Yoga Barre

This class is taught by:

Jillian Forster

Ever since she can remember, Jillian has been dancing. Growing up, she studied various dance styles such as tap, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, and character dance. Jillian then followed her passion and love for the arts to major in dance at Kent State University. There she was able to further her studies in dance adding in modern, post-modern, and African dance. Jillian now holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Education. In addition to her love for dance, Jill is also an avid yogi. She has studied various types of yoga such as Ashtanga, Power yoga, Baptiste Power Vinyasa, Hatha and Classic Hot Yoga. She has completed her 200-hour yoga teacher certification from Yoga on High in Columbus, OH.

Jillian is constantly looking to better her skills in dance, yoga, barre, and fitness by attending classes, workshops, and trainings. She holds numerous certifications and is always excited to learn more. Jillian is passionate about dance, yoga, fitness, and health and loves to share her passion with others through teaching and training. Her goal is to make each and every client, student, and friend who comes to her for a class or a training to feel better leaving the studio than when they came in.

Leigh Wakeford

Leigh Wakeford was born and raised in the beautiful “Mother City” of Cape Town, South Africa. Big dreams, and great aspirations led him to the lights of Broadway, where he has called Manhattan his home for the past 4 years. He thanks the hustle and bustle of New York City for sending him on a journey to find the peace, harmony and balance, that is essential to juggle a career based in uncertainty and a life surrounded by chaos. Yoga was the answer. “On my mat, I could shut out the noisy surroundings of the busy Metropolis, and silence the voices of doubt in my mind. Even if just for an hour a day, I found my solitude, my church.” His inevitable obsession with the Yoga lifestyle lead him to his mentors Stephanie Culen and Mindy Frenkl, under whose guidance Leigh completed his 200 hour RYT certification in December 2010.

Fast-forward to April 2012, Leigh finds himself in the City of Angels, having made a career transition from the stage to the silver screen. Committed to finding his “church” in his new home, enter Hot 8 Yoga, Nancy Norby and a new fitness concept known as “Yoga Barre”. Having been trained in all forms of dance for the past 10 years, this combination of ballet barre technique, yoga and heat opened Leigh’s mind and body to the endless benefits of merging his passion for dance, his primal need for yoga, and fascination with healthy living. An obsession was born. Leigh received his Yoga Barre certification through Hot 8 Yoga in May 2012.

“If you're ready to feel the passion, the heat, the music and the love...come join me. It's about finding balance, inside and out, and whether you're a guy, girl, young, or not so young... let’s embark on this journey together. For if I'm in that place of peace, love and light, in me as you are in yours - then we are ONE. Namaste, friends.“

Antwan Thomas

Born and raised In Jacksonville, FL, an only child, Antwans love and passion for the arts and athletics produced a super athlete with a flair for the creative. Nationally competing in Gymnastics, Springboard and Platform diving, Cheerleading and Martial Arts, health and fitness have always been a major part of his lifestyle. Having suffered knee and back injuries in his collegiate years, he was later introduced to yoga for rehabilitation. It was an instant connection " My body had never felt so energized and alive. It was a natural high I had never experienced". Working professionally in LA, ATL and MIA as a hip hop dancer/teacher/choreographer he attributes his longevity for both dance and athletics to this yoga practice! Knowing how and what this practice can do for not only your body but your spirit as well, led him to do his first teacher training of Yoga Barre this year with the incredible and incomparable Nancy Norby at Hot8yoga Studios. He is excited to embark on this new journey and chapter in life of teaching and healing lives, while having a GROOVY TIME!

Mariam Moghaddam

Mariam, a Pasadena native, began teaching dance fitness classes in 2002 at the renowned Anteater Recreational Center at UC Irvine, where she earned her Bachelors Degree.

Her belly dance fitness class not only was a hit amongst her college peers, but within the Orange County community as well. Mariam has been awarded for her format’s popularity and uniqueness, and in the process, has truly transformed the notion that belly dancing is only meant to be in the dance studio.

