Lesa McLaughlin, Owner, was certified as a teacher in The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning by The Pilates Studio in New York in 1995 under the tutelage of Romana Kryzanowska. She received a Gold Certification by the Pilates Method Alliance in 2005. She holds a BFA in Dance from George Mason University (1984) and has taught dance, movement and exercise for over 30 years. In 1998, she opened Pilates at Excel Movement Studios (now Excel Pilates DC), a 5, 000 square foot Pilates Studio in Washington, DC. In 2002 she opened a sattelite studio in Annapolis, MD. She has worked with clients for 20 years in The Pilates Method Of Body Conditioning. Ranging in age from 13-83, clients have included athletes such as dancers, swimmers, ice skaters, runners, golfers, equestrian jumpers, and body builders, all working to achieve better performance or to gain a competitive edge. Mrs. McLaughlin has also worked with clients to rehabilitate and prevent injury. Conditions and issues have included herniated discs, arthritis, Parkinson's disease, MS, knee surgery prevention, knee and hip replacement and pregnancy. In 2001 she collaborated with Kerry DeVivo to create and establish a comprehensive Pilates Teacher Training Program at Excel Pilates DC in which she developed the curriculum, program outline, and training manual. Currently, she teaches all system levels as well as continuing education. Lesa McLaughlin's experience is that of a Master teacher. She considers her strength in teaching to be a deep understanding of the work of Joseph Pilates and helping each client to see, feel and reach their fullest potential. Lesa considers the work of Joseph Pilates to be an inspiration. She has experienced personally the depth and power of the work. She considers her ability to practice and teach Pilates a true privilege. The most satisfying aspect of her Pilates experience is to see daily, through her teaching, the meaningful impact it has on others.
Michelle Mendelson has studied The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning since 1999 and received her teacher certification from Excel Pilates DC in 2002. She holds a Gold Certification from the Pilates Method Alliance and is Pink Ribbon Program Certified to work with breast cancer survivors. Michelle has worked with people of all ages, from childhood into their 80's, and with many different fitness levels, sizes, shapes, and conditions. She has worked with women through the ninth month of pregnancy, and with women returning to Pilates after giving birth. She truly believes that Pilates is for everybody; yes, even for men! Michelle holds a degree in Political and Social Thought from the University of Virginia and worked in her pre-Pilates life in journalism and elementary education. In Michelle’s words: “It’s a good feeling to see people getting stronger and healthier and to know I’ve had some part in that, and to share my love of Pilates with others.”
Louise Papile has been studying the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning since 1997, and received her certification in January 2003, from Excel Pilates DC. Louise pursued her teaching certification in the Pilates method after experiencing its benefits through her own mat and apparatus sessions. The balance between physical movement and mindful control emphasized throughout the Pilates method reinforces her belief in the benefits of a holistic approach to exercise. As a teacher, Louise encourages clients to find this balance within their own bodies as they practice the exercises and to incorporate this awareness in their life activities. In Louise’s words: “From my first introduction to Pilates exercises as a student and now in my teaching sessions, I continually experience the importance and necessity of physical movement to maintain a supple spine, strong core and coordinated breath. Watching students discover their strength and control inspires me as a teacher. During our sessions, I strive to impart my enthusiasm for the Pilates system of exercises and how students can continually perform them to enhance all other physical endeavors to maintain mobility and strength throughout life.” Louise holds an undergraduate degree in education and a Master’s degree in communications. She is also an avid swimmer and yoga practitioner.
Robin Neveu Brown has been teaching Pilates since 2007. She received her classical certification in Norfolk, Va after graduating from the University of Florida with a BFA in dance. Robin lived, danced, and taught Pilates for four years in New York at Alycea Ungaro's Real Pilates, and she is currently a graduate student in dance performance, choreography, and education at the University of Maryland - College Park. She loves helping people to attune with their bodies and hone them for the best of what life has to offer!
Tatjana Parsamian moved to Washington, D.C. in 2010 and started immediately teaching at Excel Pilates Studio. Before she moved to the USA, she was the co-owner of “City Pilates”, the largest Pilates studio in Vienna, Austria. She developed and taught her own “Contrology” Pilates Teacher Training Program throughout Europe (Austria, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Switzerland, Croatia, Cyprus) for more than five years. Tatjana gave Pilates Master Classes at various conventions in Budapest, Vienna, and Zagreb. Tatjana’s training is through B.A.S.I. and Peak Pilates, USA. She is a PMA certified Pilates Professional. Tatjana holds a master degree from Vienna (Austria) University for Music and Performing Arts in Piano Performance & Piano Pedagogy. She is also a professional Aerobics, Dance, Step, and Zumba Master trainer educated in Munich, Germany in 2001 and Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2003. In Tatjana’s words: “Pilates is my passion and it is a big part of my life. I love movement, as it is the essence of life and well-being. In each session I enjoy giving a piece of my own passion to the students and love helping their bodies and minds transform.”
Susan Reynolds received her teacher certification from Excel Pilates in 2013. She began studying Pilates in 2003 in order to develop a more balanced body as she struggled with scoliosis. The patience required in her own journey gives her a unique perspective, and she finds it rewarding to help others grow stronger while finding more balanced, efficient ways of moving through Pilates. Building on earlier training in ballet and modern dance, Susan now teaches and performs Argentine tango. During the day she's an acquiring editor of psychology books for a local press.
Brianne Barrow Little has been teaching Pilates since 2006, first experiencing the method as a graduate student in dance…not surprisingly, its complement to dance drew her toward a deeper learning and teaching. Trained through Power Pilates and PMA certified in 2013, she enjoys helping students find their “a-ha” movement moments and translating those into life outside the Pilates studio! She enjoys working with bodies of all shapes and capabilities, with specific experience with pre- and post-natal, osteoporotic, and hyper mobile students. Brianne brings positive energy with a focus on proper alignment for maximum efficiency and strength building to her teaching. In addition to teaching, Brianne enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, swimming and gardening.