Meet the Instructors

Doug Peters

I have been teaching classes for over 20 years in Portage and Madison. Certifications include TRX trainer and TRX Group Fitness Instructor, ICG Cycling, and Spinning. It's always about helping each individual in a class improve incrementally, regardless of fitness level. You only get to be your best one day in your life but you can be a little better today than you were yesterday, every day. Ski Patrol at Cascade for 32 years, love to travel, the outdoors and SCUBA Diving. Peggy and I have four grandkids who totally ROCK!

Joli Guenther

Joli is a Certified Personal Trainer (National Academy of Sports Medicine) providing fitness and yoga instruction since 2005. She holds a 200 hour Yoga Certification (Inner Fire Yoga) and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Masters of Science in Social Work, Mental Health Specialization (UW Madison). Additional Certifications include: Les Mills: BODYPUMP; Matrix MX 4, Matrix Coach by Color; SCW Barre; and Yoga Trapeze. She has completed over 15 years of continuing education related to yoga, meditation and pranayama, strength training (including Powerlifting and Olympic style Weightlifting), CrossFit, Spinning, nutrition, anatomy, sports medicine, and fitness training for specialized populations (including seniors and youth) and has provided seminars, blogs, and personal instruction in national and international corporate and retreat settings. Joli runs a non-profit corporation working to prevent and end youth homelessness in Wisconsin. She volunteers on the Columbia County Sheriff s Dive Rescue Team as a Training Officer, Dive Master, and Public Safety Rescue and Recovery Diver.

Emily Neef

Emily is thrilled to be instructing at La Vita! She has been teaching Zumba in the Portage, Pardeeville, and Rio areas for over 10 years and finds much joy in dancing to great music and engaging with every smiling face in the class. Emily has traveled the U.S. to study with world renowned Zumba instructors, but has found the greatest inspiration from her friend and mentor, La Vita's own Kari Langkamp. Emily's passion for Zumba was discovered after her first career as a classically trained violinist and Suzuki instructor was already underway. She studied Suzuki Talent Education at UW Stevens Point, established her own business, and has had an extensive career as a violin instructor in this area for the last 24 years. With an obvious passion for teaching, Emily is so pleased to be homeschooling her two boys, Graham (8) and Sawyer (4). She and her husband of 18 years share a love for camping and discovering new bodies of water on their kayaks.

Erin Walton

I love doing Essentrics and am excited to bring it to the La Vita community. I also teach it three mornings a week in Cambria, WI. Essentrics is a delightful full body workout that rebalances muscles, improves posture, and lengthens and strengthens you, leaving you refreshed and more mobile. I am a teacher and helper at heart, enjoying my family of four children in their twenties and staying active with them over the years - kayaking, biking, and hiking. My husband and I reside in Pardeeville and are active in the community and church.

Jim Essex

My name is Jim Essex and I am a Cycling Instructor. I became certified in 2016 by Indoor Cycling Group in their Coach by Color program. This power based fitness training really excites me! I am also a dedicated road cyclist having logged over 20,000 miles since 2000. My 42 years in the tooling and precision machining industry coupled with the experience of two professional bike fittings enables me to help students find their best geometry on the bike. Let's ride!

Amy Miller

Fitness classes have been my passion for over 25 years. I've worked every position at the gym including owning my own, but my favorite place to be is in the studio. Crank up the music, give me a microphone, and watch this shy, introvert come alive. Choreography is my specialty. I love to create the ideal workout for every class that's not only effective, but fun! I enjoy connecting with my students and helping them look and feel better about themselves. My certifications include: ACE group fitness, Strength Specialty, Kickforce, Zumba, and Insanity. I've also trained in water, Yoga and pilates for many years. Get ready and I'll see you in my next class!

Ellen Swan

After leading classes in El Salvador and Moldova, I decided to enter teacher training in the U.S. in 2017 so I could teach in English!  Following certification, I studied at the Himalayan Institute in Pennsylvania for nine months. I currently teach at Bee Alive Studio and the Portage Library as well as private students. This is my "retirement reward!"

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Hours of Operation:

Monday - Thursday:
5:00am ‐ 8:00pm

5:00am ‐ 7:00pm

Saturday - Sunday:
7:00am ‐ 12:00pm

For 24/7 access, please see Member Services. 

sale hours 7am - 6pm)

Pool Hours:

Monday ‐ Friday:
5:00am ‐ 12:00pm
1:00pm ‐ 7:00pm

7:00am ‐ 11:00am

Contact Us:

(608) 745-3800


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