Get to know our Instructors
- Certified mat and apparatus with Body Arts and Science, over 300 hours of practice and lecture
- Teaching assistant with Body Arts and Science International in Costa Mesa CA. Assisted Rael Isacowitz (Founder of BASI) and Constance Holder (director of education) in certification courses 2009. Host contact for BASI courses offered at Smart Body Pilates.
- Recipient of hip resurfacing procedure Sept 2010. Specializes in developing Pilates programs for total hip replacement, and hip resurface recipients. Read more about hip resurfacing and recovery...
- Mat certified in BASI and Physical Mind
- Yoga training through Yogafit, Levels 1 & 2
- Certified Personal Trainer & Group Fitness Instructor (ACE)
- B.A. in Psychology (concentration in sports psychology), and A.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern Maine
- Former NAC national level sport aerobic competitor and national level Fitness America competitor
- Coach/ choreographer for competitive fitness athletes
- Been in the fitness industry for 20 years and the Pilates industry for 10 years
Contact Aimee: Aimee@SmartBodyPilates.com
Catherine has been involved in fitness for 15 years. Where she’s been active by either practicing, learning or teaching fitness in some capacity. She started practicing Pilates in Virginia in the late 90’s at her local gym, after having two children. Catherine continued Pilates, weight lifting, and to explore rowing. She rowed with a women’s crew team for 2 years before learning to row in a single.
In late 1996 her family relocated to Wake Forest, NC in Dec 1996, where rowing wasn’t readily available so she began to do sprint triathlons. Realizing that Pilates was something she really missed, she decided to teach others and get certified through BASI in 2010. Pilates has allowed flexibility with her schedule so she can continue to be a stay at home mom and raise her two girls.
Catherine really enjoys teaching and focusing on proper technique and form, helping with imbalances and building strength. Catherine also has a Psychology degree from George Mason University. Today, she remains active, continuing to do Pilates, triathlons, and half marathons. Catherine is certified in cycle and group fitness.
Contact Catherine: Catherine@SmartBodyPilates.com
As an advanced certified instructor in both mat and apparatus under the tutelage of Bob Liekens and Susan Moran of Power Pilates, Erika Elrod brings 9 years of classical Pilates training to Smart Body Pilates. Following the six principles of Joseph Pilates (Centering, Control, Concentration, Flow, Breath and Precision), Erika approaches the Pilates method from a holistic perspective with a strong emphasis on the mind/body connection. Erika has worked with clientele ranging from those rehabilitating from injury, athletes, pre/post-natal, and the elderly. In each case, she believes consistency is the key to change. If a client sticks with the Pilates method, they will be empowered to find their own inner strength to improve their quality of life. Ultimately, Erika strives to create a compassionate, trusting, and fun atmosphere that will motivate each client to enjoy the journey.
Contact Erika: Erika@SmartBodyPilates.com
Jody Thomas grew up in Breckenridge, Colorado where she was an active runner, skier, cyclist and competitive gymnast. After high school, she moved to Boulder where she attended the University of Colorado. Jody’s interest in the performing arts lead to a bachelor of fine arts degree in Theater with a minor in Dance and ultimately, to a life-long interest in the art and mechanics of movement.
Jody’s desire to find a fitness program that would enhance her other sporting activities and help reduce the chances of injury began her interest in Pilates. She was first introduced to Pilates in the late 80’s in Boulder, but her practice really began after the birth of her daughter. While recovering from a Cesarean section in 2004, Jody used Pilates to rehabilitate and improve her balance and core support. It was through Pilates that she was able to reclaim and reconnect with her core. As a student, she became so passionate about Pilates that she entered the Body Arts and Science International (BASI) instructor training program. After more than 400 hours of intense training, Jody is certified to teach on all types of Pilates equipment.
Jody has been actively teaching Pilates in the Triangle area since early 2008. Her approach to Pilates instruction is very traditional and constructionist. Jody's technique emphasizes the precise form and execution necessary for maximum results from Pilates exercises. Her philosophy is, “The devil is in the details”. She believes that Joseph Pilates' Contrology is truly transformative, and with proper instruction, clients of all ages and abilities can enjoy more active healthy lifestyles through improved freedom of movement, increased self-awareness, and greater mental and physical control over their own bodies.
Contact Jody: Jody@SmartBodyPilates.com
Julie Suiter is originally from Charleston, WV, and was a champion gymnast and circus performer before graduating from Duke University with a degree in psychology. She spent 21 years in the corporate world, holding positions in teaching, counseling, and human resources, including serving as the Director of the Wellness Program for a Fortune 500 company. Julie has been teaching yoga for healing and transformation for 14 years, and is a fruitarian who loves acrobatics, dance, and nature. She appreciates every opportunity to speak up for the animals.
Contact Julie: Julie@SmartBodyPilates.com
Linda began her love of movement at an early age with a foundation in Dance. Her experience in Ballet, Tap and Jazz dance lead to an early career as a ballroom dance instructor, exhibition dancer and choreographer. Her work with varied populations, social students to competitive dancers of all ages, helped to foster a better understanding of the abilities, limitations and mechanics of the human form.
Linda was introduced to Pilates in March 2008 as a method to rebound from repetitive stress injuries, rehabilitate her degenerative disk disease and increase her level of fitness. Her new exercise regimen allowed her to strengthen and increase flexibility and range of motion without the rigors and limited planes of movement associated with traditional resistance exercise. Upon quickly recognizing the inherent value of the integrated, low impact, full-body methodology of Pilates Apparatus exercise, she decided to become certified herself. Completing her BASI instruction, written and practical exams by November 2008 she became fully certified in November 2009.
