Balance for Life Fitness Center

Meet the Trainers

 

 

Julie Gronquist - Owner

Certified Personal Trainer/ACE Master Trainer/ Pilates Instructor/Massage Therapist

Julie Gronquist received her B.S. in Kinesiology with a minor in Coaching and Nutrition from the University of Minnesota. She started out in the fitness industry in 1993 teaching group fitness classes and is certified through ACE (American Council on Exercise) as a Group Fitness Instructor. Shortly after her group experience, Julie became certified through ACE as a Personal Trainer and ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) "The gold standard of certifications" as a health fitness instructor and started to work one-on-one with individuals . Because she wanted to work with wide variety of clients, Julie also became certified from Healthy Expectations as a Pre/Post Natal Specialist and received a certification from AAHFP (American Academy of Health Fitness Professionals) in Post Rehabilitation. Julie is also trained in the STOTT® Conditioning Method of Pilates. In addition, she attended the Massage Therapy program at Sister Rosalind's in St Paul and received specialized training in Neuromuscular Therapy through St John's.

Julie has worked at a variety of facilities from large chain health clubs to a small independently owned clubs as both a personal trainer and manager. Because of her diverse background, Julie is able to work with a wide variety of clients. She specializes in assisting clients with weight loss and post rehabilitation of injuries. She encourages her clients to recognize where they are starting from, and assists them to set realistic goals and reach them with education, motivation, and positive reinforcement.

Julie Gronquist opened up Balance for Life Fitness Center® in 2000. Her goal was to create a comfortable, non-competitive atmosphere for clients to achieve their goals. Balance for Life is a private studio which allows each client to focus on their workout with no distractions. She seeks to hire the best staff in the Twin Cities to ensure each client gets the most out of each and every session or class.

 

 

 

Sandra S

Certified Personal Trainer/Pilates/Yoga Instructor

Sandra holds a B.S. in Nutrition and is a Fitness Specialist and Nutrition Educator. She has been a Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Yoga Instructor and Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant for many years.  Sandra is also Certified in Fascial Stretch Therapy.  She specializes in helping individuals set and meet realistic health and fitness goals.

Sandra also leads courses with Pilates Trainers, Personal Trainers and Fitness Instructors to further develop their skills in the fitness field. Her workshops and lectures for clients cover a wide range of topics that all include the value of good nutrition and moderate exercise.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Julia S

Certified Pilates Instructor

Julia is a native of St. Paul, joined Balance For Life in 2011 following a full dance and theatre career on local stages.  She attempted Pilates while looking at a manual back in the 80’s but struggled with the breathing component and it wasn’t until a back injury brought her to a physical therapist that introduced Pilates exercises that worked wonders and Julia became an avid follower ever since.  

Continuing her Pilates program into the new millennium, training on the reformer, Julia was able to dance well beyond the years “allotted’ for dancers and thus decided that teaching others the wonders of Pilates was an opportunity to “give back”, began her new career as an Instructor of Pilates.  Julia is STOTT Certified in Mat and Reformer and has completed training in other equipment such as Chair and Barrels, Injuries and Special Populations, Barre Intro and is eager to continue educating herself on useful modalities that incorporate the principles of Pilates and challenge clients.  Julia has applied her knowledge and worked with clients that have been able to find relief and stronger bodies from young to mature, enjoys taking them on their journey and is delighted when they can walk out the door feeling de-stressed, stabilized, stronger and sensitive to their body mechanics.

Julia enjoys spending time with her family and friends at the lake, co-hosting dinners for large gatherings, gardening, cross country skiing and breathing in the good air.

 

 


Carrie R

Certified Personal Trainer/Pilates/Yoga Instructor

Carrie is a Certified Stott Pilates Instructor, NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Yoga Instructor. Carrie started practicing Yoga and Pilates many years ago as a way to reduce stress and create balance in her life.  Carrie has added certifications in Kettlebell and TRX® Training. 
Carrie also holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota. She also spent six years in the Army National Guard and is a Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. 
Carrie continues to expand her fitness education by attending education workshops and completing certification courses. 
In her free time Carrie enjoys hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, running, home improvement projects, gardening and (of course) spending time with her family. 

