Meet the Instructors

Jess Bruning is the owner of Bella Rose Yoga & Fitness Studio.  Jess is an MD physician trained at MSU and is the founder of Bella Rose Wellness Center next door to our yoga studio.  She has been doing yoga for over 20 years, is 200hr RYT certified, and has extra certifications in Buti Yoga, Buti Bands, Buti Sculpt, Hot Core, Buti DEEP, Primal Flow, Aerial Yoga, TurnUp Dance Fitness, PoleFit, and SFactor.  She also teaches hip hop yoga, power yoga, and recovery yoga classes at the studio.   Jess is passionate about empowering and healing women with her classes.  She enjoys spending time with her family, dogs, and horses.

Stacie  Nielsen is a business partner and owner of the studio.  She first discovered yoga in 2008 when she first moved to Chicago and a new friend encouraged her to try a class. She was intrigued by the movements and how physically and mentally refreshed she felt after.  She continued to regularly practice until her brother tragically passed away in 2012. She feared her yoga mat and the emotions it would stir up. In 2017, a friend convinced her to reintroduce herself to her mat and she fell in love all over again. A well timed massage and friend told her about Light Guardians Yoga School and her heart told her it was time. She has a quirky personality that carries into her practice. She loves to keep busy and her classes incorporate this, showing that you can find peace and relaxation in consistent movement in conjunction with breath. When not on her yoga mat, she works full time as a Physician Practice Manager.  Her husband Chris, daughter Isabella, son Connor, and lab Timothy live in the heart of downtown Alpena. They can often be found checking out all the great things the community has to offer, running around the neighborhood or having a family dance off in the kitchen.

Desiree Nowaczyk, Licensed Physical Therapy Assistant, Certified Yoga Instructor RYT200, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Food Psychology Coach, Certified Stress Management Coach, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Reiki Practitioner, Certified Spiritual Counselor, and Certified Barre Connect instructor is an integrative practitioner.  Dez hopes to facilitate well-being by honoring the student’s innate wisdom to heal. Embracing and nourishing the mind, body, spirit connection leads to optimal health. Dez’s intention is to encourage and empower individuals with tools, techniques and ancient wisdom that promote transformation.  Dez’s foundation is built from years of physical movement and passionate exploration. With 2 decades of fitness experience and more than 3000 yoga classes taught, Dez guides with compassion and confidence. Her movement practices are infused with creativity, joy, gratitude and non-judgment.  ​Within each of us there is a divine spark. Yoga guides us back to this place. Dez believes that we are all worthy of being valued and cherished. Through self-acceptance, trust, faith, letting go, love, forgiveness and creativity we return to our treasured truth.

Kourtney Zimmer is a certified PoleFit Essentials Instructor. Fitness and exercise have always been a part of her life. She participated in dance from age 3 until she graduated high school. She has continued to stay active by going to the gym, fishing, hiking, and doing yoga. She is new to teaching, but her passion for fitness is strong and is so excited to continue learning new ways to stay active. She loves spending time with her family, fishing, being outside, fostering, and taking photos.

Michelle Hillert first began teaching fitness classes while working at a heath club during college. After taking a few years off from instructing, she is grateful to be back leading Barre classes at Bella. Michelle’s love for movement and music are reflected in her teaching style. Outside of teaching and attending classes at Bella, Michelle’s loves training for races and triathlons, planning trips and vacations, and baking. Another important part of Michelle’s life is her rescue dog Perry, and fiancé TJ. As someone who is constantly on the move, Michelle knows and honors the importance of taking time for self-care and incorporates deep breathing and stretching into each class.

Lacey Green is our newest instructor but has been a student at Bella since we opened. Lacey finished her  200hr RYT certification locally at Light Guardians. She is from Hillman and she and her husband own Green’s Custom Painting. She loves spending time outdoors, with her fur babies, and on her yoga mat.

Paige’s students and clients describe her as a peace warrior and she brings this passion into her trauma informed classes which range from exploring laughter to learning more about vulnerability and self healing. Paige incorporates sound, reiki, guided relaxation, and yoga poses to encourage her students to explore their bodies and minds to connect to their souls and heartfelt desires. Paige is a 500 hour RYT of Therapeutic Yoga and is Trauma Informed Yoga Therapy Certified. Paige focuses on supporting trauma survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and addiction recovery along with grief, anxiety, and depression. Music has been integral to Paige’s life since she was a toddler and has studied music for over 20 years. Paige sees music as one aspect that makes us uniquely human. The intention of sound baths and meditation with Paige is to help individuals relax, meditate, and offer individuals space to heal emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

Charise has been practicing Pilates for 16 years and teaching for 6. She has mat 1 and 2 and reformer 1 and 2 certifications through Balanced Body, one of a few educational programs backed by the Pilates Method Alliance. She loves being a student as much as she loves teaching. She enjoys hiking, cycling and camping with her fiancé Ryan and adventuring with her dogs Pippa and Leia. She and her cat Sophie also share a love for birdwatching.

Cristi “Skella” Johnson proudly identifies herself as an “untraditional athlete”. Growing up she had very little interest in sports, and played soccer in high school only so she wouldn’t have to take gym class. However, a love for athletic endeavors was born in 2002 when she joined an all-female wrestling troop KPOWW (the Kalamazoo Precinct of Women Wrestlers) where she moonlighted as “Corporate Cristi”. When the group inevitably disbanded (as the members graduated from Western Michigan University) she soon struck an interest in roller derby, where she played under the name of “Skellawhore” for Burning River Roller Derby in Cleveland, Ohio and the Sac City Rollers in Sacramento, California before founding Alpena’s own Shipwreck Alley Rollers in 2016. Providing a safe learning environment where the community can become stronger together at any skill level, is the fuel that makes Skella’s heart burn bright. She’s thrilled to be part of the Alpena community and our newest instructor at Bella Rose!