Meet Our Team

 

Holly Waters

Co-founder + Chief Fitness Officer

Holly Waters

Fitness Alive is the brainchild of Drexel University graduate Holly Waters, a lifelong swimmer, certified personal trainer and veteran swim coach. After years working as a personal trainer at gyms in Philadelphia and New York — most recently as the aquatics director at SWEAT Fitness — she founded her own personal-training business, Fitness Alive, in 2014. She was named the 2010 Best Personal Trainer by Philadelphia magazine, and has been called the “Baby Whisperer” by local television stations for her work as an infant swim coach. (Seriously, watch her work her magic on this five-month-old baby!) Holly has carved a niche for herself as the region’s most sought after coach for infant, children, and adult swim instruction, with over 20 years of experience helping swimmers of all ages learn to be comfortable and confident in the water. Read more about Holly's technique and philosophy at her interview on Wee Wander. Holly lives in Wallingford with her husband, Mike; daughter, Michele; and puppy, Franklin.

Emily Leaman

Co-founder + Chief Operations Officer

Emily Leaman

A health-and-fitness journalist with nearly 10 years of experience, Emily is best known for her work as the driving force behind Be Well Philly, Philadelphia magazine's popular health and fitness brand. While at the helm of Be Well, she helped create Be Well Philly Boot Camp, a sell-out fitness festival for Philadelphia-area women; founded the Be Well Philly Underground, a series of secret pop-up fitness events; and built a strong fitness community in Philadelphia that continues to thrive both on- and offline. Emily is the marketing and brand lead for Fitness Alive Swim Academy and manages day-to-day operations. She lives in South Philly with her husband, Chris; son, Noah; and miniature pinscher, Scout.

 

OUR SWIM COACHES

Maddie Bair

Swim Instructor

Maddie Bair

Maddie is a teacher at heart — whether on land or in the water. She has taught swim lessons and coached different teams (YMCA, USA Swimming, High School, and Special Olympics) for eight years to multiple ages and ability levels. Maddie has a Master's degree in Education, teaching certifications in multiple states, and has taught Humanities to every age level in public schools. She is excited work with students at Fitness Alive!

Claire Barré

Swim Instructor

Claire Barré

Claire is a graduate student at Arcadia University studying to become a physician assistant. She has been a swim instructor for eight years. She started as a swim instructor in Cape Cod, where she taught at beaches, ponds and lakes. She has also worked as the pool coordinator at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, where she assisted physical therapists and ran the aquatic fitness classes. Claire loves the water, and she really enjoys sharing the skills she learned, as a swimmer and instructor, with students.

Laura Begley

Swim Instructor

Andrea Berger

Swim Instructor +
Client Services Manager

Andrea Berger

Andrea has always loved the sun and being outside. She began swimming on a pre-competitive team at seven years old and continued through high school. She began lifeguarding and teaching swimming lessons in college in the summertime and working part-time in a daycare. With a passion for working with children, she pursued her degree in Elementary Education. Unfortunately, fitness got away from her and she gained a lot of weight. In 2010, Andrea decided to change her life around and found her way back to the pool. She began training again and started working with kids again in the pool. She now works with kids of all ages and abilities, as well as adults. Andrea also trains and competes in triathlons ranging from Sprint to Olympic to International distances. She has just completed her first half marathon and is looking forward to working towards her first Ironman 70.3. Andrea teaches fourth grade in a South Philadelphia public school. She lives in South Philly, too, with her wonderfully lazy pugs, Bella and Luna.

Erin Berry

Swim Instructor

Erin Berry

Living on a pond in South shore Massachusetts, Erin has always been surrounded by water. She began taking swimming lessons at the pond when she was 6 years old, and after finishing their program she quickly transitioned from student to teacher. She worked for Pembroke Town Landing as a lifeguard and swim instructor for the past six summers and, last year, as a swim team coach. While attending Chestnut Hill College, she worked as an instructor at Goldfish Swim school. She is completing a dual degree program with Chestnut Hill College for a B.S. in Biology and Thomas Jefferson University for a B.S. Diagnostic Imaging. Although she is excited to begin her post-college adult career, Erin misses teaching swim lessons, so she's excited to get back in the water during her free time.

Liz Callan

Swim Instructor

Liz Callan

Liz has been in the pool since she was six months old and has loved swimming ever since! She joined the summer swim team at age 6, a winter swim team around age 10, and was swimming year round until she left for college. During her time at Rutgers, she was a lifeguard and swam on a master's team. Since then, has participated in triathlons, swim lessons focusing on infants and toddlers, and coached the local Special Olympics swim team. Her passion (and patience) for her swimmers transcends into her home life with her two kiddos, Rosie (2.5) and Jack (6 months). Liz is thrilled to be a part of the Fitness Alive team! Liz loves entertaining and being by the water. She currently lives in South Jersey with her husband and two kids.

