She grew up in the Maryvale area and is a proud graduate of Maryvale High School.   She started to come to the Y when she was in her teens with her mother.   At first she did not like it.   It all started when she tried on her Quince dress and it was too tight.   Briana says she was not overweight but did have some baby fat.   Her mom forced her to come to the Y to get fit and lose weight.   Briana hated to come to Zumba, hated to dance and would hide in the back and move her arms and hope no one noticed her.  She continued to come in spite of all this.    Several of the instructors noticed her and took time to help her.   After a while Briana started to notice the positive changes coming to Y was having on her body and her attitude.  She stated that she loved the progress she was making and began looking forward to coming to Y.  She loves the YMCA for many reasons.  She feels it is a family oriented facility and that has things for people of all ages.  The likes the connections that she has made at the Y and sees others making as well.  She feels that the friends you make at the Y are friends that can last a lifetime.

About 6 months ago she started getting comments from her instructors that they thought that she should become an instructor herself.  These instructors did not know her background and she thought it ironic that they thought her rhythm and love of dance were some of the reasons as when she first started she hated to dance.   She started off as a volunteer and is currently went through a Mossa course to be a Strength Train Together instructor at the Y.  Her class members love the class and Briana.  The most ironic thing is that in March Briana is going to become Zumba certified and will be a Zumba instructor at the Y.  She states that she will be on the lookout for the person in the back row who may not be comfortable like she once was and will be sure to help them as people helped her.