True Strength at Momentum Fest

Momentum Fest

Fifteen days before Momentum Fest 2018, I was picking up my two kids from gymnastics camp (1.8 miles from my house) with my youngest child in the car as well (my kids were 2, 5 and 7 years old). It was a normal June summer sunny day. The four of us got in the car (my Honda Minivan that I have a love/hate relationship with but my love for it grows bigger every day) at 12:05pm and started to talk about what we were going to pack for lunch to take to the pool.

We pulled out of the parking lot and I got a reminder from my daughter, “Mom buckle your seatbelt” so I did with her genuine reminder. Then within less than one minute, one block from their gymnastics camp, on a road that has a speed limit of 30 mph our lives changed. A car, completely out of control, spinning in the street at about 70 mph hit us head on the drivers side. I opened my eyes, in shock to what just happened and thought to myself “I’m alive!” (I know that sounds dramatic but I was seriously shocked that I was fortunate enough to survive – if the other driver would of had a passenger, it would of been a much different situation since that car door was completely smashed into the drivers seat – so if there’s any silver lining I am thankful the driver was by himself).

I heard my kids screaming which was a beautiful sound – that means they were alive too. My adrenaline kicked in (it was surreal feeling it run through my veins), I turned to look back at my kids and they all appeared okay (thank you guardian angels as my heart sank thinking of my youngest who sits behind me), I unbuckled my seatbelt (that my daughter so kindly reminded me to buckle), I couldn’t get out of my door at it was completely smashed, I climbed over the passenger side door and made my way around the glass that was everywhere (it was all in my hair and the kids hair too).

Luckily there were a few men who saw it all happen (they were outside on a cigarette break – I have never been so thankful for people smoking) and they ran over to help me get the kids out of the car. The car doors were hard to open since they were so smashed in and my car literally shutdown. The driver of the out of control car walked over with blood running down his face, bones sticking out of his hand and all I could say was “what the hell did you just do”. To be honest I wanted to punch him (and I am not a violent person) but I wanted to punch him for putting my kids life in danger.

My husband always plays basketball at noon so I couldn’t get ahold of him right away so he meet us at the hospital (you can only imagine his heart as he drove to the hospital). I was incredibly lucky to walk away from the accident with only a broken nose, concussion, anxiety and severe full body bruising. My kids walked away with bruising from their carseats/harnesses and anxiety but very thankful for our car, car seats and guardian angels keeping us safe.

My love for movement is hard to stop even shortly after the accident when I was told to rest. A few days after the car accident, I went for a bike ride – I was craving to be outside moving but after my bike ride my head felt awful and I realized why doctors tell you to rest after a concussion. I wanted to move, I felt thankful to be able to move and in 10 days I needed to get better for Momentum Fest.

I was seriously worried about it. I already paid for my spot, I already planned on seeing & moving with my friends there. I had to get better. So I listened to my body and finally rested (which was so hard) and slowly incorporated Pilates back into my routine! Pilates was my original therapy when I lost my mom – people always think of the physical healing of Pilates but the mind/body connection and breath helped me heal from the inside out dealing with a broken heart and Pilates was my therapy again as I healed my anxiety from the accident.

Then on June 22nd, I showed up at Momentum Fest! I was nervous as I had no idea what to expect… a Pilates festival… well there really hasn’t been one before and this one was right in my own backyard living in Colorado… I had to go and experience it for myself! I felt so incredibly blessed I was able to go! I now had a more grateful heart being able to move. I did have to make some modifications for my neck and wrists (from the impact I recently experienced) but that didn’t matter. What mattered was, I showed up!

Momentum Fest

I wore an outfit that made me feel strong & confident but that didn’t matter either because by the end of the day on Friday I felt so strong & confident – I felt strong not only from all the exercising with my Pilates idols but from the energy of people coming together to celebrate movement. How lucky was I that I was able to move!? How lucky was I that I was able to exercise!? I didn’t take a single second for granted as I knew 15 days ago it could have all been taken away from me. Thank you Momentum Fest for making me feel strong – physically and mentally. Strength is something inside of all of us but it takes a community to help radiate it out of us. Thank you Momentum Fest for celebrating life, movement, and people coming together to make each other feel better! I can’t wait to see you at Momentum Fest this year to see your strength shine!


