The Momentum Fest ambassador program highlights teachers in our community who are energetic, excited and driven in their Pilates practice and love of life. They embody our mission and are helping to spread Momentum Fest’s vision to their hometowns and studios!
Meet our 2019 Momentum Fest Ambassadors
Sue Merren owns and operates Balance Cayman, a boutique-style studio specializing in Pilates and functional fitness in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. Sue’s certifications include STOTT® Pilates, ACE® Personal Trainer, TRX®, Booty Barre®, Buff Bones®, PN L2 Nutrition Coach, and several other specialty certifications. She has also completed the BASI Pilates Pro-Bridge and Mentor programs to further expand her Pilates teaching skills. Her teaching style is fun, compassionate, and professional. Sue truly believes that movement is medicine for the mind, body, and spirit. When she’s not at the studio teaching clients and classes, she loves to spend her free time with her husband & son and enjoying all that the island lifestyle has to offer.
Amy is the founder of ARC Pilates in Cochrane, Alberta Canada (located just outside Calgary, AB in the foothills of Canadian Rockies). She completed her Level 5 Advanced Classical Pilates Certification at the only accredited Pilates school in Canada, Embody School of Pilates in Canmore, Alberta. She worked in private healthcare for 15 years as an Administrator of Disability Management, then decided to leave her corporate job working in a spine clinic to pursue her passion for Pilates. She is the busy mother of four children and movement is a part of her and her family’s everyday life!
Ashley is a lifelong health and fitness enthusiast who first came to pilates after a running injury several years ago. She discovered a love of Pilates that has since turned into a passion for teaching and sharing the method with others. Ashley began the certification process with Ellie Herman Studios in 2010 and has completed over 500 hours in training. She continues to deepen her knowledge of anatomy and body mechanics by attending seminars throughout the country. Ashley enjoys working with clients of all different levels in both individual and group settings to help them achieve their specific goals.
Melissa Nagai, owner of b.PILATES & FITNESS, began her career in fitness in the early 1990’s, teaching high energy aerobics, weight training, and spin classes for many years before she discovered Pilates. Ongoing education and training in both Pilates and fitness brought Melissa to where she is today, holding certifications as a Pilates Teacher, Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Kettlebell and Ultimate Sandbag training. Melissa credits studying and practicing Pilates with changing the way she personally approaches fitness as well as how she trains her clients. She believes that it is very important to find a balance in the physical fitness activities that you are doing so that you are able to continue on with the activities that you enjoy for many years to come.
Victoria Mogilevsky of Mogo Pilates
Victoria Mogilevsky is PMA®-CPT and a graduate of the Advanced Teacher Training Program from The Pilates Center, Boulder, CO. She is also a TPC Master’s Program graduate and Host Advisor for the teacher training program. She has completed the Pilates Plus Psyche with Pilates Elder, Mary Bowen, in Northhampton, MA and the certification for Scolio-Pilates® Program with Karena Thek. She is being mentored by TPC’s, Debora Kolwey, in Eve Gentry work. As a perpetual student of Pilates, she recently graduated from the Kathy Grant Heritage Program by Cara Reeser. She is the owner and lead teacher at Mogo Pilates which is a classical and inclusive studio located in Minneapolis, MN.
Stacey began practicing Pilates in 2011 to become healthier. She soon realized how much more it was to her than simply a healthy lifestyle. Pilates became a form of therapy for her mind and soul and she fell in love with the movement practice. Stacey enjoys her Pilates practice at home and also spends time traveling and seeking out new studios and practitioners to learn from. She is a Pilates enthusiast and loves sharing the method with anyone who’s willing to listen and try it out! She looks forward to completing a teacher training program in the future.
Suzanna Baldridge is an instructor for Club Pilates at the Kent, Bellevue and Newcastle locations in Washington State. Although she had been long time fitness enthusiast in general, Suzanna first discovered the benefits of Pilates after her C Section in 2013. Having seen the amazing difference it made in her life, she quickly realized that she wanted to share her passion for Pilates with others. She completed a 500 hour comprehensive teacher training program through Club Pilates and now teaches four days a week. Suzanna loves that Pilates translates to all body types and can be as low impact as needed, or as dynamic as desired for athletic conditioning. Outside of Pilates, “Suz’s” interests include wine, trying new restaurants, rock music, and hanging out with her husband and four-year-old son in their West Seattle neighborhood.
