the power and strength of their bodies.
Penny is certified as a group fitness instructor through the American Council on Exercise. She teaches Balance Barre and B Revitalized and offers individualized personal training.
Tema Esberg's motto is: “Be Happy. Be Healthy. Be Kind.” And that is the philosophy she brings to each training session and fitness class. Tema is energetic & creative, and enjoys making fitness fun and challenging for all types of athletes, from novices to the experienced. She has been inspiring and motivating clients at Balance for approximately 4 years.
After working as an attorney, Tema changed careers, and has been passionately focusing on health and wellness as a personal trainer since 2014. She continually works at improving her own strength and fitness, while having fun and challenging herself. To this end, Tema is experienced in running, rowing, strength training, mat pilates and mindfulness... and she looks forward to learning more. She works hard in her own wellness journey so that she can pass her experience and knowledge forward.
Clients say: "When I workout with Tema, her energy is infectious, her workouts are challenging; and I always have fun and leave with a smile." "Tema has a remarkable talent for teaching and cueing exercises so that I do them correctly, and then I definitely feel my muscles working!"
Tema is AAAI/ISMA certified as a Personal Fitness Trainer, Master Personal Fitness Trainer and Sports Nutrition Consultant.
Alex Brazinski first began his yoga journey as a supplement to his college running career to aid in flexibility and injury prevention. It was during those years practicing yoga that he developed a keen interest in Eastern philosophy, movement arts, meditation, and traditional Chinese medicine. In 2013, Alex graduated from the 2013 Dana Hot Yoga 200hr TT program. Alex is a licensed acupuncturist at Philadelphia Sports Acupuncture. His practice focuses on sports medicine, pain management, and stress reduction.
Alex is also CSCS and FRC certified trainer and specializes in functional approaches to flexibility, mobility and strength that look to enhance body awareness, body control and rhythm.
If you’re looking for a trainer with bubbly energy that can motivate you on your most trying day, Regina Mitchell is your girl. Originally from New York, Regina first came to Philadelphia in 1996 on a softball scholarship at Temple University. After college Regina was asked to work at the University’s IBC center as a group fitness instructor, and that was when she found her calling. Regina has worked as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor in and around the Philadelphia area for over a decade. As an active mom she understands the difficulties of “getting your body back after baby. Her focus is on core strengthening and cardio endurance, and as a certified Kick Boxer Regina get results. As a group instructor with a dance background Regina keeps her classes charged with rhythmic energy and fun choreography. And if that’s not enough you can catch her on tv hosting “You Oughta Know” on WHYY.
Scott Dyck holds the National Strenth and Conditioning Association CSCS, International Sports Sciences Association CFT, and Functional Movement Screen certifications, along with a collegiate baseball and Army career. Scott also co-authored the ISSA’s Specialist in Group Fitness certification course, which he teaches online to both civilian and military populations.
Having done a lot of different things that require a broad range of physical capabilities has fostered a life-long learning process, culminating in a focus on producing not only strength and power, but truly good movement for whatever sport or endeavor you want to be good at.
Scott has 13 years of experience training both youth and adult athletes, military, and various special populations. A firm believer in exercise and movement as medicine, working with Scott will always involve approaching the end result by way of range of motion, flexibility, and economy and quality of movement FIRST, with all the rest to follow built on a solid foundation that not only performs well but feels good.
Scott and his wife Katey also own and operate BioFit Philly within the Balance space, a biometrics testing business specializing in body composition, metabolic rate, VO2max testing, athletics measurables testing, and Fitlight timing and training. www.biofitphilly.com
Casey Meizinger, MD is a physician at Abington Jefferson Health and an American College of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer. Philly born and raised, she was a Division I Student Athlete at the University of Louisville, KY, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BS in Exercise Science. She went on to complete her MD degree with AOA honors at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. She has trained in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA, incorporating sports medicine and acute injury rehabilitation. She returned to the Philadelphia area to pursue an Internal Medicine residency and eventual career in Cardiology.
