September 2015 Volunteer Spotlight Amy Liss

amyThis month let’s get to know N Street Village volunteer Amy Liss. Since 2001, Amy has been teaching Ageless Grace—a Nia movement class at the night shelter.  Both clients and staff enjoy Amy’s energetic spirit and enthusiasm she brings to the community each month. Let’s get to know Amy…

I started volunteering at N Street Village in 2001, when I first became a Nia instructor. N Street Village was kind enough to take in a new teacher and give me a place to practice teaching people with different ability levels. I have since become certified in Ageless Grace and teach Ageless Grace at Luther Place. I love when new people come to my classes, reluctantly and skeptically, and they are shimmying and laughing within 5 minutes. 

I also volunteer for Washington Women Outdoors as a trip leader. I love being active, playful, and outdoors. I hike, backpack, bike, paddleboard, kayak, cave, and have done some rock climbing and tree climbing. For my day job, I have a Master’s in Library Science and work in the publishing industry.

It is my goal to share my love of movement with others and to help people heal through movement.

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the DC area?

I was born and raised near New Haven, CT, and have been in the DC area (via New York City and Pennsylvania) since 1993.

What is your favorite D.C. restaurant?

Hmm. I’m a vegetarian, so my restaurant choices are a bit suspect.

On a Saturday evening you will find me…

Recovering from a day of hiking, biking, paddleboarding, caving, or some other outdoor activity.

What is the last movie you watched (and enjoyed)?

I usually like more artsy movies, but I gotta say that did enjoy Jurassic World. Who can resist dinosaurs eating people?

Who is one of your favorite musicians? 

I love female folk artists like Shawn Colvin, Dar Williams, and the Indigo Girls.

What is your favorite D.C. landmark? 

So hard to pick just one! I love the Jefferson Memorial. I am always inspired there.

Share one of your favorite N Street Village memories?

One time, while teaching the Ageless Grace tool “Breathe Out Loud,” I instructed everyone to yawn as socially unacceptably as possible, until your eyes water. Yvonne started yawning, but then we couldn’t get her to stop! She was tired, apparently.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at N Street Village?

I love making people laugh and be silly. And I love being called Miss Amy.

What makes N Street Village unique to you?

I am inspired every time I walk in the door. The staff and volunteers are so loving and compassionate. N Street Village is truly a home.