Monica Abdul Saleem, owner, has been a teacher for all of her professional life. She has spent more than 25 years in the District of Columbia public school system as an elementary school teacher, library media specialist and computer education specialist. During that time, Monica has also pursued a life-long interest in physical fitness and has a wide range of fitness and training capabilities. She is a personal and group fitness trainer, which includes a Zumba license, Cycling and Piloxing Certifications. She also offers fitness training for children. She practices Yoga and is a Reiki Energy Healer . It was an easy step to adapt her teaching skills to adult fitness instruction. She is dedicated to helping others live a healthier lifestyle and achieve their maximum fitness goals. Monica is certified by: the American Fitness Association of America, as well as, the National Personal Training Institute. She has been awarded “Teacher of the Year” from D.C.’s Ward 5 school community twice during her 25 years as a DCPS teacher. She received her M.A. in Guidance and Counseling from Trinity University, and her B.A. in Elementary Education from Howard University. She enjoys traveling with friends and spending time with her Granddaughters and family.
Ajeenah Abdul Watts, owner, is a native Washingtonian. She has worked in the education and social service field since 2005. She received her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice from Trinity University and completed her Masters in Business Administration at Trinity University. Ajeenah was introduced to yoga by her mother and instantly fell in love with yoga. Ajeenah absolutely loved the idea and challenge of staying focused and remaining calm during her invigorating yoga practice. She was amazed with the physical and mental benefits she felt from her yoga practice. In 2012 she completed her yoga training and is a registered yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance, teaching both adults and children/youth yoga. Ajeenah believes incorporating yoga into a child’s life can help them focus more in school, and help to understand and control their emotions in school and as they grow into adult hood. She enjoys traveling, out door activities in the sun and spending time with her husband and daughter Amorah.
Belly Dance Instructor
Zahra Christine is an artist and healer who fuses styles of expression with healing and relaxation. Through movement, body adornment and energy work, she creates an environment dedicated to relieving stress and experiencing joy.
As an adult, Zahra began studying dance in 1996, when she found a North African Belly Dance class and fell in love. She has been teaching Belly Dance since 2000. She has also been studying Odissi Traditional Indian Dance since 2005.
It was through dance that Zahra was introduced to henna in 1997, and she has been enjoying it ever since. After a three year period of practice and experimentation, Zahra became a professional henna artist in 2000. She provides all natural henna designs for individuals, at parties and other private events as well as at festivals and flea markets. Zahra has also included Jagua, a fruit from South America, to her temporary body adornment practice.
In 1997, Zahra also began studying Reiki, receiving her Level l certification. In 1998, she received her Level ll and Level lll. After practicing Reiki for 13 years, she began training in Spring Forest Qigong and has received her Level l, ll and Level lll certifications. Using what she has learned from energy healing has enhanced her dance practice and helps to emphasize the healing potential of dance.
Emily took her first Zumba class in 2009 when she moved to Washington DC from Portland, Oregon. She immediately recognized that Zumba helped her to let go of all the stress created by a hectic DC workday. And the music and booty shakin’ made her smile. Something she didn’t often do while working out! After a couple of years as a student, Emily got certified to teach. In her four years of teaching, Emily has adapted her class for her students as well as her own life-changing events, including two pregnancies. She taught prenatal classes during her own pregnancies and even a class specifically for postpartum women this past winter just after she had her sweet baby Jameson. What Emily loves most about teaching Zumba, besides shakin’ her own booty, is its immediate and positive effect on her students’ moods and health.
Dance has always fueled Tori’s lifestyle. From the time that she was 3 years old in the stereotypical jazz and tap classes, to her hip hop dance team at the University of Maryland, she has found that dance not only embodies her personal expression, but was a release from the daily stresses of the world. As an incredibly energetic instructor, Tori fell in love with the way that Zumba allowed her students to become involved in dance and, somehow, emit the same amount of enthusiasm as she did during the class. Tori graduated from UMD with a B.A. in Economics and Spanish Language and Literature. Come join the party with Tori!
Tiffany Maqubela is a RYT-200 vinyasa yoga instructor registered with Yoga Alliance, who received her certification at the Buddha B Yoga Center in Washington, DC. Tiffany discovered yoga through a free class in Southeast taught by Sariane Leigh. Inspired by Leigh’s soulful flow, as well as, the immediate connection she felt to the practice on a spiritual and physical level, Tiffany sought to learn more by dabbling in different styles of yoga, such as Vinyasa, Hatha, Ashtanga, Jivamukti, and Restorative.
As a yoga teacher, Tiffany hopes to contribute to the diversity of instructors and encourage all people, regardless of size, age, ability, or color, to feel a part of the world of yoga. In her classes, she intends to help students embrace themselves within their individual practice and to find a moment of peace on the mat that can be carried into their daily lives.
Tiffany has expanded her instructor development by completing training in Restorative yoga and Prenatal yoga. She is an alumna of Howard University, obtaining a B.A. in History and an M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Policy. Currently residing in Silver Spring, MD, Tiffany is a stay-at-home mother who enjoys quiet evenings watching online movies and eating oven-made chocolate-chip cookies with her husband.