Meet The Team Behind The Scenes!
Louis van Amstel – Company CEO
Louis van Amstel is a grand slam 3-time World Latin Dance Champion. He is best known for his 10 stunning turns on Dancing with the Stars with celebrities such as Kelly Osbourne, Priscilla Presley, Niecy Nash, and Sabrina Bryan in the All Star Season. Louis is an Emmy nominated Choreographer and regularly choreographs for So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars.
Louis now focuses on his fast growing Dance Fitness Program LaBlast (LaBlastFitness.com). He is certified by ACE, AFAA and AEA, and all three of his LaBlast certification programs (Fitness, Splash and Line Dance) are recognized and accredited by their respective industry organizations.
LaBlast has also offered Louis the vehicle to give back to the community as an Ambassador for the Special Olympics.
(951) 381-0172 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Joshua van Amstel – Corporate Operations Manager
One of the founding members of LaBlast Holdings LLC, Joshua van Amstel is the man who makes stuff happen. The company operations manager in the Salt Lake City office, Joshua oversees the plethora of active jobs and day-to-day operations within his division working directly under the CEO. Josh handles pre- and post-production services, sales, marketing, special events, accounting, logistics, and merchandising of LaBlast.
Originally from Austin, TX, Joshua didn’t have to travel far to find his calling in integrated fitness joining Louis van Amstel’s health revolution. Josh landed his job on the team after eight years of supervising 25 employees at Caye South Management. How he has any remaining free time is a mystery to friends and co-workers alike, but he remains undeterred in his extracurricular ambitions. Chiefly, embracing the all-too-short Park City ski season by finding any and every reason to be on the slopes…or on the beach. Josh continues to further his education in the field of holistic heath by completing his certification with the highly-acclaimed Institute of Integrated Nutrition.
(951) 381-0172 | email@example.com
Melissa Towey – Director of Master Trainers (New Jersey)
Melissa Towey is the Brand Developer and Director of Master Trainers for LaBlast Fitness. She is certified by, and is a continuing education provider for, ACE and AFAA, and holds a Bachelors Degree from Seton Hall University.
What Melissa enjoys most is helping instructors and participants realize their full potential. Whether she is mentoring a new instructor, teaching certifications, or simply leading one of her weekly classes, her passion and enthusiasm are contagious!
Melissa was born, raised and still lives in New Jersey with her husband, Marty, daughter, Lucy, and trio of Shetland Sheepdogs, Penny, Cirrus and Jax. For most of her youth she was involved with dance and gymnastics, which made for a natural transition into teaching fitness classes in college. In her spare time, Melissa also teaches (and still trains!) at a gymnastics facility.
Emma Mero – Social Media Marketing Director
If you see anything on LaBlast’s social media accounts, the chance is that Emma Mero is behind them. Starting out in July of 2017, Emma has been the head of the marketing for LaBlast Fitness. From designing social media posts, to making advertisements, to coming up witty content that has to pass the test of making herself laugh.
Antonio Butler – Master Trainer (Oregon)
It was during Basic Training (Boot Camp) for the U.S. Army Reserves that Antonio discovered his love of fitness and working out. He is surely the only person in the world to think of the 10-week Basic Training as a “hoot”. The noticeable change in his body and development of muscles, led Antonio to join a gym, begin lifting weights, and taking group fitness classes. At the encouragement of his group fitness instructors, he obtained his Primary Group Fitness certification through AFAA. He quickly gained a reputation and following teaching Step, High/Lo impact, Interval, Bootcamp, and dance fitness.
In October 2017, Antonio attended a LaBlast® Fitness Masterclass taught by Louis Van Amstel, the format creator, in St Petersburg, FL. After the class, Louis asked Antonio to become a Master Trainer for the format. This opportunity was perfect, given his love of dance and fitness. Antonio is now in the process of becoming the LaBlast® Fitness Master Trainer for the Pacific Northwest.
