Meet Our Team

Kelly Harper

Kelly Harper

Studio Manager, Yoga & Fitness Instructor

About Kelly

Drop who you’ve been told you are supposed to be; connect with your breath and gifts that are uniquely yours.  Kelly received her 200hr teaching certificate from the Mystic Yoga Shala in 2014. Being naturally inquisitive, she’s expanded her knowledge and certifications to include: RYT 500hr, YACEP, Yoga Nidra, Reiki Master, Silver Sneakers, TRX, Barre & SPIN.

I’ve studied & taught at many Studios, Events and Institutions. Get Bent is home! 

Kelly is a mom to 3 and a recent grandmother. She prides herself on her preparation skills to get through a weekend in the Mountains or a week in Central America using one pack. She loves Everything in nature and is in awe of people who have found their authentic selves. Kelly strives to be a minimalist and is working on reducing her shoe collection.

“In today’s rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being.”

– Eckhart Tolle.

Get Bent was created to hold space for All to find the joy of just being.   Please join us,  Namaste

Katie Meuse

Katie Meuse

Yoga Instructor

About Katie

Katie has practiced yoga since 1997 and began her meditation journey in 1994. She was trained at Satsang Yoga Center in Garrison, NY in 2004, and received her prenatal certification in 2005.  Her most recent studies have been in guided meditation with a certification in meditation for teens, and advanced training in vinyasa, yoga nidra, yin yoga, restorative yoga, and trauma-informed yoga. She enjoys teaching all levels of students from beginner to advanced and pregnant moms to seniors. Classes emphasize breath, alignment, vinyasa, meditation, and a cultivation of self-nurturing. Katie believes strongly that yoga brings us closer to our true self.

In addition to her Yoga and Reiki certifications, she holds a Bachelor’s in Fine Art and a Master’s in Health Promotion. Katie is also an artist, mom, and military spouse.
Susan Hyde

Susan Hyde

Barre Instructor

About Susan

Joining Get Bent in 2013, Susan is a Barre Certified instructor who enjoys sharing her love of yoga and a healthy lifestyle with others. Susan loves to travel, spend as much time as possible outdoors and in the water both hiking and paddle boarding, an avid skier and former instructor at Butternut Ski Resort in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.  She offers a challenging class with fluid movement incorporating props for muscle strengthening and lengthening and is open to all levels with modifications. Take time to take care of yourself, step out of your comfort zone and join her in class with her upbeat, energizing personality.
Jessica Thurston

Jessica Thurston

Spin Instructor

About Jess

Hello I am Jessica Thurston.  I live in Norwich, CT with my family and have obtained my Spin Certification after being approached by fellow Get Bent instructors that I should do so.  I am excited to further develop my Spin experience while also seeing the benefits it will bring to those that participate with me. I look forward to teaching the early morning class to get a jump on the day.
Hope to see you there
Tracey Zito

Tracey Zito

Yoga Instructor

About Tracey

Hi my name is Tracey Zito. I am a 500hr certified LivFree power yoga teacher. I can teach to students of all levels, beginner to advanced at the same time. I am a fun energetic passionate teacher with a calming touch. I can teach to a group of people all the while making each person feel that I am teaching them individually. Yoga 🧘🏼‍♀️ has helped me in life and I want to share this mind-body, spirit connection with others.
Kay Bee

Kay Bee

Yoga Instructor

About Kay

Kay started practicing yoga in 2016 in her university gym as a form of exercise. Having been an avid athlete, she was looking for that same sense of community in yoga. She was introduced to amazing students and a teacher who inspired her to develop a home practice. After she graduated college in 2019, Kay was interested in deepening her practice and learning more about the spiritual and historical part of yoga. She completed her 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training through Yoga Works LA and was granted her diploma on March 7, 2021. During some hard times yoga was and continues to be a perfect balance of spiritual, mental and physical healing. One of the reasons she loves yoga so much is because every time she is on her mat she is reminded that we are responsible for our own happiness, no matter what is going on in the world around us. Kay enjoys practicing yoga anytime and anywhere and is passionate about bringing yoga to all spaces. In her classes she focuses on mindful movement and believes wherever you are in your practice, yoga is a perfect way to tune into your body and show yourself some love. She believes yoga is a journey not a destination and encourages people to try yoga so they can feel good, take care and learn more about themselves and others. Kay lives in Uncasville, CT with her partner, Theo and their German Shepherd Dog, Layla.
Kris-Anne Kane

Kris-Anne Kane

Spin Instructor

About Kris-Anne

Kris-Anne has been a verified Spin Instructor since 2013. She became interested in Spin while training for triathlons in her mid-thirties. As a lifelong runner, she has competed in dozens of local road races and marathons, including running in the prestigious Boston Marathon at age 57!

