Brook Notary, 2nd Generation Teachers
My favorite Pilates exercise is: Back extension exercises are key. So much of life is forward. Our spines love us so much after extension work. So cheers to the Breaststroke, and to all exercises that open our hearts for that matter.
The exercise I would like to spend more time working on: Breaststroke on the Reformer–I have suchha love/hate relationship with it. I love how I feel after it, but I am humbled every time I do it.
When I’m not in the Pilates studio, I am running my own private Pilates business out of my small cottage in Mill Valley. My daughter and I moved here from NYC during the pandemic. Being able to teach all my longtime NYC clients on Zoom allowed us the shift to be closer to family and nature. So in our spare time we are discovering all sorts of hikes and places to take our dog, Diogi. We are also enjoying the small things like being able to park our car at the grocery store and wearing a light sweater in winter time. 🙂
Brook Notary is one of NYC’s most renowned instructors, specializing in the Pilates Method. She has had the privilege of teaching Pilates for the past 18 years. Certified by celebrity teacher Rael Isacowitz with continued training from master teacher Kathy Grant, Brook can share knowledge she has gained from the best.
As a professional choreographer, aerialist, dancer, and athlete, Brook understands the body, it’s abilities, and it’s limitations from experience. She was a cast member of the hit aerial Off- Broadway show, De La Gurada, was a nationally ranked competitive rhythmic gymnast, toured the US as an acrobat with Cirque, choreographed for high profile music artists such as Usher, and received her MFA on full scholarship at Tisch School of the Arts.
This diverse background informs her nurturing yet “tough love” athletic approach that has created extraordinary results in her clients, many of whom have been with her for over 12 years. Brook’s clients come to her with issues ranging from rehabilitation, weight loss, heart conditions, diabetes, MS, depression, strengthening goals, and overall body maintenance needs. What excites Brook most, is how different every body is. Brook’s clients include everyone from pro athletes and high profile celebrities, to weekend warriors and silver sneakers, making her well versed in every client’s needs. “It is a true joy for me to make discoveries
Darien Gold, 2nd Generation Teachers
My favorite Pilates exercise is: This is a very difficult question to answer. Off the top, I’d say Full Hanging off the Caddy as it feels so good to stretch out and hang from my feet as I open my spine and chest.
The exercise I would like to spend more time working on: Horseback on the Reformer – my nemesis
When I’m not in the Pilates studio, I’m: Practicing yoga, out in nature, playing my Tongue drum or cooking wonderful meals…
When another dancer introduced Darien Gold to the Pilates method in 1992, she felt an immediate connection to the work and began studying with Romana Kryzanowska, a Joseph Pilates premier disciple. The Pilates technique seemed familiar to Darien because of her extensive background in high level gymnastics and her eighteen years as a professional dancer. Darien spent the next few years incorporating Pilates into her dance classes and in 1997, completed her pilates certification.
Darien was compelled to share what she was learning and began teaching in her Hollywood, CA apartment with a used reformer bought from a student. As her practice grew, she moved into a larger space and invested in the Cadillac, additional reformers, chairs and barrels. Three years later, another move — this time in West Hollywood above the famous TOI Thai restaurant on Sunset Blvd., and named this larger commercial space Studio Darien. After fourteen years she moved again — this time to a more tranquil environment — and now teaches in her home studio in Sonoma County. The peaceful countryside insures not only a great workout for the body, but elevates the mind and spirit as well.
Moving from hectic Los Angeles to her new forever home proved to be a very positive decision. Darien has shared her talents with a variety of facilities such as Yoga ONE, located in downtown Santa Rosa, POST Wellness by Design, a full-facility wellness center next to the Petaluma River, and Body Kinetics Marin Health Club where she taught classical mat and apparatus classes and served as a continuing Education Pilates instructor. At Lifestyle Pilates in Petaluma, Darien imparted the classical approach to a mostly contemporary clientele. This year, Darien worked with the Santa Rosa Police and Fire Departments, and now currently teaches private and group lessons at Internal Fire Pilates studio in Mill Valley, conducts mat and apparatus workshops at the Santa Rosa Airport Club, and has international Skype students from England, South Korea, France and Switzerland.
