Who We Are


Erica Neis

Owner, Licensed Zumba®, Zumba® Kids, and Zumbini® Instructor
erica@journeyoflifewellness.com

I often contemplate if a journey truly begins, or if each new path is just a continuation of one complete journey: the journey of life.  But, I will start back in 2010 when I started taking Zumba® classes as part of a ladies’ night routine when my girls were very young.  I was a stressed-out, stay-at-home mom who had set her health and happiness aside for far too long.  I had never experienced a group fitness class, and never enjoyed exercise enough to commit to it.  But I fell in love with Zumba®!

In 2012, I joined a weight loss group with my mentor and Zumba® Fitness instructor.  I added more classes (about 4 each week) and ate what I should – not a “diet”, but a food lifestyle.  I lost about 40 lbs in 6 months!  But, more importantly, I gained self-confidence and a newfound joy in challenging my mind and body.

That summer, I became a licensed Zumba® instructor with the help of my mentor.  Before this life change, I never (not even in my wildest dreams) would have thought of myself as a fitness instructor.  But, I loved having the ability to pay it forward – to help others on their journey so that they could feel the joy that I was feeling.  I taught classes for one year before I was offered the opportunity to buy the business and keep alive the Studio that had become my home.  I have strived, since then, to make sure Journey of Life offers programming that can reach as many people, ages, and ability levels as possible.  I believe in the health and happiness of this entire community!

×
Erica Neis

Erica Neis

Owner, Licensed Zumba®, Zumba® Kids, and Zumbini® Instructor

Wendy Steve

Healing Services Practitioner

I was previously a kindergarten teacher in Madison, and near the end of my career I was curious to try alternative health therapies to maintain or improve my physical and mental health.  I tried many options over several years.  When I retired, I went to school to learn how to do Reiki, Acupressure, and Reflexology for myself and others.  For the first two years, my clients came to my home.  At that point, I was offered an opportunity to join the JoL team.  I was so grateful to move into the JoL space and share holistic strategies with others.  All three strategies support, balance, or unblock a person’s inner energy (which may be causing or adding to the feelings of sadness, negative reactions, limitations, pain, discomfort, and/or disease).  Acupressure uses finger pressure rather than needles.  I refer to my hour sessions as “RAR”, but will condense any client’s needs into a half hour for adults and/or children, if needed.  Our time together gives us both the chance to relax and allows your natural healing abilities to be recognized and reignited to promote improvement and healing.

Our new location is a homey and delightful place for me to work and “play”.  I hope you enjoy your JOURNEY here, as well!

×
Wendy Steve

Wendy Steve

Healing Services Practitioner

Samantha Draeger

Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor

I am a graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where I completed an internship in Orlando, Florida with the Walt Disney World Company and earned a BSE in Human Health, Performance, and Health Promotions. During my time at Whitewater I underwent extensive training to become a group fitness instructor where I taught my first step class. Since then I have taught yoga, cardio, power training, intense abs, barre and much more. I became a Certified Nursing Assistant in 2011 and have worked as an Activity Therapist helping those with limited range of motion or mobility. I have a certification as a personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise and I enjoy being a part of so many fitness journeys.

In addition to fitness, I own a business which allows me to work on my other true passion: veganism. I love reading, writing, singing, and fashion. I am thankful for the opportunity to be back in Lake Mills and I am so thrilled to be a part of the Journey of Life team!

×
Samantha Draeger

Samantha Draeger

Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor

Kelly Wiltzius

Licensed Zumba® and Zumba® Gold Instructor, Workshop Leader

My journey started with Dancing Lotus Fitness and Zumba® Fitness classes in 2010. I had always found it hard for myself to get motivated when it came to fitness and, because of my Thyroid disease, I had gained over 60 pounds within a few months.  Zumba® Fitness changed that for me. I lost over 30 pounds my first 6 months and gained confidence in myself.  After 3 years of taking ZUMBA classes, I decided to become a Licensed Zumba® Instructor so I could inspire others and show them that it can be fun to exercise!

