Amy’s journey has been a rich one since graduating CSU. Her dance degree took her to the San Francisco Bay area where she danced for several regional companies, but it’s the Pilates Method that has been Amy’s vocation now since 1997. She completed her initial comprehensive Pilates teacher training through The PhysicalMind Institute™ with Madeline Black. She has acquired countless additional training most notably with Cara Reeser and the Kathy Grant Heritage Training Program™, Pat Guyton/Pilates Conservatory™, Rael Isacowitz/BASI Mentor/Master Program®, Mariska Breland/Pilates for Neurological Conditions® and Rebekah Rotstein/Buff Bones® with whom she was faculty for 5 years. She twice has attended Gil Hedley’s 6-Day Intensive Hands-On Human Dissection Workshops and considers herself a forever student. She annually adds to her list of teaching credentials. In addition, she is a level 1 Certified Fascial Stretch Therapist as well as a member of the Fascial Stretch Therapy Association.
Amy is a national and international Pilates educator --- having taught in South Korea, Spain, London, Scotland and Finland as well as many cities throughout the United States. She is a mentor, teacher trainer and business coach to other teachers in training and believes in ongoing continuous education and professional community. Amy strives to approach her teaching from a lense of “Rome wasn’t built in a day” attitude, that patience and persistence are keys to success.
She opened her studio, CenterPoint Pilates, in Santa Barbara, CA. in 2001. Her studio just celebrated it’s 19 year anniversary, has 8 teachers, and has been the location for countless continuing education workshops including Pat Guyton, Eric Franklin, Rebekah Rotstein, Mariska Breland, Diane Diefendorfer, Troy McCarty and Carla Mulins to name only a few. CenterPoint Pilates is considered the place to go for quality Pilates education in Santa Barbara.
Amy is, proudly, one of the original teachers on Pilates Anytime. In addition to teaching for the online studio, she is one of the brains and minds behind content development, designing class programming and educational strategies for the global Pilates platform. She works with some of the most notable Pilates educators in the industry and has over 280 of her own classes online.
She plans to continue teaching workshops locally and internationally, spreading the word about the Pilates Method, educating on the importance of living a full life, with a balance of wellness and it’s approach through whole body commitment and breath.
Sabrina's most important professional goal is to teach that integrating conscious
consistent breathing with movement and the ability to relax with trust and a feeling
of safety is the foundation for long lasting change in one’s health and physical
Making such lasting changes takes willingness, follow-through with practice, and
belief such practices will improve quality of life and happiness.
For the past 35 years, she has been on a steady journey to understand and apply
many movement methods in her efforts to maintain her own quality of life, to
recover from her own injuries, to manage chronic pain.
In the 1980’s, Sabrina received her education from UCSB and SFSU in Dance-
Physical Education and Holistic Health, a pilot program established by Dr. Erik
Peper. Sciatica and shoulder weakness led her to San Francisco’s Center for
Sports and Dance Medicine, founded by orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Garrett.
She continued training in Pilates with Elizabeth Larkham.
In 1999 she earned her Physical Therapy Assistantship License and in 2002 she
finalized her Pilates certification with Integrated Teacher Training Program
under the tutelage of Madalene Black, Leah Putnam, and Jean Sullivan.
Thereafter, she obtained her PMA certification.
Today, Sabrina furthers her physio-based Pilates education with the following
practices: NEURAC (neuromuscular activation) Norwegian sling therapy
application called Red Cord, Karena Tech’s Scolio-Pilates (a Schroth based
method), and Carla Mullin’s Body Organics, an Australian multi-disciplinary
health care instructional program and practice.
She interfaces as a post-rehab instructor-trainer with the local orthopedic and
physical therapy clinicians offering adjunct instruction.
