Meet our Talented Team!
Our instructors have met the strict requirements for employment at Pilates on Fifth, which include completion of a
rigorous teacher training program, apprenticeships and recommendations from other employers.
Here they are!
A Pilates instructor for each and every Pilates class for a great Pilates workout
Pilates on Fifth has always taken a unique approach to Pilates and each Pilates instructor we train and hire exemplifies our philosophy. Pilates Academy International, the training program which began at Pilates on Fifth and whose headquarters are located here, also takes a unique approach to each and every Pilates class. Both Pilates on Fifth and the Pilates Academy International are geared toward Pilates in the real world, and our Pilates instructors approach each Pilates workout with this in mind.
Some Pilates studios and teaching programs treat Pilates as more of an art form than a system of exercise and rehabilitation. Each Pilates workout is geared toward the "ideal" client: a person in his or her twenties who has incredible flexibility, no injuries, and tremendous strength. While we agree that teaching such clients is a blast, and watching them perform Pilates is a pleasure, we should mention that such clients rarely come along. As a professional Pilates instructor, you'll discover that most of your clients (either in a group Pilates class or private equipment sessions) are less than "perfect."
At Pilates on Fifth, your Pilates instructor will be dedicated to your unique fitness goals and will structure your personal Pilates workout with that in mind, not some slavish devotion to an “ideal flow” that few really attain. And if you opt for a Pilates class, your instructor will motivate you with modifications and variations of Pilates exercises, as well as the traditional favorites, so that you get the most out of your Pilates workout.
Our Pilates instructors specialize in Mat Pilates, Reformer Pilates and Pilates plus!
Our Pilates instructors get excited about what Pilates can do for our clients, whether the clients are taking just Mat Pilates, Mat Pilates Plus classes or Reformer Pilates classes. Most clients have real world problems and, consequently, real world goals. If they are older and have lower back problems, they may want Pilates to enable them to pick up their grandchildren without pain or injury. Our reformer Pilates classes coupled with Pilates privates are ideal for the older population as the Pilates exercises will strengthen the core while increasing joint range of motion and strength. Our Pilates plus program featuring classes like BarSculpt along with gentle Pilates equipment work is ideal for our pregnant clients, as they'll want Pilates to help them stay relatively fit and alleviate some of the discomfort of pregnancy. If they suffer from chronic neck pain or shoulder tension, they will be amazed at how mat Pilates can help relieve this discomfort. If they are overweight or soft, they'll want Pilates to make them leaner, longer, and stronger. Our instructors at Pilates on Fifth know exactly what to do with each client that comes into the studio.
As all of our Pilates instructors have trained at the Pilates Academy International, they have a strong foundation in anatomy and biomechanics such that they can always create fun and challenging reformer Pilates workouts and mat Pilates classes. Moreover, virtually all instructors here hold at least one additional certification in something like ActivCore or BarSculpt, so you’ll get the benefits of Pilates plus a whole lot more!
Heather DeLussa is originally from South Jersey and started dancing at the age of eight. She moved to New York City to attend The Juilliard School where she graduated in 1993 with a BFA in Dance. She has performed professionally with the Baltimore Opera, New Jersey Opera, Omega Dance Company, Michael Mao Dance Company, and others. Since 2003 she has been rehearsal director and a dancer for Nicholas Andre Dance.
Heather's interest in Pilates started as a way of finding a career in fitness that would complement her dance background. After first being fully certified in the Stott Pilates Method she began teaching at Pilates on Fifth in 2001. Heather achieved a second full certification with Pilates Academy International and became a Certifying Instructor Trainer responsible with others for teaching PAI certification courses. She is also a certified GYROTONIC®, Activcore® and CARDIOLATES® instructor.
Susan grew up in northern California and holds a B.A. in Theater Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Additionally, she is trained in ballroom dance and instruction through Ballroom Dance Teachers College. Susan first came to Pilates after receiving recommendations from her theater instructors to find a way to work through some of her postural deviations and physical weaknesses, which had become a hindrance to her work on stage. Susan is a certified Pilates instructor through Pilates Academy International and is also certified in AcitvCore’s® Redcord. She is thrilled to be a part of the team at Pilates on Fifth.
Jessica Gallo has been teaching pilates for 8 years. She is a professional dancer, teacher and choreographer.She majored in dance at the University of Colorado and in addition to pilates she is trained in ballet,modern dance,classical spanish dance,classical Indian dance,african and middle eastern dance as well as anatomy and kineseology.She also has a BFA degree in Fasion design from Parsons school of design. Jessica is currently working on her own production called "Caberet Exotique" and has appeared with the Dalia Carella Dance Collective. She was a soloist with Lori Belilove and Co, the resident performance co of the Isadora Duncan Foundation and taught on the faculty of IDF.
