Ellen Barlow, Senior GYROTONIC® Exercise Trainer and Physical Therapy Aide

Ellen Barlow is a movement education specialist with over 30 years experience teaching, designing, and managing programs in fitness, rehabilitation, dance, yoga and other mind-body practices. At Elements she is a certified GYROTONIC®GYROKINESIS®, and specialized equipment exercise instructor.  Ellen is also a certified practitioner and teacher of the Body-Mind Centering® Approach to movement education, and a Registered Movement Therapist with the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association.

While Ellen approaches movement training from multiple perspectives, she engages her GYROTONIC® Exercise clients in anatomical awareness and perceptual-motor learning so they may embody their experiences of improved alignment, strength, flexibility, coordination and balance and apply it to their daily lives. In 2013 she became an ergonomic affiliate with Focal Upright Furniture.  

Ellen is available for GYROTONIC® exercise privates, group classes, and Physical Therapy Aide sessions.

Justine Bernard, DPT, GYROTONIC® Exercise Master Trainer

Dr. Justine Bernard began studying GYROKINESIS® Exercise, then known as Yoga for Dancers, in 1994 with Hillary Cartwright while on scholarship at The Ailey School for Dance in New York, NY. She also studied with Juliu Horvath at White Cloud and became certified to teach GYROTONIC® exercise in 1997 and GYROKINESIS® in 1999. She taught at Studio Riverside under the guidance of authorized master trainer Leda Franklin for many years.

In 2003 she received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Columbia University, read her complete Physical Therapy bio here.

In addition to seeing clients for Physical Therapy and GYROTONIC® exercise privates and duos, Justine teaches a nationally recognized course in GYROTONIC® exercise applications for Osteoporosis.

Kari Boyd Gardiner, Certified GYROTONIC® Exercise Trainer, Certified Pilates Instructor

While working on an organic farm in the Hudson Valley, NY, Kari was diagnosed with Lyme disease.  The exhaustion from her illness forced Kari to end her six year organic farming career and to return to college.  Kari graduated from Bard College with a BA in Art in 2003.  While at Bard, she also studied modern dance and discovered Pilates.  Kari was inspired to become a Pilates instructor after feeling her Pilates study had boosted her healing from Lyme disease, imparting both a new and deepened core as well as greater overall fitnes.  She was originally certified in Mat Pilates in 2003, and certified to teach on all the Pilates apparatus in 2004 through the original Power Pilates studio in New York, NY.

Observing the effects of the GYROTONIC® Expansion System on her Aunt living with Parkison’s Disease prompted Kari to begin her own study of the GYROTONIC® method.  In 2007, Kari completed her GYROTONIC® Level 1 Foundation Certification with Magali Messac at GYROTONIC® Seattle. In addition, Kari completed her GYROKINESIS® Foundation Course with Mia Munroe in 2010 and is a current GYROKINESIS® exercise apprentice. From September, 2004 until moving to the Washington D.C. area in 2012, Kari owned the first Pilates and GYROTONIC® studio, called Mountain Lake Holistic Movement Studio, on Orcas Island in Washington State.

Utha Callen, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Exercise Instructor, Certified GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Pre-Trainer

Utha started training in ballet when she was two years old and came to GYROTONIC® after a dance injury put her in chronic back pain at the age of sixteen. She quickly fell in love with this movement system and in 2011 her desire to keep learning pushed her to start teaching. In a private session with Utha, you can expect to balance technical rigor with finding delight in movement, creating enjoyably challenging sessions that address your needs in a safe, supportive way.  Utha continues to be passionate about learning and has taken many therapeutic application courses, as well as becoming certified on specialized equipment, such as the jump and stretch board, GYROTONER®, and leg extension unit. In 2014 she became a GYROTONIC® Pre-trainer, and shortly after a GYROKINESIS® Pre-trainer.  Complement your exercise practice with a massage from Utha!

