Meet Your Trainers & Instructors

Dana Cannon, “Coach D”
Director of Fitness
Personal Trainer & Instructor

Dana, also known as Coach D, graduated from FIU with her BA in Marketing. She is a dedicated fitness professional with a passion for achieving optimal levels of health, wellness and quality of life through fitness. She works with a variety of people from beginners to experts with a focus on form, technique and nutrition. She has a true love for coaching and mentoring the youth with a focus on athletic and personal development. She has worked as a track coach, assistant youth strength and conditioning coach and assistant trainer for the last 3 years. Dana has always had an interest in sports from a young age. Track, specifically, was a love of hers that she started at the age of 6. She grew up running track, playing volleyball, soccer, and basketball. She received a track scholarship to Florida Atlantic University (FAU), where she competed competitively for 3 years. She aims to promote positivity, self-discipline and originality in herself and others. Her philosophy is based on the belief that daily practice of an intentional, positive mindset is paramount in order to attain one’s goals. This is at the root of her beliefs, practices and teachings. Her clients are drawn to her positive leadership, high energy, active lifestyle, and authenticity. She currently competes as a 56kg powerlifter in the USPA. She also competes professionally as a bikini athlete in the IFBB Pro League.

  • Bachelors of Administration in Marketing
  • CPR/ AED/ First Aid Certified
  • Professional Bodybuilder -Bikini Division
  • Powerlifter in the United States Powerlifting Association- 56kg Class
  • Sponsored Athlete
  • NCAA Division 1 Athlete
Nicole Smith, Fitness Supervisor

Nicole Smith
Personal Trainer

Nicole is a former pole vaulter from the University of South Florida. She took her drive and determination from vaulting into the corporate world where she tackled complicated problems every day doing engineering consulting in the water/wastewater industry for 5 years. During that time, she tore her ACL and started rehabilitation where she discovered a passion for problem solving the body and compassionately helping people improve their quality of life by optimizing movement. She is currently a student in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Nova Southeastern University and she specializes in training people of all fitness levels in strength & conditioning for sports or general fitness, core, flexibility, and balance.

  • University of South Florida, BS Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
  • CPR/AED certified
  • Former NCAA Division I and Regional Qualifying pole vaulter

I.T. Antigha
Personal Trainer

I.T. graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology and also earned a Masters in Management from Wake Forest University. During his first year at Florida State, he successfully walked on the Florida State football team as a free safety. Since then he has participated in multiple strong man competitions, obstacle course races, and various team sports. His experiences as an athlete, coach, referee, and trainer have enriched his overall perspective as it concerns athletic competition and continually helps him relate to individuals of all ages and fitness levels. In his spare time, I.T. enjoys writing, practicing Jiu-Jitsu, playing co-rec flag football, and serving in the community.

  • Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from Florida State University
  • ACSM Certified Personal Trainer
  • VertiMax Certified Trainer
  • Former Walk-On Football Player at Florida State University
  • Former Strength and Conditioning intern with the New York Yankees GCL League
  • Purple Belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
  • CPR/AED/First Aid Certified

Holly Hostler
Personal Trainer & Instructor

Holly Hostler is a graduate from Florida State University with a BFA in Fine Arts (Dance).  Upon graduating she moved to New York City and danced professionally with several modern dance companies, most notable Joy Kellman Dance Company.  While living in New York she also worked for the corporate headquarters of Tommy Hilfiger Inc.  While living in New York she also became an ACE certified personal trainer and a Johnny G. Spinning instructor.  She has been teaching spinning, aerobics, Pilates, and Silver Sneakers for the past 14 years.  Holly completely understands the joy of movement and loves to help others find this within.

  • ACE Certified Personal Trainer
  • YMCA Certified Group Fitness Instructor
  • Silver Sneakers Certified Instructor
  • Johnny G. Spinning Instructor
  • Certified Schwinn Indoor Cycling Instructor
  • Pilates Matt Certified through Physical Mind
  • Zone Certified Nutrition Counselor
cathy hughes

Cathy Hughes
Personal Trainer & Instructor
Triathlon/Run Coach

Cathy has a Bachelor Degree in Environmental Science from the University of Florida. Although she enjoyed running as a young woman she did not enter the professional exercise field until later in life. The need to lose the extra pounds of pregnancy and undo unhealthy life choices allowed her to find her passion in fitness. She first became a Spinning instructor then built on that passion to become a Personal Trainer and Triathlon Coach. Cathy feels that confidence can be gained through accomplishments in recreational sports and reaching the goals that you set for yourself. She has 3 children ranging in age from 7-18 and understands that regardless of the demands life requires it is important to set time aside for you.

