Movement education, according to multi-talented Brenda Brosnihan, “Is an experience that comes from the heart.” Brosnihan’s passionate regard for dance and exercise is evident by her success as a performer, educator, business owner and award winning coach. Through her career she has brought the enjoyment of dance and exercise to thousands of area children and adults.
As a fitness educator, Brenda is considered a Youth Movement Specialist. She attended Frostburg State University where she studied Health and Physical Education. She holds certifications from The American Council on Exercise, AFFA , Zumba and Pound. She has presented workshops and given lectures nationally and aboard. This November Brenda plans to get certified in Yoga.
Brenda is a former aerobic champion and the coach of eight consecutive national youth sportaerobic championship teams. In 2003, Brenda’s dream and 15 years of pioneering youth sportaerobics came true when her junior team won the World Sportaerobic Championships, the first U.S. youth team to earn a world titile. Brenda has taken athletes to Japan, Argentina and Mexico for international competitions. “I believe it is important to teach children how to set goals and learn how to achieve them.”
Brenda is always researching new information on exercise, dance trends and childhood development. Her innovative programs have children interested and brings them back year after year. Her goal is to instill the love of “movement” that will encourage a life-long habit of health and exercise.
Brenda believes in supporting her community and has organized and participated in fundraising events for charities like Relay for Live, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, City of Hope Aids Research and our hometown charities The House of Hope, Cindy’s Fund, Landon’s Library, Broken Road Associates, Garrett Mentors, Garrett Humane Society, I Can Swim, and Garrett Trails. Students from Brenda’s Body Shop have raised over $270,000 for charity.
Every year Brenda produces an extravagant dance production featuring colorful costumes, upbeat music and an elaborate set. The show is heart warming, full of tradition, and much anticipated event by her students and their families.
Interesting Facts about Brenda: Brenda is married to Pete Brosnihan and together they have raised three children, Pete, Zak and Morgan. Pete and Brenda enjoy their grandchildren Alex and Levi, camping and hiking. Their plans for retirement someday is for Pete to build four tree houses on their property and rent them to visitors coming to Garrett County, with the biggest rewards being able to donate time in the tree houses to children and families who are facing life altering challenges. This endeavor and labor of love will be called "Away on A Limb".
Honors and Awards
2015- Woodman of the World Community Leadership Award
2014- Garrett County Women's Hall of Fame
2012- President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition Community Leadership Award
2012- Inducted in the Southern High School Hall of Fame
2012/2011- Nominated for Garrett County’s Most Beautiful Person
2010 – Elk’s Club Citizen of the Year
25 National Titles, 11 International titles and one world championship for Sportaerobics
1986-1988 Reebok National Aerobic Champion
Alexis (Lexi) Torrisi
Assistant Director, Instructor and Choreographer
Lexi is Brenda's right hand gal and has worked at BBS for over 25 years. She started taking classes at BBS at age 12. Right away she showed talents in dance and especially leadership. Brenda wasn't long recognizing her talents and by age 16 trained her to teach adult aerobic classes in the 1980's. Lexi exceled and found that she loved teaching and was good at it. She attended several certification workshops learning all she could to perfect her craft. In the 1999, she moved to Indiana where she continued to work in the fitness industry and as an event planner. She added another dimension and became educated in childhood fitness working at the nationally franchised "My Gym" When living in Clarksburg she developed and taught programs at the Clarksburg Parks and Recreation Centers. In 2005, she moved back to Oakland and Brenda was waiting with open arms. "Lexi and I work so well together, she often finishes the many ideas I get started." Lexi has created many successful programs at BBS like Camp Funshine, Dance Camp, Camp Night Shine, Tumbleweeds, Mat Mystics. Tap Dancing, and Star Student. Our younger students adore Lexi with her animated energy and her ability to identify with each student. For parents she is very helpful and informative, always answering their many questions. She also makes sure our staff stays up to date with shop schedule and announcements. Lexi has two children, Arianna and Pierce.
Interesting Fact About Lexi: She was inducted into the Mickey Mouse Club Hall of Fame in 1989. On behalf of her dance team she accepted the Golden Mickey Award. We proudly display this award in our dance studio.
Brenda first met Danny at a local dance competition in 2011, she was impressed by his choreography and style she opened the lines of communication and it was the start of their working relationship. "Danny is like my Dance Son, he is a perfect fit for BBS, he's talented, always upbeat, positive and super motivated. His gifts as a choreographer are incredible." Danny is from Cumberland, MD and began taking private dance lessons at age 12. His love of dance and theater continued to grow, inspiring him to attend Frostburg State University where graduated in 2009, with a degree in Theatre and a minor in dance. Danny is a triple threat, he dances, he sings, and he acts. After graduating college he stayed in the area teaching and performing in the local theatres. In 2014, he moved to NYC to pursue his dreams and further his career in the performing arts. Since then he has worked full time as an actor and a choreographer in theatres around the country. He is accumulating quite a body of work with his choreography, as well as directing shows. With all the teaching and performing he does he still loves to come to our studio once a year and teach choreographed dances to our middle school and high school students. This is a highlight of the year for them and it challenges, inspires and instills a sense of pride when they master their dances.
Interesting Fact About Danny: Danny claims he can iron his clothes while he is in them? He loves scary movies and will put hot sauce on about anything he eats.