Her fascination with the human body inspired her focused premed studies in her BA from Harvard Extension. During this time she became increasingly interested in the fascia, the connective tissue system that winds throughout the body, communicating with every system it touches. In 2017 her desire for more hands-on knowledge led her to enroll in the Ashland Institute of Massage due to their therapeutic focus and training in myofascial release. In her massage practice, Utha blends Swedish, myofascial release, and neuromuscular/deep-tissue therapies to unravel tension and facilitate healing, allowing my clients to find greater range of motion and empowering them to become more aware of and comfortable in their bodies. Her own struggle with chronic pain helps bring compassion and understanding to the table, meeting clients wherever they may be that day. She is currently continuing her education with additional training in John Barnes myofascial release and advanced myofascial trainings with Til Luchau.

Kimmie Dobbs Chan, Certified STOTT Pilates®, Certified GYROKINESIS® Exercise Trainer, Senior Certified GYROTONIC® Exercise Trainer Levels 1 and 2, GYROTONIC® Exercise Pre-Trainer

Kimmie Dobbs Chan is a fully Certified Senior Instructor of GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Exercises and STOTT PILATES®. Kimmie has taught Pilates to a variety of clientele including dancers, athletes, rehab and injured populations since 2002. She completed much of her training at Pilates on Fifth in New York City, while studying frontiers of mind-body medicine at NYU (2001-2003).

Kimmie graduated from University of Maryland, with a B.S. in Kinesiology (2006) and soon after also certified as an Instructor of GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® methodologies. Kimmie continues her GYROTONIC® education with certifications in using specialized GYROTONIC® equipment (Jump Stretch Board, GYROTONER®), as well as GYROKINESIS® and GYROTONIC® Exercise Level 2.

She began her study of the body as a lifelong dancer, Kimmie grew up training locally with Ballet Theatre of Annapolis and Fran’s Studio of Dance. She is now Co-Artistic Director of a local production company, Deviated Theatre, which shares original tales through acting, aerials, and contemporary dance. She is a recipient of the 2014 Maryland State Arts Council Individual Award for Choreography (MD), the 2013 Audience Favorite at the Breaking Glass Project (NYC), and 2011 recipient of the John F. Kennedy Center Local Dance Commissioning Project (DC).

Nina Dunham, Certified GYROKINESIS® Exercise Trainer

Nina discovered the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® in 2004 in Washington, DC and has traveled extensively in the U.S. and Europe to further her education both as a student and instructor.  She completed her GYROKINESIS® Foundation training with Mia Monroe. Nina is also a Core Synchronism practitioner (a system built on the back of Polarity Therapy and specific principles of Cranial Osteopathy).

Nina has seen both in herself and others the healing capacity of GYROKINESIS®.  As an instructor, she works with her students to teach them how to use their bodies to release tension and holdings, naturally restoring functional movement patterns, balance and strength.  She encourages her students to learn about and enjoy their bodies!

Nina is available for GYROKINESIS® exercise privates and group classes.

Michele Fry, DPT, L.Ac, Certified GYROTONIC® Exercise Trainer, RYT-500

Michele Fry uses her broad skill set to improve her clients’ wellbeing and to cultivate a renewed sense of freedom.  She  holds both a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and a Master of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. She is a Licensed Acupuncturist in California, Maryland, and Washington, DC.  Michele has been practicing yoga since 1994 and is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 500).  In 2017 she received her GYROTONIC® exercise Level 1 certification.

Michele’s rich background allows for a truly unique physical therapy experience which can include dry needling, acupuncture, cupping, and myofascial release.  She specializes in women’s health, pelvic floor therapy, and postpartum care.

In addition to Physical Therapy treatment, Michele offers private GYROTONIC® instruction, acupuncture, cupping, and private yoga.

Teresa Gill, Certified GYROTONIC® Exercise Trainer, Certified Pilates Instructor, Physical Therapy Aide

 

Teresa Gill has been involved in movement and fitness since her introduction to ballet and jazz at the age of three. After 10 years of dance, she picked up high school sports and weight lifting, which opened her opportunity to combine graceful movements from years of dance with the strong athleticism of sports.

