Meet the Instructors at Equilibrium

Kelly Jeanette
Kelly studied STOTT PILATES in order to transform her mind and body. She is a full-time mother of two from Plymouth. With her children now in school, she is devoting her free time to teaching Pilates at Equilibrium. Kelly enjoys the challenge of teaching and the opportunity it provides her to develop motivating workout sessions that suit the individual needs of her clients. Kelly is a friendly, compassionate and diligent trainer always seeking to help everyone she comes in contact with to reach his or her full potential. She completed her Level 2 certification in February 2009.

Laura Bovenberk
Laura is thrilled to have found a home at Equilibrium. She previously lived and worked as a professional dancer in New York City, most successfully as a Radio City Rockette. She began her Pilates certification in 2004 and is now Level 2 Certified. For Laura, Pilates is a feel-good form of exercise that improves strength, flexibility and balance. She wants you to walk out of your session feeling stronger, centered and taller. Laura is the proud mother of Ella, born in December of 2007.

Jennifer Montie
Jenn has an extensive background in ballet, is a member of “Ballet Americana” and is a dance instructor. She discovered Pilates through her dance training and loved the conditioning, strength and balance it provided. She has completed Level 1 STOTT PILATES certification and is certified in the Xtend Barre™ Method. Jenn enjoys giving a very detail-oriented workout and loves working out all ages and levels, especially athletes and dancers. Her favorite part of working people out for a living is seeing her clients accomplish their goals and getting to know such wonderful people.

Kim Dunleavy

Kim is a STOTT PILATES Certified Instructor Trainer for Injuries & Special Populations and Rehabilitation, with extensive experience in applying STOTT PILATES principles to clients with injuries and impairments. At Equilibrium, Kim strives to establish safe exercise programs tailored to unique requirements related to spinal or joint dysfunction, medical conditions or post-surgical requirements.
An American Physical Therapy Association orthopedic certified specialist physical therapist, Kim has masters degrees in manual and orthopedic physical therapy and sports physical therapy, as well as a Ph.D in Instructional Technology. An assistant professor at Wayne State University’s Department of Physical Therapy, Kim lectures worldwide on the orthopedic treatment and management of dance injuries. Her research areas include instructional design for global audiences and exercise management for spinal and hip dysfunction.
Kim is a competitive ballroom dancer and golfer and started with STOTT PILATES exercise to improve flexibility and muscle synchronization. She is also involved with Health Volunteers Overseas, a non-profit volunteer organization that contributes to improving rehabilitation internationally through volunteer activities in South Africa, Vietnam, Cambodia and Suriname.

Gayle Eubanks
Gayle is a fully certified STOTT PILATES Instructor Trainer, a Breast Cancer Post-Rehab Exercise Specialist, certified through the Pink Ribbon Program and trained in the Gyrotonic Expansion System and TRX Suspension System. Gayle has been on staff at Equilibrium since 1999. She enjoys working with clients and STOTT PILATES trainees of all levels and skills, helping them work toward their own unique goals. Gayle is considered to be a mentor to many of the STOTT PILATES instructor trainees. She holds a B.A. in dance from Michigan State University and performed professionally as a leading dancer with Harbinger Dance Company for 12 years before joining the first Pilates training class offered at Equilibrium. Gayle feels Equilibrium has wonderful clients, trainees and staff and loves learning something new from each of them every day.

Melissa Penn
Melissa is a ballet dancer and teacher, as well as a Pilates instructor. She has danced professional for Ballet Memphis, Nashville Ballet and Charleston Ballet Theatre. She has also completed STOTT PILATES training to full certification. As a Pilates instructor, she likes to focus on correct posture to gain strength and flexibility. She strives to help her clients gain knowledge about the exercise and their bodies to increase their awareness and challenge their workout.

Tracy Pighin
Tracy grew up as part of a loving, military family and spent her childhood overseas, learning from an early age that with focus, discipline and a sense of humor, anything is possible. Tracy’s natural ability to motivate helped launch her teaching career as a competitive cheer coach. More recently, Tracy achieved her STOTT PILATES Level two full certification, allowing her to work with an array of clients with varied fitness and mind/body goals. Whether she’s teaching salsa in her high-energy Zumba classes, doing suspension training with the TRX system, preparing a mom-to-be with prenatal Pilates or working with a former athlete whose back has seen better days, Tracy is devoted to providing a challenging, dynamic workout in each of her sessions. Tracy loves to learn as much as she loves to teach and stays current with the ever-evolving fitness industry. It gives Tracy great pleasure to have found a fulfilling career that makes others look and feel fabulous.

