A UNIQUE FITNESS CLUB SPECIALIZING IN Personal Training, Pilates, Yoga, Massage, and Gyrotonic.
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Jocie Palanza - Pilates/Personal Trainer 

Jocie has been involved in the fitness industry since 2004. She has experience working with clients of all ages and fitness levels.

With a background in Pilates, she is able to incorporate these principals in her functional training sessions and group fitness classes. She enjoys creating challenging workouts, and watching people overcome hurdles and reach their goals. Whether it's mastering a perfect push-up, or completing a marathon, she believes nothing is impossible if you truly put your heart into it.     

Celina raaf - Licensed Massage Therapist

Celine came to the United States from Paraguay in 2002. Her interest in massage began when she received her first-ever professional massage from her uncle in Maryland. From that moment, she knew that this was something she wanted to do. She enrolled in the Potomac Massage Training Institute in 2009. It was a challenge for her because English was not her first language, but she persisted and soon learned that she had a natural talent for massage. 

Shortly after graduation, she passed her national certification examination (NCBTMB) and acquired her Maryland and District of Columbia licenses. In addition to working at PMTI, her experience includes massage contracting for Whole Foods, local hospices, as well as volunteer work in the Washington Metropolitan area. She also serves private massage clients in Montgomery and Howard counties. 


 Lily grew up in a small town in Wisconsin, then moved to the DC area in 2012. She graduated from Winston Churchill High School in 2016, and will continue her education at Boston University. She plans to major in Neuroscience, with a minor in dance.

​Lily has been training in all styles of dance, such as ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, and modern since the age of 7. She has had the opportunity of performing with the Joffrey Ballet in their children’s cast for The Nutcracker, and has performed lead roles in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Giselle, Paquita, and Swan Lake. She has also competed in the Youth America Grand Prix, an international ballet competition, where her group’s piece placed in the top 12.

“Dance has given me so many wonderful opportunities and has allowed me to express myself through its artistry. I have danced as much as 30 hours a week. In order to perform at this level, health and fitness leads a great role in my life. Before working at Level, I had the opportunity to train with Adriane, and was able to bring my dancing to another level. I am extremely thankful for this and can’t wait to see what opportunities are waiting for me.” 

“In my free time I love going to the beach. The beach is one of the best, and most relaxing places on earth. I also get my kids involved in different activities including swimming, soccer, tennis, and gymnastics during the school year. To keep myself active I run in the mornings whenever I can. I enjoy working at Level so much. Everyone treats me with respect and always with a smile.”

Carolyn worked as a personal trainer and fitness instructor, teaching kickboxing, spinning, and weight training. After retiring from competition, she finally gave Pilates a try. “I’d been so hard on my bidy,” Carolyn said, “and suddenly here was this gentle, thoughtful way to workout. For the first time, I was focusing on body symmetry, on relieving joint pressure, and just having happier bones!” Pilates, Carolyn believes, gave her the healthy toned body she felt had always eluded her, even in her competition years.

Inspired by how the GYROTONIC Expansion System kept her pain free while pregnant with her second daughter in 2013, she began studying the program. She is excited to earn her GYROTONIC Level 1 instructor qualification and is happy that Level has the equipment to offer this unique training.

Mary Duke has been certified as a personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine since 2008, and has completed certifications and continuing education in a variety of specialty areas including TRX suspension training, TRX Rip training, kettlebell technique (StrongFirst),  integrated flexibility, bodyweight training (Animal Flow, MovNat), and Olympic weightlifting (USAW – L1).

As a trainer and group exercise instructor, Mary Duke enjoys helping people develop a fitness program that supports their unique goals. She believes the key to lifelong fitness is to find what you are passionate about and build an exercise practice that supports your interests and goals. “I believe that workouts should have a purpose and be energizing, creative and fun!”