Register for Momentum Fest 2019!


Kelly Hendricks

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.

Being Human Together

Momentum Fest




First thought in EVERY great class or workshop I’ve ever taken. 

Sometimes I’m smiling. Sometimes I’m laughing nervously. Sometimes I’m shaking my head, rolling my eyes, looking around the room deeply confused. And most of the time I can feel something in the pit of my stomach that tells me I’m in for a wild ride and I’m ALL in (mostly…usually).

No matter what, those words always lead to something memorable and usually more than that, inspiring and meaningful.

This is why Momentum Fest…

To be with people and ourselves in new ways, to push the edges, be a little (or a lot) uncomfortable, physically challenged, maybe even (hopefully) a little mentally and emotionally challenged, for sure lit up, expanded, opened, and set ablaze. Being with people does this. Movement does this. Celebration does this. 

But let’s talk about me for a minute 🙂 

I know who I am because of you. Likewise, you know who you are because of me. Not necessarily in the long view, who I am entirely as a person forever and ever, but in the “this moment” view. We’ll use the language “present moment” because what else is there…really?

When you and I are in a room together, especially when we’re face-to-face, you change my physiologically and I change yours. You see my eyes and my smile and maybe there’s something familiar there. You smile back and feel yourself drop into a deeper sense of ease, you open, feel safe, get curious.

Maybe we hug (I’m a hugger) or I touch your shoulder while asking you about how you came to be interested in this class (mine are the ones that will definitely make you say What is happening!? — in a very good way). Your body decides whether or not you feel safe. 

You’re nervous system is responding to my voice, my facial expressions, my touch, my body language. A smile, a comforting touch, a soothing voice, an open (but not too open) posture, all of these things communicate to you that you can relax.

So many of us — and honestly I’m tempted to say most of us — are living from the opposite view. We interact more meaningfully with the our tech than people. And let me be clear because I know we spend lots of quality time with our families and dear ones, but how many spontaneous and passing meaningful moments do you have with acquaintances or people who simply help you get your life done (think bank teller, crossing guard, grocery checker, barista, the person sitting next to you on the plane?). 

We don’t look up. We don’t look around. We don’t see faces or smile at strangers. We spend a lot of our attention shifting environments and interactions, trying to keep all the balls in the air. This level of output keeps us in a nervous system high rev. Stuck, let’s say, in the fight, flight or freeze mechanism in a very deeply rooted way. 

When life is like this — and all of life feels like this — we create a bubble of safety around ourselves, to preserve what energy and attention we have left and need (this being the perception not necessarily the truth). Even when we go to a yoga class or Pilates class we’re often not truly in relationship with others, which prevents us with being in relationship to ourselves. 

One of my favorite things to say to my classes (generally as I’m having them walk in Radom patterns around the room) is:

“Make eye contact, smile at someone. In here you don’t get to pretend like you’re the only one in the room.”

And we do. Unknowingly. We do. We forget that we know ourselves and the beauty and joy of life through others; through the language of others (books), through the eyes of others (art), through the touch of others (movement and intimacy) and through the presence of others (relationship).

This is why Momentum Fest.

To move. To explore. To tap into potential you never knew you had or haven’t touched in a while. To smile at someone and recognize that they’re here to experience joy too. They’re at Momentum Fest for that, but they’re also just ALIVE for that. 

Looking forward to being a human in a room with you.

Register for Momentum Fest 2019 here!


Chantill is a movement explorer, educator, and mentor and has made a 20-year career teaching Pilates; it still makes her smile. Her work focuses on teaching from the whole-person and whole-body perspective, drawing from brain-based learning frameworks, motivation and communication science, somatic and humanistic psychology, and other emerging models such as the polyvagal theory. Chantill is the founder of the education company, Skillful Teaching, the creator of the Thinking Pilates Podcast and author of the book “Moving Beyond Technique”. She is also the creator of one of Pilates Metrics’ original movement libraries and a featured presenter for Fusion Pilates EDU. Chantill lives and teaches in Sacramento, CA.