  • ACSM Certified Personal Trainer
  • Level 1 Kettlebell Coach
  • TRX Qualified
  • Spinning Certified
  • Livestrong Coach
  • 2015 Bronze All World Ironman Athlete
  • CPR/AED/First Aid certified

Danialle DuPree
Yoga Instructor

Danialle received her 200hr YTT certification through The Lotus Pond Center for Yoga and Health for all levels of Hatha and Vinyasa Flow styles of yoga. Having come to the mat in her early teens, drawn in by the mental and physical peace it offered, she knew from the start she wanted to teach it and share its benefits with others. In addition to her 200hr certification, she’s earned certifications in Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga.


Jody Maurer
Swim Instructor & Coach

Jody has been swimming competitively since she was 5 years old; and has been coached by U.S. Olympic coaches and Hall of Famers. She swam and instructed lessons in Atlanta from a young age and eventually became a Georgia State Champion, earning a swimming scholorship to Georgia Southern College from 1982-1986.  During her final year at Georgia Southern, she was undefeated and elected Team Captain.

Through the years Jody has kept up with her swim conditioning, including relaying several triathlons.  She has a level 1 and 2 U.S.A. Master’s Coaching Certification.  Her passion is instructing all ages, both children and adults, on the fine technique of stroke efficiency.  Jody started coaching Masters at the YMCA and has helped her swimmers improve tremendously, along with achieving their personal goals.

 As of October 2012 the competitive swimmer in her wanted to get back on the blocks and compete herself.  Since that time, she has qualified for U.S.A. Master’s Nationals in seven events, being rankied as high as 14th in the Nation.  We are excited to have Jody as a part of Cheval’s Swim Program and feel confident she will be a positive instructor and coach that will enhance Cheval swimming even more!

Carolyn Schuster
ReFit Dance Instructor

Carolyn is a wife, mother, worker-bee, and queen multitasker.  In the chaos of life, she found it easier, and easier, to forget her own health and well-being; so, she went on a fitness journey.  This journey took her from elliptical machines to weight machines, from fearing fitness classes to teaching fitness classes, and it all lead me to REFIT®.  And…REFIT® WAS DIFFERENT!!  It was dancing and laughter, friendships and community, happiness and sunshine, all rolled into one sweaty-hour!  Her heart leads her on this REVOLUTIONARY journey and she has never looked back!

Recently moved to Florida from Colorado and also enjoys working for iHeart Radio.

kris buchman

Kris Buchman
Personal Trainer & Instructor

Kris was born and raised in the snowy tundra of northwestern Minnesota. In high school, she played volleyball, basketball and track. She then attended Moorhead State University and studied Mortuary Science.  After a few years there, moved to Minneapolis, where she worked and lived at a funeral home (can you believe it?) and also worked at the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office. She started bartending to make a lil extra oney….well…..a few bartender friends and myself decided to pack up and move down to sunny Florida! (the day they left Minneapolis it was -30 degrees…..right choice maybe?).
Fast forward to now….She is married to Steve, with 2 great kids, Riley and Alexis (both at Steinbrenner, until Ri graduates this spring . . . sniff sniff tear), have a Pug, 3 adopted cats (uffdah) and recently acquired a Steinbrenner Warrior Softball Rally Hamster…..don’t ask.
She loves teaching classes/working out and has run a few half marathons, a Spartan race, Tough Mudder and a lot of 5ks, 8ks, 10ks and 15ks! She also loves going to crossfit classes. Kris believes that variety is the spice of life (workouts). Change is good!