Jessica has made several film and television appearances including the Issac Mizrahi show and "Chanela" a documentary on flamenco filmed in Spain. She is also a featured dancer in the DVD "the Art of Bellydance"
In addition to NY Jessica has also performed and taught workshops in LA, Hawaii, Spain and Puerto Rico.
In the fitness world she has also taught "the NYCB workout","Bellymoves" and "Integrated Movement" and is happy to be included on the staff at Pilates on Fifth.
Suzanne Gerdes, a native New Yorker, graduated from Vassar College with a BA in psychology. Throughout her youth she was a member of the Rockland Youth Dance Ensemble and through college was a company member of the Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre. Upon graduation she began apprenticing with the Isadora Duncan Dance Company and has since been added to the company. She has worked with Carolyn Adams, Robert Battle, Donald McKayle, Mark Morris, and Pascal Rioult as well as performed at the Kennedy Center, Bardavon Opera House, and Judson Church Theatre.
Ms. Gerdes is a certified Pilates and CARDIOLATES® instructor through Pilates Academy International. She is also a Pink Ribbon instructor and has been trained in special conditions and pregnancy. After many years of practicing Pilates, she is glad to help others achieve their fitness goals.
Originally from Dallas, Texas Haley Hauglum received her BFA in Dance from California Institute of the Arts in 2003. She discovered Pilates in college where the dancers had access to a full studio of equipment to use as a supplemental workout to their dance training, and also for rehabilitation purposes, if needed.
Upon moving to New York to pursue dance and choreography, Haley discovered Pilates on Fifth through a colleague and former instructor at the studio. Currently an instructor at Pilates on Fifth, Haley completed her full certification training through STOTT Pilates, with a second certification from Pilates Academy International in Pilates and CARDIOLATES®.
During her time out west, Haley had the privilege of working with noted choreographers such as Joaquin Escamilla, Rhonda Miller and Nick Flores. Since moving to New York she has also had the pleasure of dancing with Terry Beeman, Saralyn Ward, Jessica Gaynor Dance, Ellen Stokes Shadle/Danceworks, and is currently dancing with Chris Ferris & Dancers.
Anna Hillengas was born in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in the Philadelphia area where she began her dance training with Gwendolyn Bye. After earning her B.A. in Urban Studies from Barnard College, Anna worked with various dance companies/choreographers in New York City, including Zvi Gotheiner, Errol Grimes Dance Group, Nicholas Andre Dance, Redshift Dance, Lori Belilove & Co., Mary Seidman and Dancers, and Kathryn Ashby. During this time, she also earned her Pilates certification, and has been training clients at various studios in Manhattan since 2004. Anna is pleased to be on staff at Pilates on Fifth where she has the opportunity to teach Pilates certification courses in addition to individual clients. She will attend Tisch School of the Arts at NYU in the Fall, as part of the Dance M.F.A. program.
Nicole Holst began studying Pilates while a dance major at CSU, Long Beach, and credits it with significantly improving her technique. She later became a teacher's assistant in the Dance Dept, working closely with Kinesiologist/Pilates Instructor, Karen Clippinger. In 2005 she became certified with Master trainer Rael Isacowitz, of Body Arts and Sciences Int'l. Nicole's professional experience as a dancer/choreographer has given her the inside knowledge necessary to give her clients a balanced workout that is both challenging and achievable. Recently Nicole was the Pilates Coordinator/Manager for Equinox, Roslyn and can now be found teaching dance and Pilates at the Prospect Park YMCA As well as here at Pilates On Fifth.
When not teaching Nicole keeps busy by producing her own dance theater shows and also by performing as a singer/songwriter in the country music scene. For more info please visit her website at www.nicolenholst.com
Jamie Jankauskas started studying dance at the age of 5 and has been interested in the arts and fitness ever since. She has studied ballet, theatre dance, Flamenco, and Character dance and has performed with The New American Youth Ballet and Ft. Pierce City Ballet. She moved from her native Florida to New York to attend Marymount Manhattan College where she obtained a degree in Business Administration/Finance. She now splits her time between teaching pilates and her company cakeologybyjamie.com. She is excited to be a part of the Pilates on Fifth team and enjoys helping her clients obtain optimal fitness and health.
