Instructors

Erica Denman
Owner & Founder of Balance
E-RYT 500 • RCYT • YACEP

Why yoga?

Yoga was the natural transition from dance. Once I found out there was more than poses, I was hooked. The breath and message have infused themselves into my life; I’m changed. 😌

Why Balance?

It’s my core belief that being balanced is foundational to a fabulous life. From my teachers, to our clients, to the classes we offer: we truly seek and welcome balance.

I love a slow, anatomical based practice with a singer-songwriter playlist. I love a free flowing practice with P!nk. I love to dance and I have found such solace in meditation. Additionally, I think recognizing and finding acceptance to the balance of light and dark within us is a powerful place to reside in. And, that’s “Why Balance…”

How would you describe your class?

My class is all about feeling the message of yoga; a message to take with you off of the mat and into your life. It’s a balance for movement and stillness. It’s sweaty, and fun, and introspective, and vulnerable.

What don’t we know about you?

That’s tough, if you take my classes you get to know me, really well. You might not know that I’m a pretty sweet tap dancer — or at least I use to be!

MaryJayne Waddell
E-RYT 500

Why yoga?

A cheaper and more successful form of therapy. (I can’t afford a shrink!) 😜

Why Balance?

An incredible streak of good fortune and good friendship with Erica Denman, and the people who practice at Balance LOVE their yoga.

How would you describe your class?

They vary from day to day, but there will always be something new to uncover; you’ll probably sweat!

What don’t we know about you?

Theatre has been my primary career and I have been so blessed to perform on Broadway, in national tours, cruise ships, film, television, commercials and (for those of you who remember) I danced on ‘Skipper Sam’s Showboat Stage’ on Channel 8 WROC back in the late 60s and early 70s!

Sarah Webb
E-RYT 200

Why yoga?

Yoga is the map to make meaning of one’s unique stories, creating a space both to dive deeper, and to let go.

Why Balance?

Because you are only as strong as you are flexible, and as flexible as you are strong!

What don’t we know about you?

I dream of spending a year, experiencing every season, on Monhegan, an island 12 miles off the coast of Maine. ⛵️

 

Kaitlyn Vittozzi
RYT 200

Why yoga?

Yoga is an hour for just me, and nothing off of my mat matters for that hour. It’s an instant mood boost. 📶

Why Balance?

The instructors all have their unique style, and each instructor’s classes from one week to the next are different; I’m always mentally engaged.

How would you describe your class?

Safe & playful. We always get at least one good laugh in as a group!

What don’t we know about you?

I played the Oboe in high school, you should hear my ‘om.’

 

Hong Nguyen
RYT 200

Why yoga?

Yoga helps to center and focus my mind, it takes me away from all the surrounding noise of life. 🔇

Why Balance?

We’re a giant happy yoga family, you feel a connection on & off the mat with everyone in our community‍‍‍!

What don’t we know about you?

I have an addiction to Candy Crush! It’s shameful, but I’m glad it’s out there now.

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Jeanne Phillips
RYT 200

Why yoga?

I walked into my first yoga class looking to build strength and flexibility, and perhaps find a community to embrace along the way.

Why Balance?

Not long after that first class I met Erica Denman and found myself drawn to her honest, open style of teaching. Without hesitation I followed her to her new studio, Balance Yoga & Fitness. The community that has grown from her dreams has inspired and enriched my life in so many ways. I will be forever grateful to call Balance “home.”

How would you describe your class?

My goal as a teacher is to help my students grow in strength & flexibility as I have, not just in body, but in mind and spirit as well.

What don’t we know about you?

I am passionate about my family, particularly my five grandchildren, who fill my heart to bursting! ❤️

 

Heidi Kroft
RYT 200

Why yoga?

I needed something to keep me active. I needed something to energize me and keep me engaged, invested in myself, my overall health. Yoga was a saving grace that allowed me to find my edge. It gave me the personal challenge I was looking for, plus a community where others were doing their “own thing.” There wasn’t any competition or specific goal, other than overall health & wellness; this is very rare.

Why Balance?

Balance offers a very clear picture of what the heart of yoga is and should be. It’s a community like no other. (Honestly? There’s no bullsh*t.) 💩

How would you describe your class?

I teach a ‘beginner’ class at Balance. I started teaching at ‘Hedges’ on the lake with a ‘Sunset Yoga’ practice. It showed me the power of yoga and the power of Mother Nature. I didn’t realize yoga would/could touch so many people (most of whom never practiced before) and I discovered teaching people who: 1) aren’t interested in, 2) aren’t flexible enough, 3) thought they could NEVER do that, are the people I connect with best.

What don’t we know about you?

I just turned 52, and I’ve never been younger or more full of life than I am right now. Why? YOGA, BABY.

 

Mary Judge
RYT 200

Why yoga?

For me, Yoga is a healer. It balances my emotions, strengthens me mentally and physically.  I live with rheumatoid arthritis and with that comes a lot of anxiety, stress, pain and uncertainty.  Yoga has taught me to be comfortable in my own skin, know my body, the importance of listening to my body, how to challenge myself and how to restore myself.  It has had a profound impact on my life as a whole.

Why Balance?

Balance is an inclusive community. There is emphasis on creating an environment where the focus is our shared humanity. Everyone is welcome at Balance. 👪🏼

How would you describe your class?