Outside of the group fitness world, Antonio works as a Training Coordinator for a banking company. He enjoys listening to music, watching sports (college and pro football, the Olympic Channel, tennis, rugby, and track & field), playing volleyball (indoor and sand), tennis; and one day hopes to learn to play rugby.
Apy Figueroa – Master Trainer (Florida)
Apy has been in the fitness industry since 2012, although her journey started as a competitive swimmer since she was 7 years old, and later a volleyball player. She started as a certified personal trainer with AFAA, but her passion laid in group fitness and dancing. A native of the island of Puerto Rico and a former national synchronized swimmer, she always loved dancing either in the water or on land. She was always intrigued by how celebrities with no dance background came to a show like Dancing with the Stars and, after a couple of weeks, they were dancing like pros. She learned about LaBlast, went to a master class, and instantaneously fell in love with it. She feels it’s the best dance format where you can learn the true skill of dance while blasting calories, and then use it at any dance event.
Even though LaBlast is Apy’s favorite class to teach, she also teaches aqua fitness and Body Pump. Apy holds a bachelor degree in Nutritional Science, therefore consulting and helping people eat and feel their best is also her life’s goal. She is certified by the Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA), Aerobics & Fitness Association of America (AFAA), as well as a Les Mills Body Pump instructor. When her students come to her to share how active and full of life they feel, she can’t help but to celebrate. Whether she is consulting someone on nutrition and lifestyle, mentoring new LaBlast instructors, or teaching 14 classes each week in the St. Pete area in Florida, her energy and passion are what her students love most about her.
Other than loving working with so many people, Apy also loves going on cruises with her husband, hanging out with her 4 daughters, and being with family and friends. She is looking forward to share LaBlast with you so what do you say….Bailamos????
Beth Canuel – Education Specialist/Master Trainer (Massachusetts)
Beth instantly fell in love with LaBlast® because it embodies the lifestyle necessary for ANYONE to achieve a healthier and happier life. Through LaBlast®, Beth has been able to reach people of all ages and fitness levels, exposing them to the fun and excitement of dance, and molding stronger, healthier individuals with more fulfilled lifestyles. Holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, Beth combines her knowledge of body mechanics and movement to offer a safe and effective class. Beth’s unique balance of talents enable her to offer trainings rich in education and the necessary skills to excel as a fitness professional. She enjoys sharing her experience with other professionals to help them realize that they too can change people’s lives through LaBlast®!
Christina Penatello – LaBlast Advanced Booster Specialist/Master Trainer (New Jersey)
With over 30 years of dance experience in ballroom, latin, jazz, and many other genres of dance, Christina has been able to share her love of ballroom dancing by teaching for the Fred Astaire Franchised dance studios around the country. She has accomplished many things throughout her long career, some of which include: World mambo champion, United States American Rhythm Finalist, and Open to the World American Rhythm Finalist. Christina accredits her success to all the great trainers she’s had in her life, but most of all, her mentor, Louis VanAmstel. Louis has been Christina’s coach and friend since the young age of 17 and has guided her through her competitive career. She looks forward to passing on her knowledge of movement and expression through Lablast, and is excited to transform lives through this amazing program.
Dawn Loguercio – Master Trainer (New Mexico)
Dawn began dabbling in dance when she was 13, where she started with ballet, jazz, tap and eventually pointe.
While in high school, she was a part of the drill and dance team for 3 years. After high school, Dawn began taking dance classes at the University of New Mexico. It was at that time that Dawn became reacquainted with her former high school drill coach in a Group Fitness at the health club they were both members of. She suggested that Dawn try teaching Group Fitness, so that Dawn could get her “dance class fix”.
Dawn pursued this idea and became an AFAA certified Group Fitness Instructor in 1992 and has been teaching ever since. Dawn discovered a new passion in health and fitness and in 1998 obtained her AFAA Personal Trainer certification.
Over the course of 20+years in the fitness industry, Dawn has trained personal clients ranging from 7 year old beginner athletes, to high school football teams, to special needs populations in their 80’s.