Teresa found the GYROTONIC® Method 2008, when she managed a fitness and wellness studio in Bethesda, but only pursued the movement further after a severe hamstring injury from aerial dance. She chose GYROTONIC® exercise as her rehab and since then has wanted to learn and study more so she could share this beautiful practice with more people. She believes this practice is for every body, and strives to find a way for each person to find their own connection with how these movements apply to one’s everyday life. As a lover of movement, and of all the exercises she has tried over the years, she feels the GYROTONIC® Method incorporates all of her favorite pieces and is the best cross-training – from an athlete to a more idle lifestyle, we can all benefit from the awakenings this modality brings.

Along with GYROTONIC® exercise, you can find Teresa practicing Pilates, yoga, dance – but only for fun around the house and out with friends, aerial arts, hula hooping, hiking, and traveling to new adventures

Kayla Harley, GYROKINESIS® Apprentice

A native Washingtonian, Kayla Harley joins the Elements Center as a GYROKINESIS® Apprentice Instructor. She received her BFA in Dance at Dominican University of California Alonzo King LINES Ballet with GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® as an integral part of her curriculum. She has found it to bring much health and longevity in her body as a professional dancer. She has premiered in TONY Award Winning Show ” CATS”, guest performed with several dance companies including Collage Dance Collective, Brooklyn Ballet, Deeply Rooted and more. She is a classically trained dancer venturing into other areas of performing arts that included but are not limited to theater and television. As an instructor she seeks to bring out the best in her clients so that sessions and/or classes with her brings about a fresh experience with GYROKINESIS® each time. 

Christina Hritz, GYROKINESIS® Pre-Trainer, GYROTONIC® Master Trainer, Certified Pilates Instructor, and Physical Therapy Aide

Christina “Chrissy” Hritz, a former dancer and lifelong mover, first discovered the GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® exercise techniques in 2005. Since then she has worked with a wide range of clients, having witnessed healing and transformation, pain reduction and prevention, and the freedom through movement that GYROTONIC® exercise can provide. In addition to her multiple trainings, she has also studied in-depth the Therapeutic Applications of GYROTONIC® exercise and is certified on the Ladder, Archway, GYROTONER® and Leg Extension Unit.

Chrissy is available for GYROTONIC® exercise & Pilates privates and duos, and Physical Therapy aide appointments.

Physical Therapy at Elements Center. 

Jessica John, Certified GYROTONIC® Exercise Trainer and Physical Therapy Aide

Jessica John is an ardent movement researcher– always finding new ways to challenge herself (and her clients) in safe, supported ways. She is a circus artist, coach, and choreographer as well as a former competitive athlete, “rockette”, and skier.

She was drawn to GYROTONIC® exercise because of its emphasis on spiral motions. Unlike most conventional exercise where linear or isolated movement patterns are performed (creating uncoordinated strength) the GYROTONIC® Expansion System emphasizes integration, whole body movement, and agile potency. The spiral motion patterns are free and pure, and mirrored the free-ness she experienced in the air as an aerialist.

Jessica offers privates, duos, and physical therapy aide appointments.

Jenny April Kaplan, DPT, Certified GYROTONIC® Trainer

Jenny April Kaplan, DPT blends her knowledge of classical physical therapy with the holistic traditions of the GYROTONIC® Method, Pilates, and yoga to create a fresh perspective on physical rehabilitation.

Jenny April graduated from Stony Brook University’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program, with a focus on a Motor Learning approach to Orthopedic Rehabilitation.  She specializes in the treatment of chronic pain, back pain, postural misalignment, and stability issues.  Her treatments are informed by Feldenkrais, the Alexander Technique, and Cranial Sacral Therapy, which address principles of alignment and breath awareness necessary to prevent re-injury and create maximal postural stability and ease.   She is also able to identify chronic dysfunctional movement habits and facilitate healthy breathing and neuromuscular patterns in her clients.

Additionally, her dynamic background in figure skating, acrobatics, dance, and soccer allow Jenny April to tailor sport specific home exercise programs designed to take athletes and dancers to the next level of kinesthetic proficiency.

