Meet our Talented Team!

We are very proud to say that our instructors hail from a variety of rigorous Teacher Training programs and disciplines.  

BUT! They have a couple of things in common:  PASSION for what they do and COMPASSION for the clients they teach.  

Pilates on Fifth's instructors are committed to helping you reach your health and fitness goals.








Caitlin Potosnak started doing Pilates on an in home Pilates reformer with an interchangeable foot bar and jump board. Realizing her love for this little machine she started working with a real Pilates instructor, which led her into Pilates Academy International. Caitlin is now certified on all Pilates apparati, SilkSuspension™, Cardiolates®, Barres and Belles, and continuing her studies on the CoreAlign®. Caitlin is a certified willPower & grace® fitness instructor and a National Academy of Sports Medicine-Certified Personal Trainer. Caitlin holds a BFA in dance with a minor in Exercise Science from Radford University. She has returned to Radford for the past three years to choreograph and teach classes at the Governor School for the Arts and Humanities program. She has also danced in different companies along the way including danahbella danceworks, West Virginia Dance Company, and Dance Cat-Alyst. She is still performing around the city in different projects, teaching Pilates, and teaching dance classes. She loves being a part of the very talented team at Pilates on Fifth.


A native of Springfield, Missouri, Colin Shea grew up studying tap, jazz, ballet and other forms of dance which eventually led him to pursue a BFA in Musical Theatre from Missouri State University before moving to New York City in 2010.  Since relocating to The Big Apple, he has been lucky enough to travel all across the country as a dancer, actor & singer performing in  states ranging from Arizona, Pennsylvania, South Carolina to New Hampshire.  At age 17, Colin Shea was first introduced to Pilates by his first ever dance teacher who happened to own and open the first ever Pilates Studio in their small Souther Missouri town.  Fast forward eight years Colin Shea found himself pursuing a different dream of becoming a certified Pilates Instructor through the training Program at Pilates Academy International.  

Colin Shea loves giving clients a challenging workout it an open, welcoming, happy environment.  He enjoys working with clients of all ages and all physical backgrounds.  His classes are open do dancers and non dancers and are always upbeat, full of energy and most of fun!


Debbie began as a Yoga instructor in 1999 and quickly became interested in Pilates.  Her certifications include Physical Mind, Balance Body, IM=x and Yogafit.  In 2011 she became a Master Pilates trainer through the Pilates Master Mentor Program and Lolita San Miguel.


Ellen describes her career as a Certified Pilates Instuctor as her "3rd life"! In her "1st life", Ellen was a professional dancer in Broadway shows such as "No Strings", "Li'l Abner" and the "Pal Joey" revival with Bob Fosse. Ellen also performed for the Dupont show at the '64-'65 World's Fair, varied summer stock theatres, TV and industrial shows. A true "Broadway Baby", she then went on to the Garment Center and opened her own showroom on the Great White Way in her "2nd Life". After many successful years selling to the best names in department stores, the recession forced the closing of the showroom-- but that didn't keep her down! During her 25 successful years running the showroom, she had become Pilates devotee and thus used this oppertunity to pursue certification. So in her 3rd, exhilerating new life, she teaches to her peers at Pilates on Fifth and also teaches for 92nd Street Y's Senior Program and -- soon -- the Stein Senior Center when it moves to its new location.


Jamie has been a part of the Pilates on Fifth team for over ten years. Originally from Florida, Jamie moved to NYC and obtained her BA in business administration from Marymount Manhattan College. She also studied ballet at the New York School of Classical Dance. Her love of the arts and fitness brought her to Pilates on Fifth where she became certified in all aparatus though the Pilates Academy International. Jamie practiced Pilates before, during and after her pregnancy and enjoys helping all types of clients reach their fitness goals.