While Dawn had been teaching all the while, her first love of dance was revived in the form of cardio dance. Since then, Dawn has taught Group Fitness formats such as: Cardio Boxing, Studio Cycling, Barre, Hi intensity intervals, senior workouts, strength training and toning, core work, hi/lo aerobics and most recently, LaBlast.
For Dawn, LaBlast has been the format that she’s longed to see hit the Group Fitness circuit, and has brought a new spark to her classes.
Dawn currently resides in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, where she’s lived all of her life. She lives with her youngest son, Justin, 21. Her oldest son, Dylan, 21, lives in Arizona with his wife. She has been a Group Fitness Manager for Riverpoint Sports and Wellness (a Wellbridge club) for 10 years and continues to motivate hundreds of people to live healthier lives each week in her Group Fitness classes, as well as guiding others with more personal attention in Small Group Training classes and with Personal Training.
Debbie DuPaix – Master Trainer (Utah)
Debbie has always dreamed of dancing and becoming a dance teacher. This was partially realized when at the ripe old age of 12 she began giving clogging lessons in her parents driveway. At 16 Debbie discovered Ballroom Dancing and has been involved with it ever since. Throughout college Debbie studied, performed, and competed in Formation, Latin, Standard, and American Ballroom Dances both in the U.S. and internationally. In 2005, Debbie graduated from Utah Valley University with a Bachelor of Arts in English Education and started teaching reading and English at Kearns Jr. High. Debbie has continued her love of dance by teaching dance company, cheer, ballroom, social, and modern dance.
Debbie was introduced to LaBlast in the Fall of 2016 and was hooked after one class! She loved that she could ballroom dance partner free and get in a great workout. In 2017 Debbie certified with LaBlast and became a Group Fitness Instructor with ACE. Since then she has certified in LaBlast Splash, Linedance, and become a certified Group Fitness Instructor with AFAA and AEA. Debbie currently resides and teaches in Salt Lake City with her husband and their three beautiful boys.
Desiree Nathanson – Master Trainer (Georgia)
Athlete, model, dancer, fitness consultant, dance instructor, dietetic technician, nutrition coach and Fitness Universe competitor. Desirée began her formal dance training at the age of four at Florida Ballet Arts in Sarasota and continued through her discovery of dance teams in high school. From there, she became a Dazzler and went on to dance for the University of Florida Gators dance team where she performed all over the country, including the 2000 Men’s Basketball Final Four. Following her four years at UF, Desirée broke into the professional world of dance as an ‘A-Town’ dancer for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks. Desirée currently serves as an official trainer for the ATL Hawks Dancers.
Desirée was privileged enough to perform at both the 2002 NBA All Star game and Celebrity All Star game. She traveled internationally to represent the NBA in China, performing in the Guangzhou and Chengdu provinces, and has performed at games for the Reynosa Correcaminos, the Hawks’ sister team in Reynosa, Mexico. Desirée has worked with several music artists including The Sugarhill Gang, MC Hammer, Kool and the Gang, “American Idol” finalist Ejay Day, Dryce, Cat Chang and Pilar Montenegro.
Desirée earned her Master of Science (M.S.) in Health Sciences with a specialization in Nutrition from Georgia State University and has since earned the title dietetic technician, registered (DTR). She is a certified personal trainer, group exercise instructor, registered yoga teacher and certified posture specialist. Desirée found LaBlast in 2017 and instantly fell in love, becoming certified to teach after that one class.
Dusty Solis – Master Trainer (Texas)
Health Fitness Professional for 15 years and a dancer for more than 3 decades, Dusty has a strong passion for both dance and fitness and is so excited to spread the Lablast love because there is nothing greater than her two passions coming together to get everyone up moving and grooving.