 

 

 

 

Kandace G

Certified Yoga Instructor/Certified Pilates Instructor/Total Barre Instructor/Certified Personal Trainer

Kandace has always had a passion for movement and teaching. Kandace has been dancing since three years old. She studied dance throughout high school at Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists and college where she received her BFA in Dance from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.  Today, Kandace combines her passion for movement and teaching through fitness.
Kandace is a fully certified STOTT Pilates Instructor, ACE Personal Trainer, Total Barre Instructor, and Yoga Instructor through the Yoga Center of Minneapolis.
Kandace’s versatile background allows her to meet each individual where they’re at. She enjoys getting to know her clients, so she can create appropriate and effective health and fitness plans. She uses a blend of Yoga, Pilates, functional strength training, meditation and breath practices to address the necessary areas in the minds and bodies of her clients to create more balance in their lives.
It is Kandace’s goal to inspire her clients and make a positive difference in their lives as they experience the wonderful healing powers of movement!


 

 

 

Sherry T

Certified Pilates Instructor

Throughout Sherry’s life she has been involved in many forms of physical movement from jazz dance, ballet, Middle Eastern dance to weight training with a Minnesota top female competitive body builder.   Sherry discovered Balance for Life Fitness studio in 2010, and developed a deeper passion for fitness as a result of the knowledgeable instructors and welcoming studio atmosphere.  She became dedicated to the practice of STOTT Pilates over the past 3 years.  

She fell in love with the repertoire of movements and the positive way it challenged her physically and mentally.  After experiencing personal success with Pilates in strengthening, conditioning and moving beyond body pain physical limitations she was inspired to become an instructor herself and she completed the extensive STOTT PILATES Comprehensive Matwork and Reformer training.  She has also received training in working with client with injuries and is trained from STOTT in ISP (Injuries and Special Populations).  Sherry is also trained in the Cadillac, a pilates apparatus.  She has completed Anatomy in 3D, a Barre Training Intro, and a workshop in working with clients with cancer.  She continues to expand her knowledge of pilates to be able to deepen her clients experience.  With Sherry’s kind demeanor she hopes to inspire clients of all ages on the benefits of Pilates.

 

 

 

Madeline S

Certified Pilates Instructor

Originally from San Diego, CA, Madeline began studying ballet at age 4. At 16 she moved to Philadelphia, PA to train at The Rock School for Dance Education, and from there her professional ballet career took her to North Carolina and New York City. Madeline took her first Pilates class at the age of 16 while studying at the School of American Ballet in NYC, and fell in love. As a professional ballet dancer she always practiced Pilates on her own to cross train, and decided to dive deep into the Pilates Method and become a certified instructor.
Madeline studied under Lawson Harris and Michael Feigin at The Fitness Guru in Brooklyn, NY, and completed a comprehensive Mat certification and a 600-hour apparatus certification, becoming well versed on the Pilates Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, and Ladder Barrel. Pilates completely changed her dancing for the better, and she loves helping her clients learn the benefits of Pilates. Madeline brings her passion for movement and knowledge to each Pilates session, keeping her clients interested, challenged, and always having fun. Madeline taught mat and private Pilates in New York City before moving to Minneapolis.

 

 

 

Rachel K

Certified Personal Trainer /Dietetic Technician, Registered

Rachel holds fitness and nutrition as core values in her daily life.  She is a Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and is also a certified Dietetic Technician.  Beginning at a young age, she has enjoyed staying active through sports, running, weight training, hiking, canoeing and yoga.  After earning her B.A. in Geography from Gustavus Adolphus College, Rachel worked in the water resources field before she decided to begin a career focused on her passion for health and nutrition. She then pursued her degree in Dietetic Technology and became Certified as a Personal Trainer.  She loves helping others learn to incorporate fitness and good nutrition into their everyday lives.  

“Everything in moderation” is a good description of her nutrition coaching philosophy.   Rachel enjoys designing personalized workouts that are fun and keep you coming back for more!   

