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, TRX® certified and Gyrokinesis® apprentice


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. 

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.

Hope Wolfe, Certified GYROTONIC® Exercise Trainer

Hope Wolfe has been in love with movement since the age of 4 when she first began dancing. She received her B.A. in Dance Studies from Appalachian State University and has continued to dance professionally periodically since attaining her degree. This led her to discover Pilates under the tutelage of Marianne Adams and Rebecca Quin during her time at Appalachian State. It was here that she pursued her Pilates certification, becoming a 3rd generation classical instructor in a lineage descending from Romana Kryzanowska. She is comprehensively trained in both mat and apparatus.

Hope’s passion for movement and her continued desire to learn led her to the Gyrotonic® Expansion System. She is now a certified Gyrotonic® Level 1 instructor and Gyrokinesis®️ apprentice. She has also completed many courses including Gyrotonic application for Osteoporosis, to dive deeper in her Gyrotonic and Pilates practices.

Her clients appreciate her knowledge of modifications for different therapeutic applications, her care, concern and clarity in teaching.

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 and Gyrokinesis® apprentice

Caroline Rocher trained at the Conservatoire de Montpellier in France with Madame Claparède and later studied at the Rudra Béjart art school in Lausanne, Switzerland. In 1998, she moved to America to study at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in New York. In 1999, Mrs. Rocher joined The Dance Theatre of Harlem under the mentorship of Arthur Mitchell and was promoted to the rank of Principal dancer the following year. Her professional career extends internationally as she danced with the Bavarian State Ballet in Munich, Germany, the Lyon Opera Ballet in France, and Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet in San Francisco with which she toured worldwide.

In 2001 Mrs. Rocher was named “25 to watch” in Dance Magazine. She also collaborated with international ballet star Vladimir Malakhov at the Career Transition For Dancers Gala in New York and was invited to perform at “Le Gala des Etoiles du 21ème siècle” in Paris in 2004.

Mrs. Rocher has performed works by acclaimed choreographers such as Marius Petipa, John Cranko, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Hans Van Manen, John Neumeier, Maurice Béjart, Maguy Marin, Jacopo Godani, Dwight Rhoden, William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, Arthur Mitchell, Michael Smuin, Glen Tetley and Alonzo King.

Alongside her dance career, Mrs. Rocher has been a great advocate for passing on her craft to the next generation of dancers. For the past 15 years, she has been teaching worldwide, and she is currently part of the Alonzo King Discovery Project team, an intensive workshop offered nationwide whose mission is to use dance to bridge gaps created by the diversity of experience, perspective, culture, and socioeconomic background. Furthermore, in 2015, she traveled to Cape Town as part of The LEAP-SOUTH AFRICA organization. There, together with a team of inspiring artists, she taught young dancers at the CAPA Art School, as well as the public schools located in the townships of Khayelitsha, and Guguletu.

Mrs. Rocher is currently living in Maryland and teaches at the Washington School of Ballet. She is also an adjunct Professor at George Mason University. Mrs. Rocher is a certified GYROTONIC® instructor in both level 1 and 2, as well as specialized equipment, and GYROKINESIS® apprentice instructor at Elements.

John Umberger, Certified GYROKINESIS® and GYROTONIC®

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. He incorporates the GYROTONIC® equipment in private sessions to both assist and resist the body to gain agility and strength through out movement. John also studies and uses essential oils and other complimentary healing modalities to further stimulate the breath and movement of his classes and sessions.

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.