With nearly four decades in the fitness industry, Jennifer’s success spans the gamut: figure skater, female body builder, personal trainer, yoga instructor & master instructor of Pilates. Training on the ice since age 6, by 17 Jennifer was a professional pairs figure skater in Holiday on Ice.  She attended Arizona State University, graduating with a BS in Physical Education, and has since trained with masters of nutrition, and masters of weight training and body building such as John Defendis, a former Mr. America, and Steven Michalick, a former Mr. Universe. Jennifer first discovered Pilates in 2000, and once she felt her muscles stretching and lengthening via Pilates, she knew all of her clients would love it! Jennifer is a proud graduate from the first STOTT Pilates Certification course offered in NYC in September 2001, which led her into Pilates Academy International where Jennifer completed full certification on all Pilates apparatus with the Corps de Pilates, Katherine & Kimberly Corp. She is a senior instructor, working with all levels of clients – from the professional athlete to those in special need, or the aging.  Be it chronic injuries, rehab challenges, weekend athletes - anyone looking to lengthen, strengthen, and see balance in their body for any aspect of daily life – sports, work or just the regular routine – Jennifer loves working with all of the above, assisting all of her clients in realizing both the short & long-term benefits of Pilates.


Jessica Gallo has been teaching Pilates for twelve years. She is a professional dancer, teacher and coreographer. 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, Afican and Middle Eastern dance as well as the anatomy and kineseology. She also has a BFA degreee in fashion design from Parsons school of design. Jessica is currently working on her own production called "Cabaret Exotique" and has appreared with the Dalia Carella Dance Collective. She was a soloist with Lori Belilove and Co, the resident performance company of the Isadora Duncan Foundation and taught on the faculty od IDF. Jessica has made several film and television apperances including the Issac Mizrahi show and "Chanela" a documentary on the Flamenco filmed in Spain. She is also a featured dancer in the DVD "the Art of Bellydance". In addition to Pilates, Jessica is trained in CoreAlign and teaches the NYCB Ballet Workout, "Bellymoves" and "Integrated Movement".


Kate Thompson is certified through the Pilates Academy International in all mat and apparatus levels, Cardiolates, ActivCore FEX, SilkSuspension™, pre/postnatal Pilates, and is a recognized member of the Pilates Method Alliance.  She happily joined the team of Certifying Instructors in 2011 and loves bestowing her anatomical knowledge and passion for movement to incoming students.  Kate holds a B.A. in dance and psychology from Muhlenberg College and an M.F.A. in dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.  She is currently on faculty at Barnard College. As an avid fitness lover, her teaching is inspired by all movement and her workouts are positive, focused, graceful, and athletic.




Kelly hails from Los Angeles where she grew up rigorously studying all styles of dance.  She went on to receive her BFA in Musical Theatre from College of Santa Fe in Santa Fe, NM and studied abroad in London through Ithaca College London Center.  It was in Santa Fe where her mentor first introduced her to Pilates.  After her move to NYC, she danced in theaters around the country and the study of Pilates was always there to help her during her grueling performance schedules. Kelly received her Pilates teacher training and certifications with the Pilates Academy International.  She tries to make clients feel comfortable, yet challenged, and of course always enjoy themselves while exploring the system of Pilates!  Her classes are always a "judgement free" zone where everyone can work towards their own goals in a fun, hard working environment!


Laura Altman is a Pilates Method Alliance-CPT, dedicated to continuous learning. She received her Mat and apparatus Pilates certification through Pilates Sports Center at the Reebok Sports Club, NY. Additionally she is Core Align Faculty for Balance Body. She continues to attend workshops giving her even more pilates tools, ways to connect, to use with her clients. Laura breaks down movement into terms that anyone can understand. Encouraging clients to find their mind body connection; her goal is to design sessions that are both challenging and enjoyable.


Lenny has been teaching Pilates since 2009. He came to the method in 2004 order to alleviate back pain, and found that the benefits were far more than just core strength, flexibility and tone. The increased energy, and overall feel of wellness in his life from Pilates inspired him to become a teacher.  In his classes you will receive the utmost of attention, be challenged and find encouragement and support to help you attain your goals whether it be to find balance, strength, or among others train for dance or improve your golf game. After sessions with Lenny you will feel stronger, energized, stand taller, and hopefully learning something about yourself and how you move. 

Lenny has specific training work with osteoporosis, rotational sports and scoliosis. Additionally, Lenny is an apprentice in Shari Berkowitz's Vertical Workshop. Though not a classicist completely, Lenny also finds tremendous value in practicing and moving through the classical system of Pilates.  But fear not, contemporary exercises are still peppered into his repertoire.

Lenny is fully comprehensively through Balanced Body University, Certified PMA, and a Balanced Body faculty for CoreAlign.






