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STATS

When I was little, I wanted to be: A sports agent. I wrote individual contracts for each of the Chicago Bear players and then signed for them!

What people say about my classes: That they appreciate the thought that goes into them, that they’re challenging and different every time, and that they trust what I am asking them to do.

People might not know that: I’ve seen every single episode of Survivor since it went on the air. But I would never be on it.

My signature look as an instructor: Bright colors. I try to dress like a fitness super hero.

SARA STIMAC

Sara is lead Pyrolates™ instructor and owner of Firebrand Sports. A lifelong fitness seeker, Sara began in classical ballet and modern dance and continued her passion for movement and choreography in high school as a step aerobics instructor. Sara is naturally creative and loves to entertain, having founded and acted in a comedy improv group that has since spawned talent to SNL during her college years in NYC. Sara counts herself blessed to have discovered Lagree Fitness™ during her hectic years as an entertainment lawyer in LA and trained as a client for 4 years under founder Sebastien Lagree and his talented lead instructors before taking the plunge and becoming certified to instruct the groundbreaking method. Also a RealRyder® certified cycling instructor, Sara’s classes promise an entertaining, vibrant yet challenging workout for the body, mind and spirit.

STATS

I’m a Firebrand because: I create the energy for people to be more than they think they are … to help them access that warrior part of themselves.

Favorite outfit as a kid: A green dinosaur shirt. Even at that young age, I was a paleontology geek!

Signature look as an instructor: Love to bring a little military – boots and buckles – professional, but a little intimidating.

Compliment I get often: That I inspire my students. When I hear that, it’s just huge!

JOSH BARBER

He’s the youngest member of the Firebrand team, a student at PSU studying Molecular Microbiology. But don’t let his youth fool you. Josh is a talented instructor and is internationally known in the circus community – he personally performs fire dance, hoop manipulation, glass resistance and fire eating and has taught circus skills all over the U.S. In Portland, he’s built a local following for Group X and Zumba. At Firebrand Sports, his talent for dance and martial arts is evident as he commands the room and brings fun to his Pyrolates™ and Full Tilt Cycling™ classes.

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People say about my workouts: How can I get a butt like yours? And, more seriously, they like the positivity and the energy along with my love of communicating with clients and listening to what they want.

I’m a Firebrand because: I love to challenge people. I hear this: “I could learn to love to hate this class, Mandy! Bring it on!”

Something you may not know about me: I’m a napper, I can make alphabet pancakes and there is absolutely nothing that I would not eat!

My music is: Really eclectic – a mix of Top 40, members’ requests, Dub Step. You never know what you might hear!

MANDY BECKER

Mandy is a master of many group fitness formats who, now that she is a fitness professional in her own right, remembers her mentors – “some of the best instructors and trainers in the industry, all over the U.S.” Her cycling certifications - LesMills RPM, Schwinn Indoor Cycling and RealRyder – blend with her background in personal training, kickboxing, yoga and martial arts for a style on the bike and an experience for those in her class that is unique and results-oriented. Mandy’s ability to design and choreograph workouts that work for a wide range of abilities and ages makes her a valuable addition to the Firebrand team.

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What people like about my workouts: a level of intensity. I’m a coach – I played basketball and soccer – so they get that kind of real encouragement. They say, you are never rah-rah, never fluffy and you’ve got really great abs!

When I was little: I wanted to work at IBM. I did get a degree in International Business but I never settled into a day job with machines!

About Pyrolates: I love to study and learn about cutting edge fitness, which is how I discovered Lagree Fitness on a NYC blog and tracked it down (to Pyrolates at Firebrand) when I got to Portland. Unlike anything else, it combines strength, cardio, core along with balance and flexibility – two things that are critical as you grow older. I love it!

ROXANE BENNETT

The US Air Force helped shape the fitness career of this self-motivated, hard working professional as Roxane and her husband, a USAF colonel, moved around the country before finally settling down in Portland. Being fit has to be part of your life in the Air Force, says Roxane who earned 12 certifications (among them NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist, MadDogg Athletics Spinning STAR Level Instructor and Thrive Pilates). She generously shares her skills, coaching and training people who want to live a life of fitness and good health. You will also find Roxane outside doing her own thing - hiking, biking, running, swimming and gearing up for marathons and triathlons.

