The Vitality Philosophy
At Vitality we honor individuality, believing everyone is unique and wise. Our instructors tailor their teachings to accommodate each individual’s body and physical needs.
We approach Pilates with an emphasis on correct form and technique. Integrating the original principles of Joseph H. Pilates with current research and adaptive applications, we work to increase your muscle tone and flexibility through gradual modification and expansion of the basic Pilates techniques.
3603 S McClellan St
Seattle, WA 98144
Located across the street from the Mount Baker Park, our Mount Baker location is conveniently located between Leschi and Columbia City.
Mount Baker StudioView directions on Google Maps
7216 Greenwood Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
Located in the heart of Phinney Ridge, just north of the zoo between Ballard and Greenlake.
Phinney Ridge StudioView directions on Google Maps
For Adena Atkins, a love for movement is closely tied to a passion for music. While studying opera, she turned to Pilates to improve posture and body awareness. She was hooked by the precision and accessibility of Pilates. Adena certified with Body Arts and Science International in her native California, training directly under Kristi Cooper White, founder of Anytime Pilates. Along the way, Adena has worked with master teachers Bonnie Sessions, Lisa Johnson, and Kathy Van Patten. Adena has taught in a variety of settings, from a physical therapy office, to a converted wine cellar, all the way up to award winning studios like Modern Pilates and Vitality Pilates. As an instructor Adena is both patient and exacting. Adena holds her BM in songwriting from the Berklee College of Music.
Ashley Beeman grew up right outside of Seattle. She earned her BA in Sociology from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon in 2008. In 2010 Ashley moved back to Seattle to work with survivors of domestic violence. While searching for a way to get fit for her wedding, she stumbled across Vitality. After six weeks of classes, Ashley was hooked. Pilates provided Ashley with the first fitness routine that she truly enjoyed and could stick to. After long days at work, she loved the energy and overall well being that she got from Pilates. Wanting to share her excitement, she joined Vitality’s Instructor Certification program in 2012, earning her certification in 2013. Ashley loves teaching classes that challenge and inspire her clients.
Geneva Bender is made to teach movement. A native Seattleite, her introduction to exercise began with gymnastics and dance. Geneva studied many varieties of dance, from tap to lyrical to hip hop. Our very own Vera Bullen was her first ballet instructor. During high school Geneva was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis, sparking her interest in exercise science. She began Pilates upon completing physical therapy and immediately loved it. Upon graduation, she earned her BS in Kinesiology from Western Washington University. During college she studied Pilates with Carolyn Watson at Core Kinetics through Balanced Body University. Geneva completed her certification Vitality in 2013. In addition to teaching here she’s an exercise and rehab specialist at Kinetic Sports Rehab.
As a lifelong athlete, Erin Best enjoys a challenge. As a teenager in California, Erin swam and played water polo. In her final swim season, she suffered an injury. Rehabilitation inspired Erin to pursue greater knowledge of the body; she earned her BS in kinesiology with a focus on worksite health promotion and corporate fitness. Upon graduation in 2011, Erin coached varsity swim teams and also started running half marathons. Erin’s move to Seattle in 2012 was facilitated by a job offer here at Vitality; Vitality was her first exposure to Pilates. While her first few classes didn’t deliver the endorphins she’d expected, the more that Erin learned about Pilates, the more she came to love it. Erin certified with us in 2014. In addition to teaching, Erin is the director of our Be Well program.
Melanie Blair has always enjoyed physical activity and now it has become her focus. Melanie earned her BA in Media Studies in Los Angeles before moving to Seattle over ten years ago. She came to pursue photography and eventually started a family, giving birth to twin boys in 2003. It was a difficult pregnancy; Melanie was bedridden for over three months and developed chronic back pain. Living just down the street from our Mount Baker location, she decided to give us a try. Melanie was quickly hooked by Pilates. With regular practice her pain was replaced with the desire to share this method of exercise. Melanie certified here in 2012 and has been teaching with us ever since. She loves creating challenging classes and working with clients to improve their health and well being.
A lifelong runner, Andy Bond has always enjoyed movement. Still, he never considered trying Pilates until his physical therapist suggested it would help him rehabilitate a torn rotator cuff. In Pilates Andy found a workout that not only relieved pain, but also improved his quality of life. Originally from northern England, Andy certified with Polestar Pilates in London in 2008. He’s been teaching ever since in a variety of capacities, from being the sole Pilates instructor at a physical therapy clinic all the way to working with us here in Seattle at Vitality. Andy brings an easy going focus to his teaching which reflects the work of Ron Fletcher and emphasizes flexibility, length, and posture. He specializes in Pilates fitness and sports rehabilitation.
