Instructors

Whether you’re getting married, training for a race, rehabilitating an injury or just ready to tackle a new fitness challenge, our instructors are available to design a custom program to compliment your active, healthy and balanced lifestyle.

All of our instructors have completed comprehensive, certified training programs, gaining expertise & knowledge in the history, philosophy and biomechanics of the Pilates Method.

 

DonnaDONNA RILEY

Donna Riley began studying Pilates 30 years ago as a Dance Major at Rutgers University. Upon graduation she went into the world of fitness acquiring many certifications along the way. She moved to Atlanta, connected with Leslie Clayton at Body Awareness Studio and committed fully to the world of Pilates.

Over 20 years of teaching Pilates, including 10 years as a Pilates teacher trainer, she has motivated, inspired, and empowered hundreds of people to fully embrace the brilliance of the human body. She has the gift of seeing beyond what most people can see. Referring to her intuitive style, Mary Bowen affectionately called Donna “divinely inappropriate” in her unique and creative way of finding solutions to her client’s challenges. Donnas’ capacity for thinking outside the box, combined with her vast knowledge and analytical abilities, allow her to guide people deeper into their bodies and achieve things they didn’t think were possible. Donna is passionate about helping people understand that how you move is a metaphor for how you show up in life. As Joseph said, “Find the end result with the least amount of effort”.

As a student of life, Donna is always seeking opportunities for growth. Five years ago she began studying with Bob Cooley, author of “The Genius of Flexibility”. Through her training and experiences with him, she was able to elevate herself and her teaching abilities to another whole level. Now, Donna is known as the “teacher’s teacher”. She derives tremendous delight and satisfaction in mentoring teachers to become the highest version of them so they can fully share their gifts with the world.

Donna has been a faculty teacher for Balanced Body for 8+ years in their teacher training program. She is a member of PMA (Pilates Method Alliance).

She has studied and achieved the following certifications :
Workshops with Elizabeth Larkam –
Balancing the Slings in the Pilates Studio
How the Organs Affect Movement in Pilates Practice
Fascia Oriented Training in the Pilates Studio

Workshop with Madeline Black –
Support the Arms – Upper Thorax to Hand – From Wrist to Spine

Workshops with Shari Berkowitz –
Twisted and Rotated Pelvises
Thoracolumbar Fascia – the Second Brain of Movement

Workshop with Nancy Myers –
Assessing and Correcting Gait

Workshop with Karen Clippinger –
Hip and Knee Biomechanics on the Reformer

In addition to these workshops Donna presents the following workshops on tour –

Progressing Your Clients to the Edge and Beyond
Returning to the Essence of Pilates
How to Take it to the Edge and Beyond: The Art of Progression
Resistance Stretching: A New Look at Flexibility Training
Biotensegrity vs. Biomechanics: A Contemporary Approach to Movement

 

 

KaraCARA CUPIT

Cara received her 600-hour comprehensive Pilates certification in 2006 through Physical Mind. She began her instruction in a local physical therapy studio where she was privileged to work with many different body types with various conditions. She enjoys helping her clients achieve their physical goals whether they are moms, professional athletes, computer programmers, or casual fitness buffs. She is committed to working with each individual at their level, and strives to improve their performance in whatever activities they are involved in.

This year Cara completed another Pilates certification through Balanced Body and is fully certified through this highly regarded company in the Pilates industry. She is also a member of the PMA (Pilates Method Alliance). Along with these certifications Cara has also completed additional advanced Pilates courses that include Pilates for Golfers, Pilates for Osteoporosis, and Pilates for Muscular-Skeletal conditions. Cara is also a certified Gyrotonic instructor.

Outside the pilates studio you can find Cara running in the park, at one of many local coffee shops, or out and about enjoying all of the things the city of Atlanta has to offer. Cara is an accomplished equestrian and used Pilates to maintain her fitness and keep her injury free. She is actively involved in various programs helping under-privileged children both here in the United States and in other countries as well.

 

 

jackie.jpgJACKIE ROSENTHAL

Jackie Rosenthal has been a fitness instructor and trainer for 27 years teaching everything from water fitness to step, high impact, boot camp, stretch and sculpt classes. She is certified by the American College of Exercise (ACE).

In 2000, Jackie received her 600-hour comprehensive mat and apparatus certification in the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning under the tutelage of Katy Roelle from Reformation Pilates. She has received additional training and continuing education from: Power Pilates, STOTT Pilates, Peak Pilates and recently, in 2015, through classically trained teachers Dana Santi, Murat Berkin, MeJo Wiggin, Brooke Tyler and Jay Grimes.

Jackie, who has a Master’s Degree in Health Policy, works for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a Health Communications Specialist in the area of Reproductive Health.
In her free time, Jackie loves to exercise taking other teacher’s classes and trainings in an effort to stay current and innovative. She spends her free time with her husband, Adam, and two children Ellie and Alex.

 

 

Jenna 2015 HeadshotJENNA SAGRAVES

Born and raised in Indiana, Jenna Sagraves attended Indiana University to pursue a B.S. in Ballet with an outside field in Exercise Science. While at Indiana University, she became interested in Pilates through her ballet training. In 2008, Jenna completed her 800-hour comprehensive Pilates certification under Corinna Cosentino at Lotus Pilates Center L.L.C. in Bloomington, Indiana.

