Our Team

Valerie Gibson - Owner & Massage Therapist - Instructs: Zumba, Yoga, Sculpt and Hip Hop


Zuga Fitness is part of Valerie Gibson's serious commitment to healthy living - mixed with lots of fun! Valerie spent over 16 years as a licensed Massage Therapist - specializing in hard to find techniques such as Thai massage and Ashiatsu bar therapy.

To keep herself fit, Valerie frequented many fitness and yoga classes. After a while, she realized a desire to become an instructor herself. Valerie started her fitness career in Yoga and is a 200 Hour Certified Instructor. Spending years building strength in Yoga, Valerie decided she needed to add something to her routine that was more cardiovascular and could burn fat. Having discovered the FUN and transformation of Zumba - Valerie was hooked, both as a participant and instructor!

Since then Valerie has continued her fitness path and become a certified Personal Trainer and is using the skills to help people reach their goals in a fun and inspiring environment. Valerie also found a passion for AcroYoga and spends her time traveling taking workshops and teaching personal AcroYoga sessions! Fitness should be FUN and Valerie focuses on just that!!!

Teaching style: Valerie's class is open to ANY levels. While she enjoys giving a high intensity class, Valerie gears her instruction to accommodate any fitness level. Her background gives her the knowledge to work with many physical conditions and the ability to offer modifications to whatever is needed. Don't let that fool you into thinking it won't be a workout, she also enjoys giving progressions to those that are at the peak of their fitness level and want to take their workout to the next level:)

Paige Giancola - Instructs: Zumba, R.I.P.P.E.D., Core & More and Express 30


Paige has been teaching fitness for the last 5 years. Her love for fitness started when she stepped in her first Zumba class, where she instantly became hooked.

She began teaching at Zuga Fitness in 2013 and became partners with Valerie at Zuga Fitness in 2017. She loves teaching Zumba, but has also became certified as a RIPPED instructor, as well as teaching toning and sculpting classes throughout the week. Paige’s energetic personality and passion for helping others reach her goals shines and her class, and she strives to make every workout as fun and effective as possible!

Teaching style: Paige’s Zumba style is Latin inspired, Incorporating merengue, salsa, reggatone, soca, and many other dance styles from around the world. If you don’t leave sweating and smiling after Paige’s class, we would be very surprised!!

Joe Orf - Massage Therapist, Yoga Instructor

Joe has been teaching yoga since 2004. Joe's yoga classes focus on movement with breath which takes you seamlessly from one pose to the next. Observing the healing power that yoga can bring through breath and movement, Joe decided to take the next step and attended the Healing Arts Center in St. Louis MO and earned a massage therapy license in 2016.

Prior to teaching yoga, Joe trained in martial arts for 12 years. While training at UMACA in St. Peters MO, he earned the rank of 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. While training and teaching Tae Kwon Do, he also studied the art of Tai Chi under the guidance of Master Jiru at MABA in Augusta MO. This furthered his training in the mind/body/breath connection.

Joe believes the principles of body alignment, mind/body connection, and breath awareness apply equally whether you are lifting weights, doing martial arts, practicing yoga, or receiving a massage. Besides being a Licensed Massage Therapist, Joe is certified as a Primary Group Exercise Instructor and a Personal Trainer through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA).

Jarvis Debrecht - Dance Fitness Instructor

Jarvis is an upbeat instructor with lots of energy. You can't help but have a good time in his class! He is known to rotate his choreography a lot so his classes stay fresh. Plus he has freaking great playlists:) If you like Zumba or dance you have to try his class.
More on Jarvis coming soon!

Julie Durham - Zumba / Dance Fitness Instructor

Julie Durham has been dancing and performing for over 30 years. She has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop, musical theater, pom, and fitness instruction. Julie has won multiple awards for her showmanship and choreography including: Three-time National Champion Soloist, Performer of the Year, Outstanding Choreography, and All-American recipient.

Julie received a BA in Communication with an emphasis in Marketing from the University of Missouri- Columbia where she was Captain of the National Champion Dance Team Golden Girls three years, Philanthropic Performance Coordinator for Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority, and Founder/Choreographer of the University of Missouri Production Dance.

Upon graduation, Julie performed with the Gary Musick Company and Celebrity Cruises. She helped create and produce production shows for cruise ships and industrial events world-wide. One of Julie’s most proud accomplishments was opening and running Nv Dance Force in St. Peters, Missouri. Nv taught competitive and recreational dance to a variety of talents and ages in the St. Louis area. Credits include; Teacher/Choreographer- Nv Dance Force, Dance Connection Performing Arts Center, Columbia Academy of Fine Arts, Columbia Performing Arts Center, DanceArts of Columbia, Gary Musick Productions/Celebrity Cruises, University of Missouri Golden Girls, Stephens College, University of Missouri Homecoming Opening Ceremonies, Zumba Fitness International, YMCA Zumba Instructor, numerous high schools and competition studios in the U.S., and more.

