A San Jose native, Susy C. has been dancing since she was eight years old when she fell in love with performing and music. She took a short break from her love of dancing in the studio and became a Song Girl for Andrew Hill High School. This break from studio dancing helped Susy discover her passion for creating choreography.
After high school, Susy was back in the studio hardcore, working under Fran Atlas of Atlas School of Dance in San Jose. Fran took Susy and other select dancers to Los Angeles and introduced them to a whole new world of dance.
At the age of twenty-two, Susy decided to pack her bags and pursue her passion in Los Angeles where she continued her training with some of the industrys best choreographers. Just when Susy's professional dance career was seeing light, it was shortened by numerous knee injuries.
A few years later, Susy relocated back to her hometown of San Jose. Although fitness had always been a part of her daily regimen, she started to take a liking to cardio kickboxing. She became an instructor and began implementing her own choreography.
In 2007, Susy became one of the first Zumba® Master Trainers for Northern California and certified hundreds of new fitness instructors. Within a few months, she started creating her own fun choreography, which quickly caught on fire and was desired by local instructors. Her fresh moves and custom music packed the house every week.
After over twenty years of dance training and ten years in the fitness industry, Susy was inspired to create a cardio fitness program with easy-to-follow dance steps, driven by all genres of music and adrenaline-filled beats. Her goal was to attract all ages and all levels of fitness by giving them an intense workout in a fun and energetic environment.
In 2009, Susy's combination of world rhythms with an urban flavor was put to the test. She held her first workshop, ChoreoJam, and it was a huge success with over forty instructors in attendance. The same year, she held ChoreoJam II in three different locations all over Northern California. Over 120 instructors left the workshops having learned new original routines.
Shortly after these workshops, Susy realized the high demand for her choreography all over the San Francisco Bay Area. In January 2010, she launched U-Jam Fitness® . Her philosophy is: It's more than a fitness class. It's an experience! She is proud to have created a fitness program that focuses on her students enjoying the class and forgetting that they are working out. Before they know it, students are walking out of the class having burned over 700 calories! Join one of U-Jam's classes and you'll hear all the new students exclaim how they've never sweat so much in a group fitness class before!
Matt Marks, aka “DJ Makaio,” is from San Jose/Santa Clara, CA. He grew up playing various sports, with baseball on the top of his list, helping pave his way through San Jose City College and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
Matt started his DJ career in 1984, with longtime friend, Ken Alarcon, as they put together cassette mixes (remember the double cassettes?). The turntables, mixer and microphone were quick to follow, as the two practiced their skills daily. Within a short time, Ken and Matt were DJing every high school dance at Santa Clara High, including some neighboring city high schools.
The timing was key for the two DJs, as the birth of turntable scratching and mixing was gaining momentum in the United States, with artists, such as Run D.M.C./Jam Master Jay, LL Cool J, Whodini, Soul Sonic Force and others.
Matt’s musical influence goes back to his dad’s doo-wop, golden oldies and Elvis Presley 8-Tracks and albums, as he listened to those frequently. The disco and funk eras were a huge influence, as Matt frequented a local roller-skating rink, Skateworld, in Santa Clara.
DJing was on hold through college, as baseball was a “full-time job,” but Matt returned to San Jose to DJ at local nightclub, San Jose Live, in 1995, as well as teach 6th, 7th, and 8th grade science at Holy Family (San Jose) and coach baseball at Santa Clara University. In 1996, Matt fell into the sales and marketing fields as the hi-tech boom hit the Silicon Valley. He ended up working for 17 years in these fields, while still DJing various events, from weddings to corporate to bar mitzvahs.
Matt met Susy C in 2007 and they hit the road with her choreo and his newly-learned DJ remixing style…and it has been a great collaboration ever since.
The name, “DJ Makaio,” was given to him from a Samoan friend, while DJing a Samoan wedding. He wasn’t going to argue with a big island brotha on that!
Janice Stephens possesses a B.S. in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Phoenix. With over 25 years’ experience in customer service, accounts receivable, and management, she’s worked for the likes of AT&T, Cintas and Virgin America. She led the policies and procedures team and employee training team at AT&T, reduced the percentage of net bad debt from over 45% to 3% in less than three months by collecting upon over $400,000 in unpaid services at Cintas, and oversaw as many as 100 employees and led the new employee training team.
She joined the U-Jam Team in 2014 to spearhead the collections team and now has transitioned into working with daily operations, social media, choreography, and planning U-Jam events.
Janice, also known as “JJ-FaB” to the U-JAM community, has been a U-Jam instructor for almost five years and is also part of the OG Coach Team, Jam KrU and Choreo Presentation Team. Her passion for dance began in high school and she’s never looked back. When she’s not dancing, you can find her cooking soulful dishes in the kitchen. Anyone want a plate? ; )
J-Ram, J-Fly, Tootsie Roll Tigger
Jeremy Ramos (AKA J-Ram, J-Fly, Tootsie Roll Tigger), B.F.A in Graphic Design, MBA General Management
A graduate from La Sierra University, Jeremy worked in Information Technology for the Higher Education Industry and the Healthcare Industry for over 10 years. With a wide range of skills and backgrounds, Jeremy has been able to bridge gaps between marketing, finance, and technology to help implement initiatives that significantly reduce costs and streamline processes.
After suffering from several obesity-related health issues, Jeremy was able to lose 45 pounds through group fitness. Because of that, he understood what group fitness instructors can do for the community and decided to start a career of service in the fitness industry. Within a few months, Jeremy had the chance to serve as a group fitness instructor in several formats (including U-Jam Fitness®) and several fitness organizations. Continuing that trend of service, Jeremy took on the opportunity to serve in the role of a U-Jam Fitness® Coach and now as a U-Jam Fitness® Trainer. Several years later, Jeremy joined the U-Jam Fitness® corporate team and was excited to help grow Matt and Susy C. Marks' powerful mission and vision. In less than one year with U-Jam Fitness®, Jeremy was able to devise and implement multiple initiatives that streamlined processes.
In some of his off-time, Jeremy likes to play piano, play video games, shoot photography, and create funny videos while making lots of humorous memories with his girlfriend Caroline.