In 2008, Jenna moved to Atlanta, Georgia to join Atlanta Ballet. While at Atlanta Ballet, Jenna performed in Swan Lake, John McFall’s The Nutcracker, Don Quixote and was the Snow White in the production of Snow White. While performing with Atlanta Ballet, Jenna began teaching for Intown Pilates Atlanta in January of 2009. In August 2010, Jenna accepted a position with Milwaukee Ballet, where she performed in Michael Pink’s Esmerelda, The Nutcracker, and Coppelia, as well as the Genesis Choreographic Competition. After suffering from a tibial stress fracture in May of 2011, Jenna made the decision to stop dancing professionally and move back to Atlanta to teach at Intown Pilates. After moving back, Jenna decided to bridge her comprehensive certification over to Balanced Body. Jenna received a second certification from Balanced Body in December of 2015.

In January 2016, Jenna made the decision to finish her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science at Georgia State University. During her time at Georgia State, Jenna has been honored to be on the President’s List every semester and, most recently, was offered a research internship with the Biomechanics Department for the Spring of 2019. At Georgia State, Jenna took a Neuromuscular Physiology class, which peaked her interest in studying neurological conditions, such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, and Stroke. She decided that she wanted to enhance her Pilates knowledge around neurological conditions and completed a Pilates for Neurological Conditions course with Mariska Breland in April 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Upon completion of the course, Jenna earned the certification of “Specialist in Pilates-Based Exercise for Neurological Conditions.” Jenna will graduate with her Bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University in May of 2019.

Jenna is also certified and has experience with pre-and-postnatal and has completed numerous continuing education workshops, including a workshop with Master Instructor, Bob Liekens here in Atlanta. Other than her interest in Pilates, Jenna also enjoys volunteering with the Shepherd’s Center and Back on My Feet Atlanta.

 

 

SUSAN LEEDER

After taking a few sessions of  Pilates,  Susan fell in love with how the practice helped her body to move with ease, strength,  and grace. Wanting to help others experience what she had, Susan decided to pursue a career as an instructor and started on her journey of completing the 500 + hours required by the Balanced Body Teacher Training Program.

After becoming a certified instructor, she was presented with an opportunity and hired to teach at the same studio of which she obtained her training. Under the Mentorship Program of BBU Teacher Trainer,  Donna Riley and several other BBU teacher trainers, this allowed her the unique opportunity to continue to grow as an instructor as she observed, practiced and taught under their tutelage; giving her invaluable skills and insight.

Susan is a  certified Instructor and her love of  Pilates is what she shares with her clients, teaching them not just the exercises but showing how the method of Pilates movement and the mind all affect and improve their overall experience. She encourages her clients to go beyond what they think they can do and to trust what their bodies are capable of doing.  “I love how empowered a client feels when they have achieved a goal that they didn’t think they would ever be able to do.  It feels rewarding for both of us and is the main reason I wanted to start teaching.” said Susan.

Susan has lived in Atlanta for over 35 years. When not teaching, she enjoys spending her time exploring art, botanical gardens, hiking, traveling, pursuing new interests,  and spending time with family and friends. In her pursuit of continuing education, Susan has completed the following:

Open the Mind – Open the Body

The Pilates Center Boulder Colorado – Amy Taylor Alpers – Rachel Taylor Segel

3 Core Connections Perspective of Embodied Anatomy and Functional Fascial Fitness

Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle/Pilates Center Austin

Thoracolumbar Fascia: The Second Brain of Movement – Shari Berkowitz

Seeing the Truth in Movement-Amy Taylor Alpers

How Does Fascia Work-Anna Maria Vitali, MD

ELIZABETH WALLER

Elizabeth was introduced to Pilates in 2007 while traveling on the road as an account executive in the apparel industry. Her unpredictable schedule made it hard for Elizabeth to find the time to exercise. Practicing Pilates allowed Elizabeth to have a studio wherever she traveled. The only ‘equipment’ needed was a mat or towel and 15-25 minutes – the time it takes to flow through the mat work series!

Elizabeth recognizes the positive way the Pilates discipline has impacted her life: challenging both her mind and body. Pilates not only strengthened, lengthened, and toned her body, but helped Elizabeth relieve daily stress and lower back pain.  The aches of past injuries from being an athlete diminished!

Elizabeth apprenticed more than 900 hours under Patricia Russell and Dana Santi. She received her Classical Pilates Certification in 2014. She is a member of the Authentic Pilates Union and has continued her studies in Pilates with Brooke Siler, Mari Winsor, Bob Liekens, Murat Berkin, and MeJo Wiggin. 

Elizabeth is also certified in TRX: Suspension Training and ActivMotion Bar Training. 

Elizabeth lives in Morningside with her husband, J.J.; her daughter, Miller; and golden-doodle, Miss Jones.

 

 

LAURA ROSSINI

Laura’s personal affinity for Pilates as mindful movement began with her desire to find more flexibility, balance, and calmness in her personal life and as a professional dancer. Her appreciation of the integrated movement quality of Pilates grew as Laura transitioned from a dancer’s life on tour with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She finds practicing and teaching Pilates keeps her in her body and sparks a deeper desire to learn and grow. Embracing Pilates as a balance between stability and freedom, Laura encourages her clients to find connections and explore the potential in their bodies. Laura is Balance Body University Certified in Mat, Reformer, Trapeze Table (Cadillac) and Tower. She is a member of Pilates Method Alliance and is completing her comprehensive certification in 2018.