An invitation in 2018, took Darien across the pond to England where she taught classical Pilates to both classical and contemporary Pilates instructors. A decade ago, she had her first experience teaching outside the United States at the renowned fitness center, Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico.
On Sundays at 2pm on KPCA Petaluma, Darien’s radio show, “All Things Pilates” explores the on-going evolution of the Pilates method as well as its connection to other modalities such as Gyrotonic, yoga, podiatry and chiropractic. Listeners can expect additional information about the two main approaches to Pilates – Classical and Contemporary. In addition, Darien does voice-overs for the station’s PSA’s announcements.
Pilates Style Magazine named her Intermediate Mat DVD in 2010 and the Advanced Mat DVD in 2012, in the magazines “Top 10 Best DVDs” category. Darien was the first Second Generation classical Pilates instructor to present the traditional Intermediate Mat repertoire in an app, Studio Darien Pilates and two years later she produced her second app, Studio Darien Advanced Pilates. For those Pilates students who are just
starting out, Darien’s basic mat DVD, The First Seven is available on Amazon. Her apps are also available in the App store and Google Play.
Danielle ‘Dani’ Hendricks, Expert Teacher
My favorite Pilates exercise is: Inversions on the Cadillac
The exercise I would like to spend more time working on: Inversions, since I don’t have a Cadillac at home
When I’m not in the Pilates studio, I’m usually at home teaching remotely or cooking for my family, at the climbing gym, or practicing aerial fabric and lyra in my aerial partner’s garage.
NPCP Certified Pilates Instructor, Danielle Hendricks
has been a lover of movement from birth. A competitive gymnast and dancer raised in Fresno, CA, Hendricks moved to Colorado in 1994, and graduated from CU Boulder with degrees in Kinesiology and Dance in 1999. She completed her comprehensive Pilates Certification Training in 2001, then Pilates Master’s Training in 2011 from The Pilates Center in Boulder, CO. From 2001 to 2003, Danielle toured the States, teaching at Inner Strength in Chicago, Every Body Fitness in Boston, Martha’s Vineyard Pilates Center, The Pilates Center in Boulder, and found her home in early 2003 at Pilates Aligned in Denver, CO with Cara Reeser as a mentor, inspiration, and friend. “Dani” was fortunate to be able to study several times with Reeser’s mentor, and first-generation teacher of Pilates method, Kathleen Stanford Grant. She completed Cara’s “Kathy Grant Heritage Training” in 2014, and is constantly utilizing the brilliant exercises and verbal cues that Grant developed for her own students to better understand the complexities of Mr. Pilates’ “Contrology.”
In addition to her Pilates teaching, Danielle danced professionally from 1999 to 2020 in both modern and aerial dance companies in the Denver/Boulder area; most notably with Evolving Doors Dance, 3rd Law Dance/Theater for 15 years, and with Frequent Flyers for the 20 years. Much of Dani’s teaching is highly influenced and informed by the nuances of dance technique and the rigors of aerial training. In March of 2020, at the beginning of the shutdown, Dani moved from Colorado back to California to create a new life that includes online teaching, step-children, home ownership, pet chickens, rock climbing, an aerial circus group, and other epic adventures. Dani is thankful for the strength and movement awareness she has gained in her personal practice of the Pilates Method, dance, and aerial training, and is eager to share the gift of movement with others.
Fernanda Repsold, Expert Teacher
My favorite Pilates exercise is: Footwork
The exercise I would like to spend more time working on: Head Harness and Toe Corrector exercises
When I’m not in the Pilates studio, I’m spending time with my family and more
A resident of Mill Valley and parent of two, Fernanda joined the Internal Fire Pilates team in 2013.
Fernanda enjoys working with people from all walks of life and is especially interested in applying Classical Pilates, and other functional movement modalities such as Gyrotonic® and Yoga as a mean of stimulating the body’s natural ability to heal. Her style of teaching fosters a collaborative process of discovery, combining form and function, while always looking to the whole body to create a supple and uniformly developed structure. Fernanda holds a B.A. and minor from the University of California Berkeley, and currently takes pre-med courses to prepare for study towards a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.