Linda’s focus, in her own training and with her clients, is the resumption or achievement of a better quality of life through the unique application of Pilates fundamentals. Linda has eliminated the painful symptoms and limitations of her degenerative, displaced disk and is more athletically fit that at any point in her life. Successes with clients include the regaining of lost or limited range of motion, increase in strength, coordination, fitness and flexibility and improved quality of life for individuals with ailments ranging from Scoliosis and Diastasis to those simply suffering the cumulative impact of their everyday lifestyle.
Contact Linda: Linda@SmartBodyPilates.com
Mahala Landin’s interest in Pilates began with her love of dance and movement. She studied all disciplines of dance for 18 years. She has been a member of the Appalachian State University Dance Ensemble, ASU Dance Team, and the NCSU Dance Team as well as participating in private dance companies in the Triangle. In 2001 she attended the American Dance Festival at Duke University. This intensive program allowed her to take 3 hours of Pilates a day for six weeks. The exposure to two different teaching styles and methods gave her a broad sense of how Pilates could be tailored to any individual. The benefits of Pilates were not only obvious in her dance technique, but also in her everyday movement. She became certified in Mat Exercises through the Pilates Certification Center in the fall of 2001. She acquired most of her teaching experience through local Pilates Studios in Raleigh, and local Gym’s. Mahala helped create the first Group Fitness Pilates Program at NC State University teaching all ages, 18-70, and fitness levels, novice to advance. In 2005 she became certified through PCC in the Reformer, Cadillac and Wunda Chair.
Mahala began teaching at Smart Body Pilates January 2007. After her introduction to the BASI Method she decided to further her education in 2009 and completed the Comprehensive Training Program which includes over 300 hours of lecture and practice.
Mahala enjoys teaching approachable Pilates, choosing exercises that encourage balance and form in the body and tailoring workouts to meet the goals of each of her clients. She holds a BS in Accounting from NC State University.
Contact Mahala: Mahala@SmartBodyPilates.com
Marie Sherr grew up dancing at a number of studios and companies in the Midwest. Eventually she began teaching dance to all ages. Upon moving to NYC she was introduced to the Pilates Method and fell in love with the workout. Under the tutelage of Romana Kryzanowska, Joseph Pilates' protégé, Marie became an Authentically Certified Instructor in 2002. Marie taught at many studios in NYC and developed a following. After that she trained her own private clientele, creating specialized Pilates workouts for all body types, abilities and ages. Marie has worked with a wide variety of people from athletes needing a good cross training regimen, business people who need a good workout after being in a chair all day, people afflicted with MS and Parkinson’s, students, mommies and dancers. She has now pulled up stakes from NYC and move to the south. She will share with you the joy of Pilates and inspire you to lead a healthier happier life.
Contact Marie: Marie@SmartBodyPilates.com
Nicola Bullock became a Pilates Instructor to give other people the opportunity to learn and love the form as much as she does. A lifelong dancer, Nicola began studying Pilates in 2000 while an undergraduate at Barnard College of Columbia University. As part of her dance minor, she took a Pilates class, and found it helped improve her strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility, all while stimulating the mind-body connection she loved about dance. Upon graduating with a major in Psychology (honors), she became a Physical Therapy Aide in New York City and worked one-on-one with athletes and seniors in a rehabilitation setting, assisting them with their physical therapy exercises and giving her an opportunity to learn about injuries and recovery. In 2007, Nicola decided to pursue her Pilates certification. She attended the prestigious Kane School of Core Integration, where she studied under some of New York's most illustrious Pilates instructors. She has enjoyed working with a wide sector of the population, from fellow dancers and pre- and post-natal women to seniors and people who have never moved a day in their lives. Her approach to Pilates combines the classical repertory with a contemporary understanding of anatomy and biomechanics. Nicola compliments her study of Pilates with many other movement styles, including: modern dance, ballet, hip-hop dance, running, yoga, the Alexander Technique, and the Feldenkrais technique. Nicola continues to dance and choreograph in North Carolina. Watch out for her onstage! http://www.nicolabullock.com
Contact Nicola: Nicola@SmartBodyPilates.com
Leslie was introduced to Pilates while earning her B.A. in Studio Art from Meredith College. Frustrated with group mat instruction and limited exposure, she came to Smart Body Pilates as a client seeking individualized instruction. With continued immersion, Leslie developed a more profound awareness of her own physical fitness and a more acute appreciation of the Pilates method’s numerous benefits to people of all ages, genders and fitness levels. The success of her own personal practice and experience with Pilates instilled in her a desire to teach and help others. Ready to take her next step toward becoming a certified Pilates Instructor, Leslie enrolled in the Body Arts and Science International teacher training course, hosted at Smart Body Pilates in October 2011. Leslie instantly connected to the BASI philosophy, methodology and approach to teaching. With over 500 combined hours of practice, observation, and apprenticeship, she is a proud graduate of the BASI Comprehensive Teachers Training Course and now a dedicated instructor of the BASI Pilates method.
Pilates has made all the difference in the world in helping me be a successful masters athlete in softball and racquetball at the national level. I'm a 63 year old woman and has successfully recovered from a hip resurface one year ago! I have worked with Aimee Levesque over seven years and extensively during the recovery phase of my hip. Pilates means core strength and endurance which translates into torque, power, and flexibility in sports. Smart Body Pilates Studio is state of the art and Aimee is a superb instructor and trainer. I look forward to continuing Pilates with Aimee for many sports years to come!
Dee, 63 years old