OUR PHILOSOPHY

At the Pilates Center of Pittsburgh our philosophy is simple. We believe that movement is a conduit for personal empowerment. We serve clients by giving them accurate information about their bodies, teaching and empowering them with clarity and confidence through classical Pilates training at our Pittsburgh, PA studio. It is our experience that through regular Pilates practice you can dramatically improve the way your body feels and works.

We pride ourselves on making each session personal. Whether you are a prenatal Pilates client or working on an athletic or even physical therapy goal, our approach reflects this. We maintain an atmosphere to help you achieve your goals. We are mindful of the classical Pilates method and process while being results oriented.

We invite you to meet the team and let us know what you are looking to improve in your health and body.

If you desire to improve your golf game, posture, muscle tone or you just want to feel better, call us to get started!

MEET THE TEAM

Our instructors are committed to serving others through their work.

Our work is movement-beautiful, balanced and biomechanically sound.

We use our work as a vehicle to support healthy lifestyles.

APPRENTICES:

These are the teachers who are in the process of completing a comprehensive certificate or have completed a mat work certificate.

JUNIOR INSTRUCTORS:

These are the teachers who have completed at least one comprehensive certificate from a qualified school. They are fully apparatus trained instructors with at least 600 hours of training.


SENIOR INSTRUCTORS:

The Senior teachers have completed two or more comprehensive certificates in Pilates or movement areas.

FOUNDER

Lesley Davenport is from Marietta, Ohio and moved to Pittsburgh to attend Point Park University. Upon graduation from PPU with a BA in Dance Ballet and Jazz concentrations, she freelanced throughout the greater Pittsburgh region gathering as much experience teaching and performing as possible. During these years Lesley was blessed to have been a founding member of H20 Contemporary Dance. Lesley currently holds an adjunct faculty position with Point Park University and serves the dance community by working directly with younger dancers at PCOP and remaining involved with The Dance Conservatory of Pittsburgh and H2O.

Chronic back pain and spasms forced her to take a private Pilates session with a friend who was an instructor, Gwen Ritchie. After a few short weeks of regular work, Lesley was a believer. “My body shape began to change quickly and my chronic pain was cut in half. I discovered that I was incredibly unbalanced from overbooking a dance schedule and neglecting to cross train consistently. I had weak abdominals , lack of mobility in certain areas of my back and unstable hips. I needed to learn the lessons that Pilates provides in order to not only bring myself out of pain but participate in things that were important to me. With a steady Pilates routine I was able to correct many issues and in turn it gave me a pain free, capable, happy body.”

It became my work to share with others and create a supportive environment for instructors and clients. A passionate student, Lesley is currently studying with Sheri Berkowitz of The Vertical Workshop. Her certifications include Core Dynamics, Power Pilates, and Women’s Center for Fitness Prenatal and Postnatal Certificate. A creator at heart , Lesley is responsible for launching many area Pilates/movement/wellness programs and the Pilates Center of Pittsburgh in 2006. Her favorite work is to collaborate with various talents and bring in unparalleled movement training and experiences into Pittsburgh. She stays inspired by consistent practice and exploring other forms of movement, parenting her children and continuing education.

She lives in Bethel Park,PA with her husband Michael and young children.

Senior Instructor.

Ruchi Acharya PT, MS, CAE and the owner of Vitality Physical therapy, has over 15 years of clinical experience as a Physical Therapist.

Ruchi received her B.S. in Physical Therapy at State University of New York, Buffalo, and M.S. in Biomechanics and Ergonomics at New York University. Her work experiences include acute care, in-patient rehab, cardio-pulmonary rehab, vestibular rehab, outpatient orthopedics and sports medicine.

Ruchi practices a genuinely holistic treatment approach known as Myofascial Release (MFR). The MFR approach maximizes healing in patients by engaging both the body and mind. She treats patients with the aim of achieving independence through proper body mechanics and movement, enhancement of strength, improved flexibility, and postural and movement awareness.