Emily is a member and certified Pilates instructor through the Pilates Method Alliance and was comprehensively trained through Balanced Body. In addition to Pilates she has been trained in the Balanced Body MOTR, the BODHI Suspension System and Balanced Body Barre. She has been mentored by many amazing Pilates and movement professionals and is a 2018 graduate of the Kathy Grant Heritage Training Program. Emily recently relocated to Nashville from Denver where she spent the last 7 years skiing, camping and hiking 29 peaks over 14,000 ft in elevation. She loves traveling to adventurous destinations with her husband and friends including Tanzania in Eastern Africa to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Outside of the studio Emily explores other forms of movement including strength training, running and attending concerts.
Amanda was raised in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she grew up riding horses, doing gymnastics, and playing team sports. She loved being active, but hadn’t found an activity she wanted to continue into adulthood. That all changed when she discovered Pilates in 2013. She was trained by Club Pilates in 2015 and since then has pursued continuing education and mentoring with teachers such as Anula Maiberg, Try Fry, and Carrie Pages. She’s passionate about being both a Pilates teacher and student. Amanda’s also excited to be a part of the current movement of teachers working to create an inclusive Pilates community where there is a feeling of mutual respect and appreciation for different types of purposeful movement.
Lexy is the Senior Instructor and Outreach Coordinator at Bolder Pilates in Boulder, CO. She has run her own studio for 5 years, completed intensives in functional anatomy and biomechanics, earned her 200 hour and prenatal yoga teacher certifications, and completed yoga therapy training. After enduring a traumatic accident in 2011 that resulted in 5 surgeries and a lot of personal experience with rehabilitation and compensation patterns, Lexy has a deep understanding of the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of being injured and finding your way back to movement. Lexy has a passion for working with people with injuries and improper movement patterns, competitive athletes, and those who are simply interested in learning about their body and having fun with movement.
Linda Tillotson is co-owner of Pilates On Western in Oklahoma City. She trained through the Balanced Body University and received her full certification in 2012. Linda continued her education and received her Pilates Method Alliance certification in 2013. Linda found Pilates after suffering a low back injury which started her on the journey of teaching and eventually owning her own studio. She loves sharing the method of movement with body and mind in individual and group class settings. Linda also enjoys spending time with her husband and four beautiful children.
An Austin native, Jenny found Pilates while working for Equinox in Southern California. Jenny’s Pilates training came through the classical system from the school of Romana Kryzanowzka. She has been teaching Pilates since 2012. After returning to Austin she continued her education with a 200hr alignment based Vinyasa yoga certification. In her quest for more knowledge about the body in a more holistic lens, Jenny completed her education to be a certified raw food chef out of Mathew Kenny Culinary school as well as a Health Coach. Her intention behind teaching is to create space for clients to discover new possibilities, empower strength and allow for the rediscovery of joyful movement!
Marisa is a PMA Certified Pilates Teacher, Qualified Fletcher Pilates Teacher and Certified Massage Therapist. Marisa developed a love for movement through dance and went on to study ballet with the Colorado School of Ballet and Performing Arts. She found Pilates after an auto accident left her with a neck injury in 1996. After just one Pilates private session session she felt immediate relief from her pain and realized she needed to become a teacher so she could share the benefits of the Pilates method with others. She owns Peace of Mind Pilates in Denver, Colorado. Pilates is Marisa’s passion and she is always continuing her Pilates education in order continue to offer her clients the very best in the Pilates industry. Marisa truly loves teaching every body at every age and stage of their life!
Summer has been devoted to movement since she was a young child, and was an endurance athlete for many years. She first tried Pilates in 2002, to rehabilitate her lumbar spine after suffering a back injury in her early twenties, and it felt like Pilates was something her body had always known and loved. Pilates has taught Summer to slow down, breathe deeply, and practice mindful movement. She is a Pilates enthusiast and life-long student, and hopes to one day be a teacher to share the benefits of Pilates with others. She is in the process of completing a Mat teacher training program through Core Dynamics Pilates, and is in the planning phase for opening Humboldt Pilates on the northern California coast.