Originally from Japan, Makiko started dancing when she was 5 years old and participated in the Asia Pacific Ballet Competition and the All Japan Ballet Competition when she was a teenager. After graduating form high school, Makiko entered the acting school of the Shiki Theatrical company- the biggest and most renowned musical theater company in Japan. In 1997, she graduated and subsequently won featured performing roles in musicals such as The Phantom of the Opera, Hans Christian Anderson, and the Japenese original musical Lee Kou Ran. Makiko moved to the United States in 2000 and joined Michael Mao Dance in NYC in 2001 with which she performed "Firecracker"- the Chinese version of "The Nutcracker" - in China. Makiko first obtained her full certification from the Stott Pilates in 2004 and is now a Certifying Instructor for the Pilates Academy International and the head of Pilates on Fifth's Japanese program.




Mayo Kinoshita is originally from Hyogo,Japan. She has been studying dance since the age of three. In 2007 Mayo was one of the top seven finalists on So you think you can dance by FOX JAPAN.

In 2009, Mayo moved to the US and started working as a professional dancer and choreographer. Her unique and inspired choreography led her to be named Dance Captain and Choreographer for the Bar-top Bandits and Mjxpressions international touring production. In 2011 she appeared in a Fiat car commercial with JLo. Mayo has been teaching Street Jazz and Hip Hop dance to beginners through professional dancers for over 10 years.

Her strong dance body is made by Pilates. Besides dance training, Mayo studied intense Pilates workout for over five years and was certified by Pilates Academy International in 2013.Certified on all Pilates equipment, Mayo always strives to integrate new fitness challenges into her workouts while maintaining classic Pilates philosophy.



Meytal is a certified Pilates Instructor through the Pilates Academy International in Mat and All Aparatus, the Pink Ribbon Program, Pre and Post Natal Program, ActivCoreFEX (now Suspension Pilates) and CoreAlign. In her private and goup 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. She works with athletes, performers, youths and adults, and those who are recovering from injuries and sees Pilates as a tool to help achieving wellness and fluidity. Further to her teaching, Meytal is also a professional actress and dancer. She worked at the Kol-Demama Dance company in Tel-Aviv, and studied at The Stella Adler Studio of Acting Conserveratory in NYC, and has been performing in various plays and films in NYC, where she continues pursuing a career as a performer.



Michelle Taylor moved to New York City at the age of 18. She participated in gymnastics, but was most at home in team sports, particularly softball. Two unseccessful knee surgeries saw the end of her playing days. Inspired by the effectivness of Pilates for her own rehabilitation, she commited herself to helping others recover their strength through Pilates.

Fully certified through Pilates Academy International; she is also certifed in Cardiolates, Barres & Belles, Corealign and Redcord Active Suspension. In addition, Michelle has her Personal Trainers Certificate from NASM, the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and a kettleball license though Kettleball Concepts. An enthusiastic teacher with a competitve outlook derived from her years in team sports, Michelle is comitted 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 a part of the Pilates on Fifth team and proud to be the Pilates on Fifth Instructor Development Manager.


Sam is so thrilled to be working and exploring movement with the Pilates on Fifth team.  As a professional dancer and choreographer, Sam fell in love with Pilates as an excellent tool for maintaining one's physical instrument, balancing strength with range of motion, and maximizing efficient, healthy movement in day to day life.  Sam hopes to emphasize proper technique and alignment while challenging the muscles and the mind during his workouts.  Always aiming for clients to leave feeling longer and taller than when they arrived, Sam balances difficult workouts with a love and joy of movement. @HeySamHay 


Sara Towber is a Senior Trainer and Certifying Instructor at Pilates on Fifth.  She also holds a full certification in Stott Pilates.  She came to Pilates from a dance background and has been teaching since 2004. She also was trained and certified by Yamuna Zake in Yamuna Body Rolling, Yamuna Foot Fitness, and the hands on Table Treatment. Sara has an eye for alignment and an expert understanding of how the body works as a whole. She is committed to helping you find and restore the freedom in your body that you were born with. She believes no one should live in a body that is limited by pain, and that every body has the capacity to live and work to its full potential.  Sara is honored to be a part of the Pilates on Fifth team. She is also a proud mom to her very own ninja son Harold and a coffee addict.