Mary Duke is constantly learning and trying new things. Her exercise interests are varied and most recently have included CrossFit, flying trapeze, running, weightlifting and ice climbing. In her time outside of exercise training, Mary Duke enjoys hanging out on the couch with her cats (while attempting to read a book), trying out new recipes in the kitchen, and spending time with friends and family.   

I’m very blessed and thankful for what life has offered me so far. However, I believe that by setting your goals and standards higher, you can achieve greater things in life. Always keep a positive attitude towards life and in return positive things will come your way!”

Mary Duke Smith - Personal Trainer 

Mary Duke was born in Florida, grew up in the Midwest. In her school-age years, Mary Duke stayed active by riding horses and playing outdoors. In high school and college, she became even more interested in outdoor adventure pursuits; that passion has continued to this day.

Her work experience prior to becoming a personal trainer has included almost 20 years of rope challenge course facilitation, adventure-based education and self-defense instruction along with about 10 years of clinical social work and health education. Mary Duke holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wesleyan University and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Maryland.

MELISSA HARRISON - Pilates Mat, Apparatus, Alexander, Tai Chi Instructor

Melissa is a native Washingtonian. She has a BA in Dance from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and is an AMSAT certified Alexander Technique Teacher. In Washington, DC she has danced in the companies of Carla Perlo and Michelle Ava. Melissa is the Founder and Artistic Director of Propaganda Dance Theatre.

Melissa has been teaching movement of one kind or another for 32 years. She has taught gymnastics, soccer, Pilates, Hung Fut Kung Fu, dance, and the improvisational movement portion of collaborative workshops that foster self-transformation through the creative arts therapies at the Jung Institute of Washington with her mother, Sondra Geller, ATR, Jungian annalist. Melissa lives in Cabin John with her husband, Brian, and daughter, India Rose.

Janet Reed - Director of Operations 

Since the age of 4, Janet has been actively involved in sports. She started with cheerleading and quickly made her way into softball, basketball, and volleyball. After several years of training/playing, she became Captain in all four sports. Today, she is still playing softball and volleyball competitively and has added football to her list. Sports are what make her world go round.

Janet graduated from Salisbury University in May of 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. At Salisbury, she held an intern position with their Strength and Conditioning Program. She had the privilege to train top caliber athletes in many different disciplines and experienced many new concepts in the world of strength and conditioning. Her passion for fitness began there. This allowed her to start teaching her peers in both a group setting as well as one-on-one. Janet believes with dedication and determination, all your fitness goals are possible.

Nicole Forster - Group Exercise

Nicole is a native Washingtonian who brings over a decade of personal training experience and a lifetime of fitness and holistic health interests to Level.

Exercise has been the foundation of Nicole’s daily routine since the very early days of cardio fitness and strength training. Keeping current with today’s fitness trends is an integral part of her training routine with her clients. Always amazed by the next big trend in fitness, she likes to stay focused on many of the basics that have worked for decades while incorporating the new. Providing personal attention and individually-tailored workouts are Nicole’s specialty, which compliment her caring and professional demeanor. Nicole firmly believes consistency is the key to success in achieving any weight loss or fitness goals.

“I train because I like teaching people how to achieve their specific goals. I like to motivate and educate my clients, whether its strength training, weight loss, or endurance. My main focus is to motivate. I try to push my clients to their limits because they underestimate their abilities until they are encouraged to try. The accomplishment for which I am most proud of is maintaining my physique while restaurants try to sabotage my healthy eating. My hobbies include training, golfing, but mostly going to the beach. I am looking forward to being at Level for many more years to come.”

Meet our staff

Julie Holly - RYT, LE Registered Yoga Teacher Licensed Esthetician  

Julie is a native of the Washington, DC area and a graduate of Howard University. Ten years ago, she became an Esthetician and through this career, she began her journey to a healthier life style. She is also a Yoga Alliance Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher, a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and a Cancer Exercise Training Institute Cancer Exercise Specialist.

