Meet Our Instructors
Audrey is the studio owner and founder of Fighting Gravity Fitness since June 20, 2014.
She was always active but didn’t start her serious fitness journey until later in her 40’s when she was diagnosed with Osteopenia. Her mother suffers from Osteoporosis and Audrey was determined to do what she could to prevent it from progressing into that. Her doctor told her that weight-bearing exercise can improve or prevent Osteoporosis so she joined the local gym. Audrey isn’t a dedicated exerciser so running on the treadmill or elliptical machine wouldn’t motivate her enough, she had to find something that was fun to keep her excited and committed to continue going. She fell in love with group fitness classes and especially Zumba.
Unfortunately in 2017, Audrey’s husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and her family was hit with a series of hardships. They were no longer able to afford the gym membership and at that time, her home was in mid-construction of a large home addition and construction came to a screeching halt. They had a large room that was just finished with only flooring and this was where she decided to begin her fitness teaching career. She got certified to teach Zumba classes in that empty space. And THIS was the beginning of her journey and testimony of her strong will and determination to never let adversity control her outcome.
She continued to teach Zumba in her home to friends and neighbors for over 6 years. She also had a job at a law firm and was teaching at many other locations such as a dance studio, a large gym, and Powhatan High School.
She developed some over-use injuries and tore a tendon in her ankle which ended in a long recovery. Then she developed back issues and realized that it was time to turn in her Zumba shoes and start teaching something that was easier on her body.
At that time, just as if the Universe had it planned out for her, a magazine came to her with a picture of someone hanging upside down in a cloth hammock. Aerial Yoga was on the magazine cover. This was it! This is what she decided to teach! She was so excited and couldn’t learn enough about it. Unfortunately, there was nothing like it taught in her area or even the state of Virginia. She drove all the way to Florida to try it out for the first time. Once in the hammock for the first time, she knew this was what she wanted to teach! She was HOOKED! It wasn’t soon after that when she began plans to open her Fighting Gravity Fitness studio in Richmond, Va.
Audrey’s certification record: Audrey received her certification for teaching Zumba in 2009. She received her AFAA Group X certificate in Sept. 2012, Resistance Training certificate in Feb. 2012, Yoga training in Jan. 2013, and Feb 2013. Her other certificates include AntiGravity Fundamentals Fitness in April 2014 and AntiGravity Aerial Fitness in August 2014, AntiGravity AIRbarre fitness in May 2015, Lyra level 1 & 2 in 2016, AntiGravity Restorative in April 2016, Barre training in 2016, Pi-Yo and Volee in 2017, AntiGravity D-Kink in 2017, and Bungee Fitness in 2018. She now offers many class styles in Aerial Fitness that she has developed and expanded from on her own experience, Yoga, Resistance Training, Barre, Guns, Buns & 6 Packs (her own signature fitness design), and BUNGEE fitness. She is also a Personal Trainer who can design a customized workout around your specific needs and goals.
Audrey is eager to expand her knowledge and skills with the many different modalities she has studied over the past years especially with Aerial Fitness. She plans to continue to grow, learn new moves, and always bring new and fresh fitness styles to her studio.
As a wife, mother, and Grandmother, she knows that life can get busy and oftentimes stressful. One of the things she loves the most about Aerial Fitness is that you get to escape from your daily stresses and come to a warm and welcoming place that is fun and feels like a community of like-minded and supportive members. We can laugh and cheer each other on as we attempt the next big challenging Aerial move. You get an all-over body workout where you build a strong beautifully toned body, gain increased flexibility and joint mobility, a decompressed spine to release pressure between the vertebrae and lengthened muscles but also get the best relaxation session that you have ever experienced, all in one studio. “I have never felt more relaxed and happy than when “hanging out” with my friends in a Hammock”. Our slogan is…”This never gets old!” There is just something about it that closes you off from the hustle and stresses of the world and you feel safe, proud of your accomplishments in a relaxed no-judgment atmosphere”. She wants everyone to be able to experience that same feeling.
She has developed her Aerial Studio to be accessible to all types of people, of all fitness levels and not just the circus performers, but for anyone that is like her, not the greatest in being dedicated in fitness but people interested in a FUN way of getting in shape and staying strong at any age.
