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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.


Amy de Sa, Pilates on the beach 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 Teacher by the 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, has been a presenter at the South American Pilates Conference in Brasilia, Brazil and will also be a presenter at the 2015 annual PMA conference.

As a professional dancer, 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 also instructed at and managed a highly recognized Pilates Studio and taught many high profile clients and Pilates professionals. She continues her Pilates studies and related movement therapies yearly in continuing education workshops and courses in addition to advanced studies with Rael Isacowitz. Amy is a member of the professional organization, the Pilates Method Alliance and 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, Pilates Instructor 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, Pilates Instructor Jean Barker came to Denver seven years ago from the Michigan. She began her pilates journey more than twelve years ago when 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. Jean's daughter is a successful pilates instructor at FineTune Pilates in Brooklyn, New York. When contemplating becoming a pilates instructor herself Jean sought and received her daughter's blessing. Jean received her Teacher Training and certificate from BASI Pilates (Body Arts & Sciences International) at Pilates Denver Studio under the guidance of Amy de Sa.

Just "retired" from a career in healthcare that spanned over thirty years, Jean 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. Jean also received a certificate for Pre and Postnatal Pilates from Carolyne Anthony of The Center for Women's Fitness. Jean is a member of the Pilates Method Alliance and looks forward to advancing her pilates education.

Aspen Rader, Pilates Instructor Aspen Rader is a Colorado native and started dancing at the age of two. Through dancing, she was introduced to Pilates as a form of “cross-training” for dancers. While Pilates helped to improve her dancing ability, she also used Pilates to rehabilitate from various dance injuries. Aspen loved Pilates from the beginning.

After graduating from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a degree in Sociology, Aspen decided enroll in the instructor program at the Body, Arts, Science International (BASI). She feels it was the best decision of her life. She finds a sense of fulfillment as a BASI Pilates instructor which allows her to help people to feel physically better and to help them achieve their fitness goals.

Over the years as an instructor, Aspen has continued training and has acquired several more advanced Pilates certifications to benefit more clients. She is trained to work with people that suffer from Injuries or Pathologies including (but not limited to) low back pain, Kyphosis, Osteoporosis. She has extensive training to work with the Mature Population, to instruct Dancers, to expand the abilities of Sports professionals and to assist Pre and Post Natal populations.

Aspen loves being a Pilates instructor and believes everyone can benefit from Pilates whether it’s for rehabilitation, cross-training or to get fit! She loves to help all of her clients reach their goals!

Heather Burke, Pilates Instructor 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, Yoga Instructor 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.

Rebecca Hilton Rebecca Hilton's career as a massage therapist began with Reiki training twenty-one years ago and the path of bringing this energy to the world gradually took the form of Massage Therapy some sixteen years ago. Fortunate to have the best mentors and teachers early in her training, she soon became very skilled at effecting change in her clients bodies. For eight years she specifically grew in neuromuscular therapy, rehabilitating injured tissue and realigning the muscular/skeletal structure. Rebecca's massage is a enigmatic mix of deeply nurturing, yet highly effective in restoring balance and harmony to the body. Along side her development as a massage therapist, Rebecca shares her energy of transformation and healing through a dual career in music as a Modern Celtic singer, songwriter and recording artist. About four years ago her attention turned to Yoga, quickly igniting a passion to study and teach Mindfullness-based Vinyasa Yoga. Turning inward, her clients find the source of healing within themselves, informing the path to healing their minds, bodies, lives and world. With a passion for working fundamentals, Rebecca guides her students to mindfully align and gain strength as they naturally open the body. Rebecca now joins Pilates Denver Studio offering Yoga classes and Massage Therapy.

Diane Ahonen Diane Ahonen is a professional Reflexologist with 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 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, Pilates 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, Pilates Instructor 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!

Johanna Cole, Pilates Instructor Johanna Cole began her career in Fitness over 15 years ago as a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor. She discovered Pilates at a continuing education conference a few years later and was subsequently moved to redirect her career toward rehabilitative fitness. Since then, Johanna has worked within Outpatient Physical Therapy, using Pilates to teach people how to heal themselves through exercise so they can live a pain free lifestyle. Johanna has recently pursued her certification in the BASI Pilates Comprehensive Teacher Training Course and has now joined the team at Pilates Denver Studio. Johanna also holds certifications in TRX and Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention.

Johanna moved from Northern California 6 years ago and now lives in Aurora with her two teenage sons. Her favorite activities include watching her son's in their activities, running with her dog and enjoying time with family and friends.

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