Advanced Pilates Teacher Training
Yoga Teacher Training
GYROTONIC® Level 1
GYROTONIC® Level 2 – pre training
GYROKINESIS® Level 1- pre training
Specialized Gyrotonic Equipment: Jumping Stretching Board
Heather Arnett, Expert Teacher
My favorite Pilates exercise is: Whichever one I’m doing…No, seriously.
The exercise I would like to spend more time working on: everything on the Ladder Barrel because I love that apparatus and am envious that I don’t have enough space to own one. Grr!
When I’m not in the Pilates studio, I’m either hiking, diving, rafting, running, dancing, singing, cooking OR making performance art about gender based violence.
Heather Arnett (she/they) is a BASI certified Pilates Instructor with an M.S. in Kinesiology from Western Illinois University (’03) who combines Neurokinetic Therapy (NKT) and fascial release with classical Pilates to help people explore and expand their movement potential. Heather is also a Certified Movement Analyst (Integrated Movement Systems ’06), a level one NKT practitioner, and an enthusiastic student of human anatomy with over 120 hours of live dissection at the Institute for Anatomical Research in Colorado Springs, CO. Heather’s weapons of choice are joy and humor.
Jack Grantham, Expert Teacher
My favorite Pilates exercise is: Full Hang on Cadillac
The exercise I would like to spend more time working on: Full Hang on Cadillac
When I’m not in the Pilates studio, I’m enjoying cooking French and African Cuisine
I began training in Martial Arts in 2008, and completed my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt certification through the world renowned Ralph Gracie by 2013. However, in 2010 my martial arts practice came to a halt after I suffered a neck injury that required surgery, which led me to the beginning of my Pilates journey. After three years of a dedicated Pilates practice, I was hooked, and decided to enroll in the Pilates Education Lab Teacher Training program. I’ve now been teaching Pilates since 2014 and the experience has been beyond rewarding. Fitness has always been a positive part of my life and I’ve enjoyed continuously learning more about the body through each movement system I’ve studied. The best part about teaching Pilates is that I love helping my clients learn how to embrace healthier changes in their bodies.
Jeni Jesse, Expert Teacher
My favorite Pilates exercise is: Rowing Series on the Mat or Reformer
The exercise I would like to spend more time working on: Snake/Twist
When I’m not in the Pilates studio, I am either working on my house or yard or outside walking or hiking
Jeni started doing Pilates over 20 years ago in San Francisco and quickly realized how much she enjoyed this body of movement and exercise. She began studying to teach Pilates in 2008 with Sharon Gallagher and Carol LeMaitre. In 2014 she went on to complete the Advanced Teacher Training Program at The Pilates Center remotely under the guidance of her long-time teachers; Aura Fischbeck, Susanne Staehr and Erika Groff. She also completed the Kathy Grant Heritage Training under the tutelage of Cara Reeser the same year. She’s been teaching in San Francisco and Mill Valley, California ever since.
During the summers she would come to Denver to be near family, spend time enjoying the amazing outdoors with her son and teach at Pilates Aligned. She has just returned to Denver to live after being away for 30 years!
Jeni is excited to share her love of the Pilates method and the organic and intuitive work of Kathy Grant by helping people on their Pilates journey. Jeni enjoys helping others transform their bodies and creating lasting positive effects in their daily lives.
When not teaching Pilates Jeni is either learning more about the body and mind through movement and courses or hiking the many mountains of Colorado, or possibly just soaking up some time with her son and cat.
John Krause, Expert Teacher
My favorite Pilates exercise is: The Hundred
The exercise I would like to spend more time working on: Snake/Twist on the Reformer
When I’m not in the Pilates studio, I’m writing screenplays
John Krause has been teaching Pilates for over 20 years with a special focus on rehab and sports performance. Besides his extensive Pilates background he is also certified by the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) as a fitness specialist for golfers. John takes a posture based approach to help solve even the most stubborn and chronic pain issues. His unique skill set includes training in several forms of bodywork, martial arts and sports specific movement. John is a fantastic resource for people of all ages and walks of life and looks forward to helping you achieve your goals and beyond!