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My nickname: K8 or Legs

People in my classes can expect: New-age electronic dance music, never a lull in the action, lots of spandex and tank tops, a place where everybody is happy!

Little known fact about me: About one in every 50,000 people has the capability to become a contortionist and I am one of them! When I was little, I would watch TV with my elbows on the floor and my feet swinging over my head.

My favorite team: I love my New Orleans Saints! And I’m a huge Drew Brees fan. It’s cool to see him coming up, even though the Saints are doing terrible these days.

KATE CARY

A self-described jack-of-all-trades when it comes to sports, Kate has now added a certification in Lagree Fitness™ to her many abilities: soccer, cross-country, track, swimming, tennis, volleyball, surfing, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking and gymnastics. This Oregon State Beaver earned degrees in Apparel Design/Merchandise Management, and is putting that knowledge to work helping to develop Firebrand Sports retail.

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My teaching style is: all about making sure people are safe, comfortable, having fun and becoming inspired to pursue and achieve goals in class. Working out with the right teacher is an intimate experience – you trust that person and develop a relationship.

Pyrolates: is unique and it really works! Look through the window – see those springs and people sweating? The first time I took the class, my instructor (Sara) kicked my butt, and now I have a stronger core and stand taller. People notice and mention it to me.

Portland makes me happy because: I can watch awesome, creative people walk down the street every day, it’s close to get to the studio to hang out, and I can occasionally indulge in guilty pleasures like phenomenal fried chicken at the Screen Door or secretively munch Cheeto Puffs in the privacy of my place in Northwest.

MONIKA ELL

From the time he stashed colored pencils and little notebooks in his bib overall pockets as a kid, MoNika (“Mo”) sensed he would be an artist. But his quest to become “the next Picasso” became a passion for dance and movement by the time he was out of his magnet high school in Beaverton, OR; and he began traveling to train with masters of dance, aerial arts, and music in Finland, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Mexico. For a young man, his “client list” is amazing: Cirque Du Soleil, Norwegian Cruise Line, International Pole Dance Fitness Association and, closer to home, NIKE and Adidas. In Portland, you can watch and learn from MoNika on aerial hoops (straps, silks, trapeze), pole (static and spinning), Yoga (Vinyasa), Equilibrist (handstands, balancing) and now at Firebrand Sports in Pyrolates!

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I keep dreaming that someday: I have my psychotherapy clinic connected to a knitting shop, a bookstore and a fitness center – probably Firebrand Sports!

A little known fact about me is that: I can sing my alphabet backwards

A theme ride I might be known for: Maybe Britney Spears meets Justin Bieber. It would be difficult to pull off but entertaining.

Best place for breakfast in Portland: Gravy.

LANE BROOKE FAHY

There is a reason Lane Brooke combines fitness instruction with her “day job” as Intake Coordinator for Albertine Kerr’s Crisis Psychiatric Unit for Children. She believes that exercise is a means of increasing self-esteem, reducing anxiety, depression and improving overall health and quality of life. Luckily, Lane Brooke’s time at Portland State University (BA Sociology) also kept her here for the fitness scene. She is AFAA Certified in Group Exercise and is experienced in leading area boot camps, indoor cycling, circuit training and aquatic fitness.

STATS

People say (about my classes): That my rides are hot, and that I’m challenging, encouraging and funny.

My music is: Loud, old and new, always has some Top 40 and electronica.

In my cycling class, you might notice: that my other passion is teaching yoga.

I am definitely a Firebrand because: I’m authentic, creative and live on the edge

SARAH KURTZ

Sarah is firmly convinced that Full Tilt Cycling™ at Firebrand Sports is the perfect compliment to yoga – and she ought to know! Teaching yoga, bootcamp and sculpt at CorePower Yoga since 2002 makes Sarah a master. She has trained other instructors as lead teacher trainer at CorePower for the past ten years. She loves to blend the “super spiritual” nature of yoga with cycling class where “you get cardiovascular conditioning and become an incredible athlete.” You’ll see Kurtzie’s bright smile and hear her infectious laughter whenever she is with students and coworkers in wellness – skiing, running, swimming and endurance.