Barre Classes at Momentum Fest

Barre classes have a bad reputation for being just for dancers. As an “insider” I can say that this is a myth I try to bust every barre class I teach. Some other myths that surround this method of movement include the fears of not being flexible enough, coordinated enough, graceful enough, or strong enough to partake in class. When I created my own method, Barre Variations, I made it my mission to promote inclusivity between other barre methods, and to create a community that firmly believes there is plenty of room at the barre for everybody! I want anyone that wants to learn and move with me to feel welcomed, and supported. My passion is to spread the word of why the ballet barre was utilized in the first place, and to show others how this piece of equipment can support all aspects of life. 

The ballet barre was originally created for ballerinas to literally aide in holding them up while practicing ballet exercises. The ballerinas would do exercises at the barre and what they learned into the center of the room without any support. The barre is a tool to gain strength, balance, and flexibility to be used in space. It is simply a learning tool, meant to be taken a way. Without the foundation of the barre work in ballet, the dancers would not be able to gain the technique needed to perform with strength and grace on stage. All the preparation was for the final performance to showcase the technique and skills learned at the barre.

Flash forward to the 1960’s when Lotte Berk created the very first barre method. She is the inspiration and catalyst for every barre method out there today. The Lotte Berk Method was developed from her modern ballet background and she created exercises using the ballet barre and floor work. Lotte specifically said that this method was for non-dancers to be able to achieve their fitness goals, all while enjoying themselves. She brought the use of the ballet barre to mainstream fitness, utilizing it to gain the same benefits it had given to dancers for so many years. Lotte implemented exercises that uses the barre for support, and at times leveraging the barre to aid in movement. On top of that, she used her infamous wit and cheeky humor to break down the barriers that made ballet dance elitist and made it attainable for everyone. Lotte’s classes created community, gave people confidence, and inspired the students to aspire for more. 

Because of where using the barre comes from, and the direct line from barre to stage for ballerinas, there is still stigma associated with barre class that it is all about performing perfectly. In a barre class there is no final performance showcasing the moves learned, so therefore it is not meant to be a place to perform “perfectly.” Focusing on the barre as a tool to use to support your movement will redirect the purpose from performance to being an aide. A large portion of a barre class is done standing, and beautifully translates to movement in everyday life. We need to walk, climb stairs, sit down, stand up, etc and barre exercises prepare the body fo these actions. However, none of these moves need to be executed to the standards of someone else, let alone the School of American Ballet. 

The physical benefits of barre are one thing, but the emotional gains are greater. Barre classes offer a space to build connections, community, and a place to gain confidence. The barre lifts you up, and in turn you can lift up others. Just like other group fitness class there is a camaraderie that happens between the students, which can result in friendships. Everyone is in it together, and there is a bond created through the shared experience. I enjoy, like Lotte Berk, using humor as a teaching strategy to make everyone in the room feel welcome and at ease. I view my job as a barre instructor as a person who is there to guide the class, empower them to make the right choices for their bodies that day, and to offer a fun way to move the body. I’m there to support just as much as the barre. When I teach my method, Barre Variations, it focuses on alignment, using the barre for support, varying movements to ensure a full body workout, but most importantly inclusivity in the classroom. No matter what background, experience, or expectation we are there to move and have fun! My goal is to let anyone who wants to move with me know that there is plenty of room at the barre, and anyone who takes their place at it is welcome.

Bringing Barre Variations to Momentum Fest is a perfect place to share how this form of movement can offer support in all ways. Momentum Fest was created to fuel the mind and body through the joy of movement. It is a place that is on a mission to uplift people through empowering fitness classes. What better venue to debunk that barre is only meant for a certain type of person. This 3 day retreat supports those looking to celebrate movement and include everyone who wants to take part. I’ll be waiting for you in Denver to bust this myth, so meet me at the barre so we can raise it together!