Since graduating from college, Casey has been active in coaching, personal training, and group exercise. Prior to medical school, she worked for Back on My Feet, an organization that advocates for Philadelphia’s homeless population through running. During medical school she taught yoga and integrative medicine to medical students. Early in residency, she enjoyed competitive road and trail running with the San Francisco-based Bay Birds racing team. Most recently, Casey has led spinning, yoga, and cardio-based classes at the Doylestown YMCA prior to transitioning from a CSCS certification to that of ACSM. Casey is honored and excited to be a part of the Balance team! She looks forward to educating clients and using her personal health struggles and victories to help others achieve life-long, optimal health.
Alexandra Stoddart grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and quickly found comfort in organized sports and physical activity.
Formerly a Division 1 swimmer at La Salle University, Alex is no stranger to what it takes to create formula for fitness and health success. With 9+ years of coaching experience, Alex specializes in performance-based training and brings a holistic perspective to athletic development.
Her progressive training style incorporate all fitness disciples, including strength training, sport specific skills training, flexibility, and endurance. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or simply looking to strengthen and tone, Alex provides comprehensive training programs, tailored to help each client reach their specific goals.
When possible, Alex loves to bring the gym outdoors by creating dynamic workouts that help develop and refine specific motor skills that are critical to athletic development. Alex believes that everyone is an athlete in their own way, and challenges clients to move better by incorporating an athletic twist to everyday movement.
Alex is certified by AAAI and ISMA as a personal trainer. She teaches B FIT classes, offers personal training and coaches LAX athletes through B-Inspired programs.
Marissa Nichols has been actively involved in organized sports and athletics since she was five years old. Her high energy and passion for sports has lead her through High School, College and in a Semi-Pro soccer league where she played until 2009 when she tore her ACL. This may have been one of the most pivotal points in her life as this experience is what helped her decide that she wanted to become a personal trainer and help athletes to prevent injuries.
Her next step was moving to Philadelphia in 2010 where she joined the team at Balance and has since achieved AAI/ISMA and IHP Personal Training certifications. She currently has a wide variety of clients that she works with and enjoys helping making a positive impact on their lives. Being the mother of 2 young daughters,Marissa works really well with expecting mothers and new moms! She loves working with a wife variety of clients as to help them live their life better!
**The way that I like to train is for function. I focus on a lot of single sided movements to help eliminate muscle imbalances. I like to strengthen my clients to help prevent injuries and so that they are able to do anything in their daily lives that they would like to do.
**As far as my own routine goes... I like to hike with my family in the woods, run with the girls in the stroller, run on the field with my dog and do a few body weight and/or dumbbell workouts a week. Whatever I can get in!
A Wyndmoor native, Steel Russell attended Chestnut Hill Academy where was a quarterback on the football team and excelled at baseball. He went on to study English and to play Division I baseball at Ohio State University, ranked at the time as high as #13 in the nation. Following in the footsteps of his dad, who played for many years for the Phillies, Steel went on to play pro-ball for the Baltimore Orioles. In 2015, after rehabbing through several recurring injuries, Steel transitioned from playing to coaching for the Orioles, serving as a hitting, catching and third base coach. Throughout his baseball career, fitness and nutrition were always a passion and a daily practice for Steel. He was inspired to take his athletic experiences as a player and coach one step further and pursue a career in personal training so he could share his passion with others. Steel is approachable and friendly and works well with all ages and abilities. His goal is to push you hard while you still have a smile on your face. He believes being healthy is a lifestyle and to be maintained has to be enjoyable!
Jim Berns is a performance trainer and corrective specialist who has worked with professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike whose goal is to train and perform at the highest levels.
Jim has been an athlete all his life, played Division 1 Rugby for 3 years, and had several international appearances and invites. But after a career ending injury, he looked to move onto sport performance training to pursue his passion for athleticism and sport by helping others. His fitness career began in 2017, beginning as a group fitness instructor at a local performance gym.