Kris-Anne is an honorary member of the Mohegan Striders Running Club where she has raced for the women’s Open and Masters teams for three decades.
A firm believer in setting goals and conquering them, Kris Anne also encourages others to use fitness to enhance their lives physically, as well as mentally.
Kris Anne is a retired Correctional Counselor who spends her free time running, strength training, volunteering for animal rescues, and traveling the world with her husband and friends.
 Melissa Krodel

Melissa Krodel

Fitness Instructor

About Melissa

Melissa has been a fitness enthusiast since college. She has been a yoga student at Get Bent since we opened. Melissa is a qualified TRX Instructor. She has been taking TRX classes here, at Get Bent for the past two years.  Melissa is also a certified Barre Above Instructor.  Melissa hopes to bring a new level of fitness to Get Bent with Barre classes.
Stacie Lambert

Stacie Lambert

Fitness Instructor

About Stacie

Stacie has worked in the fitness industry for about 30 years.  Certified by AFAA, she started out teaching step aerobics, calisthenics, and high impact aerobics.

She became a personal trainer certified thru ACE in her early 20’s.  She teaches spin classes and substitute teaches TRX, Barre, and yoga.  In her spare time, she loves to take wildlife photos, camp and be outdoors with her husband.

Megan Wakely

Megan Wakely

Spin Instructor

About Megan

Megan has been a certified Spin instructor for 11 years. She is a former college athlete and a marathon runner, which makes teaching Spin classes the perfect fit. Megan has her Master’s Degree in Special Education and Sixth Year Degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently a school administrator; her background in education helps her to develop and modify her instruction to meet the needs and fitness levels of all participants in her Spin classes.

Megan spends her spare time with her two golden retrievers, Scout and Radley. She and Scout are a registered animal-assisted therapy team through Pet Partners and volunteer in a variety of settings. They also compete in agility and dock diving. Additionally, Megan is a volunteer for Achilles International and serves as a running guide for disabled athletes who compete in road races of all distances.
Zack Kraft-Shin

Zack Kraft-Shin

Fitness Instructor

About Zack

Zack earned his 200 hour yoga teacher trainer certificate from Kripalu school of Yoga and Ayurveda in 2014. He taught for many years before returning to earn his Level 1 Kripalu outdoor guide certificate which stringed together forest bathing, meditation and outdoor survival skills. Zack most recently earned his black belt in Reihokan Shorin-Ryu Karate-Do form Mark Spear of Black Bear Dojo. Additionally, he also study’s and practices Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi and Qi Gong.

Zack began his martial arts journey at the age of three. He has studied dance, gymnastics, yoga, BJJ and all types of movement. Using the principles of Bruce Lee’s teachings of “Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own.” he’s created DOMO.

Do means way or path. MO is short for movement. It means a way of movement. It combines injury prevention training, breath work, sensory training, movement riddles and so much more. The training can be for elite athletes, Parkinson’s patients, individuals in wheel chairs or complete beginners. If you can breath, you can train.

Zack is married with 3 children and a granddaughter. He is passionate about sauntering in the woods and breweries. Zack works at Kripalu Friday to Sunday teaching mindful hiking and Qi Gong. He also volunteers at Black Bear Dojo teaching the kids karate classes.

Holly Pasko

Holly Pasko

Spin Instructor

About Holly

Holly has been a certified Spin instructor for 6 years and advanced Les Mills Body Pump instructor for 5. Holly was hooked after her first Spin class. The challenging workout and love of group fitness motivated her to become an instructor.  She is passionate about music and believes it can be a powerful motivator.  Holly’s goal is to create an energetic fun class that will have you singing while you are climbing hills and racing on flats. When she is not spinning, Holly loves vacationing with her husband, spending time with family & friends, and snuggling with her two cats.