Martiza found Pilates 15 years ago after suffering a back injury that required surgery. Two years later she began studying with Pilates Teacher Brooke Siler and was certified through the PMA shortly after. She continues her education in both Pilates and other movement modalities and also works daily on her own Pilates practice. She is the owner of Sound Beach Pilates, an intimate studio in Old Greenwich Connecticut. Martiza loves sharing her passion and dedication for movement. She has a unique approach to teaching and continuously looks for creative ways to keep the work challenging and fun for her clients.
Kristina Spirkina resides in Colorado and teaches at two Pilates studios located in Louisville and Lafayette. Kristina was practicing Pilates for several years while performing her everyday office job duties. One day she made one of the best decisions of her life: she decided to fully commit to training and turn her passion into career. In 2015 Kristina enrolled and got certified in Body Arts & Science International (BASI) program. She has been teaching Pilates since then and loves sharing her insights and expert knowledge with clients. Kristina also enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.
Amy is the owner of the Pilates Center of Viera, in Rockledge, FL. She began teaching dance and aerobics when she was 14 years old and has always loved moving her body. Her studio was among the first to introduce TRX Suspension Training, HIIT , Barre and the only studio in town that offers POUND classes. She strives to stay on the cutting edge of fitness, with Pilates being the foundation of it all. A recent auto-immune diagnosis only reaffirmed how important it is to her to stay strong in body and mind. The studio is a safe place for people of all ages, shapes and degrees of fitness to come together and celebrate the joy of movement.
Christine Brusca Hall
A lifelong fitness and wellness practictioner, Christine is the owner of Studio 8 Pilates in Chicago. She is a certified pilates instructor through the PhysicalMind Institute and the Pilates Method Alliance. Chris has been teaching pilates since 2006 and her passion is training people who want to move better, feel better and live healthier lives. Christine discovered Pilates after complications stemming from childbirth and diastasis recti. She was seeking alternative methods of exercise to safely rehabilitate herself without surgery. Christine feels fortunate that she has access to such amazing continuing education in Chicago and is allowed to spread the Pilates message throughout her community.
Kelly is a lifelong athlete with a passion for movement! She fell in love with Pilates after experiencing how it improved the activities she loves including hiking, skiing, trail running, sprint triathlons, swimming, and – most importantly – keeping up with her three young kids. She followed her passion in 2015 by deciding to own and operate three Club Pilates studios. She is currently in the process of completing her 500 hour comprehensive training through Club Pilates’ teacher training program. Her passion is to improve the lives of everyone around her with better health by bringing communities together with a positive heart & mind.
Donna’s path to Pilates was forged by 15 years of debilitating back pain. Pilates changed her life and strengthened her in a way she never deemed possible. With now 20 years of teaching under her belt, her journey from chronic pain into wellness still informs every aspect of her teaching. After working solo for 14 years, she opened Bolder Pilates 2 years ago as a way to help even more people use Pilates as the tool for living their best and boldest lives.
Bridget owns and operates Wonder Works Fitness, a private at-home studio in Lakewood, Colorado. She also teaches classes and privates at Pilates Plus studio in Lakewood. Bridget is certified through the Pilates Method Alliance, is an ACE Personal Trainer, ISSA Personal Trainer, ISSA Exercise Therapy Specialist, and 25 year PSIA Ski Instructor in Telluride and Winter Park, Colorado. Her most recent endeavor includes authoring her new book Pilates for Skiers. Bridget teaches Ski Fitness workshops and travels throughout Colorado showing skiers how Pilates can help in their training. Bridget loves to hang out with her two teenagers and spend time in San Diego when she gets time off from teaching.
JoAnna first discovered Pilates while living in Steamboat Springs, CO. She was suffering from a whiplash injury and finding movement that felt good was a struggle. Pilates helped her body start to heal and it allowed JoAnna to truly feel that mind, body and soul harmony… she was hooked. JoAnna completed her 500 hour comprehensive Pilates education through Polestar Pilates International and is now the owner and operator of Firehaus Pilates Studio in Denver, CO. She loves working with all fitness levels and strives to bring energy, education and mindfulness to her students.
A native of Australia (and the Boomerang), Jess is a senior teacher for Pilates Fitness Institute in Perth and is a proud faculty member of Pilates Training Institute. She has been an educator for the past 3 years and is currently completing the Advanced Diploma of the Pilates Method. Jess comes from a background in professional classical saxophone, playing for a number of artists including Ennio Morricone, Wynton Marsalis and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. Jess is forever a curious and willing student and teacher, open to ideas and questions that all contribute to her exploration and approach to the world of Pilates. Jess is so excited to be a part of Momentum Fest as it marks her first time traveling to the US!