Since then, he has moved up to become a performance and corrective specialist, working in both a personal training and small group settings. His goal is to help his clients reach their true potential through building foundational strength and corrective exercise. Jim holds a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from West Chester University and is working to continue various training certifications.
Fitness motto: “Functionality and fitness are the foundations for achieving goals you never thought possible.”
Meggin Buchholz moved from colleges and eventually ended at Temple University. After studying nursing, she switched to Business. She lived in Florida for about 9 years and ran a gym on Clearwater Beach, trained and taught many different people! While in Florida, she also trained women tennis pros who were up and coming. She loved being at the beach and misses it!
Meggin has been teaching at Balance for 7 years. She got into teaching Aerobics in college since she was not playing a sport. She has been teaching ever since and shortly after got PT certified. She started her career with AAAI ISMA for Group Fitness then took the ACSM certification for Personal Training. It wasn’t until 1999 that Johnny G Spinning Certification came into effect. Chestnut Hill Health and Fitness was one of the first groups certified for Indoor Cycling classes. Currently she is certified through AFAA, Fitour, Keiser, and studying Nutrition and Advanced Personal Training with ISSA! She always like to recharge her brain!
She grew her personal training business on referrals and now is busier than ever with clients ranging from 30s- 90s!!! Exercise does not discriminate. She welcomes anyone who wants to make the commitment to train with her, it will only help them achieve a better life.
Meggin was a Marathon runner in her twenties which included running the Boston Marathon two times. She has three children who keep her busy. They like to go to the beach, go on walks, play outside on any day! Meggin loves watching her kids stay active!
Meggin loves working out outside but absolutely loves to teach. When not teaching, she enjoys watching most ball sports and especially the Philadelphia teams. She is currently learning golf.
Her philosophy, “I hope to keep teaching and training for a very long time! I feel blessed and rewarded each day! “
Robin Garland Bandura, DPT, owner of OnPointe Physical Therapy at Balance has more than 20 years of orthopedic preventative and post-operative rehabilitative experience. In her physical therapy practice she treats a wide range of musculoskeletal injuries in a diverse patient population including professional athletes, division 1 college athletes, and professional dancers. Robin is a Certified Graston Technique Provider and Certified Pilates Mat Technique Instructor. She has more than 4 decades of dance training and continues her study of orthopedic and dance medicine at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries (NYC), and utilizes that knowledge in her private Pilates training at Balance. She has also served as the on-site physical therapist for the Broadway musical touring productions of Book of Mormon, Flashdance, Cinderella and Pippin; for the film, Limitless; and has worked with dancers of Pennsylvania Ballet, Ballet X, Philadanco, Koresh, and Limon Dance Company; and for the USTA Men's National Grass Court Tennis Tournament.
Robin believes in empowering and educating clients to become proactive in maintaining healthy and injury-free lifestyles, in order to maximize their full athletic and performance potential through her personal training and physical therapy practice at OnPointe Physical Therapy. For more information, visit OnPointe Physical Therapy at www.onpointept.com.
Susan Brown is a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, nutrition coach, Staff Manager and Director of the Goals Program at Balance. A Wyndmoor native, she brings with her a wealth of coaching, teaching and training experience over the past 18 years. A captain and Academic All American in field hockey and lacrosse at Georgetown, she went on to earn a Master’s degree at Penn and to teach English and to coach field hockey and lacrosse at Council Rock North High School for 7 years. After a relocation to London with her family in 2010, Susan pursued her passion for fitness and nutrition, completing her REPS level 3 certification abroad and working in one of London’s top personal training studios helping people achieve 12 week transformations.
Susan is NSCA and AFAA certified and currently is working towards her Integrative Nutrition certification. She is passionate about coaching people to live their best lives through making small changes to their daily habits, setting realistic goals and finding their inner athlete. Her personal approach and motivational style have allowed her to help countless clients transform both their mindsets and their bodies. Her motto is “if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you!”