Dusty found a quick love for dance as her training began at the age of 3 where she competed throughout the years of High School. Dusty continued on to dance at a collegiate level to become a North Texas Dancer at the University of North Texas where she performed all over the country, including the 1999 Alamo Bowl and 2002 New Orleans Bowl. Following her four years at the University of North Texas, Dusty discovered the art of ballroom dancing at a competitive level and won 1st overall at the Arthur Murray World Dance Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2010, Dusty broke into the professional world of dance as a Dallas Vigilantes Dancer for the Arena Football League Dallas Vigilantes, where she got the opportunity to perform at the Usher/Mark Cuban Super Bowl Gala. She still competes all over the country in Pro/Am International Latin Ballroom and currently is the Director for the Dallas Sidekick Dancers and Game Day Producer for the Dallas Sidekicks in the Major Arena Soccer League.
Dusty earned her Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Health Promotions with a Minor in Dance from the University of North Texas. She is a certified Health Fitness Specialist, ACE Personal Trainer, AFFA Group Exercise Instructor, and certified behavior coach. Dusty found LaBlast in August of 2017 and has been smitten over the LaBlast philosophy ever since. Dusty’s goal is to educate and raise awareness of all aspects of the health/wellness benefits of LaBlast Fitness while keeping in mind that variety, fun, and authenticity are just as important… now Let’s Dance!
Katie Arostegui – Master Trainer (Virginia)
A dancer and actor for over 20 years, Katie seamlessly translated her love of performance into a career in dance instruction and group fitness. She has taught tap, jazz, and hip hop dance, as well as gymnastics, to children and adults in the U.S. and Europe. She has also choreographed and performed in several theater productions on both continents. She even spent four years as a NFL cheerleader for two different professional football teams.
As the wife of a U.S. Navy officer and mother to two young boys, a career in group fitness allowed her the flexibility required of her family’s fast-paced life. After becoming a certified Barre instructor, she discovered LaBlast and LaBlast Splash, and immediately fell in love with both programs. She teaches them at multiple fitness centers in Virginia, but also recently started an elementary school program to introduce the benefits of LaBlast to children and their families.
Katie earned a B.A. in Musical Theater and a B.A. in Childhood Education from California State University, Chico, and is also AFAA Group Fitness Certified. She is absolutely thrilled to be a part of the LaBlast team and looks forward to bringing the program to a studio near you.
Kirsten Johnson – Master Trainer (California)
Kirsten Johnson is an international fitness expert with 25+ years of experience in Group Fitness Presentation, Program Development, Teacher Training, Group Fitness and Pilates Reformer Management and Group Fitness Instruction in Europe and the United States. She studied Dance and Martial Arts at the University of Hamburg, has a M.A. in Psychology and is a certified Sport Nutritionist.
In Germany, she was nominated NIKE ELITE instructor and presented innovative group fitness programs all over Europe. Since 2000 she lives in the United States and works in Group Fitness Management and Program development for high end clubs such as Equinox and ClubSports. Kirsten passion for fitness and education, here excellent teaching and presentation skills, and her extraordinary leadership.
In 2013, she was awarded the “Haute Couture” for the most creative and innovative group fitness program creator. Kirsten Johnson is currently working as Regional Group Fitness Manager for LSI Leisuresports overseeing 6 clubs between Orange County and Oregon.
Lexi Bullich – Master Trainer (Colorado)
Dance has been a part of Lexi’s life since she was in the womb, literally. Her mom has owned and operated a dance studio in Pennsylvania for over forty years. Growing up a ‘dance studio’ daughter, Lexi quickly learned just how impactful dance can be on people’s lives. Fast forward to college, Lexi attended James Madison University and earned a degree in Kinesiology. She began teaching group fitness classes as a freshman to fill the dance void she was missing. Lexi loved it so much, she made group fitness a career moving into leadership roles in and after college. Currently, Lexi is the Regional Group Fitness & Pilates Manager for the Colorado Athletic Clubs in Denver & Boulder, Colorado. Although LaBlast is her favorite format to teach, Lexi teaches Indoor Cycling and many other Group Fitness formats as part of her role in fitness. She is excited to take the next step as a LaBlast Master Trainer and share her passion of dance + fitness with each of you!
