Instructors

INSTRUCTOR BIOS

CERTIFIED INSTRUCTION

Pilates Denver offers the finest instruction in the Pilates method of body conditioning. All instructors at Pilates Denver are certified from the most extensive and internationally renowned Pilates Certification Programs offered. Our instructors are trained in the classical techniques of the work of Joseph H. Pilates in addition to contemporary and evolved modalities. With this enhanced education, Pilates Denver offers people of all ages and fitness levels the opportunity to learn Pilates with safety and effectiveness. Each instructor brings their dedication, wisdom, creativity and enthusiasm to their teaching within a non-competitive atmosphere. They are educated in applied anatomy and physiology and also have a deep knowledge of the body through their own movement experiences. They are excited and eager to teach you the most perfect total body workout.

STAFF

Amy de Sá

Amy de Sá, CPT, owner of Pilates Denver, has been a dedicated teacher of Pilates since 1995. She is a proud graduate of the internationally renowned BASI (Body Arts and Science International) Pilates® Teacher Training program founded by Master Teacher, Rael Isacowitz and is a Certified Pilates Teacher through PMA (Pilates Method Alliance). Amy is also a BASI Pilates® Faculty member and hosts and teaches the BASI Pilates® Teacher Training Courses at her studio. She has taught the BASI Pilates® courses in Japan, China, Australia, South Korea, Argentina and in many cities across the United States as well as teaching Pilates as a guest teacher in the Dance department at Unicamp University in Brazil. She has also been the subject for two front-page articles in the Rocky Mountain News Newspaper in Denver and has been a presenter at the South American Pilates Conference in Brasilia, Brazil and at the annual PMA conference in Denver, CO.
As a professional dancer, performing and teaching with numerous dance companies in Chicago and Denver, Amy connected instantly with Pilates. She began her Pilates endeavors in Chicago in 1995 where she received a previous Pilates Teacher Training Certificate from the Pilates Studio, Inc. under the personal training of Master Teacher and Elder, Romana Kryzanowska. She continues her Pilates studies and related movement therapies yearly in continuing education workshops and courses in addition to advanced studies with Rael Isacowitz. She has years of experience working with clients with injuries and pathologies and enjoys helping clients work towards full functional movement as well as enhancing athletic performance.  Amy is a member of the professional organizations, the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) and the National Dance Educators Organization (NDEO) and is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Dance Education from the University of Northern Colorado.  She holds a B.A. in Dance and a B.A. in Psychology from Hope College in Michigan. Pilates became the perfect match and career for Amy, harmoniously combining the body with the mind.

Amy is very passionate about teaching Pilates and educating people about their bodies. She teaches with compassion and with intellect. She brings a smile and positive energy to every session and class and strives to offer each client and her staff a beneficial and enjoyable experience at her studio which she opened on May 1, 2001.

Suzie Frasher

Suzie Frasher received her Comprehensive Teacher Training Certificate from Body Arts and Science International (BASI Pilates). She also has specialized training from The Pink Ribbon Program and Pre and Post natal training from the Ellie Herman Studio in San Francisco. She holds a BA in Operations Management from CU Boulder.

Suzie was first introduced to Pilates as a gymnast when she was a young child in Cincinnati, OH. The Pilates mat work was used as a conditioning tool for her gymnastics team. Later, she was re-introduced to Pilates after she had to have abdominal surgery as a college student. Her doctor recommended that she use Pilates to help rehabilitate her abdominal muscles, and after a short period of time, she saw that the physical and mental benefits of Pilates were unbelievable. After realizing that the corporate world was not her calling, she decided to get her teaching certification so that she could help others discover the many perks of a consistent Pilates practice.
As a practitioner and trainer , Suzie is continuously inspired by how pilates re-educates and heals the body. She enjoys working with people of all fitness levels, as well teaching Pilates for rehabilitation. She has experience working with people with MS, adolescents, pre and post natal, as well as athletes looking to gain a competitive edge. Suzie likes to make each class challenging, but also encourages her clients to have fun, and to enjoy pilates and all of its benefits.

Jean Barker

Jean Barker received her Teacher Training and certificate from BASI Pilates (Body Arts & Sciences International) at Pilates Denver Studio under the guidance of Amy de Sa. She began her pilates journey nearly twenty years ago when she was living in Michigan. Her then college daughter told her about Pilates which was incorporated in her theater program at Northwestern University in Chicago. At that time there was only one pilates studio in Saginaw, Michigan. Jean soon found it and began taking pilates lessons there. She was hooked! Jean has two daughters both of whom are also BASI certified pilates instructors. Molly is also an instructor at Pilates Denver Studio. Corrie lives in Denmark and teaches private clients in her home. 