Ruchi accepts medical insurance through her practice Vitality Physical Therapy and is a certified direct access PT, no referral from PCP needed. She currently accepts Medicare, High Mark, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cigna.

Senior Instructor.

 

Allie Castello’s mission is to empower and educate everyone on how to gain improved health through movement. She earned her Bachelors of Arts in Dance from Point Park University, Pilates teaching certification through Power Pilates, and has numerous hours of continuing education in the field of dance and movement.

Allie is continually increasing her knowledge by attending school to become a certified Physical Therapist Assistant. Allie’s deep understanding of the body allows her to communicate and work with many body types, injuries, and health goals.

Junior Instructor.

 

Kiley Coulter’s first experience with Pilates was at Slippery Rock University, where she received a BA in Dance. After college, she lived in NYC for eight years where she continued to dance and take Pilates classes. Her desire to maintain a life-long career in movement inspired Kiley to enroll in the Power Pilates Comprehensive program under the direction of Bob Liekens and Susan Moran. Kiley taught at the Power Pilates flagship studio in NYC until she moved to Pittsburgh in 2013. After having her first child, Kiley became interested in learning more in-depth information about the changes during and after pregnancy and how she can apply her Pilates training to benefit each individual during this time. In March 2017, Kiley completed the Pre and Postnatal Pilates Specialist Program through The Center for Women’s Fitness.

For Kiley, Pilates is both fun and challenging, and it has been the optimal method for improving her strength, balance, and overall body awareness. She strives to bring the enthusiasm and knowledge gained through her own practice and training to each session she teaches, and she provides appropriate challenges for each client to grow stronger and work towards their full movement potential. Kiley’s clients should expect detailed instruction on technique and form, but most importantly they should be ready to move!

Junior Instructor.

“The programs are customized to each students needs and the instruction is specific and amazing. It is a lovely studio and the teachers are encouraging and knowledgeable. There is nothing intimidating about it. I now can’t imagine life without Pilates.”

– Heidi Sherman | Pilates Client

Michael Duray has been a body worker since 2002. Mike maintains a private practice which focuses on Structural Integration, orthopedic massage and an exploration of movement though individual Pilates instruction. A student of motion, he has actively practiced Shotokan Karate since 1972. He volunteers his time as an instructor at the University Of Pittsburgh. Mike is a certified Peak Pilates instructor and is also on staff at Carnegie Mellon’s Department of Athletics where he teaches group classes. He is also a faculty member of the Massage Therapy Institute of western Pennsylvania, where he endeavors to increase local awareness of the benefit of Structural Integration and Visceral Manipulation.

Senior Instructor.

Amy Jones found Pilates 6 years ago because she wanted to get in shape for her wedding. She was not a person who liked to exercise and so it was quite a surprise how quickly she fell in love with the practice and began feeling and seeing the benefits of being stronger, feeling taller, and being much more in tune with her body and breath.

Amy’s certificates are:

  • Beginner Mat with Power Pilates: June, 2013
  • Intermediate Mat with Power Pilates: December 2013, renewed December 2015
  • CECs with Power Pilates: Small Barrel and Spine Corrector; Enhance Your Mat with the Physioball and Magic Circle; Tower Progressions
  • Pre/Post Natal Specialist Program: March 2017

In 2016, Amy was still practicing Pilates and teaching to her friends and family when she found out she was pregnant. She noticed changes both physically and spiritually. This led her to wanting to learn about pre and post natal Pilates, giving women the opportunity to heal from the body trauma of pregnancy, and the critical importance of taking care of yourself first.

Amy loves the full body benefits in Pilates, as when working on say the legs you realize you are working on the whole body. Her favorite go to exercises are the push through series, the airplane and stretching of the legs in Tower classes.

Join her in the studio for the Moms on the Mat classes.

Junior Instructor.

 

 

Christin Lukondi was introduced to classical Pilates in Southern California where she grew up. She earned her mat certification in 2016 and is working on equipment certification in the town she now calls home, Pittsburgh. Her goal has been to learn, imitate, and perfect the teachings of Joseph Pilates and share her knowledge with anyone who is willing to learn.