My journey of health and wellness started shortly after losing my mother to cancer. I am very passionate about health and wellness. With much research, I taught myself to make my home chemical free and am excited to share this with others through our workshops at Journey Of Life. I am also very passionate about essential oils.  I am excited to be on this journey with all of you and look forward to what lies ahead.

×
Kelly Wiltzius

Kelly Wiltzius

Licensed Zumba® and Zumba® Gold Instructor, Workshop Leader

Tricia Schmidt

Licensed ZUMBA® Instructor

I had just had my fourth child in less than four years and a close friend asked me to attend a Zumba® class with her. After just a few classes, our instructor’s enthusiasm, love, and acceptance of all people reached me.  I was 26 and I found myself at a point in my life where all responsibilities fell on me. I had no time for myself and did not understand how important that truly was. Zumba® class was a place to be free and to enjoy exercise with laughter and conversation with other women.  I was soon inspired to become a licensed Zumba® instructor and share that joy with others.

Over the last 9 years of taking and teaching classes, talking with others in our JoL Family, participating in meditation groups, and many Healing Sessions with Wendy, I have realized that my strength comes from surrounding myself with others who are supportive, caring and strong.  This is where my journey has brought me, but there is no limit to where it will lead.

×
Tricia Schmidt

Tricia Schmidt

Licensed ZUMBA® Instructor

Susan Trier

QiGong, Tai Chi, Yoga Instructor

I have a deep and lengthy connection to MindBody movement. I began my interest in MindBody movement through yoga and became certified to teach it 11 years ago (200-E RYT). I loved yoga but kept asking questions such as: why do people moved in particular ways; why do certain patterns of movement tend to lead towards injury; how can I create improved balance within the body and enable more easeful movement? So I embarked in a lengthy Pilates certification process through all their modalities including mat, standing, & apparatus. I also became certified in Personal Training through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Although all these disciplines were extremely valuable, one aspect was missing.  At some point, I noticed that after a Tai Chi class, my mind felt calm and settled. I began to consider whether this practice was useful simply from the aspect of training my brain. I became certified to teach about 6 years ago and extended my study to include QiGong and Mindfulness.
Another aspect of Lake Mills that I am passionate about is Rock Lake and its watershed. I am a board member of the Rock Lake Improvement Association (RLIA) and I am on their committee for Community Outreach. I am so grateful for being a part of the Lake Mills’ community and JoL.

×
Susan Trier

Susan Trier

QiGong, Tai Chi, Yoga Instructor

Erin Fergusson Frey

Private Yoga Teacher, Toddler Yoga Teacher

When I started yoga as a mindfulness practice to ease the anxiety of working in the corporate world, I didn’t anticipate how my yoga journey would continually change my life~ a true Mind, Body and Spiritual transformation. When I transitioned into the role of a stay at home mom to two young daughters, yoga became a way to find peace and personal time. The longing to seek more of what was beyond the physical practice grew. I enrolled in a 200-hour Yoga teacher training program to deepen my understanding of the mental, physical and spiritual aspects of the practice. Immersion in ancient yogic techniques (mindfulness, pranayama, meditation, asana) and philosophies expanded my awareness and helped heal my body, mind and soul.

It was soon after I started teaching Yoga to adults that I felt a calling to also share the gift of Yoga with children. I realized there was so much opportunity to work with younger generations to plant seeds of mindfulness, self-regulation and connection, and I decided to take an intense training on Therapeutic Yoga for Children.

Each student young or old, represents a pebble-a pebble whose ripple effect can help create a future that is of peace and harmony!

×
Erin Fergusson Frey

Erin Fergusson Frey

Private Yoga Teacher, Toddler Yoga Teacher

Beth Pizano

Nia Instructor
×
Beth Pizano

Beth Pizano

Nia Instructor

Rebecca Wollin

Pound® Instructor
×
Rebecca Wollin

Rebecca Wollin

Pound® Instructor