She believes in teaching clients and students how to best live in their bodies. She achieves this by teaching the five principles of yoga alignment and by instilling confidence in her students through clear, precise instruction and compassion. “My classes offer the opportunity to deepen your mind-body connection as you link a series of movements with your breath. You will also build stamina, flexibility, strength and focus as you move to an eclectic blend of music. Be prepared to workout, have fun and relax deeply.”

"My favorite part of my career is teaching other instructors and trainers because I get to touch every person they touch thereafter and influence so many more people. Watching instructors and trainers grow in their field and helping them make a bigger get to touch every person they touch thereafter and influence so many more people. Watching instructors and trainers grow in their field and helping them make a bigger difference in their clients lives is an amazing feeling that I am so fortunate to be a part of when the opportunity arises." 

In her spare time, Adriane enjoys being outdoors doing anything available. Her favorite spot is where you can find a beach and a palm tree. Being a Southern California girl, any activity with or near water and palm trees is an excellent one. Beyond that, dancing is her sanity and movement makes her world revolve. One thing is for sure, whenever you are in one of Adriane's classes or with her in her free time, you will be challenged to work to your highest capacity and move much more then any couch potato would!

Magda Pettey - Pilates Mat, Apparatus Instructor, Barre Instructor

Magda Pettey has been practicing Pilates since 2004, when her three children were all in elementary school. She has always been an active person and is a firm believer in fitness and a healthy lifestyle. She found that the results from Pilates were unmatched. After working at a think tank at the University of Maryland and abroad, and later as a parent volunteer at the school her children attended, she decided to shift gears and take her love of Pilates to the next level by becoming certified in Power Pilates and Vbarre. Magda is committed to helping others experience the benefits of Pilates, because she is passionate that it will enhance the quality of their lives. She is continually inspired by the transformation she witnesses in her clients.

Nicole, a graduate of the University of Maryland, began her studies in Exercise Science at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida before returning to the metropolitan area. She has also attained certifications from the NSPA and Powerhouse Pilates, and has clocked well over a thousand hours of spinning! Being a mom of two young children and working out on a daily basis keeps her very active and focused!

Arielle cooper - operations assisstant

Arielle has returned to Level Fitness as part-time, weekend manager-on-duty, after nine wonderful years as our Front Desk Receptionist. She began working at Level in 2007. While here, she earned her Bachelor’s degree at Bowie State University, became a wife and a mother of two beautiful children and later put that degree to use by joining the Veterans Certification Office at University of Maryland University College. Upon her return, she plans to do everything in her power to ensure that the members have the best experience here at Level Fitness!

In her (very rare) spare time, she enjoys crossword puzzles, traveling and having fun with her daughter, Blake, and her son, Ari.

“Level is family, so when it came time to find a part-time job, naturally they were the obvious choice….I’m just glad they wanted me back!”
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​Western medicine trains caregivers to treat symptoms with medication of the disease or dysfunction, often times never addressing the actual cause. Eastern medicine is a holistic approach that treats symptoms of disease and dysfunction and the whole person. The whole person includes mind, body and soul of the client or patient. Holistic health purpose is to help individuals achieve wellness and balance naturally.  Knowledge of both allows me to bring a different perspective helping individuals achieve wellness and balance.  

“I am not just a massage therapist but I am also a client. I get 60-90 minutes of therapeutic bodywork every 2weeks. As a client, massage allows me to be in tuned with my body, helps me manage stress, reduced my blood pressure and increases blood circulation. Also massage reduces injury and speeds recovery. Those are just a few of the benefits of getting regular massage.

 Massage therapy is one of the many lifestyle disciplines that will help individuals take control of their health and wellness. It’s one of the many tools needed on the journey to achieve balance in our lives.”   


 Although taking continuing education courses is a legal requirement, she enjoys learning new techniques and finding ways to improve so that she can provide greater benefits to her clients. The ability to provide excellent service involves more than the physical skill of massage. It includes the ability to listen to the needs of each client, to touch in such a way that puts the person at ease, and to ensure that he or she has the best experience possible. 