Eva Powers M.A.
The chair of the Maggie Allesee Department of Dance in the College of Fine Arts at Wayne State University Eva’s primary research is in education, pedagogy, teaching methodology and dance science. Her courses in Dance Kinesiology and Movement Analysis reflect her interest in the integration of body and mind conditioning for dancers while integrating Pilates and Gyrokinesis. A fully certified STOTT PILATES Instructor Trainer, Eva was recently named a Lead Instructor Trainer for Stott Pilates. She has also achieved Level 1 Certification in Gyrotonic® and apprentice level in Gyrokinesis. Eva is a dancer, choreographer, gifted professor and mentor to new STOTT PILATES instructors at Equilibrium.

Amy Pronovost
Amy is certified as a STOTT PILATES Instructor Trainer, a Level 1 Gyrotonic instructor, a TRX instructor and a Xtend Barre instructor. She has been teaching at Equilibrium since 2000. She received her BA in dance and English from Western Michigan University. Amy is also the ballet director of Dance Dynamics Performing Arts Center in Walled Lake, where her students have received many prestigious ballet scholarships. She brings her extensive dance background into her work with clients at Equilibrium. She enjoys working in detail with people of all ages and backgrounds and also loves teaching her Friday Advanced Matwork class.

Jason Roberts PT
This 40-year-old Yooper was raised in Iron Mountain, MI. A graduate of Wayne State University, Jason has been a licensed PT for the last 14 years in a hospital setting. His focus is in outpatient sports and orthopedic rehabilitation. Pilates has been a tremendous adjunct to Jason’s treatment plans in helping his clients reach a higher level of function. He holds a certification in STOTT PILATES Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Barrel and Chair. Jason is also certified in teaching TRX. He loves to learn and share his knowledge with every workout.

Jill Roberts
graduated from University of Michigan in 2000,with a degree in Exercise Physiology and has been teaching full-time at equilibrium since achieving full level 2 certification 3 years ago. Jill was an avid runner in training for a marathon when she injured her back and credits pilates with helping her to stay strong and injury free.The majority of Jill's clients are young active women who use pilates as the perfect cross-training adjunct to their various athletic pursuits, and several have recruited their husbands for weekly duet sessions. Jill has trained many women during their pregnancies and is known for helping them regain abdominal strength and shape post-natal. Breast Cancer Post-Rehab Exercise Specialist, certified through the Pink Ribbon Program.

Christine Pancotti
Christine came to us as one of our favorite Equilibrium clients, with a BS in finance and business management, before her passion for Pilates led her to enroll in our STOTT PILATES training and certification program. She now holds a full STOTT PILATES certification. Her love for Pilates has led her to further her education with certifications in Pre- and Post-Natal Pilates, Zumba, TRX and Cardiolates. Most of her standing clients are strong, share her passion and enjoy Christine’s undeniable energy. She enjoys every type of workout and loves the satisfaction of knowing her clients feel great after they leave!

Liz Smythe
Liz loves motivating others to exercise and has done so for the past 20 years teaching body conditioning, boot camp, spinning, barre, TRX and Pilates. A finance graduate from Michigan State University, Liz worked as a computer consultant before staying home to raise four kids. This break from the business world helped her to realize that fitness, health and helping others were more her true calling. Now fully certified as a Level 2 instructor, she loves helping clients of all backgrounds develop their full fitness potential.

Amy Kubo-Slowik PT
Amy combines backgrounds in dance, sports medicine and Gyrotonic to design safe, yet challenging Pilates workouts for each individual regardless of their fitness level. She is a STOTT PILATES Instructor Trainer for Group SPX and Private Training, as well as a NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist, Speed, Agility & Quickness instructor and a Level 1 Gyrotonic Instructor. As a licensed physical therapist, Amy specialized in treating orthopedic, dance and sports injuries and enjoyed working with all levels of athletes, but now devotes her career to teaching Pilates.