Claire Canestrino

Swim Instructor

Claire Canestrino

Growing up in California, Claire loved to spend her free time swimming. She started to swim competitively when she was five years old and has not left the pool since. Claire started playing water polo about eight years ago and she absolutely fell in love with the sport. When she moved to Philadelphia for school, she joined the Penn water polo team. Claire spent the last four summers working as a lifeguard and swim instructor. She has taught children and adults of all ages and experience levels. She loves to watch her swimmers improve and grow more confident in their swim abilities. Claire is studying business at the University of Pennsylvania and loves to explore Philly in her free time.

Emelia Carmody

Swim Instructor

Emelia Carmody

Emelia has been swimming for as long as she can remember. Growing up on Long Island she spend as much time as she could in her backyard pool and swimming at the YMCA. She began lifeguarding and teaching swim lessons at 15 and fell in love with it. Throughout high school, college, and post-grad she always found herself being drawn back to pools and teaching. She's a pro with beginners, toddlers and elementary-aged swimmers. When she's not in the pool Emelia enjoys cooking, reading, and planning weekend road trips with her boyfriend Nick.

Emily Chau

Swim Instructor

Josie Cuda

Swim Instructor

Josie Cuda

Beginning at the young age of six, Josie always enjoyed the water and joined the local swim team. After years of successful high school and club team experiences, she was recruited to swim for Florida State University where she completed all four years with an accomplished collegiate career. While attending school, Josie was able to teach swim lessons and coach on the Club Seminole swim team, working with groups ages six to 12. After she graduated in 2016, she earned her personal training and nutrition certification and has been employed as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor for over one year, building her client base and experience in the field. Swimming has been such an important part of her life, and she is excited to be in Philly teaching kids the sport she loves!

Carolyne Godon

Swim Instructor

Carolyne Godon

Swimming has always been a huge part of Carolyne’s life. She started swimming competitively at age 7 and continued all the way through high school and college, swimming at the University of Ottawa and representing Canada at World Lifesaving Championships in 2014 and 2016. She started coaching in 2009 and loves helping swimmers of all ages and abilities improve. Before moving to Philadelphia to pursue a master’s in bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania, Carolyne lived in Canada, Belgium and New Zealand. She is fluent in French.

Erin Herman

Swim Instructor

Erin Herman

Erin has been a swimmer all her life. She started swimming at four years old on a summer swim team and continued until age 18. Now, she swims for leisure and fitness. Erin has given many swim lessons over the years. In addition to working at Fitness Alive, Erin is also an elementary school teacher. Her goal in the pool is to help clients learn to love swimming as much as she does.

Jessica Holland

Swim Instructor

Jessica Holland

Jess began swimming before she was even walking, starting as a water baby at the local YMCA. Her love for the pool only grew from there as she swam competitively for 12 years (and even gave diving a shot, ha!). Her summers in high school and college were spent at Upper Moreland Swim Club, where she lifeguarded, taught swim lessons, and coached the Gators. After college, she spent a few years coaching age-group swimming with the Hatboro-Horsham Aquatic Association. After coaching age-group swimming for some time, Jess wanted a new challenge and volunteered as a swim coach for the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania (SOPA), Philadelphia Chapter, where she still coaches to this day. Jess lives in Fairmount, where one of her favorite activities in the summer is water Zumba at the Francisville pool.

Julia Holland

Swim Instructor

Julia Holland

Julia has lived and "breathed" water since she was an infant. In addition to swimming competitively for 12 years, she also has held every aquatic job in the book! Beginning as a lifeguard and then pool manager during her school years, Julia also made time to organize and teach both group and private swim lessons. After college, she spent a few years coaching ages 8-18 with Hatboro-Horsham Aquatic Club. As she pursued and grew a career in finance, she was able to keep her skills fresh by helping friends train for triathlons. The pursuit of happiness recently led Julia to make a career change, and she couldn't feel better about it. Now, in addition to finding her in the pool, you can find her selling residential real estate in Center City!

Ivy Hunt

Swim Instructor

Ivy Hunt

Ivy Hunt was born and raised in Philadelphia and is a rising sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania. She's been swimming her whole life! She started competitively swimming on local YMCA team when she was seven years old, and after two years she joined a couple of swimmers in founding one of the first club teams in Center City Philadelphia. She swam for this club team, Friends Select Swimming, until her junior year of high school. She was also on her high school swim team for three years, and has taught swimming lessons to kids ages 2-8. Although she did not continue swimming in college, Ivy's passion for the water still blazes strong, and she is excited to pass it on to a new generation!