 “My interests include running for fitness purposes; however, I have won a half dozen 5k races in my age division over the last several years and enjoy the competition. In 2007, I experienced the Caribbean for the first time and now make a habit of returning to the beautiful beaches as much as I can. Family is the most important thing to me and with 11 siblings and 15 nieces and nephews, I spend a lot of time enjoying them by phone and through social media.      

In her "free" time, Mimi wishes she could enjoy even more dates with her husband watching independent films, photography, walking and reading, not to mention hanging with the two other "men" in her life.

Rami Eraifeg - Personal Trainer 

Rami grew up playing various sports such as soccer, football, and basketball. “Having an older brother always brought out my competitive side.” After graduating with his B.S. in Business Management from Salisbury University in the spring of 2002, he earned his personal training certification through the National Professional Training Association (NSPA).

Rami initially had a management position at a major sports-related retail store, but when he was offered the opportunity to train at Level, he grabbed it. Since May 2004 (Level’s grand opening), Rami has helped motivate and push clients to their limits. He enjoys helping clients overcome their obstacles. 

Julie is known for her touch and in-depth knowledge of holistic skincare, microdermabrasion and peels. She strives to guide her clients into a deeper appreciation of the self through the care of their skin. She offers a relaxing, yet thorough treatment, inviting her clients ask questions or simply doze off under her care. With over a decade of experience, Julie’s specialties include acne, age management, and correction of uneven skin tones. Her love for skin can be felt through her hands and clients tend to leave with a deeper knowledge and appreciation for the body’s largest organ.

In addition to inspiring others to live a life of radiant health, she enjoys reading, movies and long walks with her dog Malcolm.

Kevin has studied and practiced with some of the greatest leaders in the health and wellness industries including Deepak Chopra, Paul Chek, John Hinds and JC Santana. His studies have included Strength Training, Yoga and Meditation, Ayurveda and Mind/Body Medicine, Holistic Nutrition, Stress Management, Flexibility Training and Sports Conditioning. He draws upon the best aspects of these areas to find those that will have the greatest impact on his clients’ health and well-being.  

By thoroughly analyzing one’s posture, balance and movement patterns, Brian is able to design an effective exercise program to increase strength and functionality. Additionally, he has a wealth of experience working with the 60+ age group addressing their needs of greater joint mobility, balance, and strength.


​Originally from the DC area, Derek recently moved back after ten years in Boston and Cambridge, MA. For eight years, he worked at Fitcorp, now called Bodyscapes Fitness. Derek attended Physical Therapy School at Northeastern University, and later received his MS in Human Performance from Bridgewater State University. He worked for the New England Patriots as an Athletic Training Intern. He was able to hone his public health skills while working as the men’s health program coordinator for the Cambridge Public Health Department for five years. While continuing to embrace the Boston winters, Derek founded TEEM Performance Training where he mostly trained senior citizens and busy professionals at home, outdoors, or held seminars as well as training athletes.

Group Exercise / Programming Instructors:

Kids Programming Instructors:​​

Kevin Scanlon - Personal Trainer 

For more than 15 years, Kevin has been assisting clients in creating strategies for eating, exercise and stress management that fits their goals and lifestyle. With a holistic, mind/body approach to training, his workouts are developed to be both challenging and uplifting. Kevin has a simple training philosophy in which his goal is to have each client feel far better after a workout than they did before it.

“By regularly practicing functional movement patterns, eating a natural, whole food based diet, getting the proper amount of sleep, and keeping our mind and attitude in line with our goals, we will allow ourselves the opportunity to experience our greatest potential for optimal health and happiness.”

Eden Ellis - Pilates Instructor 

After having emergency open heart surgery, Eden realized that she wanted to follow her passions…Pilates and puppies! Pilates played a huge part in her quick recovery. Eden realized that she loves all aspects of the discipline: the breathing, the power, and the flexibility. She wanted to share her excitement! Teaching in a group setting helps people on all levels and the comradery makes it fun! Nothing is more gratifying than when a client, either new to exercise, or someone who is adding to their workout regimen, has the “Pilates Epiphany.” If she’s not teaching, you’ll find her out and about with her golden retriever, Jackson.

