Get to the core.



About Our Instructors


Melanie Cruse, Nucleo Fitness
Melanie Cruse

Melanie Cruse opened Nucleo Fitness with her mother, Jill Bunkowske, in 2007. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Wyoming in 2005 and has been involved in dance and fitness her entire life.

Melanie had hurt her back in gymnastics as a high school athlete and once getting to college her back pain increased. Though her mother had been teaching Pilates for many years, it wasn't until college that Melanie worked with Pilates and has been pain free ever since. She went through the STOTT Pilates Matwork in 2005 and has since completed all the STOTT Pilates Instructor Training. Melanie became a Certified STOTT Pilates Instructor in all Pilates Equipment both level 1 & 2 in 2010.

In 2008, Melanie became certified as a Spinning Instructor. She was drawn to cycling because of the fun classes, low impact, and amazing cardio conditioning. It is a great addition to the Pilates trainings and a fun way to complete a fitness program.

In 2012, Nucleo Fitness brought TRX into the studio as another total body, resistance workout. It adds great variety for Melanie’s clients while still using the Pilates Principles that Melanie knows work! Melanie feels very blessed to be able to watch her clients reach their fitness goals and enjoy exercise through personal training.

Melanie is married to Brandon, who is also an instructor and partner in both life and business. They have three beautiful children. Activities and fitness is fun family time for the Cruses.

Jill Bunkowski, Nucleo Fitness
Jill Bunkowske

Jill has a broad background of teaching which includes a Master’s degree in Physical Education and Dance. Now retired from her teaching career of 35 years, Jill is into fitness full-time. Jill and her daughter, Melanie, opened Nucleo Fitness as (formerly All About Pilates) in 2007. Since then, the business has expanded into a full facility including equipment based Pilates, indoor cycling and the new TRX suspension strength system.

Jill has been involved in fitness instruction for over 30 years. Her dance and fitness background is extensive, including many years as a dance teacher, owning her own dance and fitness facility and certifications in aerobic fitness, kick-boxing, yoga, indoor cycling, and pilates Currently she also teaches dance at Prima School of Dancing.

Jill’s pilates training started years ago as a Mat Pilates instructor. She has had training in physical mind, Polestar, and the most highly respected name in Pilates, STOTT. In 2010, she became a fully-certified STOTT level 1 & 2 trainer in Mat, Reformer, Chair, Barrels, and Cadillac. She is also a certified cycling instructor. As a co-owner of Nucleo Fitness, Jill is dedicated to continuing education and quality instruction.

Tammy Buehner, Nucleo Fitness
Tammy Buehner

First introduced to Pilates as a client, Pilates has been instrumental for Tammy in developing core strength, stability, and a stronger leaner body in addition to improving her posture, balance and flexibility. She immediately fell in love with Pilates and quickly realized she wanted to share that passion with others by motivating and supporting them on their own fitness journey.

Tammy completed the STOTT PILATES Reformer, Mat, Chair and Cadillac training along with TRX and Spinning training as well. The combination of all is a great way to a complete fitness program. Tammy also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and her understanding of health and anatomy enables her to help clients achieve both mind and body awareness in personal training.

She believes that exercise and physical activity should be a part of your daily routine. Each client is an individual with different goals, needs and limitations. She is dedicated to training and supporting clients on their journey to achieve their personal fitness goal. She also believes with consistent hard work, determination and a positive attitude you can attain your goals and your true inner strength will be discovered.

Tammy shares her passion for fitness and health with her three fun, active, outgoing children and they enjoy going to their activities and spending time as a family outdoors. Tammy feels very blessed to work at Nucleo Fitness and enjoys every one of her clients and is excited about sharing her love for Pilates with you.

Aly Strong, Nucleo Fitness
Aly Strong

Aly has had a love for movement and exercise since a young age. It all began with growing up as a dance student here in Rapid City. Her passion for dance led her to study with the Joffrey Ballet School's professional trainee program in New York City. Her time in New York took her dancing to a new level as well as heightened her passion and understanding of correct muscle function and alignment of the body.

Since returning to Rapid City in 2010, Aly has been teaching dance to all ages at Prima School of Dancing. Aly began studying Pilates to supplement her dancing soon after returning to Rapid City, and she immediately knew it would become one of her greatest passions.

Aly began instructing Pilates in the summer of 2011 at Nucleo Fitness. As a Pilates instructor, she strives for muscle awareness and bodily alignment while helping her clients reach their goals. Continuing education is a priority for her in both Pilates and dance to keep workouts fresh and effective.


MaRanda has always had a passion for health of mind, body and spirit. She enjoys sharing these passions through fitness, sharing health tips, and introducing others to mediation and Reiki. Being from a small town in North Dakota, she helped spread the message of health and wellness by helping form and non-profit fitness group and instructed step aerobics on the bosu ball for the community. When her journey brought her to Rapid City, she found an amazing community of health and wellness and was introduced to Nucleo Fitness through a good friend. She instantly fell in love with the Studio and Pilates. Within a couple of weeks she was enrolled in the Stott Pilates training program and looked forward to having the opportunity to work for an amazing studio. Her goal is to inspire people to meet their fitness goals through Pilates.

