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Welcome to Our New JK Zen Teacher: Valerie Heckel

Before Valerie found her passion for Pilates and became certified through JK Zen Fitness under Juliet Kaska, she found her love for movement as a dancer.

She began dancing at the age of 3. Over the next fifteen years, she expanded into several different styles: ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, lyrical, modern, contemporary, and hip-hop. In addition to the annual Winter Concerts and Spring Recitals, she performed in an Off-Broadway production of Cinderella, the Moscow Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, the Cultural and Tourism Festival in Beijing and Shanghai, China, at Universal Studios as well as Walt Disney World. To further develop her skills and technique, she participated in summer programs at the Universal Ballet Academy in Washington, D.C., the Virginia Governor’s School in Richmond, VA, and the Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive in New York, NY.

Upon graduating from high school, she pursued her dreams by attending the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA and received her Bachelors of Fine Arts majoring in Dance Performance with a minor in Musical Theater. During her four years at the institution, not only did she develop her craft in the classroom and on stage, but she also gained invaluable experience through independent films, music videos and local photo shoots.

While living in LA she has been in numerous music videos, choreographed short films with one that was well received at the American Film Institute. Her more recent work has been with Nickelodeon and General Hospital. The love of stepping into different worlds and being a storyteller is what she loves to do and will keep doing.

Valerie is thrilled to call JK Zen Fitness home and join the Zen Family.

Be sure to take her $15 Community Reformer class o Monday mornings at 8AM starting in December. Valerie is also available for private and duet sessions- check with the front desk for openings.

Feel free to introduce yourself! She can’t wait to get to know everyone ☺

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