Julie obtained her Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia College and has started down a new career path as a business teacher for Lindbergh High School! She is extremely excited to be a part of the Zuga family and excited to making new relationships, having FUN and getting FIT! ☺

Emily Capelli- Yoga Instructor

Emily began teaching yoga in 2015 after completing her initial 200 hour certification. She is currently taking a 300 hour advanced teacher training to earn her 500 E-RYT. The number one thing Emily loves most about yoga is that it's fun. The playfulness within this practice is what got her hooked on yoga, and it's what initially kept bringing her back to her mat. Although she's a teacher, she is first and foremost a student of yoga. Emily continues to immerse herself in study in order to deepen her own knowledge and respect for this practice.

Classes with Emily are designed to be challenging while at the same time doable. She believes that most people are far stronger than they realize and her goal is to help her students discover what they are truly capable of.

Brian Witten - Yoga Instructor

Brian is a 500-hour ERYT certified yoga instructor and former personal and group fitness trainer with 15 years of education and experience in the health and fitness industry. It was through the study of human movement and kinesiology that Brian was inspired to dedicate his life to helping others be more aware of their own human potential. Through his own development in the practice of yoga, he began to understand a holistic perspective of health and fitness, which he now shares with his students and clients.  His aim is to teach others how to know their bodies and themselves more deeply through the practice of self-awareness and conscious movement.

Brian incorporates traditional yoga techniques along with contemporary movement practices that provide an experience both deeply revealing and transformative for both the body and mind.  His approach is simple:  guide one’s awareness more fully on one’s actions and posture and, through practice, allow the experience to develop towards balance and integration.  When the body is balanced and connected with intention and a focused mind, health is achieved. By blending a practical knowledge of movement mechanics and posture with a holistic view of the body, Brian’s classes offer a safe and effective road to a healthy life.  His practice is successful in reducing the negative effects of physical, mental and emotional stress or tension, and providing safe and effective recovery after injuries.  He also works to support other fitness and athletic goals through coaching proper movement and developing true strength and efficiency in movement through a deep presence and connection of the mind and body in the practice of yoga. 

Brian incorporates traditional yoga techniques along with contemporary movement practices that provide an experience both deeply revealing and transformative for both the body and mind.  His approach is simple:  guide one’s awareness more fully on one’s actions and posture and, through practice, allow the experience to develop towards balance and integration.  When the body is balanced and connected with intention and a focused mind, health is achieved. By blending a practical knowledge of movement mechanics and posture with a holistic view of the body, Brian’s classes offer a safe and effective road to a healthy life.  His practice is successful in reducing the negative effects of physical, mental and emotional stress or tension, and providing safe and effective recovery after injuries.  He also works to support other fitness and athletic goals through coaching proper movement and developing true strength and efficiency in movement through a deep presence and connection of the mind and body in the practice of yoga. 

Ashley Compise - Yoga Instructor

Ashley Campise is a Saint Charles based yogi has been teaching dance for 14 years. She has been practicing yoga since 2014 and finished her Yoga Teacher Training in 2018. Her gusto for this practice (and life in general) is undeniable and you’ll see that in the classes she offers here.

Ashley loves to incorporate mindfulness along with an element of play into her dynamic flows to create proprioception. Body awareness is what hooked Ashley into this practice. Off the mat you can find her traveling, reading or running errands around town with her French bulldog, Vinny. She is so excited to be a part of the Zuga fitness family

Zoe Paull - Yoga Instructor

Zoe Paull is a new yoga instructor as of 2018. A former gymnast and gymnastics coach for over 7 years, Zoe fell in love with teaching while working with children. Finding joy in movement, and realizing the healing and empowerment that happens when you connect it with breath, Zoe decided to go through Yoga Teacher training and received her 200 hour YTT in November 2018. Zuga is excited to welcome Zoe to our yoga family!

Diane Davis - Fitness Instructor

Diane Davis has been sharing her love of movement with others for years!  As a certified and experienced instructor, she has taught many different class types and worked with lots of different people! From firefighters to seniors, Diane loves sharing motivation, inspiration and FUN in her work outs! When not in the gym, sunny beaches, friends, family, good books and game nights are some favs!