Mariam is also certified in various dance and cardio formats, most notably Zumba and Barre, and has taught for a few of the most prestigious fitness clubs in Seattle and San Francisco. With a strong passion for dance, 12+ years of experience in instructing, and a special appreciation for helping her clients build their pelvic floor, Mariam enjoys providing eclectic music, strong technique , and an upbeat attitude to all her classes.

Megan Strand

Megan is a certified Pilates instructor and Barre teacher.
As a young dancer Megan understood the necessity of mobility in the body and its importance to living a healthy life. After college Megan moved to Los Angeles where she obtained her classical Pilates certification through The Pilates Technique and later became Barre certified through Exhale Spa. She currently works fulltime as a fitness professional teaching group and private classes to a wide range of clientele including professional NBA and NFL athletes during their off season.
Megan’s fitness world extends past the classroom, she is also a brand ambassador for PUMA as one of their Los Angeles Team Faster trainers and for the activewear e-commerce site Carbon38.
“I am a firm believer that exercise saves lives. I am grateful to have the platform to share my love of movement with each and every person who comes to my class. My classes are fun, challenging and sweaty! I want everyone to leave feeling stronger and more capable than when they walked in.”

Samantha Rabon

Originally from Capetown, South Africa, Sam grew up in Sydney, Australia. At 18 she accepted her first dance gig in Japan, which then launched her into her journey as a professional dancer around Europe. During the next 12 years, she made the ascent as a “showgirl” at the Moulin Rouge in Paris, eventually becoming a soloist dancer.

The grueling demands of dancing and full time performing led to inevitable injures. She discovered Pilates as part of her rehabilitation and was impressed with the benefits, thus her passion for health and fitness was born. By 2007, she had started a family and by 2009 had received certification in Pilates, Barre, TRX and nutrition.

Eager to share her newfound passions, she began her teaching career. After moving to LA in 2012 with her Husband, 2 boys and 2 dogs, Sam successfully owned and sold a boutique fitness studio in West Hollywood within the first 2 years she was here. It was in this environment where her true passion evolved.

Sam honestly cares about everyone she meets, creating an inspiring community in her classes with her infectious vibe, she educates her clients with correct alignment, tailoring their workouts for their individual needs. She teaches a killer cardio class all fused together with delicious beats to keep your body on point. I cannot wait to create magic in class with everyone at Hot 8 Yoga.

Marxel Leobez

Marxel’s edge as a Yoga instructor is his ingenious fusion of multiple fitness techniques within a power vinyasa flow. Parlayed with an intense and engaging persona, his class is an addictive experience that although challenging will keep you coming back for more.

And its this, “ addictive experience,” that has given him a diverse following in Los Angeles from professional athletes, dancers, fitness enthusiast and the Hollywood elite.

Born and raised in southern CA Marxel grew up playing several competitive sports. Physical fitness had always been a facet of his life. Educated at an Ivy-League ( Cornell University) Marxel began his journey of being a transcontinental citizen through his NY, LA and European living experiences. His discovery of yoga came during these travels as a mishap...but was a life changing experience. By his completion of college he had already completed a BA, MA and a 500-RYT training. He relocated to Los Angeles to follow is dream and passion for the arts and Yoga soon after.

“The Highlight of what I do as a yoga and fitness instructor is helping someone find a new connection and awareness with their body. The beautiful thing is that new connections happen all the time within class or private sessions. Seeing my students grow, seeing them build their own personal practice, seeing them find satisfaction with what their body is capable of doing and achieving…is the most bitchen’ part of my job. Its an honor to be a part of their transformation as my students find their true pontential and edge. Get ready to sweat”

Carly Lind

Carly has been dancing and bopping around ever since she can remember. After dancing all her life she decided to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston, for voice, to explore her other talents. She then made her way out to Los Angeles to pursue a career in performance, where she didn’t know anyone. Walking into a yoga studio and signing up for a one month unlimited at Hot 8 Yoga is where it all began, and has not stopped since. It was yoga that kept her going and it soon became a lifestyle. Taking anything from Hot Yoga to Yoga Sculpt, it is not wonder she stumbled upon Yoga Barre, a mix between Yoga, Dance, and Pilates. After training with Nancy Norby and Natasha Needles. she went on to teach. She is so passionate about Yoga Barre, seeing results immediately and wishing to bring that joy and change to anyone and everyone who will listen!