Instructor and Choreographer
Alissa has been part of the BBS family since she was 12 years old. Starting her dance career later than most children she certainly had no problems catching up. She competed with the Garrett County Sportaerobic team earning numerous national titles in both team and individual events. Growing up with this competitive sport instilled her love of fitness. She began teaching Sportaerobics, gymnastics, and jump rope classes in 2006. Alissa is an excellent role model demonstrating to students a tireless work ethic and benefits of practice. She inspires her students with her abilities to demonstrate skills and workout right beside them, never asking them to do something she would not do herself. She has quite a skill set as an instructor, and also in her wheelhouse is her flair for choreography, creating a number of award winning routines. Students love her style and training. Alissa will be offering select adult fitness classes this year. Alissa is married to Jeff Gank and together they have two sons, Cooper and Wiley.
Interesting Fact About Alissa: At 12 years of age, on July 4, 2002, she was the best Sportaerobic athlete in the world, placing 1st after the preliminary competition. She would finish the contest with a silver medal. Alissa is fierce and enjoys running in Tough Mudder and Spartan races.
Gymnastics and Dance Instructor
Dance has always been a part of Amy's life. She grew up in Pittsburgh and danced throughout her childhood. She attended Frostburg State University where she performed in the dance company, earned a degree in education and a minor in dance. Brenda first met Amy in 2000 just out of college and knew she was the perfect fit for BBS. Amy became one of Brenda's assistant Sportaerobic coaches and traveled and help coach the team from 2000-2006. Amy's knowledge of dance has enabled her to also teach jazz, gymnastics and dance camps. Amy currently heads up the BBS satellite location at Accident Elementary School. There is a reason Amy is a teacher, she is one of the kindest and compassionate people you will ever meet. She is always positive and encouraging to her students. Amy teaches fifth grade at Accident Elementary School and has two daughters who dance, Ashlynn and Ava.
Interesting Fact About Amy: She is always on the go. You can't believe how many activities she can juggle in a day, week or month. She also loves to ski!
Annalea has been an instructor at Brenda’s Body Shop for since 2010. She has been dancing since she was 3 years old and ballet has always been her favorite genre. She took so many dance classes in college that she received a minor in dance from the University of Colorado at Boulder. When she is not in the studio, Annalea is a third grade teacher at Broadford Elementary School. Her two teenage daughters keep her busy with all of their activities as well. She travels and reads as much as she possibly can in the summer when things slow down for a while. Annalea has a passion for fitness as well as a passion for instilling a love of movement in every person, old and young! If you are looking for that kind, gentle and compassionate teacher then Ms. Annalea is right for you. Her students love her and you will often see them run across the dance floor upon entering the room to give her a big hug. She listens and encourages every student and they leave her class feeling positive and learning new skills.
Interesting Fact About Annalea: In 2014, her family was devastated by a house fire that destroyed their home and everything in it. Through her faith, family and friends and community she bounced back stronger than ever. Annalea is a beacon of gratitude and positive energy.
Group Fitness Leader, Instructor
Kenzi Smith began dancing at BBS at age 3. She continued right up until she graduated high school. Kenzi is quite the talented athlete, dancer, performer and entrepreneur. She fell in love with moving and fitness and is nearly finished her education at Frostburg State University where she is studying exercise physiology. This energetic dynamo will be heading up our adult fitness programs. She will be teaching "Pound" classes one of the hottest workouts in the fitness industry. Kenzi will also sharing her expertise and enthusiasm with our jazz dance students enrolled at Accident Elementary School. Kenzi is one busy young lady who also runs two business Glazed and Confused Donuts and BBS Birthday Parties . Parents if you want your child to have a serious role model than look no further than Kenzi Smith, she's got it all going on!
Intersting Fact About Kenzi: When Kenzi was 14 years old, she developed scoliosis and had major back surgery where they inserted steel rods throughout her spine. She recovered like a champion, rising to every challenge, battling the pain and inspiring those around her. The life experience filled her with compassion and gratitude for all that she has.
Sheri is a former student at Brenda's Body Shop. She grew up dancing and taking gymnastics classes. Sheri teaches along side Amy Anderson at our classes at Accident Elementary School. She and Amy make an outstanding team and offer our students lots of time and attention. Sheri helps to keep the parents well informed regarding studio announcements and upcoming events. You will also see her dancing with our ladies each year at the recital. Sheri has two daughters who attend BBS, Addison and Lakin.
Interesting Fact About Sheri: Sheri loves animals, she has a horse and dogs and chickens. She has quite the green thumb and loves to can food and eat from her garden.
Sheri Kosh, E-RYT
Sheri teaches yoga classes in Cambria, CA in winter and at Brenda's Body Shop in Oakland MD and Allegheny Holistic Health Care in Thomas WV the rest of the year. She also does local yoga events with Deep Creek Lavender Farm in Accident MD and Stumptown Ales in Davis, WV. With a passion for helping others reach beyond their current abilities or setbacks, her main goal is personal transformation with an emphasis on acceptance of one's own body. In addition to having her RTY-200 certification, Sheri has completed 100 hours of advanced training in Yoga as a Healing Art: Physical and Psychological Strategies for Cultivating Wellness from the acclaimed Himalayan Institute. She also had the honor to study with the internationally renowned Cheri Clampett and Arturo Peal to earn her Therapeutic Yoga Teacher certification. She is currently pursuing her RYT-500 certification through the Kripalu Institute.
Interesting Fact About Sheri: Sheri loves to garden and is a hopeful herbalist. She is a master Gardener in Garrett county and a Master Naturalist in Tucker County, West Virginia. She also owns Beach to Peaks Yoga and teaches here in the mountains on the beaches in California where she grew up.
Instructor Assistants are used in nearly every class. These experienced former and older students know our program inside out. They often demonstrate skills, assist with spotting gymnastics, help maintain class order and flow.
Assistant Instructors: | Keele Flanigan | Arianna Torrisi