Meet the Team

Maria Gerelus

Owner and instructor Maria Gerelus has been a fitness enthusiast for most of her life – until she decided to turn her passion into her profession. She is a NASM certified personal trainer as well as a licensed and certified BarreAmped instructor.

Maria believes that feeling and looking your best is an evolutionary not revolutionary process. “I believe that exercise and making correct nutritional choices should be a way of life.”

“I live by a rule that gets me through the day… Take care of yourself and everything else will fall into place. I’d like to help you take care of yourself. Whether through BarreAmped or traditional personal training, nutrition and supplement choices I am passionate about you being the best you can be.”

Kristine Abramo

Kristine is always interested in trying out new and different ways to work out. After hearing about barre workouts a few years ago, she was happy to find Maria teaching the BarreAmped method right here in St. Petersburg. In addition to her barre certification, she is also a certified and registered Vinyasa Flow yoga instructor (RYT-200hr). This brings a good balance to her barre training and teaching, incorporating both strength and flexibility.

“After my first class I was immediately hooked. When the opportunity arose to become an instructor, I knew I had to do it. Since then, I enjoy every single moment of being able to share this workout with the hard working students at Above the Barre Fitness. I feel I am always learning and will consider myself a student first, then a teacher. I’m looking forward to seeing you at the barre!”

Candace Bury

Many have described Candace as being a kinetic, empowering and holistic-minded person. From the time she was a little girl, she stayed active in sports and enjoyed eating whole foods from her dad’s garden. During her 8th grade graduation, her principal asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, and she quickly replied, “an aerobics instructor”. The entire room roared in laughter. After earning a degree in business and studying exercise science at Saginaw Valley State University, she worked as a wellness consultant at Exodus Health Center under Dr. Axe and trained one-on-one with herbalist Bart James for two years. Even with all of this training, her desire to be a fitness instructor was still strong.

After multiple soccer injuries, Candace realized her body needed a gentle, stabilizing form of exercise. Her good friend (who is now a Barre instructor) took her to Suzanne Bowen’s class, and she was amazed at how challenging, relaxing, empowering and even spiritual the BarreAmped method was. After taking classes for a year she thought to herself, “If somebody asked me to teach Barre classes, I totally would.” Just one month later, the owner of BarreAmped Nashville invited her to teach at her studio, and the rest is history.

“I love that this method is one that is accepting of all ages, sizes, and genders. My husband does BarreAmped, and it has improved his strength and flexibility. I find it to be empowering, especially in a fitness world where the focus is molding your body into an ideal shape, rather than empowering your body to be the best, most vibrant version of itself. BarreAmped is the entire package. It makes you feel good, look good, and is great for injury prevention!”

Nicola Lynch

Nicola was born and raised in England, and fortunate to study with the Royal Academy of Dancing syllabus for over 14 years, making her British stage debut at the age of 6 in all areas of competition. After frequent visits to the USA, she made a decision to embark on a new venture in the USA at the age of 18. She studied at Columbia College of fine arts in Chicago, IL, incorporating another syllabus from the Joffrey Ballet. After more than 21 years in the dance industry, it was time for a break.

“I have always incorporated some form of fitness into my lifestyle, however it never filled that spark, that passion within. The past couple of years have been hit or miss trying Crossfit, running – you name it – then BarreAmped. Why BarreAmped you may ask? Because there is no rigorous turnout or tuck of the derriere, and it simply incorporates everything I had been looking for. Yoga, Pilates and more of a modern method of ballet. It challenged me, put that fire back in my belly! I felt the challenge in my body-  but in a good way. Not with aches or pain. Recovery time was minimal. The opportunity presented itself for me to become certified, and I did with no hesitation and have not looked back since. I am so excited to help others reap the rewards from incorporating Barre into their own fitness goals. Let’s shake to change, with a phenomenal group of ladies to encourage you on this journey!”