Lise Prewitt, Expert Teacher
My favorite Pilates exercise is: Footwork on the Reformer
The exercise I would like to spend more time working on: Anything that opens my chest!
When I’m not in the Pilates studio, I am out hiking and continually exploring health and wellness
Lise Prewitt began taking movement lessons as soon as she could walk. She was introduced to movement imagery and anatomy as a child through Idiokinesis.. This was the beginning of a strong background in understanding the body and for creating a great body awareness. She majored in biology and chemistry while continuing to study and perform modern dance. She was introduced to pilates in 1994 while performing with a dance company, and then in 1996, after injuries from a car accident limited her abilities to dance and perform, she began to learn to teach pilates. She has taught for both Ellie Herman’s and Balanced Body’s pilates teacher training programs. With two decades of pilates teaching she also incorporates the neuromuscular techniques of Vladamir Janda, yoga, Feldenkrais, Franklin Method and her love of athletics and movement. She is a certified MELT Level 1 practitioner and also teaches MELT Hand and Foot techniques. Her teaching is informed through technical understanding of anatomy and biomechanics, her intuitive sense of the body and her keen observation of posture and movement. She enjoys working with people of all fitness levels as well as with people who have neurological conditions and those recovering from injuries.
Melanie Clifford, Expert Teacher
My favorite Pilates exercise is: Archival leg circles with springs
The exercise I would like to spend more time working on: Teaser on the long box
When I’m not in the Pilates studio, I’m chasing kids’ schedules.
Melanie is a well-versed, multi-disciplined instructor who is dedicated to improving her clients’ quality of life, while helping them to achieve a better understanding of their bodies and how to best move them.
She began as a young mover with dance and gymnastics, which later resulted in a college degree in Ethnic Dance, with a focus in Kinesiology.
Initially, she began her Pilates training with Ellie Herman in 2000. She then started teaching in San Francisco and Oakland at Ellie Herman Pilates Studios, along with various other locations in Berkeley. She has spent years conducting teacher training programs for both Ellie Herman Studios and Balanced Body Pilates, the latter of which required travel around the country. She has also incorporated into her training her many years of yoga practice, culminating in becoming a certified yoga instructor, as well as the work of body worker Vladimir Janda, and the Franklin Method, which all have helped to give her a much deeper understanding of the body and its mechanics.
In continuing to master her craft, she is frequently studying with Pilates masters and experts to help ensure she is always pushing forward and always learning. Melanie has to keep her own body moving and lives for helping others to strengthen their bodies in order to gain greater control, while developing a greater appreciation for their own movements.
Shana Morrison, Expert Teacher
My favorite Pilates exercise is: Saw
The exercise I would like to spend more time working on: Open Leg Rocker
When I’m not in the Pilates studio, I’m singing and performing with my band.
After 30 years training in ballet and gymnastics, Shana Morrison began practicing Pilates in 2000 when a knee injury from dance led her to study new methods of strengthening and centering. Surprised and impressed with the results of her practice, Shana pursued teaching Pilates and became certified in the Pilates Method at the Ellie Herman Studios (Author, Pilates for Dummies, Get on the Ball with Pilates, etc.) in 2004. Since then she has taught private apparatus sessions, duets, and classes in Marin County, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley. To expand upon her education in body movement and functionality, Shana has attended Gyrotonic, Gyrokenesis, and Franklin Method training workshops, and in 2011 completed certification as a personal trainer She enjoys sharing her knowledge of classical pilates method with students of all levels of ability, raw beginner to seasoned pro, and encourages Pilates skills in all movement pursuits.