Vera Bullen’s lifelong passion for movement richly informs her Pilates instruction. A dancer since childhood, Vera earned her BA in Dance and Drama from the University of Washington. She earned her MA in Dance Studies from Laban in London. Afterwards, she earned her MA in Creative and Performing Arts from the University of Auckland in New Zealand where she was hired as a Professor of Dance. After teaching three years, she returned to the state of Washington, teaching ballet to children a total of 13 years. In 2010, she certified with Vitality and has been an in-demand Instructor ever since. Vera is a regular presenter at the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science and the Performing Arts Medicine Association symposiums, as well as an Instructor Trainer here at Vitality.
Born and raised in the suburbs west of Chicago, Nicole Chilson’s lifelong fascination with health first drew her to Pilates. When she noticed chronic tensions dissipating, her flexibility increasing, and her body becoming more toned, she was hooked. In 2008 Nicole completed her Pilates Instructor certification here at Vitality and has been teaching ever since. Nicole focuses on helping others build core strength, increase body awareness, and find effective alignment. She is adept at suggesting modifications and anticipating her student’s needs. Nicole holds her BA in English Literature from Concordia University in Irvine. Now a resident of Olympic Hills, you may find Nicole strolling around the neighborhood with her dogs, Scout and Molly.
Jenny Dailey certified as a Pilates instructor with us at Vitality in 2013. Also a massage therapist (Brian Utting 2008), Jenny blends the disciplines, integrating her knowledge of both to assist clients. She moved here from Chicago via Oakland in 2001 and plans to stay. Jenny raced track at Marymoor Velodrome for three years with team Counterbalance in Redmond. Studying Pilates was a natural outgrowth of her interests. Jenny first began teaching Pilates as a volunteer at Exeter House, an assisted living facility. Her elderly clients are enthusiastic about Pilates and Jenny’s instruction. In the studio, Jenny provides balance and challenge while keeping students safe. In addition to group classes, Jenny offers Massagilates and private Pilates lessons at our Mount Baker location.
Sarah Enera brings both vigor and care to her Pilates instruction. From teaching rock climbing, skiing, and snowboarding, to playing competitive soccer at the national level, Sarah knows firsthand how hard the body can work. She also knows how fragile it is. In 2008 Sarah tore her ACL and meniscus, which led to years of physical therapy and strength training, and eventually drove her to study massage therapy and Pilates. In 2011 Sarah became a Licensed Massage Practitioner. In 2012 she certified as a Pilates Instructor here at Vitality and also earned her AA in massage from the Lake Washington Institute. Sarah is trained in Lomi Lomi, Thai, and clinical massage. She loves cooking, reading, and continuing her wellness education.
Erica French has been addicted to movement for artistic pursuits and for her fascination with holistic health. The two intersected when, after studying and performing dance for many years both in and out of the US, she discovered Pilates as a way to recover from a hip surgery. Erica fell in love with the technique and was certified by Vitality Pilates in 2014. She incorporates challenges and uniqueness in her classes, but also likes to impart the technical specifics of the technique. Erica has studied dance at Brenau University and Cornish College of the Arts, and has taught in various studios in Atlanta and Seattle. She still pursues dance and performance part time with her dance collective, Althea Fantast, and enjoys teaching Pilates to ballet students at PNBConditioning.
Born and raised in Seattle, Mari LaRocca has been a dancer almost her entire life. She grew up practicing ballet and originally tried Pilates in order to condition her body for dance. Mari earned her BFA in Ballet and Modern Dance at the Texas Christian University. Upon returning to Seattle, Mari enrolled in our Instructor Certification Program. She completed her training in 2008 and has been with us ever since. Through teaching, Mari has discovered how much joy she experiences in sharing the many benefits of movement. She often incorporates imagery in her sessions, using it to help clients deepen the connection between their bodies and minds. Outside of the studio, Mari enjoys cooking and spending plenty of time with her husband and dog.