Christin loves how Pilates works on strengthening and toning the body. She really appreciates how classical Pilates facilitates everyday movement and most importantly a healthy spine.

She looks forward to sharing her passion for Pilates with you at the studio.

Apprentice.

“Lesley is great at communicating Pilates concepts in several different ways, so that you can connect with an explanation that resonates with you.At the Pilates Center, it is required for you to go through a series of intro sessions before joining a class. Having done it, I think that this is so smart. The intro sessions are well-priced, they give you one-on-one time with the instructors to focus on your specific needs and really ensure that you are joining a class when you are ready (a great way to prevent injuries).”

– Meghan Romano | Pilates Client

Sally Putt took her first Pilates class in June 2009 in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. She was curious to find out what this exercise was all about as she had always been active and enjoyed exercising, but the pounding of aerobics and running over the years took a toll on my knees and lower back.

Sally has an engineering background and the attention to details and control in Pilates immediately resonated with her as a student and teacher.

Sally started in on teacher training to help others to achieve the great changes that Pilates can do to your body and mind. Her Power Pilates certification in Beginner and Intermediate Mat has allowed her to teach Pilates since 2013. She is currently enrolled in comprehensive equipment training to allow her clients to experience more fully everything the practice can offer.  In 2016 she completed her Systems I apparatus with Power Pilates.

Junior Instructor.

Viviana Romanazzi moved to Pittsburgh from her home of Rome, Italy in 2015. Her path to studying and teaching Pilates began first as a client almost 15 years ago just when the Pilates method was starting to get known In Italy. After personally discovering the big improvement undergone by her body after a few years of practice, she decided to become a teacher.

She started her training in Rome with an American teacher Patricia Medros who is a direct disciple of Romana Kryzanowska. During this period, Viviana obtained her first Degree in Pilates Matwork from “One Pilates Rome” in October 2012.

Viviana has taught Pilates at various gyms in Rome while at the same time studying to obtain her final degree in Matwork and Apparatus in July 2015. Immediately after receiving this degree, she and her husband and two young daughters moved to Pittsburgh for his career.

Viviana’s passion for the method has led her to continue her education with Shari Berkowitz “The Vertical Workshop”, a second generation Teacher from New York, and she’s currently enrolled in her program for teachers “Pilates Intensives”.

Junior Instructor.

 

As a movement professional and dancer, Sarah Zielinski found Pilates as way of rehabilitation from various injuries and surgeries by becoming a student of Lesley Davenport at The Pilates Center of Pittsburgh. She became literally ‘moved’ with how much Pilates helped fine-tune her body as an instrument; she knew she wanted to share that knowledge of body awareness through movement.

During teaching she has encountered clients living with a wide array of chronic issues (post-trauma or injury), those hoping to establish a deeper connection to their bodies through exercise, and athletes of all sorts wishing to prevent injury and strengthen their fitness routine.

A native of Pittsburgh, Sarah graduated summa cum-laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Point Park University. After graduation she moved to NYC and had the privilege of working with The Metropolitan Opera, Doug Varone, Zvidance, Lorena Egan, Jessica Taylor (Damagedance), Awakening Movement, Caleb Teicher and many others.

Junior Instructor.

TEACHER TRAINING

Our studio facilitates and supports teacher training programs with the Center for Women’s Fitness and Power Pilates.

We offer avid clients opportunities to enrich their practice/life with master classes and workshops with talented instructors in the field. We offer professionals inspiration and continuing education to deepen their understanding of what, why and how to teach effective programs.

Movement is our paintbrush. Pilates Teachers are artists.

EMPLOYMENT IN THE STUDIO

Our  staff is comprised of inspired, responsible individuals who not only strive for excellence in their work but use movement or bodywork to create holistic health programs that produce effective results. To truly move well; not only looking great and feeling great but honestly move through life with fluid ease. We look for talented instructors that think outside of the box and approach teaching as a service to others.

If interested in joining our teaching team please contact Lesley at the studio.