Staff photography provided by Whitney Layne Photography
Jessica Thomas is co-owner of Underground Fitness. She has worked in various settings teaching group fitness for several years and also holds a Bachelors’ Degree in Elementary Education from Radford University. She is former Chair and Co-council for Girls on the Run of Northeast Tennessee and loved being able to make a positive impact on the lives of young girls by empowering them to see the value in themselves and helping them move for their health. Jessica is an encourager and loves to push you to your limits to see you flourish! She is a certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor. She has created many original formats for Underground Fitness including Underground Bootcamp, Club Kettlebell, Sweat n Shred and a new favorite AMRAP. She is certified in Indoor Cycling, TRX, Pilates, Piloxing Knockout, Kettlebell, R.I.P.P.E.D. and P90X. Jessica's music is a hot commodity in classes at Underground...and people can't help but smile when her playlist beat drops! Jessica is married to Bill Thomas and they have a son and daughter, Trent and Elynn. She is ready to see you reach your goals. Come check out one of her classes!
Amanda Burrow is co-owner of Underground Fitness. She is wife to Travis and they have three sons, Kamden, Layton and Jude. Their middle son is a childhood cancer survivor and St. Jude patient, which has led Amanda to sharing about this unique charity as event planner for Sunset for Hope benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.Amanda is a classically trained dancer with over 30 years of training and is a Licentiate Member of the Cecchetti Council of America and Member of the Cecchetti International Classical Ballet Society. Additionally she holds a certification in Progressing Ballet Technique. She continues to guest teach in the Southeastern United States and privately instructs local dancers. Amanda also holds a Bachelors' in Nursing from East Tennessee State University, where she simultaneously completed a research study on distorted body image and disordered eating in adolescent dancers. Amanda now currently serves as the Nurse Consultant/Educator for Pharmacy Network Services. Her love of educating, encouraging and empowering others has carried through her careers as a dance educator, nurse and in the last several years, fitness instructor! She holds certifications for Indoor Cycling, Piloxing with Elite Star status, Piloxing Barre, PiYo, TurboKick, Core de Force, Strong by Zumba and Group Fitness. She has also created Blend for Underground (fusion of principles of barre, floor work, and ballet to improve core strength and flexibility). She looks forward to moving with you!
Meet The Team
Megan Ellis became a group fitness instructor in March of 2014. Her first love was Piloxing and her love for group fitness has only grown since then as she has attained 6 additional certifications as well as creating a few of her own formats. She has always had a special place in her heart for dance fitness as she was previously a dancer and dance instructor, but believes it is so important, for women especially, to focus on strength training! HIIT exercise is where Megan focuses most of her workouts and you better believe it has to be FUN!
Megan's full-time job as a high school counselor allows her the flexibility to teach at Underground Fitness part-time. She is also a high school cheerleading coach. Megan is the mom to a beautiful baby girl, Hayes, fur baby, Callie, and wife to Jarrod. Look for her on the schedule teaching one many formats at Underground including: MOVE, Pound, Muscle Step, Muscle Step Tabata and Underground RIDE.
Abby Gilbert, Registered Dietitian
Abby was born in Mississippi, raised in Johnson City, and has lived in New Orleans and Seattle. Johnson City is home, though, and is where she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Nutrition from East Tennessee State University.Abby has always been interested in health and exercise, from riding horses in her early years, then teaching fitness classes in college. Nutrition seemed like a good fit to compliment her active lifestyle and interest in medicine and healthcare. She has worked as a Registered Dietitian in the hospital, dialysis, and nursing home/consultant settings, and she is so excited to help people with eating and exercise with your Underground Fitness team!
Abby Gilbert is a wife, mother of two, a runner, a Bible study teacher, and serves alongside her husband as a coach to missionaries as time allows. She is very grateful to be able to grow with good friends at Underground in her journey to wellness! Be on the lookout for Abby’s very own original addition to Underground Fitness through her FOODIE FRIDAY posts where she takes questions from the public and posts her recommendations on Fridays.
Hannah Wilcox has been a part of the fitness community for many years. She has certifications in Urbankick, Booty Barre, PILOXING as an Elite Instructor, Penalty Box, Indoor Cycling, and holds a Fitour Group Certification that allows her to teach variety classes she created, Fitness Fanatics and HIIT Hop Barre. She enjoys working in a group fitness setting to help people reach their health and fitness goals. Hannah grew up taking dance for over 13 years and worked in a local fitness center training clients through high school and college. She is a 2004 graduate of ETSU with a B.S. Degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Advertising and a minor in Marketing. Hannah is a mom to three children who keep her lifestyle active with various sports. She also helps her husband, Shane, run their local locksmith business, Pop A Lock. Staying busy is what she knows and loves
Jennifer Bullington, Instructor
Jennifer Bullington had a love of all things fitness early in her childhood, from doing obstacle courses or drills with her Marine Corps father to participating in Jane Fonda workouts with her mother. Growing up in Hawaii, she was very active in a variety of outdoor sports and water activities. After high school, she relocated to Tallahassee to attend Florida State University. There she graduated with a degree in Education and began her career in Rehabilitation Services (drug and alcohol addiction). She relocated to Atlanta for work. Then began attending Bootcamp classes and fell in love with it! It was then that her desire to teach fitness was realized, but she did not feel she had the courage to go for it! Fast forward several years and a relocation to Johnson City, plus some encouragement from Underground owners, Jessica and Amanda, she went for it! Jennifer is certified in Group Fitness, Strength and Conditioning classes, INSANITY and L1FT and SH1FT. Jennifer enjoys encouraging clients around the studio, even when she is not instructor! Over the years, she has completed several half marathons, a full marathon (Marine Corps), Marine Corps 17.75, Obstacle courses races and several Spartan races. She is a self proclaimed “cardio junkie” that loves to lift weights. Jennifer is certified to teach Group Fitness and strength and conditioning classes, INSANITY and L1FT and SH1FT. When you walk into class with Jennifer, you will know her by her welcoming smile and demeanor. Come sweat with her!