Charlie Zayas
Qigong & Tai Chi Instructor

A native New Yorker, Charlie originally began his training in the art of Shotokan Karate however found the art of Tai Chi Chuan, and the rest as they say is history. Given the Degree of Master (Si-Gung) in Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong, Charlie has over 30 years of martial arts & teaching experience in which he emphasizes a holistic approach to wellness & healing. By first understanding each student’s unique experience, Charlie is able to adapt & apply core concepts & principles that make learning martial arts efficient, effective, & fun!  This is accomplished by incorporating the 3 principles of learning; imitate (do as shown), assimilate (understanding the purpose behind the instruction), & innovate (as done in “WuChi” from a cellular level). In training, Charlie is able to provide a robust & unique experience for every student regardless of age or fitness level while cultivating a culture of confidence, & strength.

  • Degree of Master (SiGung) Tai Chi Chuan
  • Degree of Master (SiGung) Qigong
  • CPR/AED Certified
  • Specializing in Reality Based Self Defensive for Women

Shaniqua Thomas
Zumba Instructor & Wellness Coach

Shaniqua grew up in a West Indian culture, with her parents being from Jamaica and St. Croix, her love for Caribbean style dance was inevitable. Her dancing skills developed during her time serving on her local church’s praise and worship team. This gave her the confidence to pursue her licensure to become a certified Zumba instructor.  She has been a certified instructor for over 3 years and over 10 years’ worth of experience attending Zumba classes. Shaniqua’s goal is to empower, uplift, and inspire all who steps foot into her class

Mackenzie Kester
LDN/ Nutrition Counseling

Mackenzie was born and raised in Asheville, NC. Mackenzie started her career in nutrition and dietetics as an LDN in a large hospital setting 2 years ago. She has a passion for providing people with the knowledge and support to become their best selves. During undergrad, Mackenzie taught strength-based group exercise classes. Mackenzie believes change is healthy, failure is normal, and a balanced lifestyle is key. She is currently studying for her master’s in nutrition and dietetics.

  • Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist (LDN) 2019
  • Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Adult, Child and Baby First Aid CPR/AED Certified

Lynn Donofrio
Strength & HIIT Group Ex Instructor

Lynn is a certified AFAA group fitness instructor. She has been instructing for over 24 years. She has enjoyed teaching a variety of class styles from strength with weights to high-intensity classes. Lynn has worked with a wide range of age groups from elementary students to activity older adults. Twenty years ago she received her Silver Sneakers certification. Being apart of this community of active people has helped her learn how important it is to keep moving. Hence the motto: If you don’t use it you lose it. She continued her education in fitness by getting her personal trainers certification through AFAA. Last year Lynn earned her certification in both aqua fitness and yoga through FITour.

Being active is something Lynn enjoys even when not at the gym. She participates in 2 running groups in Tampa. She has run 5 marathons (1st in Dublin, Ireland!!) and countless ½ marathons. Her bucket list is to run a ½ marathon or more in all 50 states (14 Done!).

  • National Aerobic Certification with AFAA (Aerobics & Fitness Association of America)
  • Silver Sneakers I (Muscular Strength & Range of Movement, and Silver Sneakers II (Cardio Circuit)
  • National Certified Personal Trainer with AFAA (Aerobics & Fitness Association of America)
  • Certified in CPR
  • Certified in First Aid

Sara Silva
Yoga & Group Ex Instructor

Sara Silva is an Army Veteran and graduated from Upper Iowa University with a BS in Psychology and MS in Counterterrorism from Henley-Putnam University.  Sara’s passion for movement started at a young age. She danced ballet as a young girl and played sports throughout her years in High School.  During her time serving in the Military, Sara found a passion for leading group fitness sessions and helping others.  She earned her personal training certification and would teach group fitness classes whenever she could.

She later ventured to Rishikesh, India (the city of Yoga) where she immersed herself in the culture- learning different styles of Yoga, Pranayama (breathwork), and meditations. She earned her Pilates certification in NYC and has experience working with clients from all fitness levels. Sara loves serving others and seeing individuals create a peace of mind through mind/body movement connection. She agrees with the quote from the great Joseph Pilates “Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness”. She has taught in the Tampa Bay area the past year.

  • Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200)
  • International Sports & Science Association ISSA Personal Trainer
  • Balanced Body Barre Instructor
  • CPR/AED certified
  • Power Pilates Mat Instructor (Level 1 & 2)
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