Callie Jones

Swim Instructor

Breanna Lanz

Swim Instructor +
Social Media Manager

Breanna Lanz

Swimming has always been a passion for Breanna. After years of participating on swim teams, she was given the opportunity to live her passion and share it with others in 2014, when she became a swim instructor. She's a pro with babies, toddlers and elementary-age kids, helping them feel comfortable and confident in the water. She lives in South Philly with her boyfriend, Raj, and their three English bulldogs.

Lance Lindeen

Swim Instructor

Ross Mackinnon

Swim Instructor

Ross Mackinnon

As an athlete and former Division One collegiate swimmer, Ross has established a strong foundation for his career as a swim coach, group exercise and swim instructor, and personal trainer. Swimming has enriched his life in so many ways, and he finds fulfillment helping the beginning child or adult swimmer all the way through the advanced triathlete improve their comfort and efficiency in the water. Ross loves working with people of all ages and ability levels and is proficient in tailoring programs to accommodate different goals and skill sets. He has also been competing in triathlons for the past 20 years and coached triathletes in both private and small-group settings for the last several years. As a swimming instructor and former swim team coach, Ross specializes in stroke technique, which tends to be the main weakness confronted by athletes who aspire to compete in a triathlon. Ross has a BS in Kinesiology from the University of Maryland College Park and certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. He spent 15 years as a lifeguard, pool manager and aquatics director and has built many valuable relationships along the way. Ross feels that swimming is an integral low-impact cardiovascular activity and can contribute immensely to the well-being and longevity of everyone from age one through one hundred!

Jessica Mancuso

Swim Instructor

Jessica Mancuso

Jessica started swimming when she was three years old. She took lessons at the Belmont Hills Pool as a kid and swam every summer racing all the other kids in the pool; her specialties include freestyle and breaststroke. She has been teaching swim since she was 16 years old starting at the YMCA, where she taught group classes and Mommy-and-Me. Similarly, Jessica was known as the 'Aqua Tot Queen' at the Belmont Hills Pool, where she enjoyed teaching babies how to easily transition into the water for the first time. Jessica taught privately at AFC Fitness (Aqua Hab) in Bala Cynwyd right before she moved to Los Angeles where she taught at Hall Swim Academy under Bebe Hall. Jessica enjoys scary movies, playing tennis, cooking and hanging out with family.

Mike Matteo

Swim Instructor

Mike Matteo

Mike can't remember a time when he didn't know how to swim, but truth be told he was never really in love with it. In college, he ran track and was an all-conference decathlete. His passions changed when he took a lifeguard-training course; he quickly fell in love with swimming and was even drawn to compete in triathlons. In his summers off from teaching at a local elementary school, Mike has worked at South Philly's Murphy Recreation Center teaching swimming lessons to kids. He also enjoys working with adults, from absolute beginners to triathletes-in-training. Mike was born and raised in South Philadelphia, where he currently resides with his wife, Marissa, and daughter Violet.

Nate McManus

Swim Instructor

Nate McManus

Since the age of four, Nate has always had a curiosity in swimming and all things related to water. As a member of his local YMCA, Nate grew up with swim clubs and various other water activities which only sparked his interest even more.Not only was he apart of his high school swimming and diving team but his first job was being a lifeguard at his community recreation center. Throughout his six seasons at his community pool, Nate was promoted in teaching swim lessons daily to even eventually being a manager for the majority of his time at the local pool. In other positions, Nate has been a day camp counselor and overnight camp counselor for multiple summers with various age groups. And as of last May, Nate is a recent college graduate with a Bachelor's Degree, majoring in English and minoring in Education.

Ryan Natal

Swim Instructor

Ryan Natal

Swimming has always been a very important part of Ryan's life. He was introduced to the sport at a young age through a summer swim team in northern Virginia. As he grew older, he joined a club, swam for high school, and ultimately competed at the collegiate level. In addition to being an athlete, he has also held numerous coaching jobs. Currently, Ryan attends dental school at the University of Pennsylvania. Even with a very busy schedule, he still finds time to jump in the pool, as swimming is still a fundamental part of his life. He's very excited to share his passion for swimming with Fitness Alive swimmers!