Meredith Berry is a Johnson City native, married to Ben and has four children. She has a passion for dance, as she danced in multiple genres growing up. Following a hip injury related to marathon training, she began physical therapy to promote the healing process. Her Physical Therapist suggested taking yoga regularly. Four years ago she began her journey to embracing the benefits to yoga practice. After falling in love with the art and discipline of yoga and the benefits found from easing her pain, she decided to pursue certification to instruct yoga. In addition to her yoga certification, Meredith also is a certified group fitness instructor and Pilates instructor. She is thankful to God for allowing her the ability to teach and for the opportunity that this yoga platform has given her. While Meredith has seen benefits in her own personal health, she has also been thrilled to see her yoga students experience improved health related to regular yoga practice. Meredith invites you to meet her on your mat!
Whitney Eanes, Instructor
Outside of teaching group fitness, Whitney Eanes has a Bachelors’ degree and experience as a Respiratory Therapist. In 2013, she married her husband Heath. She is currently a stay at home mom to two little girls, Ashlynn and Gabrielle. Whitney’s love for group fitness started in college when she took an ‘Intro to Turbo’ class. She was hooked. She loved Turbo and made arrangements to be at class every week. After primarily participating in just Turbo, she began adding other fitness formats to her exercise routine. Once an opportunity to sub for an instructor came along, Whitney realized how much she loved teaching! Teaching had never crossed her mind and it was definitely out of her comfort zone, but saying yes to that opportunity, she says, was one of the best decisions she ever made! And she had so much fun teaching she decided to get certified. Whitney is certified am to teach TurboKick, R.I.P.P.E.D., Tabata, Body Shred and Kettlebell. She cannot wait to workout with you at Underground!
Ferris completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training in 2013 from Innersea Yoga under the instruction of Lydie Ometto. Ferris started practicing yoga to balance the pressure of a corporate career and encourages anyone she meets to do the same. She believes in forever growing her practice and continuing her education, by attending workshops from yogis around the country including Kino MacGregor, Steph Gongora, and Erin Kelly. Ferris’ passion for music is the inspiration for her teaching style. Don’t be surprised if you start a flow class with a Michael Jackson song on a regular basis. And, if you’ve ever been to Ferris’ class, you know she truly believes in “No Rules Yoga” where having fun outweighs taking yourself too seriously. Ferris and her husband welcomed their first child in April 2015. Spending time with her sweet, little nugget boy is her favorite pastime other than yoga, of course!
Beth Stevenson holds a B.A. in Sociology from Ole Miss where she attended on scholarship for cross country and track.She also holds Masters’ Degree in Sports and Wellness Leadership from Austin Peay University and a K-12 Physical Education license. She is also currently pursuing her Masters’ Degree in Counseling at East Tennessee State University.Beth has been teaching Group Exercise on and off for 13 years and has taught P.E. for 9 years. Beth says she loves group fitness because of the community support and friendships that develop. Also, she loves seeing women empowering other women. Beth loves teaching anything cardio and Pilates. When Beth is not at school or Underground, you will probably find her at the ball fields cheering for her children. She and her husband have four active children—three sons and one daughter.
Hailey Eaton received her RTY 200 hour certification in 2016 and she has been teaching since. She loves yoga, not only for its awesome physical benefits, but also for the impact it makes on her everyday life. She has found that a consistent practice helps to bring clarity and peace to her overall wellbeing. She loves leading others through their practice in hope that they will find the similar benefits. In addition to teaching yoga, Hailey is an elementary school art teacher. She loves spending time outside hiking, gardening, and playing with her dog.
Whitney Lawson Belt, PT, DPT enjoys teaching various formats at Underground Fitness. A proud graduate of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Whitney has a Bachelor of Science in Education with a concentration in Sports Medicine and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Virginia Commonwealth University. As a Physical Therapist, she has worked the majority of her career in Sports Medicine/Outpatient orthopedics. She currently holds certifications in Mat Pilates and TRX Suspension Training for Group Fitness, and enjoys exercise-based/sports medicine continuing education. She is an avid runner, having competed in races of various distances and qualified for the Boston marathon. Her love of exercise in all of its forms and physical therapy background inspire an emphasis on training for injury prevention and overall well-being. She is happily married and is the mother of 2 “vivacious” girls. She loves and appreciates the community of support at Underground Fitness and looks forward to seeing you in Pilates, TRX or Bootcamp classes.