Sharon Gallagher-Rivera (Owner), Expert Teacher
My favorite Pilates exercise is: Currently a tie between Side Lying Leg Spring Series and Backbends on the Ladder Barrel
The exercise I would like to spend more time working on: Big Splits (Grand Ecarte) on the Reformer
When I’m not in the Pilates studio, I’m Momming and Dancing
Sharon Gallagher-Rivera is the Owner of Internal Fire Pilates and is also Co-Owner of Pilates Education Lab, a training program for aspiring Pilates teachers in San Francisco and Marin. Sharon is a seasoned instructor, and bodywork and rehabilitation specialist committed to enhancing the well-being and resilience of her clients across all physical states and abilities.
Sharon earned her BA in Politics and Performing Arts from USF in 1992, and then spent decades performing, both commercially and with contemporary dance companies including Printz Dance Project for many years. Initially trained by Ellie Herman, she began teaching Pilates in 1999 and has taught at various studios in San Francisco and Marin, including Sanchez Street Studios, owned by Carol LeMaitre (now her teaching partner and co creator of Pilates Education Lab).
Sharon has been blessed to learn from many talented teachers over the years. Aside from years of study with Jennifter Stacey, M.S., she earned a Master’s Certificate with the renowned Pilates Center of Boulder. Sharon enriches her Pilates practice with continued movement study through a regular Pilates practice and dance training in many styles including Modern/Contemporary, West African and Brazilian. Her students are her greatest teachers and she continues to gain experience through teaching with a range of methods. Aside from Pilates, these include: bodywork and massage techniques learned from her studies with Stephen Coleman, L.Ac., (blending the work of Lauren Berry, Swedish Massage, Rolfing and Feldenkrais), Jayne Edwards (Neuromuscular Rehabilitation work of Vladimir Janda, M.D.), Sue Hitzman (creator of the M.E.L.T. method) and Jean Claude-West.
After Lululemon Athletica selected her as a Global Ambassador for 2010-11, she was honored to be selected by PilatesAnytime.com as their “Next Pilates Anytime Instructor 2012”, winning a feature story in Pilates Style magazine. Sharon is a NPCT Certified instructor and has modeled for Ellie Herman’s books, ‘Pilates for Dummies’ and ‘Pilates Wunda Chair’ as well as Ellie’s DVD of Advanced Matwork. She appears in Jordan Matter’s book, ‘Dancer’s Among Us’ as well as Lois Greenfield’s ‘Moving Still’.
Mika Street (Sub), Expert Teacher
My favorite Pilates exercise is: Front Splits and Side Sit-Ups on the Barrel (I could not narrow it to just one)
The exercise I would like to spend more time working on: All of them
When I’m not in the Pilates studio, I’m with my family and enjoying Marin’s beauty
Voted one of NYC’s “Pilates Gurus” by Well and Good http://wellandgood.com/2013/02/13/new-york-citys-pilates-gurus/#new-york-citys-pila tes-gurus-10, Mika brings 13 years of experience with her to Internal Fire. A recent transplant from NYC where she owned and operated 3 Pilates studios – Uptown Pilates, Uptown Pilates on Madison and Uptown Pilates Sag Harbor, Mika and her husband have recently moved to Marin and could not be more excited to be here!
Mika is a firm believer in Joseph Pilates’ method and its universal benefits. She loves sharing her passion for the method and having her clients connect to the precision and flow of each movement.
Courtney Butowski, Certified Teacher
My favorite Pilates exercise is: The Ab 5 Series
The exercise I would like to spend more time working on: anything on the Cadillac
When I’m not in the Pilates studio, I’m on the sidelines of a soccer field
Courtney is a multi-sport athlete (with a special love of soccer) who began Pilates to keep fit in her early 20s. She decided to become a Pilates instructor after assisting (really insisting of) her husband in recovery from a torn Achilles tendon via an active Pilates routine. Thus, she decided to enroll in the Pilates Education Lab Teacher Training program at Internal Fire and learn from the absolute best in the business (Sharon Gallagher-Rivera). Courtney has now been teaching Pilates since 2016 and has found it rewarding beyond measure, especially when she gets to teach it to her two young sons, both of whom are soccer
fanatics. Fitness has always been a positive part of her life and she continues to enjoy teaching others about body mechanics and how to be present in one’s own body and inspire it to healing and wholeness.
