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Pilates Practice at the Studio

Trainers

Our trainers are all top of the field certified Pilates instructors. Our collective love of the practice inspires us to continue pursuing knowledge, and we prioritize professional development.

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Jessica Ballonoff

As a Montecito Union graduate class of 2001, Jess grew up in this town. A movement educator since she was old enough to work, Jess has been teaching regularly for nearly 20 years. From dance classes and theater choreography to fitness education, Jess has taught movers of all ages. She was introduced to Pilates when attending college at UC Irvine (B.F.A in Dance Choreography) and since then has regularly participated in personal training as well as yoga and Pilates. Jess also holds a CA Teaching Credential in Physical Education and is certified to teach children ages 2-18. She is an avid ally and spokesperson for young mothers, as she spends much of her time with her daughter Annabelle (5), son Zac (2.5), and husband Lani at their newly built Goleta home. In her spare time Jess volunteers to choreograph local high school musical theater productions. Catch Anything Goes! this spring at Dos Pueblos High School!

Mindy Horwitz

As owner of Simpatico Pilates since 2012, Mindy strives to meet her clients’ needs for developing strength, balance, fitness, postural alignment, and mobility.  She specializes in working with individuals with rehabilitative or health concerns.

Mindy has trained individuals in Pilates for over 20 years and was certified in 1996 at Long Beach Dance Conditioning Center. There she studied with the master trainer, Marie-Jose Blom.  In 2002 Mindy became a certified Level 1 instructor of the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® and advanced her education to Level 2 in 2011. Mindy has been active in the dance community for over thirty years, both nationally and internationally. Her years of experience as a dancer, teacher and choreographer have given her a trained eye for analyzing the body and practical knowledge for getting the most out of her clients.

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Melody Collins

Melody discovered her passion for Pilates in 2010 while recovering from a back injury during a summer ballet program. Pilates helped immensely with her strength and recovery, and she now loves to share the benefits of Pilates with others. Melody became a certified Pilates Mat instructor in 2013 through BASI Pilates. In 2017, she completed her comprehensive BASI Pilates certificate with Dance Specialization under Karen Clippinger, while also achieving a degree in Kinesiology Exercise Science at Cal State Long Beach.

Melody loves working with clients of all ages and backgrounds, and in addition to Pilates, she has taught dance and performed professionally with several dance companies. She enjoys music, walking in nature, and spending time with family. Melody is thrilled to be a part of the community at Groove.  

Lindsay Ladin

Lindsay Ladin is a BASI certified Pilates instructor from Santa Barbara. Lindsay practiced yoga for twelve years before discovering her love for Pilates in 2011. As a child Lindsay was a gymnast and has always been into physical activities such as soccer, hiking, softball, and boxing. Lindsay teaches both group and private Pilates classes on the apparatus, as well as on the mat. Lindsay’s love for teaching and her range of instruction, practice and skills makes her a well-rounded and fun instructor.

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Jo Landis Shields

Jo considers teaching Pilates her dream job, as it allows her to combine her love of fitness and passion for helping others. She loves to see Pilates enhance and transform the lives of her clients. Pilates helps establish the mind-body connection necessary for a balanced fitness routine, while learning proper movement patterns that will sustain healthy posture and inspire new ways to strengthen the entire body.

Jo became a certified Body Arts and Science International (BASI) Pilates Instructor after managing a Pilates studio in Santa Barbara for five years, and then entering the BASI Pilates teacher training program there. Jo has since earned the advanced BASI Pilates certification in “Pilates for Injuries and Pathologies” and also the “Working with the Mature Client” workshop. She is committed to continuing her Pilates education with workshops, self-practice, and supporting certifications. Jo currently serves on the Event Ambassador Committee for Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation where she has been active since 2010 and enjoys cooking for family and friends, playing in the ocean, adventuring with her husband and adult kids, and tiring out their Australian Shepherd, Koda Bear.