Outside of Balance for Life Rachel spends most of her time with her daughter and husband in St. Paul going for walks together, gardening, and planning the next home improvement project.

 

 

 

Anne K

Certified Pilates Instructor

Anne has a Full STOTT PILATES Certification and is a Qualified CORE, Total Barre, and TRX Instructor and brings energy and challenge into every session or class she teaches.  She has an Associates’ Degree in both Business Management and Accounting and worked 20+ years in the Bank Management, Sales, and Operations Industry.

“It was a car accident 7 years ago, when I almost lost my life, which spiked my awareness to Pilates and how it can help rehab your body and live a pain-free life.  This life-changing event opened my eyes and helped me make a decision to leave the world of numbers to focus on my passion of helping clients uncover the incredible way to improve body alignment, posture, and overall strength.   Anne works with all levels of clients, specializing in post rehabilitation from injuries or joint replacement, athletes looking to improve their core strength and performance, and clients that want to gain strength and flexibility.  “I love to be a part of each client’s success by challenging and watching their bodies change while accomplishing an exercise they never thought they could do.” 

 


 

 

 

 

Lauren L

Certified Personal Trainer

Lauren grew up doing competitive gymnastics and soccer, and has always loved exercise and sports.  Her career began with coaching gymnastics, she has 10 years of experience coaching gymnastics, with 8 years at the competitive level.  Through coaching Lauren’s had the opportunity to work with advanced athletes who have collegiate goals, as well as young kids who are just starting out. 

Lauren wanted to also work with adults that were looking to adopt a healthy lifestyle so she went on to earn an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts and two Certifications from The American Council on Exercise (ACE) Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor.  She enjoys working with both one-on-one creating a customized plans for individuals as well as teaching small groups.  Lauren has taught a variety of class formats and always strives to give each participant a great workout.  She believes in a healthy lifestyle, and that exercise should be fun and tries to infuse fun into each session and class.

 

 

 

 

Julie Mae W

Certified Pilates Instructor/Certified Personal Trainer


Julie Mae earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Metropolitan State University.  She is both a NASM™ Certified Personal Trainer and a STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor.  She has had additional training in working with clients with injuries and has completed the STOTT PILATES® Injuries and Special Populations (ISP)® coursework.   

Julie Mae enjoys building relationships with clients so she can best support them in accomplishing their wellness goals. She has been a life-long exerciser and has a passion for assisting clients with their overall well-being and challenges clients to work hard so they can have the reward of seeing their bodies change while accomplishing things they never thought their bodies were capable of doing. 

Julie Mae keeps clients going by finding the right combination of exercises, inspiration and motivation.  With focus and commitment, clients of all fitness levels can improve their strength, endurance, balance, flexibility, body awareness and reach their goals.

Julie Mae's motto:  "Enjoy where you're at on the way to where you're going!"

 

 

Tami E

Certified Personal Trainer

Tami worked for many years in an office utilizing her accounting degree but just wasn’t passionate about what she was doing and was feeling restless with the inactivity of sitting at a desk.  She decided to start on a new career path and pursued her passion of fitness and went back to school to earn an A.A.S degree in Personal Training from St Paul College and also earned her NASM Personal Trainer certification.  She began working in the fitness industry in 2008.  She has worked in a variety of settings including a trainer and group class instructor at a chiropractor wellness office and in a large chain health club but truly prefers a small atmosphere like Balance for Life where she can truly concentrate on each client and their individual goals.    

She enjoys learning about each client’s goals and needs so she can better educate, motivate and help them reach beyond their fitness & nutrition goals.  Her goals as a trainer/coach are to inspire, educate and motivate by making workouts fun with a variety of exercises and challenging each client to work hard and encourages clients with positive reinforcement.  

Tami wants to be a great example to clients and is always challenging her mind and body to new extremes.  From running 5k's to marathons, free weight/ core stability training and more.

Tami continues to expand her fitness and nutrition education by attending education workshops and completing additional certifications.  She loves learning new things to pass onto clients.