Kathy discovered the work of Joseph Pilates in 2001 while exploring different modes of recovery and rehabilitation following the total replacement of both hip joints. What began as extended physical therapy in one mat class started the process of study to teach, through Body Arts and Science International, and to pursue the study of anatomy, the biomechanics of movement, and the potential of Pilates work for physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Prior to finding her way to Pilates, Kathy taught Hatha Yoga for 13+ years, following certification through the Integral Yoga Institute at the Satchidananda Ashram in 1991. Similarly to Yoga, Kathy believes that a Pilates practice has a profound effect on the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of being. "Continuity of practice is the key to well-being."
Kathy’s thirst for greater understanding of anatomy, the bio-mechanics of movement, spinal mechanics - particularly relative to the many complexities of Scoliosis and its effect upon one’s movement - led her to the work of Karena Thek, creator and developer of the Scolio-Pilates Method. Kathy has been an authorized Scolio-Pilates Practioner for 6 years, recognizing the Scolio-Pilates Method as an effective exercise system created for the purpose of managing Scoliosis. Her focus has been to help those with Scoliosis manage the many daily challenges that Scoliosis can present, such as limited activity, pain, reduced respiratory function, and often diminished self-esteem.
Kathy’s other interests are swimming, which has been lifelong, the Garden and Horticulture. She has been a self-employed Garden Designer for over 30 years and has a deep passion for the plant world. She is an activist for Ocean Conservation and as a former volunteer naturalist for the Channel Islands Marine Mammal Sanctuary, she ardently promotes support and stewardship of our local coastal and island environment. She and her husband (of 30 years), Scott, share their lives with Lexi, a Smooth-Coat Border Collie.
Kathy's gifts as a teacher include good communication skills and relating well and easily to others. She inspires discovery, growth, and change by pursuing and practicing the way to physical and mental improvement, understands the importance of developing a regular and consistent practice that helps one become a 'feeling good and moving well' system, and enthusiastically promotes and supports the same for her students.
Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Lea has always enjoyed an active lifestyle. Her discovery of Pilates thrilled her as the discipline promoted both mental and physical health. The rich history of Pilates and the many examples of people who have been doing Pilates for much of their lives fascinated and inspired her. One of her main goals as a teacher is to impart these benefits to her clients. Lea strives to create an environment that is open, light and accepting of everyone who wants to be there, while also honoring the needs of each individual participant and progressing towards their goals.
Lea completed her comprehansive teacher training program with Core Conditioning. As she began to teach she realized that her education had only just begun and has avidly pursued her personal and professional practice. She continues to study under CenterPoint owner Amy Havens and guest faculty member Pat Guyton. Her evolving and growing practice reminds her that there is always an opportunity to learn more. Each time we move with purpose we alter the landscape of our minds and bodies and have the chance to look at ourselves and our world with fresh and open eyes.
Aliza's approach to teaching Pilates is truly "a to z." She believes Pilates has something to offer everyone, including both men and women, the very young and the very old, those suffering from chronic pain or injury and elite athletes. She has seen the profound impact in her own life - and in the lives of a diverse clientele - of improved balance and focus and deeper awareness of the body and functional movement. She further believes in taking advantage of the full spectrum of Pilates methods, from classical to contemporary, in order to meet the individualized needs and goals of each student. Above all, she is a profound believer that Pilates is not simply a form of exercise but an avenue for lifelong learning.
Aliza completed a Pilates Matwork and Standing Pilates certification through the PhysicalMind Institute® in 2007 as well as Comprehensive Pilates Teacher Training through Body Arts and Sciences International™ in 2009. She has been a Pilates Method Alliance® Certified Pilates Teacher since 2010. She is committed to continuing education and has attended many conferences and workshops led by industry leaders. In addition to teaching private and small group sessions in a studio setting, Aliza has taught Mat classes at the Santa Barbara Tennis Club, Westmont College and Yale University.
Kaita Lepore Mrazek
Kaita Mrazek received degrees in Dance and Psychology and went on to pursue dance as a career. The toll of placing constant high demand on her body created an insatiable thirst for learning and teaching all things body and movement related, which uncovered a passion for teaching others.