Anna's background in science and medicine informs her passion for health. After earning her BS in neuroscience from Pomona College, Anna attended the University of Washington School of Medicine. While ultimately becoming a physician did not fit with her life and family goals; studying Pilates satisfies her craving to understand the human body. Just after the birth of her first son she turned to Vitality Pilates, eager to regain her own physical fitness. Anna practiced Pilates with us as a client for seven years and certified with us in 2014. As a Pilates instructor she takes great satisfaction in helping her clients fine-tune their body awareness, heal and strengthen, and ultimately enhance the quality of their lives.
Jenny Melville was born and raised in Mentor, Ohio. She started dance at the age of three taking tap, ballet and jazz. Jenny attended Arizona State University as a Dance Choreography Major and was introduced to Pilates in 2000. She taught dance and movement classes to a variety of age groups ranging from three to eighty years old; she even taught a student who was blind how to tap dance! Upon graduation, Jenny pursued a Masters in Arts, Entertainment and Media Management at Columbia College Chicago. After completing school Jenny moved to Washington and found us, certifying as an instructor in 2012. She loves the mind body connection and intricate workout that Pilates provides. Jenny lives in West Seattle. She enjoys baking, taking dance classes, camping, and making people laugh.
Autumn Needles began dancing and practicing yoga as a child and first encountered Pilates as a young dancer at Smith college. She received her 200-hour yoga teacher certification in 2006. As a yoga teacher, Autumn developed an even deeper appreciation for the precision and discipline of Pilates and what it added to her teaching. She received her Pilates mat certification in 2009, and taught mat classes for two years before joining Vitality’s Instructor Certification program in 2011, receiving her Comprehensive Certification and joining Vitality’s team in early 2012. She then interned with the Instructor Certification program for a year and began training new instructors in summer 2013. When teaching Autumn asks herself, “How can I best help people find comfort, ease and pleasure in their bodies?” She loves finding ways for people of any shape, size, or ability to find strength and balance.
In 2014, Nick Peters finished his training program with Vitality Pilates. Before that he received a B.S. in Kinesiology and Health Sciences with a minor in Dance from The College of William and Mary. After graduation, he pursued a career in dancing, teaching a gamut of classes (Baby Ballerinas, Advanced Modern, Zumba, and African) and performing in and around the D.C. area. His dream became deferred when he injured his back and was then introduced to Pilates during his physical therapy sessions. While recovering, he wondered why nobody had introduced him to Pilates before as it would have made a huge difference in his own quality of life and longevity of his dance career. Nick then decided to make it his mission to introduce it to every friend, foe, and stranger he met!
Growing up on a lake, Nicole Pieratt spent a lot of time being active outdoors; she’s always loved to work out and challenge her body. Still, it took surviving breast cancer to shift her exercise focus away from working her body hard to working her body well. Pilates spoke directly to this shift. Nicole practiced mat work for a full decade and equipment work for a full year before enrolling in our instructor certification program. Nicole certified in 2013 and has been teaching ever since. In class Nicole focuses on developing the connection between body and mind. She appreciates the wide range of applications Pilates has for people from all walks of life. Nicole aims to keep our bodies healthy and efficient, enabling us to enjoy the activities we love for years to come.
Melissa Smilow began dancing as a young child. At age 20 she moved from San Diego to NYC to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. She stayed busy there, earning her BFA in Musical Theatre from the New School University, teaching various fitness classes, and working in dance and theatre productions. After six years, Melissa returned to the west coast, performing in many theatrical productions throughout California, including Love In with theatre icon Ben Vereen. She discovered the mat Pilates repertoire during this time. After moving to Seattle in 2011, Melissa was introduced to equipment based Pilates here at Vitality. She certified with us in 2012. In addition to teaching Pilates, Melissa is co-founder of the Bombshell Cabaret and Dance Troupe.
After two decades in the food industry, Kimberly Zmolek needed to revitalize herself physically, mentally, and creatively. Enticed by the aerial arts as well as Pilates, she decided to pursue both. The result was exactly what she needed. Kimberly found beauty and inspiration at the Versatile Arts Aerial school, working on the trapeze, silks, ropes, and sling. Here at Vitality Pilates, Kimberly found a focused, controlled, and balanced way to condition her body. The decision to certify as a Pilates instructor emerged naturally from directly experiencing the benefits of the method. Kimberly certified with us in 2013 and has been teaching ever since. She delivers energetic, challenging classes with a focus on form. Kimberly’s passion for movement is contagious.