Meet the Team

Marybeth Grinnan SoulShine Studios Owner and Co-Founder,First Degree Nia Black Belt and Nia Faculty Member

I am a dreamer, a manifester, healer, and entrepreneur. I have completed hundreds of hours of Nia training which provided valuable tools and knowledge AND my twenty years of living Nia as a lifestyle practice has given me deep insight into my truth and my path. Nia inspires me to embody authenticity by offering a safe space to engage with the whole me: body, mind and spirit. I love to share this in my classes. I light up when I see people come home to their bodies and allow themselves to dream bigger, to live brighter, and to step into the life they desire.

Teaching this practice is my life’s work. Through it, I have learned to live with TONS more joy, connection and belonging. I meet inspiring people (students, teachers and trainers) and Nia has opened windows and doors to incredible opportunities – like dancing on a sailboat while leading a retreat in Mallorca, in le Bus Discotèque cruising the streets of Paris between retreats in the Loire Valley, and of course in my classes in RVA. Hope to see you on the dance floor.

GeGe Beall Nia Black Belt, RYT-200 Yoga

I love to dance! And after a love/hate relationship with exercise, I finally discovered Nia in 2010. With this discovery, I found a way to incorporate dance as part of my overall commitment to health and I haven’t stopped dancing since. I’m a black belt level Nia instructor who is committed to sharing the joy of Nia with you! In addition to my Yoga certification I have an additional certification in Restorative Yoga. I feel many of us often don’t get the chance to fully relax. Restorative and other forms of yoga help us find that missing peace. In addition to the movement arts, I have master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Currently, I’m a healthcare speaker and a consultant focusing primarily on culture. On weekends, you can catch me performing as at ComedySportz Richmond where I’ve been a professional improv comedian since 2013.

Suzzette Chopin RYT-200 Yoga, PhD

I’m excited about teaching mixed level yoga at SoulShine! I have been on my personal yoga journey since 2003. While seeking to find a balance between my graduate school requirements, work, and stress of everyday life I realized what a profound impact yoga has on one’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. I completed my teacher training in 2014 to share these benefits with others. My teaching emphasizes good alignment, personal growth, and enjoying the practice as a lifelong process.

I work primarily as a licensed clinical psychologist with military veterans and active duty service members. For the past five years I have also been fortunate enough to offer a yoga program for these men and women, and I continue to see the positive effects yoga can have on the most challenging physical and psychological conditions. I have seen the holistic healing properties of yoga help those of all ages and abilities in amazing ways.

Sarah Fischer ERYT-500, YACEP, MA, Certified Life-Coach

I’ve always loved creating with my body. As a quiet child I figured out that when I danced, roller skated, or choreographed, something came alive in me. That vitality inspires my practices today.

I started yoga in 2001 and I’ve been teaching since 2007. Most of my training and practice have been in Anusara and Ashaya Yoga®. Both styles emphasize physical alignment that is integrated with philosophical teachings. Now, I draw on that foundation while exploring more spontaneity on the mat.

Over the years, I have spent hundreds of hours supporting students and mentoring teachers. I know that no one needs another place where they feel like they’re striving to measure up. So, my classes, workshops and retreats offer students guidance for embodying sacred alignment while confidently building a lifelong practice. It gives me great joy to witness folks using yoga as a way to build relationships with their bodies, minds, hearts, and that thing we’ll call Mystery.

Jessica Forsythe SoulShine Studios Co-Founder, Nia Black Belt, RYT-200 Yoga 

The opening of SoulShine Studios marked the beginning of integration for me. Teaching and practicing daily movement and mindfulness techniques give me tools to increase and channel life force energy so I can be fully present in all areas of my life. Yoga philosophy has become my roadmap for living my authentic truth. At the heart of that truth is SOCIAL JUSTICE. It is central to my teaching, travels, volunteerism, political activism, and parenting. I care deeply about our planet. I stand up against oppression. I support equality, a living wage, universal healthcare, and criminal justice reform.

I’m ready and willing to step back on that live wire. I’m ready and willing to learn and listen and grow. I am a conduit for change. We are all conduits for change. Let’s raise the vibration together. Let’s move.

Janie Peterson Nia Black Belt, RYT-200 Yoga, AFAA Group Instructor, Ageless Grace Educator and Trainer

Hi! I believe that through movement we find our way to health and that exercise has got to be fun! As a Certified Nia Black Belt Teacher, I bring a background in dance, nutrition, and body building. My intention is to inspire my students to take control of their bodies, minds, and spirits! By embracing our bodies in thankfulness and moving within the range of motion that is available at that moment, joy and magic are created! The sense of community and connection, the collective joy that happens when we dance together, touches the heart and soul. I have been teaching Nia since 2010, and have also trained in Free Dance, Moving to Heal, and 52 Moves. As a certified yoga instructor, I offer yin classes, targeting the myofascial tissues and hydration of the body. When not moving in the studio, I am helping families move to new homes throughout the Richmond area. Come and let’s move together!

Jen Russo COO (Chief Officer of Other Stuff) aka Chief Happiness Officer

At my very first Nia class in Jessica’s backyard about a decade ago, I was surprised and delighted to discover my “new favorite exercise”! Moving joyfully in community is such a beautiful way to feed my soul. As an elementary school librarian, I’ve developed a sense of order and organization that translates well into working at the studio. I’m so glad to apply my particular eye for details and Jen-of-all-trades skills to being SoulShine’s Chief Officer of Other Stuff.

Niki Schemmel SoulShine Studios Co-Founder, Nia Black Belt, RYT 500 e-RYT 200 YACEP

I fell in love with dancing while choregraphing routines in my living room with my friends in elementary school. I studied jazz and modern dance through my teen years and minored in dance in college. I found Yoga after college and shifted my movement attention to a hatha practice that allowed me to become aware of my body alignment and increase my strength. I also fell in love with Yoga philosophy. I began teaching Yoga in 2001 in Los Angeles and to this day continue my love affair with alignment principles and heart opening Yoga philosophy through ongoing teaching and trainings. Nia came into my life in 2008 and it made my movement practice complete. I was so thrilled to have dance back in my life! I find these two practices to be the perfect marriage of precision and expression. I am so grateful to get to share my joy with people through both of these powerful practices.