 

 

 

 

Katie M

Certified Pilates Instructor

Katie is a Certified STOTT Pilates Instructor in both mat and reformer.  She has a B.S. in Exercise Science from the University of St. Thomas. In the exercise and fitness industry, Katie has been both a competitive soccer player and a youth soccer coach. She starting practicing Pilates a couple years ago while rehabbing a torn ACL and noticed how well it complimented her physical therapy. She fell in love with the emphasis on bio mechanics and muscle strengthening of the STOTT Pilates exercises, along with its ability to bring balance and serenity into her life.

Katie is also continuing her education at Anoka-Ramsey Community College in the Physical Therapist Assistant program. Katie enjoys analyzing the anatomy and physiology of the human body while in motion and through exercise.

Katie’s applies her knowledge of physical therapy,kinesiology and exercise science to create a safe, stable, and pleasant environment while enlightening clients on essential body mechanics to enhance their health and well-being.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geo C

Certified Personal Trainer

 

Geo grew up playing hockey & volleyball, running track and rowing on the canal. She remained active into her adult life until she was challenged with but fully recovered from back issues and a partial knee replacement. Through this experience she realized how important it is to maintain a balanced workout routine and became an ACE Certified Personal Trainer so she can teach others. She believes in promoting safe functional training to help her clients live an active lifestyle without injury. She motivates and challenges her clients to find time to fit fitness into their busy schedules.

Geo has many tools in her tool belt and is qualified to teach TRX, BOSU, Kettlebell, Kickboxing, Barre, Tabata Bootcamp and Foam Roller. The learning process is never ending so don't be surprised when she brings something new your way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geralyn E

Certified Pilates Instructor

Geralyn is a STOTT PILATES Trainer for Level 1 & 2, in both Mat and Reformer repertoires. She has an Associates’ Degree in Business Management and Administration. She has worked in Sales and Operations, starting in the family Business; Eichten’s Cheese and Bison, since she was 12.

She started practicing Pilates 5+ years ago, at Balance for Life, while rehabilitating her own body from childhood injuries, a car accident and various jobs. She realized how well it complimented the other things she was doing and was amazed at how well it corrected and improved the body’s alignment, core strength, flexibility, & posture. She fell in love with the Pilates repertoire and practices it daily. 

After 25 years of working in the business world, Geralyn decided she wanted to share what made such a difference in her “daily” life with others and she went through the extensive training to become a Certified Pilates Instructor.  


Geralyn enjoys working with and helping clients learn, feel & experience the benefits of Pilates.  She brings energy and challenge into every session or class she teaches.  She focuses on getting to know each client, set goals and to build the right combination of exercises to meet those personal goals. While improving body alignment, posture, flexibility and overall strength. Which ultimately leads to obtaining and maintaining a healthy life style for years to come. 

 

 

Dawn W

Certified Personal Trainer

Dawn believes in the importance of leading a balanced life of family, work, exercise and activity. As a Certified Personal Trainer, NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), she brings this perspective to others by developing approaches to infuse more activity and strength building – at the training session and beyond – into one’s daily life.


Making activity and an exercise a part of life is very personal for Dawn. For most of her life, she struggled with maintaining a healthy weight. That was until 15 years ago when she lost 120 pounds by committing to a goal to live healthy and following through on that commitment. She notes it wasn’t easy and she didn’t travel the journey alone. 


This is why Dawn embarked on a journey to expand her own knowledge and practice of fitness. Dawn enjoys sharing her knowledge, energy and passion to help others know the value and experience the joy of living more active and healthier lives.   She has acquired an arsenal of workout routines and exercises to help clients achieve specific goals. To keep workouts interesting, challenging and fun, she incorporates a variety of modalities and body-weight exercises. She also believes in the importance of setting goals and celebrating successes – no matter how small or how big – to help stay motivated and committed. As a believer in setting and achieving goals, Dawn has completed the Twin Cities Marathon and 5K and 10K runs, and completed long-distance charitable bike rides.