Her goal is to serve the people of the Richmond and Powhatan areas and anywhere in between and to offer something that is new, unique, exciting, and most of all, fun.” It has to be fun, or I won’t do it!”
Donna is so excited to join the Fighting Gravity Fitness team. Donna comes from a background in music and performance. She plays multiple instruments and is a classically trained vocalist who has performed in churches, theaters and Opera houses all over Europe. In 2010 she moved from RVA to Georgia to be closer to family and left the grind of corporate life. She began focusing on a healthier lifestyle and finding her passion again. In 2011, she became a licensed Zumba Fitness instructor and in January of 2012 she opened the doors to her own studio, specializing in Zumba and Yoga. In 2013, her family faced a health crisis and moved back to VA to receive better medical care. Since then she has continued to teach classes and pursue fitness and other group fitness formats including Piyo, Spin, Piloxing and more.
Donna can’t wait to bring Piyo Live to Fighting Gravity Fitness. Piyo Live is a Beachbody live format that is a music driven, Pilates and Yoga inspired cardio workout. It incorporates everything she loves. Awesome music! Strength Building! Increased Flexibility! And a fantastic cardio cleansing sweat session!
In her spare time, Donna enjoys spending time with her two beautiful grand babies, singing, dancing, and being the best wife and woman she can be.
Amy came to us as an enthusiastic client eager to learn everything she could about Aerials and Lyra. She was a quick learner and a great student. After completing her apprentice program, she is very excited to be an instructor here at Fighting Gravity Fitness.
Katie is another student that has completed the Apprentice Program and is now an instructor here at Fighting Gravity Fitness. Her energy and excitement is infectious! And she is excited to teach you what she enjoys the most, Aerial Flips & Tricks.
Sigrid Lampe has been a dancer for most of her life and found that Aerial Fitness/Aerial Dance was the perfect fit for her. She studied dance at the Kirov Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, South Carolina Governors School, and Covington Regional Ballet. She then went on to dance with the Richmond Ballet, which brought her to live in RVA and to becoming a dance teacher. Sigrid is a VCU student majoring in environmental science and pursuing a career in oceanography. She has always loved the ocean and believes that it is very important to keep our biosphere safe.
She is thrilled to be an instructor at Fighting Gravity Fitness and wants to soon pursue becoming certified in Aerial Yoga. She fell in love with Aerials after her first class and believes that it helps heal and to understand our strengths within ourselves. She also believes that it is a great way to have fun and let go of stress within our everyday lives. She also discovered that it has been beneficial to minor joint problems that she obtained from many years of dancing. Sigrid can’t wait to share her experience with others and to help them find the benefits that come with Aerial Fitness!
Lauren is an RVA native who left her career in medical sales 3 years ago to pursue her lifelong dream of being an artist. Around that time, she discovered aerial yoga and was immediately hooked. Lauren is extremely excited to join the Fighting Gravity Fitness family and pursue her newest dream: to help others experience the exhilaration and inspiration of aerial fitness. She loves creating a fun, comfortable atmosphere for newcomers and seeing them surprise themselves by their own strength and abilities in the swing!
When not “hanging” out in the hammock, Lauren is painting in her studio with her furry 4-legged assistant, Tally, building frames, attempting to play the ukulele, or sharing bad puns with tolerant friends.
Anna has loved the circus and the aerial arts since childhood, however it was not until the release of the film, The Greatest Showman, that this spark was reignited. Anna and her siblings discussed taking an aerial class together, and while that is still a possibility, Anna decided to jump right in. Taking her first class in 2018 at Fighting Gravity, she has not looked back since. She immediately fell in love with Lyra, which has been her primary focus. Anna is also an avid trail runner, and has done several Spartan/obstacle course races. She loves choreography, and enjoys dance, acro yoga, and other aerial arts whenever she is able. Anna is always up for an adventure, and has pursued a wide variety of activities over the years, including amateur kickboxing, cheerleading, and various forms of dance.
