Kerri Gonen, owner of The Pilates Center and proud Mom of 2, began studying Pilates in 1994. She trains local equestrians, dancers, golfers, Redskins, Mom’s before and after babies, and clients with far too many hours spent at the computer. She prides herself on the diversity of her clientele and the ability to address their ever changing needs. Kerri is one of the few in Northern VA who received certification from master trainer Romana Kryzanowska, one of Joseph Pilates' protégés, in 1997. Before acquiring The Pilates Center in 2004 , she spent 9 years teaching Pilates in the San Francisco Bay Area and opened her first studio, Bayside Pilates. Kerri taught Pilates for Body Kinetics, Golden Gate Pilates, The San Francisco Ballet, Merola Opera Company, Dean Ornish Retreat, Pixar Animation Film Studio and was selected as the Pilates personal trainer for Sharon Stone. Prior to Pilates, Kerri graduated from UNCSA and danced professionally with the North Carolina Dance Theatre and the Hungarian State Opera Ballet. She brings her many years of refining body movement in dance to her detailed eye for teaching today. She is grateful to have such a wonderful community of clients and teachers who value the quality of Authentic Pilates instruction @ The Pilates Center. Now in her 16th year of a Pilates career, her passion in helping people achieve balance, freedom, strength and confidence continues to grow. The body is an amazing instrument that works non-stop for each of us, even with neglect. Giving people the tools to be more in control of their mind and bodies, to relieve pain and poor habits, to build focus and appreciation for what the body can do ,and to see clients empowered, is what keeps me teaching. Pilates is an amazing body of work that can assist us in living life to the fullest, and I have the pleasure of teaching it!
Chris Abbott holds a B.A. in Theatre/minor in Dance and an M.A. in Dance from American University, Washington, DC. She began her Pilates training in 1996 at Excel Movement Studios in Washington, DC, under the direction of Lesa McLaughlin and Kerry DeVivo. After completing over 750 hours of apprentice training, she received her teacher certification in 1999 from The Pilates Studio in NY. Chris trained with Master Teachers, Romana Kryzanowska, Joseph Pilates’ protégé, and Bob Liekens, co-founder of Power Pilates. Chris taught the Authentic Pilates Method of Body Conditioning at Excel Movement Studios, the Classical Ballet Academy in Herndon and in 2001 opened her home-based studio, The Pilates Center, in Leesburg, which relocated to the Shops at Dodona Manor in 2003. In December 2004 as she moved with her family to McKinney, Texas, Kerri Gonen had moved to VA and then took over the studio . For the next four years Chris taught Pilates at her home studio, and several area gyms. She is thrilled to be back in Leesburg with her family and once again teaching at The Pilates Center. As an instructor ,Chris’ mission is to bring the classical work of Joseph H. Pilates to everyone she teaches. Her teaching style is challenging, energetic, creative and fun! She focuses on educating her students to use their bodies with greater mind-body awareness to gain as much as they can from each work-out. Chris is the proud mama of four beautiful children and wife to a very patient, supportive man!
Grissell Alegria graduated from George Mason University with a BFA in Dance. She went on to dance professionally in New York City with Daniel Gwirtzman. She has also worked with local choreographers including Lucy Bowen McCauley, Deborah Riley, Helanius Wilkins, Boris Willis, Natalie Moffet Smith, Karen Reedy, and Christopher Morgan. Grissell began teaching Pilates @ Studio Body Logic in Arlington, VA in 2006 after completing 600+ of training and the Power Pilates System certification. She joined The Pilates Center staff in 2010 where she is known for her sweet voice, tough workouts and infamous “STRETCH” class. She continued teaching throughout her pregnancy and is now the proud Mom of a beautiful girl, Eva. In addition to The Pilates Center, Grissell teaches at George Mason University and volunteers at Children's National Medical Center in Washington DC.
Valerie Armistead joined The Pilates Center staff in 2008. A former dancer and Graduate of George Mason University. where she received a BA in English & a minor in dance. She was introduced to Pilates in college and completed the Power Pilates System certification 7 years ago in 2004. She has worked with great teachers Karen Garcia, Erin Horst, & Peter Fiasca as well as had the opportunity to receive continuing education from Susan Moran, Bob Leikens and others that have inspired her. Don’t let her calm voice fool you as she will make you work muscles you never know you had! With a joy for running, Valerie has an appreciation for strength and flexibility and shares that with her clients. She and her husband reside in Leesburg with their son, Aidan. Knowing the demands of motherhood, Valerie realizes the importance that Mom’s make the time to take care of their bodies by staying fit.
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