“Visualize your highest self & start showing up as her”

Jennifer Lowney

Jennifer Lowney

Fitness Instructor

About Jennifer

Jennifer has been committed to health and fitness for many decades starting with step aerobics in the 1990s to completing a half ironman in 2007.  She is ready to share her passion with you. The mother of 4 daughters (including a set of triplets) she found TRX to be a very efficient use of her time for a full body workout that fulfills the goals of cardio, strength training, flexibility and balance. Each move has modifications so every class can accommodate any level of fitness and experience. The class is a tabata style workout in which two exercises are repeats 4 times for 20 second intervals. This style of workout is a great way to divide the class into lots of exercises which blend into a great cardio workout while gaining lean muscle mass. If you are new to TRX or a seasoned veteran, she welcomes you to come enjoy this full body workout.

Rachel Thomas Shapiro

Rachel Thomas Shapiro

Yoga Instructor

About Rachel

Rachel has been practicing yoga for more than 15 years and received her RYT-200 through the Intentional Embodiment Yoga School in Westerly, RI. Yoga has been a transformative experience both on and off the mat. The journey has followed parallel paths: the meditative state achieved from linking breath to motion that is the goal of her practice, and the development of character through conscious acknowledgement of the Yamas and Niyamas. With more than 25 years of teaching experience that focuses on chemistry, anatomy, and physiology, Rachel is clearly a nerd. Can yoga be lighthearted and also challenging? Sure can! Rachel’s vinyasa flow yoga classes offer students a joyful and accessible experience on the mat that connects them to their inner vitality and the natural world around them.

Michelle Stephen

Michelle Stephen

Yoga Instructor

About Michelle

Michelle teaches with a uniquely articulate sense of body awareness, infused with a lighthearted sense of adventure and humor. Her classes are filled with flowing vinyasa sequences to gracefully direct the body into a dance like movement between the breath and the mat. Michelle spends class time sharing her energy around the room performing hands on assists. Her assists help students to feel the form and alignment of the poses, as well as encourage balance, lengthening and finding a subtle stillness within movement. Dharma (Buddhist “Devine Law”), Pranayama (breathing techniques), and music blend every moment and each pose of  Michelle’s classes allowing a beautiful collaboration of love, passion and playfulness to be infused into each’s yoga practice.

Michelle first found her practice in 2005 as a college student in Boston. After years of dedicated practice she was offered an internship in 2014 at a local studio and began teaching immediately under the guidance of the studio owner. Guiding breath and movement lit a spark within her she had never anticipated, and after lots of research she found The Awakened Life School of Yoga. She signed up to study under seven internationally trained yogis in the summer of 2015, as the school was hosting an intensive in Nosora, Costa Rica. Her training was highly focused on precise cuing and hands on teaching, allowing Michelle to focus on her students as they follow her flows and grant the energy of the room the ability to influence the class as needed.

In 2017 Michelle left her “day job” to pursue full-time teaching and has not looked back since. She teaches a wide variety of styles; Vinyasa, restorative, Yin, chair and Nidra. In 2017 she developed her own style of water yoga, Aqua Flow hosting multiple weekly classes year round in heated public pools. Michelle teaches at a handful of Connecticut yoga studios and wellness facilities, with her unique ability to construct adaptive styles of vinyasa in 2018 she was asked to join the Livestrong Foundation where she works with cancer patients in a structured 12 week program serving as their yoga and meditation teacher. As much as Michelle loves to teach powerful flows to able-bodied students, the reward that comes from bringing yoga to those in a place of deep need has been beyond measurable for her.

In 2018 Michelle was offered a full scholarship to the Wild Essence Yoga School, as they hosted a Connecticut based 300 hour training. Teaching full-time while attending weekly trainings gave her the ability to implement the Anusara style teachings of Meghan Currie directly into her teaching practice. She obtained her RYT500 that same year and has since taught thousands of hours of studio classes and attended many workshops, seminars and other continuing education programs classifying Michelle as an Experienced 500 hour trained teacher.