Originally from Bristol, UK Sarah moved to New York to study Music Performance at NYU. It was here she tried pilates for the first time and instantly became hooked. She gained her first certification in Mat and Reformer with Stott Pilates and then trained at Pilates On Fifth to gain certification on all apparatus. Having seen and felt the benefit pilates offers its devotees she furthered her studies to become a Certifying Instructor for PAI and joined their team of teacher trainers. She moved to Barcelona in 2004 and opened her own successful pilates studio there which also became a satellite training centre for PAI. Since moving back to NY in 2014 she has obtained additional certifications in CoreAlign®, SilkSuspension™ and is also a PMA-CPT. Along with training clients and teaching soon to be instructors she is the PAI Student Development and Education Manager. 



Does your back hurt? With two broken vertebrae- Stella understands.  Stella Almblade was born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona. During her senior year at the University of Arizona, Stella broke two spinal vertebrae (L-4 & L-5) while studying dance. The physical therapy prescribed used Pilates methods. Realizing the benefits of Pilates in her rehabilitation, daily life, and dancing, Stella decided to become certified. After certifying and graduating with a B.A. in Spanish Linguistics and a B.F.A. in Dance, she moved to Spain.  During her time in Europe, Stella gave Dance and Pilates master classes in Ireland, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, England, and Spain. Returning to the States, and still using Pilates as part of her physical therapy and total wellness regimen. Stella is excited to now be dancing professionally with companies such as Ad Deum Dance Company, Footprints Dance Company and studying at the Alvin Ailey Studios in New York City. She considers being able to move and dance a blessing in her life. Stella desires to assist others in their fitness goals whether it be injury recovery or simply to be more active and healthy. Continuing in her Pilates education and practice, she is now also certified in all the classical Pilates apparatus, such as the Chair, Cadillac, Spine Corrector, Reformer, and Mat. Stella intends to be certified through the Pilates Method Alliance in the December 6th, 2013. Stella enjoys teaching both group and private classes. 

She looks forward to meeting you!


Suzanne Gerdes holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Vassar College and Master of Science in nutrition and exercise physiology from Columbia University. She worked as Clinical Dietitian/Nutritionist for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and is currently the Employee Wellness Nutritionist at MSKCC.

As a way to prevent injuries as a dancer, Suzanne began taking class during high school and instantly fell in love with the mechanics of Pilates. Suzanne was certified by the Pilates Academy International in 2009 and has since been trained to work with cancer survivors, pre/post natal clients and injured clients. Her knowledge of anatomy, physiology and nutrition enables Suzanne to understand the body as a whole and relay it to her clients through balanced yet challenging workouts that are suited to each individual's preferences and capabilities. Suzanne is excited to show you how Pilates can help you attain your fitness goals.


Taylor Gordon is a NYC-based Pilates instructor and dancer with over a decade of international performing experience. She has taught at Pilates on Fifth since 2012 after earning her apparatus certification through Pilates Academy International. She is now a PAI Certifying Instructor as well as a Group Fitness Instructor and Functional Training Specialist certified through the American Council on Exercise. She has worked with all levels, ages, and abilities of Pilates students including clients with numerous injuries, and she has a series of Pilates videos available on Amazon. Taylor has performed at Lincoln Center with The Metropolitan Opera Ballet, 4 seasons of The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Off-Broadway and national tour of Angelina Ballerina The Musical, internationally with TUI Cruises and Spirit Productions, and many more dance companies. Taylor received a BA in Communication Arts and a Master’s Degree in Publishing by age 20. She has interned at The New Yorker and written for publications including Pointe and MGM Las Vegas Hotel “M” Magazine.



Teresa Froelich Bester holds a BFA in Dance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She has performed with the Darrah Carr Dance Ensemble at DanceNow Downtown, Dancers Responding to AIDS and Jacob’s Pillow. She has also studied swing dance extensively and was a member of the Broadway musical “Swing!” on both its national tour and subsequent run at the Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities in Redondo Beach, CA. She has also appeared with the Wylliams/Henry Dance Theater in Kansas City, MO and in works by Max Stone and Jana Hicks at Dance New Amsterdam.

Teresa earned her Pilates certification through Pilates Academy International at Pilates on Fifth. She has taught classes at Astoria Fine Arts Dance and has acquired several private clients as well. She has also taught various forms of dance, including ballet and Horton-based technique. As a Pilates instructor, she strives to serve each client as an individual to help them reach their own fitness goals, and she is very excited to be a part of the Pilates on Fifth faculty!