Liz Omenitsch

Swim Instructor

Liz Omenitsch

Liz’s life has pretty much revolved around water. She swam competitively for her summer swim club in Bethesda, MD from ages 4-18. During the summer she would lifeguard and teach swim lessons to kids of all ages — and absolutely loved it! She also swam competitively for her high school for all four years. Although she didn’t competitively swim in college, you could be sure to find her swimming laps in the indoor pool at The University of Delaware. Currently, Liz is living in Center City Philadelphia with her fiancé, Joe, and is getting her yoga teacher certification. She is so excited to share her passion for the water with students of all ages at Fitness Alive!

Colin O'Neill

Swim Instructor

Kate Rial

Swim Instructor

Kate Rial

Kate jumped in the water when she was a small child and hasn’t looked back since. From ages 6-12 she swam competitively for the Lionville YMCA out in Chester County, and then at age 15 decided to obtain her lifeguard certification. From then on she lifeguarded every summer until she graduated college in 2013. During those summer months she taught swimming lessons and soon realized that it was something she wanted to take with her wherever she went. In 2015, she took a job at Wells International School in Bangkok, Thailand, as their primary school art teacher and swim team coach. She then decided to open up Little Swim in the heart of Bangkok and offered swimming lessons to children all over the city. Now back in Philly, she's thrilled to have found a swim home with Fitness Alive.

Heather Sassani

Swim Instructor

Heather Sassani

Since before she can remember, Heather spent her summers at Yeadon and then Folcroft Swim Clubs where she swam competitively on their swim teams. She basically lived in the water! Once she graduated from the swim team, Heather began conducting swim lessons and also served as the Assistant Swim Coach to the Folcroft Swim Team. Her favorite stroke is backstroke, but she definitely has come to love the butterfly as well. Now, Heather is a second grade teacher and tutor in South Philly, where she also does CrossFit and loves to travel. Heather is thrilled to begin offering swim lessons once again. She has a passion for working with children, but looks forward to expanding to swimmers of all ages!

Christy Snyder

Swim Instructor

Christy Snyder

Christy swam on her hometown pool’s club team from age 11 on, and was also a part of her high school's inaugural swim team. Christy taught lessons, coached, and guarded throughout her teenage and college years. She joined the Fitness Alive's Masters Swim class in 2017 and reunited with her love for water! Christy is excited to join the Fitness Alive team and can’t wait to work with students of all ages. Christy studied English at the University of South Carolina, and is earning a pastry arts degree from The Restaurant School. She works in publishing by day, and loves baking, writing, and traveling.

Olivia Snyder

Swim Instructor

Olivia Snyder

Originally from Sydney, Australia, Olivia has considered Philadelphia home since 2010. Growing up in Australia, Olivia has spent her entire life surrounded by water, from spending every spare moment at the beach as a child, to attending swim practices throughout her schooling days, to lifeguarding and participating in surf life-saving competitions on weekends, and, her favorite, sharing the gift of swimming with learners of all ages! Olivia has worked in all manner of disciplines of swim instruction and coaching for 18+ years. Olivia currently works as a Sports Massage Therapist, assisting the athletic community of Philadelphia with their performance goals and attending and participating in local events. Olivia enjoys putting her caring personality and valuable skills to use with everyone she works with!

Mallory Sullivan

Swim Instructor

Mallory Sullivan

Mallory has been a fish from the start! She's worked as a lifeguard for 7+ years at her hometown pool and at Temple University. She has given swim lessons for five years to students of all ages and abilities, and loves diving in with her students. Mallory also works in digital marketing, loves fitness, is a vocalist and plays the ukulele and bass guitar.

Badia Weeks

Swim Instructor

Sharon Zea Rincon

Swim Instructor

Sharon Zea Rincon

At the age of six, Sharon began swim lessons at her local YMCA pool; little did she know it would become a big part of her life. As a child she split her time between synchronized swim practice and the swim team. She continued swimming with the varsity swim team in high school, but when she found out about water polo she quickly joined the team and developed a passion for the sport. Her constant presence at the pool led to her being offered a job swim instructing at the summer day camp, which progressed into a year round job with SwimAmerica at her high school's indoor pool. She now is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Urban Studies. In her free time she’ll toss a ball around with her friends in the pool when she’s not doing homework.

OUR FITNESS INSTRUCTORS

Andrea Berger

amWrap Instructor

Josie Cuda

On the Top Instructor

Tracy Simmons

Resistance + Reps Instructor

 

OUR support staff

Becca Corosanite

Deck Supervisor
Fitness Alive South Philly

Kaitlyn Stone

Deck Supervisor
Fitness Alive South Philly

Chris Diaz

Deck Supervisor
Fitness Alive Center City

Sophia Mirza

Deck Supervisor
Fitness Alive Center City

Julius Mouser

Deck Supervisor
Fitness Alive Center City