Michelle Duvall is an expert movement teacher who finds joy in motivating others to make connections through mindful movement. Michelle holds a BFA in Dance, PMA®-CPT, 200hr Yoga certification, and trained in The Roll Model Method by Jill Miller.​ With her rich background in various movement styles, Michelle created Barre Variations. A manual, method, and video library with an expanded syllabus of choreography and technique. Michelle believes that there is plenty of room at the barre, and aspires to inspire others to let their inner creative barre star shine!

The Power of Breath


Whether we’re on or off our mat, there are countless benefits of facilitating our breath. At any waking moment our breath is bringing oxygen-rich blood flow into our muscles, which then fuels our body with energy.

This summer at Momentum Fest, we’ll be exploring our breath as a powerful tool to connect, fuel our movement, and deepen our relationships with our self and our community!

As a movement practitioner and educator, I always come back to the importance of our breath. There are many breath patterns in the movement world, and all of them bring a depth of knowledge of the relationships between our anatomy, our nervous system, and the world around us.

To begin the exploration of our breath, it is important to understand the anatomy of breathing. Our diaphragm is the primary muscle used in breathing. It is a sheet of internal muscle that separates our lungs from the organs in our abdomen. When we inhale, our diaphragm moves downward and our ribs move up and out, allowing for increased lung capacity. When we exhale, our diaphragm relaxes, causing the air to be forced out of our lungs.

Connecting these concepts with our movement is an ideal way to notice where our breath is (and isn’t) going. This meditative breath practice often leads us to places where we may be stuck, tight, or have experienced traumas within our muscular structure. Allowing for a full, expansive, and 360° breath capacity will inevitably assist in healing us from the inside out.

Our breath is also a powerful tool in controlling our nervous system. Although breathing is involuntary, it is unique to our other systems in that it can also be controlled voluntarily. This voluntary control originates from the cortex of the brain, which therefore allow us to self-regulate our breath in relationship to our mental capacity and surroundings. By having control of our breath, we have the power to calm our sympathetic nervous system simply by initiating a slow, deep breath pattern. This intentional breath gives us the opportunity to re-center our body and our mind, allowing only for focus on the present moment.

This is where our breath and movement act in unison. Often times with exercise, and other forms of movement, we’re working towards the next big thing, causing us to disengage from the present moment. By allowing our breath to initiate our movement, we’re more likely to maintain a sense of calm control in our thoughts, and therefore our body. The distractions in our head should never overpower the texture of our breath.

In some movement practices, there is a specific breath pattern associated with how our anatomy moves through space. Often times the inhalation breath is used to create space and decompression, and the exhalation breath promotes connection and engagement. Although these concepts are helpful, it’s more important to promote a full and expansive breath than focusing on when and where to put the breath within a specific exercise. As long we have breath with intention, we’re in the right place.

In Mr. Pilates’ words, “Breathing is the first act of life, and the last.” Our breath is what moves us through space, even when we’re perfectly still. It allows us to practice contentment, equanimity, and presence within our self and our movement practice- All the while, connecting us together under the same umbrella. This summer at Momentum Fest, we’ll use our breath, among other powerful tools, as a celebration of community and movement!


Whitney Shea, PTA, PMA® -CPT, RYTis a Pilates Teacher and Physical Therapist Assistant in Boulder, CO, and she’s currently teaches Pilates at Physical Therapy of Boulder, Colorado Athletic Club, and at The University of Colorado at Boulder. She is PMA and Yoga Alliance Certified, and has Advanced Teacher Training and Master’s Program Certifications from the Pilates Center in Boulder, as well as a degree in Integrative Physiology from CU-Boulder. After experiencing a traumatic car accident in 2008, she developed a deeper appreciation of The Pilates Method as rehabilitation, which has brought her to her most current position as a PTA and Pilates Teacher. When Whitney isn’t teaching or practicing Pilates and Yoga, you’ll most likely find her outside hiking, skiing, rock climbing, or fly fishing with her husband Billy, and their pup, Solus!