Katie comes from a marketing and graphic design background and is excited to tap into a new creative outlet as an instructor at Fighting Gravity Fitness! She first joined the studio in 2016 where she fell in love with the physical challenges, restorative benefits, and supportive community of fellow aerial students and instructors.
Having lived in Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington D.C., Katie experienced many different types of fitness and styles of teaching. She strongly believes that when exercise is fun, you’re more likely to keep at it! Katie is thrilled to share her passion for this empowering form of fitness and restoration with others.
Joh is a fitness enthusiast and self-taught contortionist. Starting in Gymnastics at age 6, Joh discovered a natural ability for contortion and has worked hard through their adult life to maintain and improve their natural flexibility. Throughout that journey, they came to love weightlifting and yoga, to maintain and increase balance and strength while attempting gravity-defying poses. At 26 while feeling stuck in a rut, and the pandemic beginning to take hold; she made a choice to pursue a lifelong interest: The Aerial Arts.
Starting with a sample course at another facility, Joh was able to try their hand at Lyra, Vertical Silks, and Static Trapeze. The combined elements of strength and freedom of movement that each apparatus offered were absolutely intoxicating and they knew they had found their calling.
After waiting through the first 6 months of quarantine, they took the opportunity to join the first available aerial studio, Fighting Gravity Fitness, and completed over 500 classes in their first year. Shortly before the end of their first year attending FGF, an apprenticeship opportunity became available and Joh eagerly leaped at the opportunity. Within 4 months Joh completed the apprenticeship and now leads Aerial Hammock Conditioning, Lyra Conditioning, and Gentle Stretch classes. Their biggest goal in leading class and working with clients is to help students find a form of exercise that is fun and empowering to them to feel excited in starting a journey of self-enjoyment.
Tjaden Cox has been a professional aerialist and teacher for almost a decade. She is ACE (American Circus Educators) certified for aerial instruction, as well as RYT200 for yoga. She absolutely LOVES helping people with their aerial journey and truly feels this practice is an amazing way to learn what one is really capable of. When not teaching, she enjoys hiking and going to see live theater.
Corey is new to the Fighting Gravity Fitness team and is excited to join our team. She has a background in yoga and is enthusiastic about incorporating her “grounded” yoga practice into the hammock. She realized the first time in the hammock that this is the best way to bring flexibility, and strength into one exercise program that works for everyone!! She loves to give back to the community and offers free classes along with Audrey’s assistance to the addiction recovering members in our area.
Keri is new to the Fighting Gravity Fitness team and is energetic and enthusiastic about all forms of movement and fitness. She has a background in dance, specifically ballet and tap, and found that aerial fitness including hammocks and Lyra was the perfect way to combine dance-type movement, grace, flexibility, and strength into one exercise program that works for everyone!! In her spare time, she also enjoys hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, and being in nature.
Looking for a fun job, where you can meet some amazing friends all while getting paid to do it? This could be YOU!
We are hiring amazing experienced Lyra or Aerial Instructors or call about our apprentice program!
Hiring talented, exciting, and enthusiastic Lyra or Aerial instructors that can teach fun, strength-building exercises that complement Aerial fitness or Aerial yoga in the hammock or Lyra techniques! If you have experience in either Aerials or Lyra and would like to become an instructor at Fighting Gravity Fitness, then we want to talk to you! We teach Lyra and Aerial Hammock classes that are accessible to everyone, not circus performing. We want to make it fun, challenging, and very exciting as a fun Aerial art and fitness combination without the competitive pressures in most circus-performing arenas. So give us a call!
Requirements: Must be able to learn new moves or make up your own choreography for Lyra and Aerial Hammock routines, must carry your own liability insurance that covers aerial teaching. Must be able to continue to learn by attending regular staff practices, and continue adding new and exciting material for your clients.
Must have either a certification in Aerial or Lyra or at a minimum of 1-year experience.
For the Apprentice program, we can train you for Aerial Hammock and/or Lyra for no charge to you! You will need to sign a non-compete waiver if we train you or you use our training software.
Looking for instructors with enthusiasm, great people skills, and the ability to plan routines, and learn new material that is challenging, safe, and creative.
If you think this might be you, give us a call 804-937-2664, or email email@example.com