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
Since 2003 Adena Atkins has been teaching Pilates on both the east and west coasts. Adena is certified by Body Arts and Science International, a School of Instructor Certification based in her native California. She was trained by Kristi Cooper White, the founder of Pilates Anytime. Along the way Adena has worked with internationally recognized master teachers such as Bonnie Sessions and Kathy Van Patten. She has taught in a variety of settings, from basements to physical therapy offices, all the way up to award winning studios such as Vitality. As an instructor she is both patient and exacting. In addition to teaching, Adena is a musician and holds her Bachelors of Music in Songwriting from the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
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.
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 non stop ever since. She loves creating challenging classes and working with clients to improve their health and well being.
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.
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.
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.
Nicole Denny knows firsthand the profound healing that Pilates offers. When Nicole discovered Pilates, she was still healing from two abdominal surgeries that occurred within the span of a year and a half. She was also suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder stemming from the premature birth of her twins. Thankfully she found her way here to Vitality. By her second class, Nicole knew she wanted this work in her life forever. Before the end of her second series she joined our Instructor Certification program, which she completed in 2012. Pilates has allowed Nicole to tone and connect with her body, tools which have assisting her in losing over 60 pounds. It’s proved an excellent way to cope with stress and develop more life-balance, enabling her to keep pace with her children.
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, and offers Massagilates out of our Ravenna location. She loves cooking, reading, and continuing her wellness education.
Melissa Galvan grew up dancing at Dance Dimensions in Bellevue and at age 17, she was recruited to dance by KSA in Los Angeles. Just two years after her relocation, Melissa survived a near fatal car wreck which cut short her dance career. From the hospital she was released directly to her mother’s care here in Seattle, launching a long and frustrating quest to heal.
It wasn’t until Melissa discovered Pilates with us here at Vitality that she was able to fully recover. Excited by her own success, Melissa certified with us in 2007, continuing on to become an Instructor Trainer with us in 2009. In 2010, she became a mother, inspiring her to specialize in Pre & Post Natal Pilates. In addition to teaching Pilates, Melissa is a Certified TRX Trainer and the founder of our Fusion class offering.
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.
Marie Lynah knows movement from the inside out. A Licensed Massage Practitioner, Marie graduated from the Cortiva Institute in 2011. She is trained in a breadth of styles, including Swedish relaxation, deep tissue release, Bindegeweb, and pregnancy massage. Her specialty is postural improvement and it is this passion which inspired her to certify as a Pilates Instructor here at Vitality. Teaching since 2012, Marie particularly enjoys the creativity and pace of our advanced offerings. Her massage background is evident in her teaching, which employs precise anatomical cues and props to induce myofascial release. As the inventor of Massagilates, Marie has found the perfect outlet for her twin passions. Learn more about this exclusive offering here.
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. 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.
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.
A lifelong dancer and gymnast, by age 20 Morgan Scherer had developed the back condition spondylolisthesis which kept her in constant pain. A fellow dancer recommended that she try Pilates and with regular practice Morgan was able to make a full recovery. Inspired, she decided to share the healing benefits of this method. Under the tutelage of Jane Erskine, Morgan certified with the PhysicalMind Institute in 1995. She began giving private lessons in her home studio the following year. With the birth of her first son, Morgan decided to take a break from teaching. By 2010, Morgan was eager to resume and joining our team was a natural fit. In addition to teaching Pilates, Morgan is a bicycling advocate, presenting at bicycle and sustainability expos since 2002.
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.