To keep that life balance, Dawn enjoys biking the miles of trails in the Twin Cities, jogging and walking, gardening, and attending classes such as spinning and circuit training. She also holds a Master of Arts in Business Communication from the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) and worked for years in the consulting industry. 

 

 

Lacie L

Certified Yoga Instructor

Yoga is experiencing the connection between the body, the breath, and the mind.  When Lacie walked into a yoga class and felt this for the first time, she was instantly hooked.  Since, she has been an avid student for years and has taken yoga classes in a variety of styles.  She wanted to share her passion with others and received her 230-RYT, Yoga Alliance Certification.  She was trained at the Yoga Center of Minneapolis.  She teaches Hatha, Vinyasa, and Yin Yoga.  Lacie’s style has a focus on alignment with flowing sequences that open and strengthen the body.    She focus on each student, helping them to safely and mindfully create openness and grounding in their body and in their yoga practice.  She creates a safe space for meditation and exploration, in the hopes that students leave feeling refreshed and present as they walk back into their daily lives.

 

 

 

 

 

Elisabeth P

Certified Yoga Instructor

RYT200
Curvy Yoga Certified
Yoga for Cancer Care

Elisabeth's goal as an instructor is to create a safe, supported, body positive environment for students of all shapes, sizes and abilities. She loves inviting people who are new to yoga practice to explore all of the myriad of benefits that yoga offers.

She began practicing yoga in her early 40s in a larger and inflexible body, and quickly learned she needed to adapt poses to work for her body.  Realizing that she was not the only person with a round body, short arms and tight hamstrings who could benefit from a supported practice she went to Nashville TN to study with Anna Guest- Jelley and became certified as a Curvy Yoga Instructor.

Elisabeth teaches Vinyasa, gentle flow, Curvy Yoga, and Yoga for Cancer Care.  In addition to focusing on safe, supported alignment, she also incorporates breath work, and stillness to each class, helping students to center and ground themselves and to find balance in their life, both on and off the mat.

 Elisabeth enjoys working one on one in private Yoga sessions, working together to meet student's specific goals and needs.  Private sessions are a great way to start a yoga practice that tailors individual modifications for each student and allows for a comfortable transition into classes.

 

 

 

Lori L

Certified Pilates Instructor

Lori is a Pilates and movement teacher with over 20 years’ experience. She is a singer, dancer, choreographer and holistic health coach. She danced with Martha Graham from 1980-1984 and studied classical Pilates with master teachers Romana Krysnowska, Kathy Grant, Michelle Larsson and Mary Boveen. She completed her Pilates teacher training in 1996 at the Pilates Center in Boulder Colorado. She studied nutrition with the Institute of Integrative nutrition and completed her holistic health coaching certification in 2012. She is an animal lover, gardener and avid equestrian and competes in dressage competition with her horse, Prince.

 

“My dearest passion is helping others achieve wellness, balance, and vibrant health.”

 

 

 

 

Angela B

Certified Yoga Instructor


Angela started her yoga journey over ten years ago when she took her first class in Vermont. She fell in
love with the peace and calmness that set in after every class. No matter what is happening in life, there
is a calm, safe place within the four corners of the mat. While in Korea, she taught morning yoga classes
to middle school students and saw the change in energy from the beginning of class to the end. Angela
completed her 230-hour yoga teaching program through the Yoga Center of Minneapolis. She teaches
vinyasa, restorative, and hatha. Angela encourages her students to work with the body of the day and to
honor what the body needs in each moment.

 

 

 

 

 



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Massage Therapist's Bios

Customer Service Reps


Julie Gronquist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandra S

 

 

 

 

 

Julia S

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie R

 

 

 

 

Kandace G

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sherry T

 

 

 

 

Madeline S

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rachel K

 

 

 

Anne K

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lauren L

 

 

 

Julie Mae W

 

 

 

 

Tami E

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katie M

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geo C

 

 

 

 

Geralyn E

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dawn W

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lacie L

 

 

 

 

Elisabeth P

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lori L

 

 

 

 

 

Angela B