Briana DeFalco

My fascination for the body and movement began at a very young age when I started my training in New York City at the School of American Ballet to become a professional ballerina. I became reliant on self-discipline and dedication in order to achieve my dreams. Feeling the pressure of such a competitive atmosphere, I turned to yoga in hopes to find a balance. It was then, at the end of my very first yoga practice that the instructor had us chant ‘OM’. In that moment, I could feel my body not only absorbing the yoga but for the first time ever, I felt a sense of inner peace and calm rush throughout my body. After that I was totally hooked, I began practicing hot yoga regularly incorporating it into my everyday routine while I continued to pursue my dance career. After becoming a professional ballerina and dancing with some of the best ballet and contemporary ballet companies in the country, I found myself with multiple injuries. I noticed that the more I immersed myself in my yoga practice, the quicker I was able to heal and regain my strength back from injury. I was really in awe and inspired by the yoga and what it had done for my body that I decided I wanted to deepen my practice.

I moved to California in September 2012 and set a goal to spend an entire year educating myself on the body, injury prevention and my yoga practice. Yearning to nourish my desire to learn more about yoga and how to instruct others, I signed up for the 200-hour Hot Yoga teacher training at Hot 8 Yoga under the guidance of Deanna Ainsworth. I learned yoga was so much more than just a physical practice but the compassion, acceptance and mental focus cultivated in class were powerful tools that would help me in my everyday life. After that I knew I wanted to educate myself further and became certified in my favorite class, Yoga Barre! I signed up for the Yoga Barre teacher training under Nancy Norby. This was an absolute perfect fit for me; harmoniously combining both yoga and dance in a fun yet very challenging class.

The opportunity to teach and share my passion for yoga is one of the most fulfilling opportunities I have endured thus far. I strive to help guide and heal other yogis toward mind, body, and spiritual awareness. I am humbled and honored by the power of yoga and dedicate myself to passing that on.

I'm currently the Yoga Director in Beverly Hills and I'm so excited and grateful to be apart of the community here! I teach Yoga Barre every Monday/Wednesday at 5:45 pm and Tuesday/Thursday 4:30 pm! 

Karen Pascual

I was first introduced to yoga in college, but didn’t get involved and more consistent in my practice until 2012. I was going through a transition period in my life and found yoga to be my salvation, I was going every day consistently when the studio I was attending was having their first yoga training, in which I completed my 200hr RYT through Yoga Alliance. From there I gained a ybarre and basic mat pilates certification and have been teaching these styles along with Vinyasa base yoga since. What you can expect in my class is emphasis on alignment, lots of high energy, and embracing that fire within! I fell in love with yoga because of how versatile it can be, and especially the incorporation of a mental, physical, and spiritual practice. Whether young, old, injured, unfamiliar or advanced- yoga addresses a variety of aspects one may be seeking for. Yoga takes you as you are, whole heartedly, and teaches the yogi to do the same. I want my students to have fun in my class, whatever level they may be, to explore their potential and progress past their limits. When incorporating barre/scuplt movements, there is an added high pace ambiance for those looking to condition themselves further by building strength and endurance. Let’s breathe, smile, and sweat!

Laura Pawel

Laura is originally from Cherry Hill, New Jersey. At the young age of 3, she was put into gymnastics classes and immediately a spark for fitness was ignited. By the age of 14, she was commuting into Philadelphia to train in modern dance and ballet where she performed alongside a professional company. Laura graduated cum laude from The Boston Conservatory at Berklee where she received a BFA in Contemporary Dance Performance with an emphasis in Pedagogy. In addition to dance, Laura also has a passion for Circus Arts and trained handbalancing pre-professionally in Boston.
After graduating in 2015, Laura moved to Los Angeles in hopes of discovering where her true path led (and also for the lovely weather of course!) Yoga has always been a part of her life whether it’s been manifested through cross training, mental detoxification, or the need to bring movement to her body that day. From the moment she walked through the doors of Hot 8 Yoga, she knew that she had found her new home. Laura completed her Yoga Barre certification in 2016 under the guidance of Nancy Norby, Deanna Ainsworth, and mentor, Briana DeFalco. She is so thankful to have found a place that resonates so deeply with her personal beliefs.
Through her classes, Laura aims to enlighten, encourage, and connect with each one of her students. She uses her deep passion for music to create playlists that drive the class forward and stimulate her students to persevere. By the end of class, Laura hopes to have instilled within her students a newfound respect for his or her body and just how far you can push yourself. We all hold so much more power than we are aware of.