With a comprehensive certification from Balanced Body, Eden is thrilled to bring her special blend of Pilates expertise and fitness to Level!

Adriane Morgan-Henn - personal trainer/gyrotronic instructor 

Adriane grew up in Southern California and came to the East Coast to attend George Washington University. She grew up as a military kid with a Navy Seal father. That probably explains her need to make working out as useful and efficient as possible, not only for her clients, but for herself. Although she was a dancer at heart, through her father she learned about many sport and movement activities including boxing, martial arts, foot ball, running, competitive cycling, backpacking, forestry, survival skills and much more. Adriane's personality can be described as chameleon-like. She can be fun loving, energetic and crazy when you find her teaching power dance or ballroom, but she can be more like a drill sergeant when one finds her teaching such classes as sculpting or metabolic conditioning. Personal training allows her to create a perfect one on one experience for the client/clients. Pursuing an understanding of the human machine that is our bodies is a continued journey. Educating herself will be a continued process as she firmly believes "a trainer can never stop the quest for knowledge in order help our clients". 

Prior to moving to Boston, Derek was fortunate enough to work for a few fitness facilities in the DC area, including Results, Velocity Sports Performance, and Washington Sports Club where he gained valuable experience working with young athletes. Derek has also coached ice hockey in Cambridge, Baltimore, at his high alma mater Gonzaga College High School, and at his college alma mater, Penn State University. At Penn State, he started as an assistant coach for the Penn state Lady Icers for three seasons as an undergrad, which was preceded by two years of playing college hockey. Currently, Derek is the head ice hockey coach at the Holton-Arms School.

His love for health and fitness stirs back to an active childhood. Derek was entrenched in several organized sports, mainly playing ice hockey since age 10, soccer, track, and his parents complemented zeal for his activity. Since 2003, he looks forward to continued growth and learning in the health and fitness industry.

Carolyn Evans - Personal Trainer/Pilates Instructor 

When Carolyn began her fitness career, it was all about competition. With a regime of heavy weight training, hard-core cardio, and strict dieting. Carolyn won the top titles in Fitness America, the National Aerobics Championship, the ESPN2 Series, and, in 2002, the Fitness Universe Championship. While pounding through another cardio class, or pushing through one more weight set, Carolyn says, “I used to look over at the Pilates classes and think, ‘Why are those people just lying around? Why don’t they get up and exercise?’”       

Carolyn completed both Mat Training (2009) and Machine Training (2010), and earned her PMA certification in 2011. 

Jacky Lobo - Member Services 

Jacky was born in a small town in Honduras. At the age of 14, she moved to the United States with her older sister. She attended Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring for 2 years, but graduated from Magruder High School in 2003. Throughout all four years of high school, Jacky played soccer as defender and midfielder. Back home, she played soccer with her friends after school and has always been a soccer lover.  

She attended Montgomery Community College for a few years then decided to put her education on hold as she was expecting her first child. Now, she is mother of 2 beautiful children, Kimberly (10) and Aiden (3). She plans on going back to school to start her paralegal associate degree.

Brian Henn - Personal Trainer 

Brian graduated from Frostburg State University with a BS in Physical Education. He has continued to educate himself throughout his training career by taking a variety of courses including Advanced Biomechanics, Active Isolated Stretching, Corrective Exercise, and Injury Prevention. With such a comprehensive background, Brian is an ideal trainer and coach for anyone looking to improve functionality, while working to increase fitness levels. Brian’s passion for human movement has led to a successful history working with individuals with limited range of motion, and those clients looking to reduce the aches and pains of everyday life. He has also merged his passion for movement with his enjoyment for golf by becoming certified through Titleist Performance Institute as a Golf Fitness Instructor, a specialization in golf conditioning.

