History teacher during the day and fitness instructor after school


Provided by Brianne Perez

Brianne Perez and her enthusiastic fitness group

Giselle Morales, Staff Writer

DHS Social Studies teacher Brianne Perez is currently teaching kickboxing and strength boot camp during after school hours in Shelton. 

Prior to COVID, Perez was an active participant in these fitness classes, but when the gym shut down due to Covid she decided to start teaching them herself. 

“I always wanted to teach them prior to Covid,” Perez said. “I got my group certification for group fitness prior to COVID and I was on the fence of whether I wanted to actually be in a gym or which gym I wanted to be a part of. I did actually go and get my group certification, but I think being a teacher was a lot to think about applying, and I think Covid gave me that push to finally get into it.”   

Even though Perez was faced with a dilemma at first, her desire to keep these fitness classes going motivated her to become a teacher. Her classes began as an informal thing as she would teach them outside mostly in tennis courts due to COVID. 

Now, her group has the opportunity to be in a physical space in a corporate building in Shelton throughout each week. Her classes include individuals from different backgrounds, ages, and genders. The ages in her group range from those in their 20’s though those in their 50’s.


Provided by Brianne Perez


Teaching two completely different things in the same day can definitely become stressful; however, Perez has been able to maintain a healthy balance between both aspects. In fact, exercising has been an outlet for her stress as the physical movements of kicking and punching help her release  aggression. She believes that no matter what career anyone has they need to have something that helps them release their stress. 

“I don’t even think twice about it to be honest because it’s like my form of release, my form of therapy,” Perez said. “For me, it’s like after working, I need to have a moment where I’m not thinking about other things that are going on and just thinking about working out and helping others. For me it’s very therapeutic.”

Exercising has been both physically and mentally beneficial for Perez. There are also several other reasons why Perez enjoys these classes other than her passion for fitness. 

“It’s the sense of community, first of all we’re getting a great workout which I love, but it’s this friendship that we’ve built over the years,” Perez said. “Now being able to teach them and kind of be the leader that kind of holds everyone together, it’s a good feeling. Being able to give that to people too, is what motivates me to keep these classes going, take more ownership, and teach them myself.”

Even though fitness takes a big part of her life now, this was not always the case. During her high school years she just played basketball. Around her late teens and early 20s, she wanted to change her lifestyle and managed to gain enough motivation to do so. Her fitness process took a lot of work and practice, but she believes it’s very cool that she now gets to lead the classes. 

“Students are always surprised, their like ‘wow’ since I have like tattoos and I’m alternative,” Perez said. “People are always surprised by that, but I also think it’s very admirable to have that as such a big part of my life especially because I teach during the day and it’s like teaching again, but I dont kind of think about it as the same.”

Perez understands that now as a teacher she has to be careful, making sure her students don’t hurt themselves and maintain the correct form. Patience is something she has to have a lot of, but her passion for this hobby keeps her motivated and going.