Ava Moreno

Ava Moreno entered the yoga and fitness community through her first love: dance. She began her dance training as a toddler, training in all forms of dance. After having struggled with a severe eating disorder when she began her professional dance career at age 16, Ava found Colleen Quinn, an incredible mentor and inspiration to her through the form of a personal trainer. Ava has also struggled with several injuries in dance due to her hypermobility, including a medial patellofemoral ligament knee reconstruction at age 20, leading her to look into deeper ways of understanding and helping her body. Although Ava had first been introduced to yoga at age 11 through dance, it was not until she entered recovery from her eating disorder that she began practicing regularly, discovering the peace, focus, and stability--both physically and mentally--it brought her. Throughout her recovery, Ava studied nutrition and began to explore the yoga, fitness, and wellness world.

Inspired by her trainer, Colleen, Ava went on to receive her personal training certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Shortly after, at the age of 20, she completed her RYT 200-hour yoga teacher training with David Vendetti and Todd Skoglund of South Boston Yoga in 2014. Her training certified her through Yoga Alliance in vinyasa, restorative, and prenatal yoga. Ava is passionate about helping others find their own physical, mental, and emotional strength through physical movement. Yoga and personal training are her methods of doing so, with her background and current career in dance as an advantage. Ava is always eager to learn more from those around her, including her clients and students. She understands that each student and client has a different body, with a different structure, which affects not only movement and range of motion, but also the movement pathways the body takes. Ava’s philosophy for her teaching and training is to recognize and tap into your own individual needs as a student to be able to find a balance of push and pull, challenge and ease, and growth and grounding.

Ava moved to Los Angeles in March 2016 to pursue her passions of dance, yoga and fitness. When she found Hot 8 Yoga and her incredible mentors Jonatan Silva and Briana DeFalco, she knew she knew she found the perfect environment to blend her worlds and reach others at the same time. Ava is thrilled and humbled to be working with and along side such inspiring teachers and students, and is excited to share her passion in the studio!


Jessica Cipperly

When Jessica moved to California in 2012, she was searching for something to be a part of. All it took was one barre class at Hot 8 Yoga and she was hooked. It was everything she wanted in a workout and the warmth and kindness of the people in the studio just drew her in more. When the chance to take Nancy's Barre teacher training presented itself, she knew she had to do it. Not only has this studio changed her body for the better, it has also changed her soul. She hopes to instill these same positive changes in those she teaches. As an architect by trade, Jessica has a passion for form, function, and beauty. She brings this passion to her classes helping to shape the building blocks of the body with flow, movement, and most of all... fun!

When not in the the studio or designing buildings Jessica can be found backpacking through the mountains or exploring the world, absorbing as much beauty, nature, different cultures and new experiences that she can.

Stephanie Ertl

Meet Stephanie!
Stephanie grew up in Sacramento, CA where she started her swim career at the age of 6 years old. Since then, she has found her way down to southern California where she competed on the Swim/Dive team at Pepperdine University as well as earned her degree in Sports Medicine. Even after graduation, Stephanie still finds herself in the water; this time on the beach as an LA County Lifeguard. She is also continuing her education and is aspiring to become a Doctor of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine.

Among swimming and her studies in medicine, Stephanie, 1. Loves to workout and 2. Loves to DANCE! She became passionate for Yoga Barre once she saw how this class was able to combine the two together. Since starting her practice, Stephanie has seen improvement on her allover athletic performance and a transformation in her physique. Stephanie received her Yoga Barre teacher training certification with Nancy Norby. Stephanie’s Barre classes are filled with fun and energetic music that makes you want to move that body. So get ready to move to the beat of the music!