Kristin is the owner and operator of Garage Pilates, a boutique Pilates Studio in downtown Los Alamitos, California. She began practicing Pilates in 1998 and earned her Pilates Instructor certification under Marie-Jose Blom in 2003. Garage Pilates is a culmination of her experiences teaching in different places throughout the country that she’s called home – California, NY and the Midwest. She has taught out of her garage with the goal of one day having a special space to share with clients and other instructors. Garage Pilates opened its doors May 2018 and it’s been an incredible journey. Kristin continues to deepen her Pilates practice and instruction by collaborating with other Pilates professionals, taking continuing education and hosting workshops.
Caitlin found Pilates during her career as a professional ballet dancer. After several injuries compounded into chronic neck and back pain, she decided to become a Pilates instructor to better understand the practice and share the benefits of Pilates with others. Caitlin completed her 500 hour training through Club Pilates in 2018 and will complete a mentorship with second generation teacher Jennie Groom in 2019. She works individually with clients through her studio, Graceflow Pilates, and teaches group classes in San Diego. Her precision in ballet technique transfers well into Pilates where she is always searching for a deeper understanding of each exercise.
Maria Alejandra Poggioli
After being a Pilates’s fan for more than ten years, Maria Alejandra Poggioli decided to take her passion for Pilates to the next level once she finally settled in Australia. In 2014, she completed her Polestar Pilates Diploma and opened KokoaFit Pilates, her studio in Brisbane. Maria is currently a Polestar Mentor in training, which will allow her to not only continue learning and growing herself, but also to spread the beauty of Pilates to others who share the same passion and aspirations. Outside her studio, she stays busy with her husband and three kids, taking every opportunity to escape to a sandy beach!
Alicia has enjoyed a lifetime of fitness and movement in her career as a professional ballet dancer. Pilates has supported and strengthened her throughout her training, arduous performance schedules and recovery from injury over the last 20 years. Qualified under the STOTT Pilates method Alicia is immersing herself in teaching and sharing the joys of this wonderful technique with as many people as she can. She is so thrilled to be an ambassador for Momentum Fest 2019 and to be inspired by the Pilates genius’ that are brought together at this incredible event. Let’s get moving!
Stephanie is a dancer, an artist, a teacher, and the owner of Sayezz Pilates & Beyond in Altadena, CA. She’s been teaching the Pilates and GYROTONIC® methods for a combined total of over 15 years and a mover all her life. From competitive gymnastics, to division 1 lacrosse, to professional dance performances, she’s searched for movement experiences that create an expansive, holistic and connected landscape for our bodies. She strives to give the body what it craves – intelligent, mindful movement embedded with lots of love, patience and planks and inversions whenever possible. Rock on.
(GYROTONIC® is a registered trademark of Gyrotonic Sales Corp and is used with their permission)
Gail Kotel is the owner of Therapeutic Pilates based in Philadelphia. A native New Yorker with a physical therapist perspective and 38 years of Pilates experience, she is in a unique position to work with clients who have multiple needs and backgrounds. With a love of classical contrology, Gail spends her days immersed with bodies of all ages and shapes, working to spread the method and bring healing.
Stephanie began her career in Del Mar CA with Julian Littleford while she was dancing with the San Diego Ballet over 20 years ago. She received her 500 hour Comprehensive Certificaiton with Rael Isocowitz at BASI and continued her education with STOTT, Lolita San Miguel, and Kathy Grant. In 2003, along with her husband, she opened Kore Pilates Studio in La Jolla, CA. Stephanie and her family recently relocated to northern Colorado. Now a traveling Master Trainer, Stephanie and her husband manage and teach in two Club Pilates locations in Fort Collins, CO where even her kids are often seen in class!
Liz Slipko currently teaches at Pilates Place, a contemporary studio in the beautiful beach town of Santa Monica, CA. She came to Pilates following a severe car accident, as research into an effective way to regain lost mobility and gently build strength led her to its outstanding balance of low-impact conditioning and body awareness. Liz credits Pilates with making her stronger, healthier, and happier than ever, and is grateful for the opportunity to share this love with others while guiding them towards their health & fitness goals.