Joy DeYounge received her Pilates certification from The Fitness Guru. Joy believes that the key to an effective Pilates workout begins and ends with the Pilates body set up and works hard to ensure that her clients get the most out of their workout by promoting the proper body set up. Joy is a true believer in the benefits of Pilates both physical and emotional. It is an exercise for all ages and ailments. Joy’s enthusiasm and desire to get the best from her clients after just one session makes her an exceptional choice for those who are new to the world of Pilates.
Lisa’s Pilates journey began in 2011 after discovering IM=X Pilates in Guilford CT and it was then that she decided to change careers. She was certified in NYC with the IM=X Pilates method on both mat and reformer. While working and teaching group Reformer classes at the IM=X studio, she was introduced to the TRX Suspension Trainer and began attending day workshops on Group, Functional and Force Suspension Training with TRX and RIP trainers as well as attending two TRX Summits which included Yoga and Pilates workshops on the straps. In 2012 and after completing her Stott training on all apparatus at the Pilates Academy International in NYC, she was hired by Edge Fitness Clubs in Trumbull CT as their lead Pilates Instructor for both private and group training. Lisa continued with her fitness education, becoming a Group Exercise Instructor through AFAA. She attended Anatomy Studies for Pilates and Yoga Instructors with Jason Brown at Zenyasa Studio in NYC deepening her knowledge of functional anatomy, biomechanics, injury prevention, kinesiology, assessment, sequencing strategies, corrective exercise and cross-training. In addition, she received her Level I Yoga Tune Up Certification and is certified in BootyBarre. Her Pilates journey continues with PEAK Pilates, a classical Pilates education program distinguished by an emphasis on Pilates as an integrated movement system as Joseph Pilates intended. Lisa is working towards completing her Comprehensive 500 hours Certification in Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, Barrel and Auxiliary equipment with PEAK. Outside of the Pilates studio, Lisa is passionate about working out and hiking.
Sundance’s journey with Pilates began after experiencing a back injury after giving birth to her two children. She immediately fell in love with this transformative exercise and after practicing Pilates for a few years, decided to take the leap and become a certified teacher. Sundance received her mat and full apparatus certification through an intensive 600 hour program from The Fitness Guru of New York City, studying under one of the only 2nd generation master Pilates instructor in Fairfield County, Jennifer Mongeluzo. She also went on to complete an additional teaching training in mat through Balanced Body in 2017.
Sundance holds additional fitness certifications from MetaHit (high intensity interval training) and PiYo (low impact fitness regimen combining Pilates and Yoga). In early 2018, Sundance also received her certification in Buff Bones® which is a medically-endorsed system of movement for bone and joint health, leveraging balance techniques along with Pilates, functional movement, strength training and therapeutic exercise. Sundance also attended and successfully completed the prestigious 4 day program at Mt. Sinai College of Medicine (FAMI) where movement and medical professionals come together to gain an intense understanding of human anatomy, common injuries, and how functional movement –including Pilates – can improve the body, mind and spirit.
Sundance has also traveled throughout the tristate area, earning additional CECs and training in anatomy and Pilates movement with noted instructors such as Maria Andresino (RI- Approved PMA CEC Provider), Michael Fritzke and Ton Voogt, Megan Koppelle Duffy (Pilates for Neuro conditions), Marcelo Tapia, and Mary Beth Lawrence (CT - PMA Exam Question Writer).
In addition to group class instruction for Pilates mat and apparatus, she trains private clients with a host of physical aspirations including youth sports conditioning, Pilates for rehabilitation, healthy aging movement, and fitness and flexibility maintenance. In addition to her focus on anatomy, she offers a fun and upbeat workout environment, drawing on both classical and contemporary styles to meet the needs of her clients.
In addition to her Pilates career, Sundance also maintains a corporate career at a large health insurer as a Member Experience Director. She holds a BS in Communications from NYU and an MS in Digital Marketing for Sacred Heart University.
Carla Pardo began her Pilates journey as a student looking for a way to gain strength and flexibility in a safe environment. With a theatre and dance background, she connected deeply with the Pilates Method and Joseph Pilates’ philosophy of health, life and the connection of the body and the spirit.
Carla completed her Pilates Mat Certification in 2011 and her Apparatus Certification in 2013. She is certified through The Fitness Guru. She holds CECs from Bar Sculpt, Power Pilates and Pilates Symmetry. Carla is dedicated to helping people discover how the Pilates Method can change their lives.
Karen has always been passionate about how we move. With the knowledge of movement you can teach others to move efficiently. She started her career in the Medical Field as a Medical Assistant/Surgical Coordinator. This helps her have an eye for detail and understanding were her clients are physically. A move shifted her focus from the Medical Field to Physical Training. She taught Spin and Group Fitness and found out she absolutely loved doing it. The passion grew and she added Personal Training (NASM) and other specialties such as Cancer Exercise, Corrective Exercise, Balance and Mobility (Fallproof), Les Mills Body Pump and TRX. All this enhanced her well being and her clients! There was still something missing. Something that will make you more body aware. Knowing that the easier your body moves, the better your overall health will be.