Jean received her BS in Medical Technology from Ohio State University and recently retired from a career in laboratory medicine that spanned over thirty years, She has a deep appreciation for the health and strength benefits afforded by pilates. She considers herself
neither a dancer nor a jock, and wants the average person to know that it is never too late to start on the road to health and well being. "If I can do this, with dedication so can you!" is her motto. Jean finds it exciting to help both men and women, new to exercise or just new to pilates, discover the joy of learning to use, control, and appreciate their bodies. In 2016 Jean received her certification in Pilates for Neurological Diseases from Mariska Breland. She looks forward to working with this special group of clients to help them maintain and regain strength and the use of their bodies. Jean also received a certificate for Pre and Postnatal Pilates from Carolyne Anthony of The Center for Women's Fitness. She has received special training in working with mature clients She is a member of the Pilates Method Alliance.

Carissa Henderson

After many years of practicing yoga on and off as exercise, Carissa started practicing
yoga devotedly. She noticed an undeniable change in herself. This led her to pursue
teaching yoga. She went through a truly enriching teacher training program and is
Certified with Yoga Alliance as a RYT-200. Carissa believes yoga is a lifestyle, more
than just a practice of the asanas, yoga can envelop and enrich your soul. Her mission is to share yoga with family, friends and her community in hopes that her knowledge about this beautiful practice might just enrich someone else’s life. 

To Carissa, yoga is a very personal practice but through this practice we find community. Where she teaches and practices is just as important as the practice itself. “It’s not about how deep you go but whether mentally the asana is taking you to a place within yourself that is deeper.” This is Carissa’s philosophy when teaching yoga. She emphasizes alignment and breath. Her style is accessible to any level as students are only encouraged to take the asanas where they feel comfortable that day. Sometimes that means deep in poses and exploration, other days that means sinking in slowly and resting in child’s pose. 

Hannah McElwaney

Hannah McElwaney received her Comprehensive Teacher Training Certificate from Body Arts and Science International (BASI Pilates). She also holds specialized certificates in Pilates for Fybromyalgia, Pilates for Shoulder Injuries, and Pre- and Post-Natal Training from The Center for Women's Fitness. Hannah holds a BA in Art History and Design from UCLA. She recently relocated to Denver, CO from Los Angeles, CA and is very excited to be a part of the Pilates Denver team.

Hannah first found Pilates as a figure skater when she was a young child where it was used as a form of conditioning and rehab. She was re-introduced to Pilates as an adult due to a back injury; amazed by the results of her Pilates-based rehab she began delving deeper into the Pilates methodology. As her studies progressed, Hannah began to realize the corporate world was not for her. She found Pilates to be the perfect mind body discipline, and strove to bring her enthusiasm for its amazing benefits to others. Hannah wanted to work hands on with real 
people where she could assist them in meeting their personal wellness and fitness goals. She was lured by the symbiotic relationship of art and science in BASI Pilates' methodology and decided to obtain her Teacher Training.

Hannah enjoys teaching Pilates for rehabilitation, thereby teaching Pilates to clients with various injuries/conditions, as well as teaching clients of various fitness levels and abilities. She strives to educate her clients in all aspects of fitness - from the proper execution and purpose of each exercise to the importance of rest and rehabilitation.

Marianne Blackburn, substitute instructor and therapist

Marianne Blackburn has been a seeker of yoga since 2003, and is certified to teach through the North Carolina School of Yoga. She is Yoga Alliance registered as an E-RYT and is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Marianne’s classes explore all aspects of traditional yoga, and are organic, devotional and supportive in nature. The style of classes ranges from restorative and gentle to vigorous and creative asana and they all emphasize awareness in the practice. Marianne encourages students to examine themselves and their conditioning with humility and acceptance as a path to personal growth. Her intention is to guide students to a harmonious union with themselves and the world in which we live. She also seeks to guide people on their path to wellness as a licensed massage therapist.

Elizabeth Richmond 

Elizabeth Richmond move to Denver from Austin, Texas in 1987 and proceeded to enjoy a successful 25-year career in multi-family Housing Industry specializing in construction, development and management. At the age of 12 Elizabeth was diagnosed with scoliosis. Rather than allow this to impede her functionality and mobility, Elizabeth became a fitness advocate to strengthen her body and improve her posture. It was in 2013 that Elizabeth was introduced to Pilates at the urgency of her doctor at Denver Spine Specialists. In 2015, Elizabeth joined Pilates Denver as a client and loved Pilates so much, she proceeded with the BASI Pilates Mat Teacher Training Program offered at Pilates Denver. She received her Mat Teacher Training Certificate in 2016. Elizabeth's future goals include completion of the Comprehensive Apparatus Program in 2017. Elizabeth's passion is teaching Pilates to bring the joy of health and wellness to the minds and bodies of clients through strength and length.

Diane Ahonen

Diane is a professional Reflexologist with well over 10 years of experience.  She is Certified in the practice of Reflexology by the National American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB).  In addition, she is also Certified in the Sorensen System of Reflexology techniques.  Diane serves as President on the Board of Directors for the Associated Reflexologists of Colorado (ARC).