In addition to private GYROTONIC® instruction, Jenny April also leads group classes and offers physical therapy appointments.

Monique Kramer, PT, DPT, Certified GYROTONIC® Exercise Trainer

Monique Kramer, PT, DPT has been practicing physical therapy for over 22 years with adults and children with neurological and developmental disabilities.  As a client of Elements Center for many years originally, she was inspired to become a certified GYROTONIC® trainer after experiencing the many healing benefits of the method while she was rehabbing from an injury with us.  Now she is a certified senior level GYROTONIC® exercise trainer offering private sessions in addition to her physical therapy treatments on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays by appointment.  Read her complete bio here.

Tracy Monaco Reid, GYROKINESIS® Pre-trainer, GYROTONIC® Master Trainer, Certified Pilates Instructor, and Physical Therapy Aide

Tracy’s career in body movement and fitness began while earning a B.F.A. in dance from Western Michigan University.  Luckily, the dance department had the foresight to introduce dance majors to the Pilates Refomer, which instantly intrigued Tracy.  After moving to NYC, working at Pilates Style Magazine, and enjoying a professional dance career she continued her training and received certifications in Pilates mat work and all the specialized equipment.

Following certification Tracy took the exam to become a PMA (Pilates Method Alliance) certified instructor.  The Pilates system proved to be a great tool in helping maintain stability, flexibility, and overall health not only for a professional dancer like Tracy, but for individuals from all walks of life.

Caroline Rocher, Certified GYROTONIC® Trainer

Caroline Rocher trained at the Conservatoire de Montpellier in the south of France with Madame Claparède, and later studied at the Rudra Béjart art school in Lausanne, Switzerland. In 1998, she came to America to study at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in New York. 

A year later, Caroline was invited to join Arthur Mitchell’s Dance Theatre of Harlem Company, and then was promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer in 2000. That same year, as a part of NYCB/Dance Theatre of Harlem collaboration, Caroline performed George Balanchine’s Slaughter on Tenth Avenue with NYCB Principal Dancer Damian Woetzel at the New York State Theater. A few months later, she danced with international ballet star Vladimir Malakhov at the Career Transition For Dancers Gala in New York. Additionally, in 2001 Caroline was named “25 to watch” in Dance Magazine. 

She also performed at “Le Gala des Etoiles du 21ème siècle” in Paris in 2004, right before she joined the Bayerisches Staatsballett in Munich, Germany. In 2006, Caroline moved back to France to dance with the Lyon Opéra Ballet for one season, and then returned to America in 2007 to work with Alonzo King Lines Ballet in San Francisco. Caroline is honored to have performed works from acclaimed choreographers such as William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, Arthur Mitchell, Michael Smuin, Glen Tetley, Alonzo King, Dwight Rhoden, Hans Van Manen, Jacopo Godani, Maguy Marin, Georges Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Marius Petipa, John Cranko and John Neumeier. 

Besides dancing, Caroline teaches ballet and along with the Lines repertoire at the Lines Ballet School and she is currently studying towards a BA degree through the LEAP organization. Additionally, Caroline appeared in the 2012 HBO movie “Hemingway and Gellhorn” starring Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen, and directed by Philip Kauffman. Caroline is also a certified GYROTONIC® teacher in levels I&II.

John Umberger, Certified GYROKINESIS® Trainer

As a GYROKINESIS® instructor, John centers his work around stimulating his students’ interest in their own internal landscape. John loves to animate the body with images and the rhythmic, expansive flow of GYROKINESIS® breathing and movement, the art of exercising, and beyond. John trained with Miriam Barbosa and Justine Bernard for over three years before becoming an instructor. John also studies and incorporates the use of essential oils and other complimentary healing modalities to further stimulate the breath and movement of his class.

John found Elements Center when he used the GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® methods to rehabilitate after a being hit by a car and was told by his surgeon he would need a cane to walk.  After training in these movement methods John walks with out any limp or assisted device and is able to move and teach with freedom and ease.