Avra is extremely enthusiastic about teaching Pilates because her clients experience tremendous benefits in fitness as well as a pain-free lifestyle. She is devoted to helping people reach their goals and aspirations through an individualized training program and specific exercises to maximize recovery from pain and injury.
Her Reformer classes are unique because of her caring, personal attention, and because they are fun, creative, fresh, energetic and interesting through using Reformers and other studio equipment as well as 10-15 minutes of mat core work (with props). This format is especially important for clients that take her classes several times a week, year after year after year. Her Active Agers Reformer class incorporates training for clients with osteoporosis/osteopenia.
Avra has personally felt the changes in her fitness, health and dancing. She discovered Pilates after a hip injury which had kept her in pain on and off for years; there was even a time that she was immobile in bed for three days. But Pilates has brought relief from all this and has kept her free of pain for many years. She is also a passionate competitive ballroom dancer competing in International Latin with her teacher. Avra has struggled in the past with her dancing because that hip injury made her body compensate in ways that were detrimental to her balance, coordination, core, flexibility and strength. She has been very motivated to find solutions to her issues (resulting also in solutions for her clients) especially since her teacher is one of the top dancers/coaches in the world and is very demanding. When they compete together (going all over the United States), he expects her to rise up to his level since they are judged together as a couple. Talk about pressure! Thankfully, Pilates really helped resulting in better form and freer dancing.
Certified by both BBU and PMA, Avra's extensive Pilates training includes specialized training in shoulder/neck issues, low back/knee/foot pain, postural alignment, scoliosis, osteoporosis, and pre- & post-natal care as well as CoreAlign. On top of her competition experience, she has a considerable background in yoga and various other forms of dance. She also has a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she used to teach.
Dixie Mills has been teaching Pilates for more than twenty years. In 1993 Dixie became certified through the Pilates Center of Boulder, while pursuing an MFA in Dance Performance & Choreography from the University of Colorado. After graduating from both CU and The Pilates Center, Dixie got a chance to teach some of the healthiest and most athletic people in the country. The following year she moved to Seattle where she got a chance to stretch her rehab skills teaching at a studio near Microsoft. Dixie also worked with many teenagers in the Seattle area on building strength and coordination to support their sports or dancing pursuits (how wonderful to have the alignment, strength, flexibility, and connectedness that Pilates brings when you are young—please consider sessions for your teenager or college student!).
After 5 years of teaching clients, Dixie relocated to New York City, where she developed several continuing education workshops for Pilates teachers. She has since taught in Connecticut, New Jersey, Long Island, Philadelphia, Seattle, Virginia and Hawaii. Known as a teacher’s teacher, Dixie has great eyes for seeing the body’s quirks, and great hands and words for explaining how to reach your best potential.
Pilates Mat is the foundation for the entire methodology, which aims to create a balance of strength and flexibility in the body. Pilates challenges your mind and strengthens you from the inside out, enabling you to perform complex movements safely, with power and grace. The foundation of the Pilates Mat repertoire builds from fundamental exercises that help you to learn the underlying concepts and movement principles. You will learn things like how to do a proper upper abdominal curl without straining your neck, and how to stabilize your pelvis so that you can protect your back while working out. As the client progresses, the exercises become more complex, challenging them to use their accumulated knowledge to advance safely through the levels.
Props are often incorporated into classes to add fun, release work, balance challenges, refinement of movement patterns, a little help or some extra resistance into the classes. Props may include rollers, balls, therabands, ultra fit circles and more.
All Levels - Some Pilates experience strongly recommended but this class is open to all. The instructor will teach to the level of the students in the class, modifying exercises for less advanced students, and adding challenges for those that need the extra intensity in their workout. Clients with serious injuries or limitations, should first take with an Introductory Private Session and/or seek the advice of an Agile Monkey instructor before taking any group class.