Ilana Murphy,Certified Teacher
My favorite Pilates exercise is: So many favorites to choose from! I always love Big Twist.
The exercise I would like to spend more time working on: All the split variations on the Reformer. And most of the exercises that involve going upside down.
When I’m not in the Pilates studio, I’m outside moving in nature.
“Ilana has enjoyed teaching and exploring Pilates for over a decade. She first discovered this approach to informed movement via physical therapy following a car accident. She soon realized the many benefits it offers, including a fun weekly workout, balanced strength, and support for participating in life’s other activities with grace and resilience.
Ilana was certified by Pilates Education Lab and Ellie Herman Studios and does ongoing continuing education, most recently with The Pilates Workshop, S.F. (a satellite studio of The Pilates Center, Boulder). Ilana has also been a yoga instructor for 20 years and is currently training in the MELT method. She is certified by Balanced Body to teach their Anatomy in 3-D curriculum.
In addition to teaching Pilates, Ilana is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, bodyworker, and practitioner of Functional/Integrative Medicine. Learn more about her practice here: ebbflowhealth.com. “
Danielle Williams, Apprentice Teacher
My favorite Pilates exercise is: Teaser–on the mat, on the Reformer, Tower, Wunda Chair, everywhere
The exercise I would like to spend more time working on: Going up Front balance on the Wunda Chair
When I’m not in the Pilates studio, I’m on or near the water with Johnny and our dog Coco, studying Zen art, and working on my Pilates mat practice.
Bio: Danielle Williams was introduced to Pilates in 2000, when her then-boyfriend and now life partner was just completing his Pilates Teacher Training program. It was love right from the start—of the boyfriend and of Pilates. Her love for Pilates became even stronger when she met Sharon Gallagher-Rivera and experienced the transformative power of the Pilates Method in a deeper way than she ever had before. Danielle began her comprehensive teacher training in early 2020 with the Pilates Education Lab, under the direction of Sharon and Carol LeMaitre.
Kym Jaros, Apprentice Teacher
My favorite Pilates exercise is: anything on the Cadillac/Tower
The exercise I would like to spend more time working on: Teaser on all apparatus and mat
When I’m not in the Pilates studio, I’m hiking with my dog, Harley
Kym was introduced to Pilates in 2006 after a fall that resulted in cervical surgery. Her Neurosurgeon recommended Pilates for Rehab to help her with mobility issues. Spinal surgery
forever changed her life, however, Pilates gave her the confidence and support to rediscover movement and to approach life in a new way post-surgery.
In March 2020, Kym began studying her full comprehensive classical training under Sharon Gallagher- Rivera. Since then, she has taught private apparatus sessions, duets, and classes in Marin County.
Kym is a dedicated teacher who tailors each session based on the individual’s needs. Her goal is for her clients to walk away from the session learning something new about Pilates and feeling a positive change in their body from the movement.
Kym enjoys sharing her knowledge of classical Pilates method with students of all levels, and can’t wait to share it with you!
Mariette Lapiz, Apprentice Teacher
My favorite Pilates exercise is: Parakeet
The exercise I would like to spend more time working on: Backbend
When I’m not in the Pilates studio, I’m spending time with my husband and two dogs, hiking, sailing, and kayaking.
A passionate student of Pilates since 2012, Mariette decided to pursue teaching by joining the Pilates Education Lab Teacher Training in 2017. Mariette has always been a fitness enthusiast and enjoys many forms of exercise. She spent several years training in power and Olympic lifting and the Russian Kettlebell method. She now spends most of her time focusing on her Pilates practice. For her, Pilates awakens the connection of mind and body, keeps the body healthy, and aids in preventing and healing injury.
Mariette has experienced the many benefits of Pilates and wants to share them with others.
Danielle Williams – Director of Happiness
Gracie Scarborough – Girl Boss in Training
Kym Jaros – Master of Sales and Fun
Sharon Gallagher-Rivera – Owner and Ring Leader
Tracy Zhou – Keeper of Order and Calm