Megan Cooperman – Master Trainer (Maryland)
Megan, from Maryland, is a seasoned fitness pro with 20 years of experience in the fitness industry from instructor to group fitness director. She has taught various fitness formats, but her ALL TIME FAVORITE is LaBlast Fitness. Megan has a master’s degree in counseling, which has been very valuable while working in the fitness industry, and is certified by the Aerobics & Fitness Association of American (AFAA), American Council on Exercise(ACE), and Aquatics Exercise Association (AEA). She looks forward to sharing LaBlast with you!
Patty Brown – Master Trainer (New York)
Serena Cuevas – Master Trainer (California)
Starting in New York City, Serena has been dancing Ballroom, and Latin Club dances for over 20 years. Her first dance company began in 2007 when she created Deseo Dance Company, an exclusive women’s styling company representing the United States worldwide. This school created a learning environment where women got to express their passion, power, and confidence to the level of their desire.
While building a world renowned dance brand, Serena competed in some of the most prestigious competitions, including the ESPN World Salsa Championships, World Latin Dance Cup, World Salsa Summit, World Salsa Open, World Mayan Bachata Championships, and the Australian Latin Open.
Living in Sydney, Australia and professionally partnered with famous aussie ‘Dancing With The Stars’ pro, Csaba Szirmai, and as the 2012 Australian Latin Open Champions, they dedicated 2012 to being the year they elevate the overall level of dancers’ styling in the AU region. This entire year was the spark to Serena’s love for touring and developing dancers. To date, Serena has performed and coached in over 70 cities, and 24 countries worldwide. Her coaching continues make a huge difference with dancers from all over the world, especially in the Austral-Asian community. Separate from other shows and event bookings, Serena tours rigorously and annually in the gorgeous country of New Zealand; her commitment is to grow, develop, and challenge the dance community there. They are in the midst of their strive to reach their escalating dance goals year after year; this annual training tour has made thee difference for hundreds of instructors and students there.
During her time competing, and touring, she discovered that fitness and strength training enhanced her dancing tremendously; she committed to adding these programs, (such as Russian Kettlebell, core training and LaBlast® interval cardio training) to her offerings.
In 2015, Serena and her team launched Deseo Studios, LLC.; it exists to provide world-class dance instruction and effective fitness training, it’s perfect counterpart, in a single harmonious environment. This was a dream come true for many in the community and for Serena herself.
Today, Deseo Studios, LLC. is based in the heart of San Diego, California. It is an iconic location for fun, alive, dance training with a fitness backbone. From wedding dances to competitive choreographies, Serena and her staff are committed to quality, and that their clients have an exceptional experience
Barbara Francesca Mascialino – Official Liaison
Supported with a passion for fitness and health and a comprehensive background, Barbara Mascialino has been in the fitness industry since the days of leg warmers and head bands.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University, and a Master of Arts degree in holistic health studies from Georgian Court University. Her master’s thesis, which involved a research study on Group Fitness class participation and spirituality, is being reviewed for publication. Barbara is an American Council on Exercise (ACE), Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) and the World Instructor Training Schools (W.I.T.S.) -certified Group Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer and Health Coach. She holds numerous other certifications and licenses.
Barbara spent 15 years as a Tax Reporting and Compliance Director for a Wall Street firm. In 2003, she retired from that position as the result of a serious car accident. After taking time to heal, she resumed her Fitness and Health career in a number of roles. She is currently managing the Group Fitness programs for two medically-based fitness facilities in central New Jersey.
Her mission is to nurture a a fitness and wellness program that extends beyond demonstration of proper physical movement. In addition to managing and teaching, she has developed a holistic program which includes teaching fitness classes, demonstrating energy healing practices and lecturing on a myriad of wellness topics.
When not sharing encouragement and experience at the Fitness Centers or attending fitness conferences, Barbara enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and rescued pets.