In 2011 Karen found it! Balance Body Pilates created a new level of being able to help people. She could really see her clients change for the better. Joseph Pilates said it best when he said: "In 10 sessions you'll feel the difference
In 20 sessions you'll see the difference
And in 30 you'll have a new body." Karen wants that!
Amanda has always enjoyed an active, athletic lifestyle. While looking for ways to mix up her workout routine she discovered and started practicing Pilates. Amazed with how she felt and how much stronger and leaner her body became, she decided to leave her corporate career as a marketing director and instruct Pilates full time.
Amanda received her comprehensive Pilates certification and Barre certification through Balanced Body and has been teaching since 2014. While teaching, Amanda likes to incorporate classical and contemporary Pilates methods and equipment to challenge her clients with a unique, purposeful workout. She enjoys building personal connections with her clients by helping them to look and feel their best.
Mollie was introduced to Pilates after having her second child when a friend invited her to a class. She found it to be not only an incredible core strengthener following a C-section, but an amazing overall body sculpting workout that toned and lengthened her muscles like never before. After spending years in the commercial real estate industry, she craved more mind/body balance and decided to follow her passion for nutrition and fitness by attending the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, becoming a Health Coach and later completing her comprehensive Pilates certification through The Fitness Guru of NYC to become a Certified Pilates Instructor. Mollie loves to teach a challenging, flowing class and is excited to motivate her clients to push beyond in order to reach their fitness and wellness goals combining the rebalancing, strengthening and toning methods of Pilates with a bit of cardio and good tunes. She believes that Pilates is the foundation for a strong body whether you are an athlete, recovering from an injury or simply trying to feel your best. In addition to teaching Pilates, she enjoys sharing her holistic approach to a healthy life through nutrition tips, recipes and her knowledge of essential oils.
As a former elementary school teacher, Stephanie continued her passion for teaching by pursuing a career in Pilates. She immediately fell in love with this style of exercise that kept her challenged, both physically and mentally, and soon began her journey to become a Pilates instructor. Stephanie employs her creative energy into each class by designing a unique session for clients, ensuring that no two workouts are ever quite the same. She takes her classroom experiences with her students and relates them to her clients by providing modifications and accommodations to support the range of abilities of all members. While still staying true to the core principles founded by Joseph Pilates, she likes to take an athletic training approach in her classes and keeps routines challenging and fresh.
As a seasoned practitioner of both reformer and mat Pilates Jessica wanted to share her passion with others. She decided to pursue and complete her 500 hour teaching certification in 2017 and has been teaching at the Darien Club Pilates since. Jessica is also a certified vinyasa yoga instructor, as well as a licensed occupational therapist. Her extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology are highlighted in her classes as she guides student’s through proper alignment and positioning throughout class.
Heather Gilman is a skilled Pilates instructor with over 10 years of extensive teaching experience across all formats. She received her certification for Stott Reformer Level 1 in 2006 followed by her comprehensive Pilates certifications through Balanced Body University in 2010. In addition, Heather has an AFAA Group Fitness certification, AFAA Mat 1&2 certifications and Yogafit 1&2 certifications and has been working in the fitness industry since 1999.
Heather offers individual and group training centering around conventional Pilates. With the ability to incorporate elements of Barre, yoga, aerobics and more, she develops fusion classes as well which keeps her classes fresh and helps inspire her clients. Her strong knowledge of body mechanics and physiology, along with her ability to create an inclusive environment with a focus on form and alignment, challenges longtime Pilates practitioners while putting newcomers at ease by providing individual attention at all levels.
Heather taught at The Pilates Advantage for the past 10 years and has recently joined the Club Pilates team in Darien and Westport as well. She has been a fitness enthusiast throughout her life and has a background in dance (including classical ballet and Jazz) which enhances the flow of her dedicated practice. Heather lives in Wilton with her 2 sons who help her maintain balance, strength and flexibility in life as well as pilates.
Nicole is a versatile and energetic teacher. She balances her cheerfulness and enthusiasm with safe and challenging workouts. Her classes provide a fun way to build strength, overcome injuries, and empower yourself.
Nicole grew up with a love of sports, and as a athlete this led to becoming a Personal Trainer and Instructor. Always looking for new challenges she found Pilates, and completed a 2 year internship to become a PhysicalMind Institute Master Instructor.
Since she started teaching in 2005, she has become PMA certified to work with pre and postnatal women, seniors, and a Pilates Rehab Specialist for clients with spinal issues and injuries. She’s worked with professional athletes, autistic children, teenagers, and women looking to feel their best again.
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