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
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
Mahala Matthews’ 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
McKenzie has been in the fitness industry as a consumer for the last fourteen years, and as a professional for the past three. Health and fitness have always been a priority and passion for her, but it was after a life-changing event that she decided it was going to become her life’s work. According to her doctors, “Pilates saved (her) life,” when she was in a serious car accident and her core had to work overtime to protect her spine. After recovering, McKenzie left the retail world where she had been for almost fifteen years, and began her journey to become a Pilates instructor. While there are many schools of Pilates out in the market, McKenzie sought out a prestigious certification from the globally acclaimed BASI (Body Arts and Sciences International) program. Following this, she has taken continuing education workshops and certifications. McKenzie enjoys teaching private Pilates and personal training sessions so she can give her clients a completely custom experience, where no session will be the same. The focus for her clients will be on building core strength, improving balance and stability, minimizing imbalances and compensations within the body and maintaining overall fitness.
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