I teach classes for beginners; no class is ever the same.  I like to focus on the mind body connection.  What we do on the mat also applies in day-to-day life.  

What don’t we know about you?

I taught cooking to inmates for 21 years. I am also the youngest of 7, and the only girl!

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Steph Betzwieser
RYT 200

Why pilates & yoga?

Pilates:

To be honest, for the shear workout. The core strengthening and stretching has relieved my lower back issues. I have a better sense of my body and its alignment.

Yoga:

Well, it’s my get away, my safe haven. When I feel like the world is spinning all around me, yoga keeps me together. A moment to pause that spinning world, and just be.

Why Balance?

The universe sent me a wonderful bump into the doors of this great studio. A welcoming community with fabulous instructors and an amazing owner. It was truly meant to be! I am grateful to have arrived here.

How would you describe your class?

In the simplest form: variety. I love to change up my routines in order to keep the mind and the body on its toes. They say that variety is the spice of life! Also, though, I am really adamant about proper form, body alignment, and the use of breath. I focus on creating body awareness, offer options for all levels, and emphasize the importance of keeping the body safe. Don’t get me wrong though, I will encourage you to step outside the comfort zone, and you will feel the burn! 🔥

What don’t we know about you?

I’m a foodie, I love to travel, I’m obsessed with my dog, I draw, I paint, I dance, and I’m a photographer!

 

Nicole Kazimer a.k.a. @Helloyogagirl
RYT 200 • RCYT

Why yoga?

Yoga heals physically, mentally & emotionally. Sharing that with others is extremely rewarding.🏆

Why Balance?

Balance has always been my “home base.” Being there I feel at ease, like I’m practicing in the comfort of  my own home. Everyone cares about each other at Balance, with a no judgement zone. The staff and community promotes growth and rising together with love. Everyone who walks through the door at Balance is friendly, approachable, and ready to help.

How would you describe your class?

I help my students feel comfortable in every pose. My class offers a variety to suit someone’s first time on their mat to someone who has seen it 100 times. Syncing breath with movement as we flow from pose to pose I assure everyone is moving in a way that’s beneficial to them.

What don’t we know about you?

My first yoga class, ever, about 6 years ago was from Erica Denman herself!

Meghann Piwko
RYT 200

Why yoga?

It’s a place where I can go to stay centered & balanced. No matter how crazy life gets, I know that I can get on my mat and have a place where I can focus on my movements, my breath and my body… It’s a place I can be free.

Why Balance?

Balance was the first studio that I truly connected the message of yoga with the physicality of yoga. It’s a place where I am pushed to be my own personal best. I have been loved and encouraged every step of the way, and always leave thinking about how I can apply the message of yoga to my life off of the mat.

How would you describe your class?

My classes allow everyone to be their best. They’re about knowing it’s okay to fail and sometimes fall, but knowing that you tried. They’re about pushing yourself but being encouraged every step of the way. I’m a teacher by trade! 🎓

What don’t we know about you?

I laugh really loud, I love to cook and I can put my feet behind my head!

Kate S.
RYT 200

Why yoga?

I came in for a workout, and came out with a whole new lifestyle. As B.K.S. Iyengar explained, “Yoga does not just change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees.” Yoga has the power to awaken and transform the practitioner – to heal broken hearts, calm anxious nerves, and forge loving friendships. Yoga has forever changed my life and the lives of my friends. Yoga saves me every day. 🙏🏼

Why Balance?

I have studied yoga all around the country and the globe, and Erica is the best instructor I have ever found, anywhere, hands down. Not only is she a top-notch teacher and teacher-trainer, but she has created a strong sense of community at Balance. I strive to be the best in everything I do, and in the yoga world, that means being part of Balance.

How would you describe your class?

I provide a physically-challenging flow style, which is accessible to yogis at all levels of experience, and infuse it with messages to take off your mat and into your life.

What don’t we know about you?

I’m a total nerd. I went to Yale Law School and I’m a tax lawyer. But I grew up in a small town, working on farms, and I learned to drive a tractor before I learned to drive a car!


And, our kids yoga instructors:

Sarah Heindel Paprocki
RCYT

“I’m a lifelong Webster resident and I teach kindergarten at Schlegel Road Elementary School. Most importantly, I am a mom of two active and creative boys.

Both as a teacher and a mother, I am passionate about developing the whole child which led me to receiving my yoga certification to teach children through yogees yoga 4 kids. My favorite saying is ‘A calm mind is a creative mind.’ I’ve seen this first hand at home, in my classroom, and in my summer art classes.

I love seeing how yoga and mindfulness instruction help children grow emotionally, physically, socially, and academically.”

Jean Crittenden
RCYT

Jean is a licensed master of Social Work in New York State with trauma informed education and additional training in working with youth diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

She started practicing yoga at Balance Yoga and Fitness in January 2013 and is a dedicated yoga practitioner since. Jean decided to participate in the yogees yoga 4 kids® training to learn how to use yoga with youth in a residential placement to support other therapies.

She and her husband Rick are life long residents in Webster New York and they have two sons, a daughter in law and two grandchildren.

She and her husband Rick are life long residents in Webster New York and they have two sons, a daughter in law and two grandchildren.