Stephanie Lang is a Pilates Academy International Certifying Instructor and Senior Trainer and is happy to be part of the teaching staff at Pilates on Fifth. She has been teaching Pilates for the past 6 years. In addition to teaching Pilates, Stephanie also directs and choreographs industrials for major international corporations like Mastercard, Samsung and Time Warner, as well as musicals such as Chicago and Guys and Dolls. As a performer, she portrayed the role of Cassandra in both the Broadway and National Touring Company of CATS and was a Radio City Rockette for nine years. Stephanie holds a B.A. in Dance from Point Park University.
Born in Jerusalem, Israel. Meytal started dancing and performing at a young age. She studied dance at the School of The Arts in Jerusalem, and worked with the Kol-Demama Dance Company in Tel-Aviv. Subsequently she started taking Pilates classes to enhance her dancing career and knew that this would be something she'd like to learn in depth. Her teaching experience started teaching Ballet Jazz and yoga for youth.
Upon moving to NYC, Meytal attended the Stella Adler Studio of Acting Conservatory, and got certified as Pilates Instructor through the Pilates Academy International in Mat and All Apparatus, the Pink Ribbon Program, the Pregnancy Program and in the ActivCore®Fex, and has been teaching youths and adults.
Meytal sees Pilates as a tool to help performers, athletes, those who are recovering from injuries or interesting in moving their fitness goals to the next level. In her private and group sessions, Meytal focuses on bringing awareness to the body and its movement, while achieving core strength, flexibility, proper alignment, and beautiful posture . Her understanding of the body is something she loves to share with her students.
When she's not on a Reformer, or teaching... Meytal loves acting and performing in plays and films around NYC. She enjoys reading, cooking, and exploring the city's wonderful options, and proud to be part of the "Pilates on Fifth" team.
Ellen has been teaching Pilates since 1998 certified in the Stott and Pilates Academy International (PAI) systems in Pilates. As a professional dancer & choreographer, she began Pilates training on the suggestion of her chiropractor after a back injury. In 2007, Ellen joined the teacher-training program with PAI. She has been with Pilates on Fifth since 2001 while maintaining a schedule at New York City's premiere fitness facilities as well. Ellen holds a B.A. in Music from William Smith College. Ellen is also the creator and teacher of "Integrative Flexibility Training". A workshop addressing the anatomy of flexibilty and the various techniques.
Originally from Chicago, Christen was introduced to Pilates 6 years ago. After her first session, she became excited at how much Pilates improved the way her body moved. As an accomplished dancer, it improved her technique and gave her a feeling of strength and assurance in her everyday activities. Christen was hooked! She loves teaching at Pilates on Fifth and hopes that she can help others realize the potential of their own body.
Ron Spiess is a certified Pilates Instructor from the Pilates Academy International. He attended Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and The Joffrey Ballet Schools, and has a BFA in Dance from the University of Minnesota. Ron was a principal dancer with New York Theatre Ballet for 13 years. He is currently on faculty at Ballet Arts New Jersey. Ron is currently a certifying instructor for the Pilates Academy International Pilates Certification program and CARDIOLATES®.
Frances Lai Stohlman
Frances Lai Stohlman is certified through Pilates Academy International in all apparatus, mat work, and prenatal trained. She is also a PAI Certifying Instructor, ActivCore FEX Instructor, and most recently a GYROTONIC® Level 1 Instructor. She has a BFA in Modern Dance from the University of the Arts, where she graduated with honors. Frances has been involved in fitness all her life, a competitive swimmer at a young age competing on city and private teams. Former martial artist, who dabbled in gymnastics, basketball, volleyball. She began teaching swim lessons to children and adults at 15, and worked as a dance tutor in college. She has worked with clients with a variety of injuries at all levels. Frances is always looking for ways to integrate new fitness challenges into her workouts while maintaining the Pilates philosophy.
Michelle Taylor was born and raised in Northern California, until she embraced the challenge of New York City at the age of 18. She participated in gymnastics, but was most at home in team sports, particularly softball. Two unsuccessful knee surgeries saw the end of her both her playing and coaching days. Inspired by the effectiveness of Pilates for her own rehabilitation, she committed herself to helping others recover their strength through Pilates.
Certified through Pilates Academy International; she also has certifications in both Xtend Barre and Activcore FEX. An enthusiastic teacher with a competitive outlook derived from her years in team sports, Michelle is committed to keeping her group classes up-tempo and challenging. In private sessions she is able to sympathize with individuals with rehabilitation needs as well as help those who want to reach personal goals and maximize their physical fitness. Michelle is proud to be part of the Pilates on Fifth team.