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People say: That I’m friendly, but in class, I kick their butt!

I love to: Run, hike, rock climb, bike, ski and coach youth girls’ basketball.

What’s in my bag: It takes me 20 minutes to pack it every night, and I can survive for weeks with my clothes, Power Bars, bananas, shampoo and Lemon’s dog leash.

I’m a Firebrand because: I’m authentic and innovative.

ALI MATT

Her BA from the University of Portland (Sociology) paved the way for Ali to become an Entrepreneurship Scholar and earn her Holistic Counseling Certificate from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Ali’s pathway to fitness makes perfect sense to all who know her and watch how Ali has developed her own career (“I get paid to do what I love.”) in the past year, teaching Full Tilt Cycling™ and Pyrolates™ at Firebrand Sports with Power Vinwasa, Hot Hatha and Yin Yoga at Hot Yoga for Life. Her certifications include: RealRyder®, Lagree Fitness™ and 200 Hour Yoga.

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My favorite personal sport: is trail running because it is pure – you and nature in a way that can be aggressive and intensive. Sport to watch: Portland Timbers – I love the community there and it’s my neighborhood!

In my cycling class, people can expect: me to push them to the max by “teasing it out of them” – tricky surprises sometimes, so that class members look forward to working out. I’m a born instigator, and I love to teach.

For me, the Ironman Championship is about: proving to yourself that this is a moment of a lifetime and you did it! No caveats, no I could do better, just a moment of personal celebration. In my view, we need to stop and savor our athletic successes more often.

AMY VANTASSEL

Amy VT is an elite triathlon competitor and champion – a perennial qualifier for USAT Age Group Nationals and the 70.3 and Ironman World Championships. Teaching cycling is the best part of Amy’s week because it’s her chance to connect with other busy, active, fun people for an “hour of power” indoors. When she’s not kicking ass herself, Amy is encouraging her husband Chris Bagg, a local pro triathlete, or counseling students and parents in the college search and admission process.

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When I was little, I wanted to be: A tiger scientist or the President.

As an instructor: I nerd out on teaching with a strength training focus because it helps people get in touch with their personal power and discover they can become someone they’ve always wanted to be.

Actresses who would play me: According to a vote of my friends, Carrot Top.

Guilty Portland Pleasure: The donut holes at 23rd and Hoyt.

CATE WADE (Wade-o)

Cape Cod, Massachusetts can be proud of this native for taking advantage of the arts in her backyard (The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Tufts University) and also for heading west, like the Firebrand she is, to Michigan State University where she played field hockey (2001 Big Ten Champs). After college, Cate’s focus became personal training (NASM Certified) especially group fitness. She was Master Trainer at Healthworks Fitness Centers for Women in Boston until she heeded the real call of the West. Today Wade-o is a popular fitness personality on the Portland scene who continues to challenge herself (e.g., Santa and Portland marathon finisher) at every turn.

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Signature look as an instructor today: Tights, leg warmers, boots and a bright colored tank.

When my life is a movie: Jennifer Lawrence could play me. (The Firebrand team also suggests Leighton Meester!)

Members at Firebrand love my workouts because: They say I have a soothing manner/voice that helps them through these really tough, challenging workouts!

Favorite Portland restaurant: Toro Bravo - cozy atmosphere and terrific Spanish-style tapas.

ELLIE WATERHOUSE

Ellie won her first athletic award (a swimsuit pageant) at the age of six months in her native Waimea, Kauai. After graduation (BA Psychology, Willamette University), she turned her sights to group fitness and never looked back – nine years and going strong. Her many certifications include: AFAA Group Fitness Instructor and Practical Pilates, Turbokickbox, Les Mills BodyFlow, YMCA Core Body, Lagree Fitness™ and RealRyder®. Have a wine question? Ask Ellie who is also a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW).

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503-715-5573 • 500 NW 14th Avenue, Portland OR 97209

Oregon’s only
Lagree Fitness studio

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of Portland Thorns FC