Sue Provost, Nucleo Fitness
Sue Provost

Fitness and sports has been a love of Sue's for 30 years - from competitive skiing and ice skating, to rowing crew in College along with being an avid cyclist, hiker and Scuba Diver. Knowing the dedication it takes to compete or have overall fitness for good health is what drives her consistency.

Sue was a spinning instructor in Colorado prior to moving to Rapid City 4 years and was initially a Spinning client at Nucleo Fitness. I loved the intimate feel of the studio and the small classes and wanted to get back to being an instructor. Giving me the opportunity to share my knowledge with my clients and help them achieve a goal or have overall wellbeing for a healthy life.

When the studio added strength classes, Sue was enthusiastic about providing a strength element to the cardio workout found in Spinning. It is a great opportunity to really help clients achieve well rounded fitness.

Jenna Schroeder, Nucleo Fitness
Jenna Schroeder

Jenna has had a love for fitness since she was little. She started competitive gymnastics when she was 6 years old, and continued through high school. She continued her active lifestyle by cheer-leading throughout college at the University of Wyoming. Jenna received a bachelors degree in Secondary Education, and currently teaches Social Studies at East Middle School.

Upon returning to Rapid City, Jenna first taking classes at Nucleo Fitness in the summer of 2013. A friend introduced her to TRX, and her love of group exercise grew from there. She eventually broadened her exercise to Pilates, and loved seeing the results. The studio had such a welcoming feeling, and truly encouraged her to make exercise a daily part of her routine.

When the studio added a Zumba class, Jenna was excited to combine her love of dance and fitness to help people achieve their goals. She then completed STOTT PILATES training in the summer of 2015, and loves helping other people discover the amazing benefits of Pilates.

Caiti L, Nucleo Fitness
Caiti Kean

In October 2008, Caiti became a certified Spinning Instructor for the South Dakota State University Wellness Center. While there, she taught a wide variety of clients including Division I college athletes looking to supplement their training. Caiti also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish. She worked as a Registered Nurse on an adult Surgery/Trauma unit and a Level II Trauma Center/Emergency Department. Caring for sick and injured patients made her realize the importance of preventative health, including a healthy diet and exercise, not only for disease prevention, but for faster recovery and improved outcomes from a major surgery or unexpected accident.

Caiti recently moved back to Rapid City and found Nucleo Fitness while searching for a studio that offered Pilates and Spinning classes. She knew she found "that place" when she saw how Nucleo Fitness values the education and certification of their instructors to provide clients with a safe and effective workout. She began teaching for the studio in December, 2014 on a substitute basis that soon grew to a permanent schedule.

Caiti is currently completing her Doctorate of Nurse Practitioner, with specialization in Adult-Geriatric Acute Care and will graduate with in May, 2016. Teaching spinning helps her find motivation to stay healthy and active, and hopes that she can provide the same for her clients. One of the greatest joys she gets from teaching classes is when someone tells her “I never knew I could do that”. Helping people push past their comfort zone in a safe, effective manner, keeps her coming back to hopefully provide that for even more people.

Heather Lindsay, Nucleo Fitness
Heather Lindsay

Heather has an extreme passion for fitness, nutrition, and helping others find balance of both mentally and physically. Pilates encompasses total body wellness in a way that no other fitness methodology can. Heather was first exposed to Pilates in 2010 as a college student in Ohio. She needed a process that not only improved core stability, flexibility, and balance, but one that also was low impact movements to accommodate for her old sports injuries. After a short few months Heather felt stronger than ever before and experienced a vast decrease in joint pain.

Above all, Pilates allowed her to truly experience and learn about the mind-body connection through movement. She now wanted to share this new knowledge with anyone wanting to make a positive change in their lives. After completing her BA in Psychology from the University of Cincinnati, Heather moved to South Dakota and enrolled in the STOTT PILATES instructors training program in 2014. Since then, she has also acquired training in Pilates-based strength training and indoor cycling. Heather is excited each and every day to share Pilates with the Nucleo Fitness community.

Tracy Bernard
Tracy Bernard

Growing up, Tracy played nearly every traditional team sport, but as an adult, joining a team became less of an option while building a career and raising children. Her regular physical activity became limited to running until a friend asked her to join her in a Pilates class. She was hooked. Tracy first started training with Nucleo Fitness in 2010 and as they have added strength and cardio classes, she has expanded her fitness routine to include those as well.

With a lifelong affection for being on the move, having fun and a love of music, Zumba was an instant favorite. As a Zumba instructor at Nucleo, she brings that level of enthusiasm to each workout. The combination of variety, and intensity are perfect for getting a great cardio workout disguised by the fun of dancing.