Ruth Alpert

When Ruth was in utero, the pediatrician told her mother she had an active little dancer inside.  Ruth is a born mover; her life has been about her own dance training and performing and her life work has been helping people connect to themselves through movement. Ruth’s interest in bodywork and movement grew out of her desire to find a solution to
the chronic pain and injury she sustained as a dancer.  Since 1976 she has been studying and teaching various somatic modalities.  She has been greatly influenced by the work of Lulu Sweigard (Release Work), Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen (School for BodyMind Centering), Susan Klein (Klein Technique) and Emilie Conrad (Continuum). Ruth has been a certified practitioner of the TRAGER® Approach since 1987.  She was
trained in the Eve Gentry lineage of Pilates by Michele Larsson in 1992 and has been an Associate of Core Dynamics Pilates Teacher Training program, now under the ownership of Kevin Bowen, since 1998.  She holds the NPCP (National Pilates Certification Program); additionally, she is certified as a GYROTONIC® Method teacher since 2003 and graduated in 2007 as an Alexander Technique teacher from the Alexander Alliance Southwest. A long time trainer of trainers, Ruth leads workshops in technical aspects of movement, including experiential anatomy which is one of her special skills.  Ruth has an alter-ego as an Appalachian Flatfoot dancer, winning first place and Grand Champion at festivals back east. She is the bipedal percussionist with a local all-female band, The Honeysuckle Possums. You can find her on youtube!

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Meredith Lyons

Movement and fitness have always been an important part of Meredith’s life. She first discovered the benefits of Pilates when it was offered in conjunction with her Ballet and Modern training as a young dancer in New York at the Cantarella School of Ballet. Meredith received her B.A. in dance teaching and performance from Mercyhurst University, and M.F.A. in dance performance and choreography from Smith College, all the while still training in Pilates. As her career performing and teaching continued to build, Meredith discovered that Pilates could change the way in which she could associate movement and her body unlike anything else. She recognized that this method is a continual life practice, one that connects both the mind, body and spirit. After years of studying Pilates, she finally turned her passion into a profession, becoming Full Apparatus Classically certified in 2011 through In Balance Pilates under the tutelage of Kristy Powell and Carrie Pages.

Meredith is on faculty with the Theater and Dance Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has taught Pilates across the nation and internationally within a variety of studios and academic departments. As an instructor, Meredith places focus on form and breath while challenging students to exceed their self-defined limits. Students can expect a workout that is motivating, challenging and fun. Her classes and privates offer a great variety of exercises, where clients leave feeling a great sense of self accomplishment. 

Raman Dhaliwal

Raman’s passion for Pilates began with a search for alternative pain management options for back injuries. After a long journey with chronic pain, Pilates helped Raman find her path towards healing and has been a constant in her life ever since. As a certified Pilates instructor, Raman is thrilled to help others find their own ability to heal. Her sessions aim to leave her clients feeling connected to their body and grateful for all that it is capable of.

Raman also holds a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration and is interested in discovering alternative approaches to health care challenges. She deeply values the information she can share with clients, helping them connect to their bodies through mindful movement, breathwork, and a focus on wellness from the inside out.

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Julie Tomlinson

Julie has been working in the fitness industry since 1985. She was an accomplished aerobic and hip hop instructor working with Jane Fonda at both her studio in L.A. and participating in her videos. Over the years, Julie excelled as a master teacher trainer and became a Holistic Nutritional Therapist and a certified Body Arts and Science Pilates instructor. She worked on a number of Pilates and other fitness videos produced by the BodyTrends group.

Julie loves teaching, relating to her clients, and caring for her son, Evan. Age and life experience has equipped her with a new understanding and appreciation for what our bodies need at different stages of our lives.

Leann Anderson

Leann earned her Pilates Comprehensive Teacher Training Certificate through Body Arts & Science Int’l (BASI). She loves working with clients on technique and body awareness so they can become stronger and more confident in their Pilates practice and everyday functional activities.

 

Her passion for Pilates stems from decades of dance training in ballet, jazz, and tap where the importance of good technique and body awareness is needed to become a professional dancer. During her professional dance career, she performed in various Broadway style review shows for Jean Ann Ryan Productions aboard Norwegian Cruise Line ships and at Great America Theme Park. After her professional dance career, she worked as a Watersports Director aboard Wind Star Sail Cruises, guiding passengers of all ages in SCUBA diving and snorkeling excursions along with waterskiing, sailing, and windsurfing activities in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and South Pacific.

 

After her travels, Leann returned to California and landed in Santa Barbara where she's lived since 1996. One of her favorite pastimes is low tide beach walks, especially during the winter months, to capture our incredible sunsets.

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