Devon Riesenbeck

Devon has been dancing since a very young age. After graduating from University of Cincinnati's College Conservatory of Music with a BFA in Ballet, Devon moved across the country to explore dancing in Los Angeles. She discovered Yoga Barre as a supplement to her dance training but quickly fell in love with the combination of dance conditioning, yoga, and pilates. Devon is so excited to be a part of the Hot8Yoga community! Through her classes she wants to help others center their minds, strengthen their body from the inside out, and have fun!

Bailey Kai Brietzke

Bailey has been calling Los Angeles home since 2012. She discovered yoga in her teens when she stepped away from gymnastics and competitive cheerleading and needed something to supplement her love of movement. Having studied music her entire life, she found herself particularly drawn to the Barre style at Hot 8, because it incorporated music so heavily. She completed her Yoga Barre Teacher Training under Nancy Norby in Oct 2016.

Anna Schwaber

Anna Bek wants us all to feel bright with vitality. She creates each of her classes as a collective experience with an emphasis on the cathartic release, breathwork, music and flow. The barre and sculpt classes are high-energy and guaranteed to make you work until you feel strong both inside and out. Her power yoga and yin yoga classes are geared towards building inner and outer awareness, strengthening foundations, and going deeper. She assures she will work and stretch both your mind and your body so you can feel ready for seated meditation. She is an RYT-200 yoga teacher with barre, yin, and mat pilates certifications. She is originally from Nashville, TN but lives in Venice, CA.
Hot Yoga Barre is a dynamic fusion of yoga, body sculpting, barre work, and non-impact cardio designed for developing long and lean muscles. This hour-long class is packed with toning exercise that sculpt the buttocks, abdominals, thighs, and arms. The class is filled with strengthening postures at the barre working legs and abdominals fused with yoga postures on the mat to release and lengthen from the barre work. It will also improve your posture and form a sculpted physique. Hot Yoga Barre is an intermediate level class practice in a room heated to 104-109 degrees.

Upcoming classes:

  • Thu Apr 27 6:30 am - 7:30 am with Jillian Forster
    at Manhattan Beach
  • Thu Apr 27 8:00 am - 9:00 am with Leigh Wakeford
    at Santa Monica
  • Thu Apr 27 8:00 am - 9:00 am with Antwan Thomas
    at Beverly Hills
  • Thu Apr 27 8:30 am - 9:30 am with Mariam Moghaddam
    at Pasadena
  • Thu Apr 27 9:30 am - 10:30 am with Megan Strand
    at Sherman Oaks
  • Thu Apr 27 9:30 am - 10:30 am with Samantha Rabon
    at Beverly Hills
  • Thu Apr 27 10:30 am - 11:30 am with Marxel Leobez
    at Santa Monica
  • Thu Apr 27 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm with Carly Lind
    at Sherman Oaks
  • Thu Apr 27 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm with Briana DeFalco
    at Beverly Hills
  • Thu Apr 27 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm with Karen Pascual
    at Sherman Oaks
  • Thu Apr 27 5:45 pm - 6:45 pm with Laura Pawel
    at Pasadena
  • Thu Apr 27 5:45 pm - 6:45 pm with Ava Moreno
    at Beverly Hills
  • Thu Apr 27 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm with Jessica Cipperly
    at Santa Monica
  • Thu Apr 27 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm with Antwan Thomas
    at Sherman Oaks
  • Thu Apr 27 8:15 pm - 9:15 pm with Stephanie Ertl
    at Manhattan Beach
  • Thu Apr 27 8:15 pm - 9:15 pm with Devon Riesenbeck
    at Beverly Hills
  • Fri Apr 28 6:00 am - 7:00 am with Laura Pawel
    at Sherman Oaks
  • Fri Apr 28 6:15 am - 7:15 am with Bailey Kai Brietzke
    at Beverly Hills
  • Fri Apr 28 6:30 am - 7:30 am with Anna Schwaber
    at Santa Monica
  • Fri Apr 28 8:00 am - 9:00 am with Devon Riesenbeck
    at Beverly Hills