Founder: Sarina Jain
Instructors: Earla Duana, Mickela Mallozzi, Gail Rivas, Sheila Jain
Sarina Jain, America’s first cross-cultural fitness star is the creator of the Masala Bhangra Workout®.She is an energetic fitness innovator, music-video choreographer and international television/radio personality. She hosts her own TV segment on Discovery Channel’s Fit TV and has a show on Exercise TV.tv. Her regular appearances on The Dr. Oz Show, NBC’s The Today Show and other major media have catapulted her to fame across mainstream America, and solidified her place as “Jane Fonda” of India. Jain is also the new face for Nestle Fitness throughout Latin America, where 2.6 million cereal boxes include her “Masala Bhangra Workout® Bollywood Style” DVD.
Although India’s glitzy Bollywood films have featured Bhangra and other folk-dances and music for awhile (think: diaphanous orange scarves; glittering bindis; and wrists swiveling towards the heavens), it took a vivacious, young Indian-American fitness instructor to devise the concept of choreographing Bhangra along with modern, funky dance moves to appeal to the American exercise industry. In the process, Jain has impacted the entire fitness industry, and has been heralded in the press throughout the U.S. and the world.
Jain introduced her Bhangra/Bollywood-style fitness routine to the U.S. with her first workout tape in 1999, and has since directed and produced a total of eight high-intensity workouts in her Masala Bhangra Workout® video/DVD series. Born in California, she started leading fitness classes at a very young age, and has been a certified fitness instructor for more than 19 years plus. She completed studies in marketing and public relations in Los Angeles, before founding her company, Masala Dance & Fitness, Inc. in 1999. She soon relocated to New York where she successfully cultivated a larger audience for her cross-cultural fitness ideas.
Jain proudly embraces her Indian heritage, and is an active member of the Indian-American community. “People fall in love with the beat of Bhangra,” Jain says, “the music combined with its sensuous, vigorous movements recreates the excitement that an occasion is being celebrated. People have so muchfun; they don’t realize they are getting an awesome cardiovascular and muscle-strengthening workout. Bringing the Masala Bhangra Workout® to people all over the world is so gratifying—I am absolutely living my dream.”
Born and raised in Washington, DC of Trinidadian descent, Earla Duana has been immersed in Indian culture since childhood. In late Spring 2001, Earla discovered her passion for the Masala Bhangra Workout® while participating in a master class led by Sarina Jain. Earla was instantly hooked by the music and the movement. Finding the rhythm of the dhol to be infectious, Earla then committed herself to Masala Bhangra Workout® classes and studied the technique intensely.
Ethnic dance has always been a major part of Earla’s life. Her repertoire includes five years as company member with Vozolo and Kaoka West African Dance Companies. She taught the Masala Bhangra Workout® in New York City for several years at New York Sports Club, CRUNCH Fitness, and PMT Dance Studio, where she perfected her art and style. She currently teaches the Masala Bhangra Workout® for Washington Sports Clubs in DC and Maryland. Earla’s recent following consists of students who admire her talent, teaching technique, and genuine love of the dance. Since her first introduction to Bhangra, Earla continues to bring her sheer love of music and culture to capture its true essence.
Before embracing her career as an artist, Earla graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a BS in Marketing and subsequently worked in the garment industry for seven years as an apparel production assistant. In addition to teaching the Masala Bhangra Workout®, Earla also works as a Spa Coordinator for Aura Spa/VIDA Fitness.
Mickela Mallozzi, an adopted New Yorker for almost 10 years, has danced for over 20 years in the tri-state area. She was trained under Dieter Riesle at The Ballet School of Stamford and JoAnn Lorusso at Center Stage Dance Studio in Connecticut. She annually performed with the New York City Ballet principal dancers in the production of Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, and throughout high school, she participated in the Greenwich Academy Dance Corps where she choreographed and performed regularly. Mickela started training with Sarina Jain and The Masala Bhangra Workout® in 2005 where she is now one of Sarina’s Master Instructors.
Mickela graduated from New York University with a B.A. in Music, and she has trained at various studios in the city such as Broadway Dance, Steps, Peridance Center and Stepping Out Studios. She has been teaching various types of dance and The Masala Bhangra Workout® for adults and children throughout New York City and Connecticut ever since.
Mickela has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, NBC’s The Today Show, TBS’s Movie And A Makeover, ABC News Today, NBC, CBS, CW11, Fox and more! She has always had a passion for all types of dance – her main objective is to share that passion with her students and to see her students progress as dancers and performers in their own right.
Gail Barranda Rivas was born and raised in New York City. She has been immersed in fitness and dance for years, starting as captain of the volleyball team and playing point guard on the basketball team in high school, to dancing in and choreographing her school’s talent shows. Growing up with New York City’s vibrant and eclectic nightclub scene led her to choreographing and dancing back-up for several Latin freestyle and House music acts such as MicMac recording artist Clear Touch and MCA recording artist Kraze. Aside from performing in many landmark New York nightclubs such as Palladium, Pyramid, and Red Zone, she has also performed at Jacob Javits Center, Latin Night at the Apollo and has appeared on the Sabado Gigante Show. In 2004 she received her Group Exercise Instructor Certification by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and has been teaching part-time ever since. Her classes include Pilates, Hip-Hop, Total Body Conditioning, Yoga, Sports Conditioning, Multi-Impact, TRX Suspension Training, Pre and Post Natal Fitness and the Masala Bhangra Workout®.
Her love for the Masala Bhangra Workout® started when she started taking classes as a student of Sarina Jain, the founder of the Masala Bhangra Workout®, back in 2002. She fell in love with the infectious beat of the dhol drum, its similarities to hip-hop, reggae, and African, and the overall workout it provides. After finding out that she had gotten AFAA certified, Sarina encouraged her to take the Masala Bhangra Workout® certification. Since then, she has been teaching the Masala Bhangra Workout® at New York Sports Club, Crunch, Clay Spa, and Alvin Ailey Extension. She has appeared with Sarina Jain on the Fox Five Morning Show as well as the Dr. Oz Show.Gail is a graduate of New York University, and works full-time for a major NYC publishing house. She is also a NAUI Master Scuba Diver. If she didn’t love New York so much, she would probably be teaching scuba diving someplace tropical and remote while her husband sold beach chairs and her kids played all day in the sun.