Sixteen years into her journey and Michelle’s passion and dedication to her practice are still strong. In the summer of 2021 Michelle attended 108 public classes in 90 days, taking time to sit and journal after each class allowing her to dive even deeper into her experience of being a student. Michelle’s classes offer many variations of poses, providing a space for students to make each flow their own and explore the uniqueness of their practice. Classes are structured with a peak pose, using every aspect of the class to prepare students mentally and physically to begin to play with a more advanced posture, using the cool down portion of the class to balance out the body, release and allow the lessons of the practice to settle within the entire being.

Danielle Newton

Danielle Newton

Yoga Teacher

About Danielle

E-RYT200, RYT-500, Y12SR (Yoga of 12 Step Recovery) Certified Instructor, and YACEP (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider)

  Danielle has been practicing Yoga in many disciplines for 12 years now. Initially drawn to the practice for relief from arthritis, Yoga quickly became so much more than a physical refuge. The spiritual path has lead her to teach yoga that speaks to mind, body, and spirit as a complete system for self-inquiry and healing. Vinyasa yoga is her specialty these days, teaching classes that encourage and empower students through physical movement and personal connection. In addition to power classes, Danielle also guides students through Bhakti Yoga practices in Kirtan and Mantra Workshops. 

Danielle’s teachers include: Annie Q. Simard, Kimberly Charbonneau, Julie Liefeld, Janet Stone, Nikki Meyers, and Dana Walters.

Kristen Nowak

Kristen Nowak

Yoga Teacher

About Kristen

Kristen has been practicing a variety of fitness activities for over 10 years. She found a necessity for yoga while in college, enjoys weight training with her husband and found a love of barre 5 years ago. Recently she has expanded her fitness journey to include spin! Kristen has been an elementary teacher for over 10 years and enjoys motivating her students each day to take on new challenges. As a mother of 2 boys she understands the importance of staying fit and living an active lifestyle.

She earned her Barre Above certification in 2022 and is ready to start this new journey in her life. She has a love for music and enjoys creating full body movements to her workout routine. Come see how you can challenge yourself while having fun.

Emily Vanstaen

Emily Vanstaen

Yoga Teacher

About Emily

Hey Get Bent community!I’m Emily Vanstaen and I’d love to tell you a little bit about me… I am lucky to have lived the life of a traveler. I grew up in Bangkok, Thailand before moving to the wide open beaches of Western Australia, where I fell in love with surfing, always finding joy in fluidity and movement. After relocating to the US as a teen, I struggled to find my happy place, believing the Connecticut winters were to blame, I chased the endless summers on the California coast. Feeling lost and searching for some stability, I sought a spark and purpose in life. My search led me to yoga which always left me feeling grounded and full of fire.. and voila! My yoga journey began! This spark helped me work through personal challenges and fully embrace and commit to my practice. Always the traveler, I completed my 200 hour YTT & intro to Thai Massage certification in Cusco, Peru in February 2017. The course solidified the knowledge I have gained throughout the years and has given me the confidence and understanding to pass on these great tools of mindful movement to be of benefit to others. Now settled in Lisbon, CT, I’ve learned your happy place isn’t controlled by the weather or location, but by your mindset. Finding joy and igniting my fire with movement throughout the seasons! Including chasing the surf and snow in the New England winter…. paired nicely with a side of hot yoga!

In my class you will learn to link breath to movement and challenge yourself to push the boundaries of what you think you’re capable of. While helping you stay in the present moment by holding composure through flow and resistance, we’ll find the yin/yang balance amongst the chaos of life with a calm collected breath. Open to all body types and skill levels, I can’t wait to practice with you! Come see what you’re made of!

P.s It’s Stardust 😉 

Sean Johnson

Sean Johnson

Yoga Teacher

About Sean

Sean’s yoga practice began when he was looking for alternatives and enhancements to weight lifting. Yoga helped him face quite a bit of social​anxiety and has changed his outlook on himself and the things and people that surround him. Sean enjoys the outdoors, has a love for music, and including it in his Hot Power Vinyasa classes. He’s excited to have earned his 200-hour YTT and to share his knowledge, energy & excitement through the yoga journey.

Ready to Make a Change?

Get Bent in Norwich believes in an open studio community where we listen to the wants and needs of our students to create an interactive space of health and happiness. Join us today!

 

 

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