Penny Smart

Be Fit, Dakota Personal Training & Pilates, Personal Training, Semi-Private Training, Pilates, Upper West Side


I’ve been a fitness professional for the majority of my adult life. I’ve worked as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer and a presenter/educator for some of the finest gyms in NYC before becoming the proud owner of my own studio. I strive to address the individual as a whole including physical and nutritional well being, happiness, and overall level of energy. I keep my programs interesting using a variety of modalities including, but not limited to the stability ball, TRX, Pilates apparatus, Bosu ball, heavy ropes, and kettlebells.


  • Interval training geared toward weight loss
  • Pre and postnatal fitness (including diastasis recti rehabilitation)
  • Pilates programs geared toward core strength
  • Senior programs (I’m a certified trainer for older adults)
  • Exercising with Fibromyalgia
  • Exercise for those with eating disorders

Certifications Attained:

  • ACE-Group Fitness Instructor
  • NSCA-Personal Trainer
  • AFFA-Group Fitness Instructor
  • PIA-Pilates
  • Resist-A-Ball-Master Trainer (former presenter)
  • Cycling Instructor-Multiple Certifications
  • Mat Pilates

Meet The Trainers

Michael Veras

Personal Training, Semi-Private Training

Throughout Mikes training career he has worked with a diverse population in achieving fitness goals and enhancing their lives. His tailor made programs use a variety of modalities keeping clients continuously engaged. Mike has completed extensive continuing education toward fitness and nutritional programming in optimizing body composition, core strength and mobility. His objective is to not only have clients look good, but to enhance energy levels and stay injury free.

Certifications Attained:

  • International Sports Science Association (ISSA)
  • Certified Poliquin Biosignature Modulation Body Composition

Katia Araujo

Katia has extensive experience as a personal trainer and full-body strength, body sculpting coach.  Katia is certified and insured through NAMA and has a degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition, she also has several certifications in full-body stretch and yoga.
Most recently Katia has worked with Master Jon Koga where she has acquired certifications of Koga Fitness, Koga Lift.  These are combination workouts that include both conventional exercise routines with kickboxing cardio as well as yoga.
Katia has combined her knowledge of all acquired Exercise Education as well as different movement programs ( dance, martial arts, kickboxing, yoga stretch to provide her clients with the most effective training programs to address each client’s individual needs. Katia’s training routines are designed for all age groups. With all of her routines, she incorporates breathing techniques for relaxation, better muscle development, and definition to better achieve full-body wellness.


  • Nutritional Counseling
  • Athletic Competition preparation
  • Metabolic Weightloss training
  • Older Adult training
  • Rehabilitative training

Certifications Attained:

  • NASM -Personal Trainer

Damon Baram

Damon Baram brings almost 20 years of experience to fitness. He is certified by three of the leading organizations: ACE, NSCA, and NASM. He has three specialties: Yoga, Boxing, and post-rehab. He is a certified Hatha Yoga teacher by the Integral Yoga Institute. He weaves together his diverse background to customize each clients routine. When he is not training clients he has a Holistic medicine practice with a focus on orthopedic /sports injuries. He is a licensed NYS massage therapist and Acupuncturist.


  • Weight loss
  • Post-rehab
  • Boxing

Certifications Attained:

  • ACE
  • NSCA
  • NASM

Felix Odman

Dakota Personal Training & Pilates, Personal Training, Semi-Private Training, Pilates, Upper West Side

Studio manager since 2016

Felix is a former professional Dancer/Choreographer and has many years of teaching experience. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and a Fine Arts in Dance. He is a Certified Yoga and Mat Pilates instructor. He teaches Vinyasa flow classes and Pilates in different studios in New York. His workouts incorporate Power Yoga sequences, Pilates, functional exercises and core strengthening and alignment re-education.


  • Yoga



Certifications/Degree’s Attained:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education
  • Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in Dance
  • Certified Yoga trainer

Bryan Richards

Bryan has extensive experience as a personal trainer and strength coach and is certified by the National Council on Strength and Fitness and holds advanced certifications in pre/post-natal care, kettlebell training, trigger point release therapy, TRX training and sports nutrition.

Bryan has experience working with varying populations, from young adults to elderly clients. He has pursued Dietetics at Lehman College in the Bronx, as part of merging expertise in fitness and nutrition.

When he is not training others, Bryan trains as a professional competitive bodybuilder. He has been competing since 2015 and won a national show in November of 2018 making him a pro.


  • Pre/post-natal care
  • Kettlebell training


Certifications/Degree’s Attained:

  • National Council on Strength and Fitness
  • Trigger point release therapy
  • TRX training and sports nutrition