Kaita completed her Pilates Comprehensive Teacher Training with Body Arts and Science International (BASI). She is also an E-RYT 200 Certified Yoga Instructor. Additionally, she completed the Resistance Flexibility Training (RFST) Level 1 Affiliate Certification and has taken numerous workshops related to prenatal yoga, bodywork and massage techniques, movement workshops with Bonnie Bainbridge-Cohen and Anna Halprin, Integral Anatomy, and the Franklin Method.
She has been a visiting researcher at UCSB studying the limits of cognitive, affective, and neural plasticity. She is co-author of Presence of Mind, a book on mindfulness and meditation.
She is a co-founder of Ghost Flower, an activewear brand and practice inspired by Chinese medicine. She is also co-creator of the Ghost Flower Practice, a movement practice inspired by Chinese medicine, acupressure massage, and active stretching. www.ghostflower.com
When Ruth was in utero, the pediatrician told her mother she had an active little dancer inside. Ruth is a born mover; her life has been about her own dance training and performing and her life work has been helping people connect to themselves through movement.
She brings to her work extensive training in alternative movement modalities in addition to her many years’ experience as a professional dancer. Ruth’s interest in bodywork and movement grew out of her desire to find a solution to the chronic pain and injury she sustained as a dancer. Since 1976 she has been studying and teaching various movement re-education techniques. She has been particularly inspired by the work of Lulu Sweigard (Release Work), Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen (School for BodyMind Centering), Susan Klein (Klein Technique) and Emilie Conrad (Continuum).
Ruth has been a certified practitioner of the TRAGER® Approach since 1987. She was trained in the Eve Gentry lineage of Pilates by Michele Larsson in 1992, to work specifically with her injured clients, and has been part of Michele’s Core Dynamics teacher training program, now under the ownership of Kevin Bowen, since 1998. Ruth is also certified as a GYROTONIC® Method teacher since 2003, and graduated in 2007 as an Alexander Technique teacher from the Alexander Alliance Southwest.
Jo Landis Shields
BASI Certified Pilates Instructor
Jo became a Certified BASI Pilates teacher after managing La Playa Pilates for six years, and then entering the BASI Pilates education program there, under the tutelage of senior faculty trainers, Meredith Rogers and Sarah Lampro. Jo is a member of Pilates Method Alliance and is a qualified TRX suspension training instructor. Last July, she completed another BASI Pilates Certification; Pilates for Injuries and Pathologies. Jo regularly practices Qigong and Reike; both similar in that they incorporate the study of physical and emotional healing through universal life energy. She is committed to continuing her Pilates education with workshops and supporting certifications. Jo currently serves on the Event Ambassador Committee for Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation where she has been active since 2010.
Jo enjoys cooking for family and friends, playing in the ocean, adventuring with her husband and kids, -and tiring out their Australian Shepherd, Koda Bear.
Instagram HT: #kodabeartheaussie
Melissa Smilow began dancing as a young child. At age 20 she moved from San Diego to NYC to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. She stayed busy there, earning her BFA in Musical Theatre from the New School University, teaching various fitness classes, and working in dance and theatre productions. After six years, Melissa returned to the west coast, performing in many theatrical productions throughout California. She discovered the mat Pilates repertoire during this time. After moving to Seattle in 2011, Melissa was introduced to equipment-based Pilates and she found that it dramatically helped her body recover from car accidents and old dance injuries. She graduated from the Teacher Training Academy at Vitality Pilates in 2012. In addition to teaching PilatesMelissa is also a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and Reiki Master at Wellness Revolution Studio (www.wellnessrevolutionstudio.com). Pilates, holistic nutrition, and energy healing have all been vital in her well being, health and happiness! She provides her Pilates clients with hands-on feedback, options to both modify or increase challenge and humor. She is excited to be a part of the amazing Centerpoint team!