Kee Hudgens - Member Services 

Kee was born and raised in Washington D.C. She went on St. John’s University in Queens, NY and graduated with a BA in Sociology and Criminal Justice. She then got her masters in Counseling Education from the University of Arizona before finally returning to D.C. She is now a family therapist for at-risk youth in D.C. in addition to the time she spends here at Level.

Kee enjoys working at Level because of the wonderful community and supportive family that Level is. Additionally, Kee loves playing quarterback for the number 1 women’s flag football team in the nation, Lady Elite! She also wants to travel the world! She loves spending time with her family, especially her grandmother.
“I find working out to be very important as it plays a major role in improving my overall health, both physically and mentally.” 

Magda, although originally from Santa Rose, California, is a Potomac resident. She holds a degree in international relations from the University of California, Davis. She enjoys spending time with her husband and three teenage children. In her free time, Magda loves skiing, reading, and traveling with her family.

“I work at Level because fitness is a huge part of my life. I believe in staying active and doing what you love. Working with such knowledgeable trainers has inspired me to pursue my goal of becoming a successful trainer. The accomplishments for which I am most proud are graduating Cum Laude from Salisbury University, and purchasing my townhouse at age 25. When I am not at Level, I am usually playing a sport, sleeping, or hanging out with friends. People may not know that I am part Thai, but do not speak nor understand the language at all!”

Sarah (huaping) XU - Licensed Massage therapist 

 Sarah was born in the People’s Republic of China and just over a decade ago came to the US.  She considers herself hard working, dedicated, patient, responsible, and punctual and has a strong desire      to be successful for the business that she practices various aspects of massage for.   

In earlier years, she had her own business in China where she performed Chinese Acupressure, Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage, as well as other specialties including shiatsu, prenatal, aroma therapy, reflexology and cupping. Once she came to the US, she studied hard to learn and practice her English so that she could pass the Maryland State Board of Chiropractic and Massage Therapy Exam.   

 “Since obtaining my license I have practiced my craft all over the DC metro area including areas of Maryland and Virginia. I love helping people feel better and the art of massage allows me to do this. I love giving deep tissue massage when it is necessary and giving people the pressure they desire. I might be small but I am mighty!”              

Mariela Escobar - Housekeeping 

Mariela was born in La Ceiba, Honduras, where her father still lives, in 1989. She moved to the United States when she was 9 years old. She soon adapted while attending elementary and middle school. She went on to graduate from Laurel High School, right here in Maryland.

She enjoys going outside to explore parks and lakes, doing outdoor activities, and being a new mom to beautiful baby Adrianna!

“It is a great pleasure to be part of the Level staff. Level feels like my second home, where we are all a big, welcoming family. I’m a very dedicated and honest person. Therefore, as a member of Level, my main goal is to keep this wonderful facility clean and welcoming for everyone!

Jocie believes that anything can be achieved if you put your mind to it. She motivates her clients to work their hardest, doing things they never thought possible. “There is nothing more rewarding than seeing someone do something they never thought they could do,” she says. Jocie speaks from experience, as she just completed her first marathon, which had been on her mind for several years.

When she isn't at the gym, Jocie loves spending time with her daughters, Finley and Mila, and enjoys running and going to the beach.

William Patrick - licensed massage therapist

 William is a graduate of the National Massage Therapy Institute 2012 and the Baltimore School of Massage 1999. He is nationally certified and licensed/registered in MD, VA and DC. 

“I chose to be a massage therapist as a career because massage therapy pairs well with my diverse health care career of 23 years. Whether seeing patients in the clinic, operating room or rounding post-surgical. I am very comfortable interacting with client and patients. I call it eastern medicine (holistic) meets western medicine (traditional).”

We have a team of talented and educated individuals vastly diverse to help our clients meet their needs and goals! 

Management Team:

Front Desk Concierge:


Wellness Room:

Personal Training Staff:

Pilates & GYROTONIC(R) Method Staff: