instructors

Our Instructors

  • Courtney Acomb
    Courtney Acomb
  • Miquel Banket
    Miquel Banket
  • Kara Fitzpatrick
    Kara Fitzpatrick
  • Greg Grube
    Greg Grube
  • Bridget Insana
    Bridget Insana
  • Yera Kim
    Yera Kim
  • Madeline Mondrala
    Madeline Mondrala
  • Hila Paldi
    Hila Paldi
  • Bethany Perry
    Bethany Perry
  • Shana Slutsky
    Shana Slutsky
  • Salome Solano
    Salome Solano
  • Malia Tilden
    Malia Tilden
  • Katie Wilson
    Katie Wilson
Courtney Acomb

Courtney Acomb

Courtney is originally from Rochester, NY where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from The College at Brockport. She then moved to Ithaca, NY to become licensed in massage therapy through The Finger Lakes School of Massage. In 2009, she moved to NYC in pursuit of dance and making art. Her passion for movement and the body is what brought her to discover Pilates. She is very excited to continue learning and growing within the Pilates field. Courtney is very encouraging, and hopes to help her clients connect to their bodies on a deeper level and to push them to find their full potential.

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Miquel Banket

Miquel Banket

Miquel first discovered Pilates through a Marie Windsor DVD and instantly fell in love with this dynamic workout. As a professional dancer working in Philadelphia, he began taking private lessons in a studio setting.

After moving to New York, he enrolled in the dancers program at True Pilates decided to deepen his love and appreciation for pilates by entering the certification program. The work continues to fascinate and expand his passion for the human body and its many complexities. He is therefore eternally grateful for the instructions he received from master teachers: Sari Mejia Santo (daughter of Romana Kryzanowska,) Cynthia Shipley, Jerome Weinberg, Anthony Robara and Jamie Trout.

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Kara Fitzpatrick

image1Kara began studying Pilates nearly 20 years ago as a modern dancer in college. She brings to her teaching the influence of a lifetime of movement study including ballet and modern dance, Pilates, vinyasa and Anusara yoga. With an eye for detail, students are offered clear instruction for a refined practice. Kara specializes in working with students to overcome the mechanical, habitual and injury related challenges that can often limit movement.  

In 2009, with more than 600 apprentice hours completed, Kara became a classically trained Pilates instructor with Power Pilates in NYC, and its affiliate studio, Beacon Pilates. Most recently, Kara completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training with Tara Glazier at Abhaya Yoga in Dumbo, Brooklyn.

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Greg Grube

Greg Grube

Greg began teaching in 2008. He learned the classical Pilates method through a unique, individualized apprenticeship with Collette Stewart following the completion of a degree in dance from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His interest in anatomy, biomechanics, functional movement, and somatic restoration led to additional certifications with Eric Franklin (Level I and Level II) and a yearlong professional dance program under the direction of Steve Paxton–a leading figure in the contemporary dance world. All totaled, he has completed over 1000-hours of relevant training and he continues to study regularly with a varitey of teachers in New York including Irene Dowd (Biomechanics of the Spine/Trunk, Biomechanics of the Lower/Upper Limbs and PNF Patterns). His training style aims to find what really works for the body at hand. This generally means: following the breath, focusing on form and working strongly through all phases of the movement in order to find the right balance of stability and mobility.

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Bridget Insana

Bridget Insana

Bridget started dancing at the age of five years old. She grew up in New York, and studied ballet at Ballet Academy East and Broadway Dance Center. Bridget started doing Pilates when she attended college at New School University as a Dance major.

Bridget was certified for Beginner and Intermediate Mat through Power Pilates in New York City, then obtained a full certification through Power Pilates under Shari Berkowitz after moving to Los Angeles. She enjoys giving her clients new and different exercises to reconnect with their bodies in ways they have never done previously. Her goal is to keep her clients moving in a creative way, while adhering to classical Pilates teaching methods.

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Yera Kim

Yera Kim

Yera Kim is originally from South Korea and spent seven years as a speed skater prior to her first Pilates experience in New York City. Through Pilates, she developed strength which she never had before and a passion for learning movement and its effects: increased strength, stability, flexibility, and control.

As a result, she changed her career to become a certified Pilates instructor through Balanced Body. She has worked with scoliosis, kyphosis, osteoarthritis, post-surgical rehab, and pre/postnatal clients. She has helped clients with chronic pain and post-surgery return to their normal daily routines.

As a certified golf & tennis conditioning specialist, Yera can help you hit the ball consistently farther and straighter, with reduced risk of injury and back pain. In her sessions, Yera focuses on alignment, core strength, and maximizing physical capabilities with her knowledge of contemporary and traditional Pilates. She believes what Joseph Pilates said, “Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.”

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Madeline Mondrala

Madeline is originally from Venice Beach California. Her fitness roots are in gymnastics, modern dance and ballet, all of which she thoroughly enjoyed as a young adult. She moved to New York at eighteen and earned a BA at the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College. Before graduating Madeline became certified in the Pilates mat program through Art of Control with Simona Cipriani. She then became fully certified through the Real Pilates training program with Alycea Ungaro. She promises to make you laugh and work hard at the same time. Be prepared to break a sweat!

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Hila Paldi

Hila Paldi

Hila Paldi, has been involved with Pilates exercises since 1983. She came to this work as a client first, but decided to make it her vocation, and in 1988 she was certified by the original Pilates Studio as a Pilates instructor. From her certification in 1988 until the studio closed, she worked at the original Pilates Studio under the supervision of Romana Kryzanowska. Throughout her career, Paldi has continued to explore the work of Joesph Pilates, which exposed her to the teachings of some of Pilates’ other disciples. Hila studied for two years with Kathy Grant, and has taken workshops with some of the other disciples of Mr Pilates. This has broadened her understanding of the Pilates Method, providing her with greater ability to work with different populations, and she has been teaching Pilates in NYC ever since. Hila holds a BA from Lehman College in Physical Education for the older adult.

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Bethany Perry

Bethany Perry

Bethany Perry was introduced to the Pilates method while attending SUNY Brockport College. Shortly after receiving her degree in Dance, she moved to New York City to pursue further training in both Pilates and dance. She obtained her certificate from Power Pilates after completion of their comprehensive program in October 2004. She has been teaching full time at The Center Studio® since October 2005. Bethany is always looking to expand her knowledge of the method and, therefore, continues to fine-tune her skills as both a student, studying under master instructor, Bob Liekens, and as a trainer, frequently participating in continuing education workshops. She is also a certified instructor of the M.E.L.T. method, a self treatment technique that lessens pain and restrictions in the body by hydrating connective tissue. This certification has further broadened her knowledge of the body and sharpened her eye in assessing strengths and weaknesses. Bethany’s focused and motivational style of instructing guides her clients through precise, but flowing, workouts that have yielded remarkable changes in her clients’ bodies. She loves nothing more than when a client experiences in his/her body some of the benefits that she has experienced as a result of doing Pilates: greater flexibility, increased overall body strength, looser joint articulations from better alignment, and a heightened sense of body awareness.

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Shana Slutsky

Shana Slutsky

Shana began practicing Pilates while training for her first marathon in 2011. She instantly loved the way she felt after each session and quickly began to see positive changes in her body and minutes shaved off her race times. She credits Pilates for keeping her strong and injury free and fully believes it’s a must for athletes and non athletes alike.

After eight years of working for news makers such as Oprah Winfrey, Anderson Cooper and Lester Holt, Shana got certified to teach classical Pilates though Real Pilates in Tribeca. She loves helping clients get the most out of their sessions by reconnecting with their bodies and challenges them to find their edge.

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Salome Solano

Salome Solano

Salome’s first experience with Pilates began in 1992 while pursuing an MFA in dance at Temple University. She loved how her body changed as well as how it enhanced her dance training. In 1995 Salome moved to New York City and eight years later she began the Pilates certification program through The Pilates Studio. Shortly after completing her apprenticeship in 2004, she spent three and a half months in Bermuda teaching at Bermuda Bodyworks. Salome has studied functional anatomy with renowned educator Irene Dowd and completed numerous workshops through the Pilates Center of Boulder. Salome is constantly learning from her three master level Pilates instructors. She loves what Pilates has done for her body and her favorite thing about teaching is experiencing the excitement of her clients when they notice their bodies changing.

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Malia Tilden

Malia Tilden

Malia was introduced to Pilates as a young dancer, but truly embraced the method years later as a way to relieve back pain caused by sitting long hours at her desk job. The better she felt, the more she wanted to learn and to share the system with others. She studied under the tutelage of Alycea Ungaro to receive her Teacher Training Certificate in Classical Pilates from Real Pilates.

Malia enjoys cheering her clients on toward healthier, happier bodies— from pain-free backs to faster miles. The Pilates system works proper alignment, control, balance, strength, flexibility, and a powerful center… all which make sitting at a desk, running in the park, or going for gold easier, more enjoyable, and attainable. Malia’s goal is to challenge her clients in the studio in order to make them stronger and more efficient outside of the studio.

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Katie Wilson

Katie Willson

Katie Wilson graduated from Skidmore College with degrees in Dance and English. She began studying Pilates in 2011 at the urging of her ballet teacher. Once a self-described “over-cooked spaghetti noodle”, Katie found that Pilates transformed her body and her dancing.

She believes Pilates has made her more “al-dente”, with a stronger core and better muscle tone.

Her new form inspired her to teach and share the Pilates method. She became a certified Romana’s Pilates instructor, by training in Saratoga Springs at Reform: A True Pilates Studio, and True Pilates New York. Katie is beyond thrilled to join the Center Studio team!

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Hallee Altman

Our Founder – Hallee Altman

Hallee as been teaching Pilates for over 15 years. She is also an Advanced MELT Instructor and co-Creator of the MELT for Pilates Curriculum.

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