Molly Gustafson

Molly Gustafson received her Comprehensive Teacher Training Certificate from Body Arts and Sciences International and recently furthered her Pilates education by becoming a Pilates Method Alliance Certified Pilates Teacher. Molly originally sought out Pilates to strengthen her back after her first daughter was born and started as a client at Pilates Denver when her mother Jean was doing her own student teaching. Molly has a BS in Field Hydrogeology from Western Michigan University. She moved to Denver in 1997 and worked as a chemist until she left the workforce to become a stay-at-home mother. When it was time to return to the workforce, Molly chose to continue her Pilates journey and become an instructor.

Molly has experience working with clients of all ages and fitness levels. She loves to see the transformation in clients' bodies as they progress in their Pilates practice. Molly also teaches barre classes at Pilates Denver and is Booty Barre method certified.

Angela Jorgenson, substitute instructor

Angela Jorgenson, a Colorado native, was raised on a cattle ranch in eastern Colorado. In 1997 she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Science, from Regis University, Denver, Colorado. In 2012, she retired from a thirty-five year career with the Colorado Judicial Department, having been employed as a probation officer for the past 15 years. She began her Pilates journey in 2005, incorporating Pilates into her cross-training regime. She and her husband moved to Lakewood, Colorado in 2007, and upon her retirement in 2012, she began the mat certification process through the BASI (Body Arts And Science International) discipline. This Pilates program required numerous hours of practical work, student teaching, and teacher observation. In February 2013, she traveled to the BASI headquarters in Costa Mesa, California where she tested for and completed her mat certification requirements. She chose the BASI program because of the challenge presented The ranch continues to be an integral part of her life. 

Angela has a deep appreciation for one’s over-all health. She is excited to share the many strength and health benefits afforded by Pilates.

Melissa May

Melissa May is originally from Darien, IL. She began dancing at the ago of four, and has not stopped since. Along with being an instructor at Pilates Denver, Melissa also continues to pursue her love of dance, and is a member of a few dance companies around the Denver/Boulder area. Melissa holds a BFA in Ballet Performance from The University of Oklahoma. She relocated to Denver in June of 2010. She has received her Comprehensive Teacher Training Certificate from BASI Pilates® in February of 2015. 

Melissa feels honored to be a part of the staff at Pilates Denver!

Melissa was first exposed to Pilates as a young ballet dancer where it was used for rehabilitation and conditioning. It has helped her to prolong her dance career, as well as recover from various dance-related injuries. She was re-introduced to Pilates as a young adult, after needing physical therapy and rehab from an ankle surgery. Melissa loves the mind-body view of Pilates, and how well it connects to dance.
In her free time, Melissa loves spending her time with her friends, trying new restaurants, and appreciating the outdoors. She also enjoys taking her dog, Jack, on hikes in the mountains. Melissa cannot wait to see where this new journey takes her!

Adriana Bore

Adriana Bore was born and raised in Bulgaria. She dabbled with Pilates-inspired workouts while in law school. However, it was not until much later after she moved to Colorado, had her second child and was learning to snowboard, that she was re-introduced to Pilates and fell in love with the practice. At first, Pilates was a way to get in shape, develop core strength, rehabilitate shoulder injury, and manage the lingering symptoms of postpartum depression; but it quickly became so much more. After feeling and living what Pilates could do for one’s physical and mental health, she knew she wanted to deepen her knowledge of the method. 

She was drawn to the BASI approach to Pilates because of its thoughtful emphasis on precision, detail, quality of movement and flow. Adriana received her Comprehensive Teacher Training Certificate from BASI Pilates at Pilates Denver under Amy de Sa. To Adriana, Pilates is meditation and healing through movement. She is excited to pass the love and appreciation for Pilates to others. 

Andrew Dimmer, ANMT

Andrew Dimmer, ANMT (Advanced Neuro-Muscular Therapy) is a Structural Massage Therapist at Pilates Denver.  After years of chronic pain ensuing in spinal trauma with resultant invasive surgery, Andrew was driven to become educated in medical massage. Over the years, he has developed a passing for empowering people to realize far greater physical potential. He has worked predominantly with men and women suffering from neuropathies to ideopathies and through this he has produced a wealth of knowledge to assess and resolve pain complaints, as well as improve physical performance. Andrew brings over 20 years of experience to his practice and has helped thousands of people from their pain and to help them heal. 

Janice Armada

Janice Armada received her Comprehensive Teacher Training Certificate from BASI Pilates, educated at Pilates Denver under Amy de Sa and staff. Janice is a registered Diagnostic Ultrasound Tech, who is boarded in OB/GYN, ABD/PELVIS and specialized in Neuro Surgery and Infertility. Janice worked at University of Michigan Hospitals in Ann Arbor, MI. She has raised 3 boys and has now chosen a new career path integrating her medical knowledge. Janice first started practicing Pilates to improve the strength of her pelvic floor after the birth of her last son. She is a living testimony that Pilates strengthens and tones. Janice is very passionate about teaching clients how to integrate Pilates into a daily routine to improve the quality of everyday life.
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