Stephanie Morgan
Stephanie first became interested in Pilates about eight years ago while working on her master’s degree in physical therapy. She was intrigued by how it could produce an amazing workout and was an effective and safe form of rehabilitation for many types of physical deficits when done correctly. Stephanie has been a physical therapist for seven years, focusing primarily in orthopedic dysfunctions and amputee rehabilitation. She received full STOTT PILATES certification in May 2010 and is a NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

Jessica Niespolo
Jessica began dancing at the age of three. She danced competitively for many years and performed with various performing artists such as Third Eye Blind and Boys II Men. She has also performed at several Lions and Pistons half time events. Jessica continued to dance at Michigan State University, when eventually a knee injury ended her dance career. In 2002, she began instructing various group fitness classes, in addition to youth dance classes and pom camps. Jessica graduated from MSU with a degree in advertising and public relations and pursued a career focusing on the business side of the entertainment industry, beginning in Chicago with networks such as Fox, E! and Style. While living in Chicago, she first found the Mat & Barre methods and fell in love! The Mat and Barre methods were the workouts that encompassed her loves of dance and fitness. This eventually led her to pursue a career in Pilates. Jessica loves having a career that fulfills her by educating others on various mind body fitness methods. She loves living a healthy life and promotes others to do the same!

Marianna Pruss
Marianna’s love for children led family and friends to believe she would get her teaching degree. Instead, she worked her way through college as a nanny while pursuing a degree in marketing. After getting her first “real job” in marketing, Marianna realized she was not interested in the corporate world. She craved the chance to use her creativity in a fun, fast-paced environment. Building long-term, meaningful client relationships makes her job rewarding. She is a life-long fitness enthusiast, having practiced yoga, spinning, kickboxing and Pilates. Marianna is a motivated instructor who thrives on pushing her clients to reach their goals. She is excited to meet all of you while getting into shape doing Pilates!

Molly Reeser
Molly is devoted to promoting healthy lifestyles and helping others. It brings Molly great pleasure to be part of the Equilibrium family. Earning a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University, Molly credits the “freshman 15″ for opening her eyes to fitness. In 2004, Molly founded Camp Casey, a non-profit horseback riding program for children with cancer, to honor the memory of her friend. Molly is equally as passionate about her work with Camp Casey as she is about teaching Pilates. Molly loves providing challenging workouts to her clients and promises a motivating and dynamic experience in all of her Matwork, Reformer, and body conditioning classes.

Jill Roberts
Jill graduated from the University of Michigan in 2000 with a degree in exercise physiology. She achieved STOTT PILATES full Level 2 certification in 2002. She taught full time at Equilibrium from 2002 – 2009. As an avid runner, Jill credits Pilates with helping her to stay strong and injury-free. Jill is thrilled to have completed the 2006 Chicago marathon and several half-marathons. Jill also appreciates the importance of the rehab side of Pilates. Late in 2007, Jill was in a serious automobile accident and used Pilates as her main form of rehabilitation. Jill enjoys giving energetic, creative workouts, as well as helping people with everyday aches and pains stay strong and upright. Currently, Jill is on leave from teaching so she can stay home with her baby boy, Tyler, who was born in October 2009.

Allison Walacavage
Allison came to Equilibrium as a former modern dancer who used Pilates as a way to develop core strength and correct muscle imbalances. After receiving her BA from Mount Holyoke College, Allison pursued STOTT PILATES training to deepen her understanding of the exercises and anatomy. She enjoys working with clients of all abilities, particularly those who are new to mind-body movement systems. She received her STOTT PILATES Level 1 certification in 2008 and has also completed her training in the advanced Pilates work. Allison is currently pursuing certification in Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis™ methodologies. In addition to teaching, Allison works as a grant writer for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and enjoys dancing, cooking and traveling with her husband, Matt.

Starr Yacoub
Starr Yacoub is grateful and honored to be part of the Equilibrium family! Health and wellness in all facets of life are her passion. Currently she is working on a masters degree in vegan and live food nutrition. She has a bachelors degree in exercise physiology. This degree was going to lead her into a physical therapy degree. Instead she found STOTT PILATES in college and was hooked! She did personal training for a while and incorporated Pilates into it. Starr noticed Pilates was giving clients such amazing results that she decided to put her focus there. She has been teaching Pilates for 12 years now and gyro for five years. Before she moved to Michigan, she lived in Dayton, Ohio where she was the proud owner of Namaste Pilates, Yoga and Movement Studio for seven years. Michigan has brought her love. She married her teenage sweetheart, Feras. Michigan has also brought her amazing friendships and the luxury of working for an wonderful studio!

Alejandro Zavala PT
Alejandro has a PhD in Physical Therapy and works full time specializing in sports medicine and orthopedic rehabilitation. Alex developed an interest in Pilates after seeing its benefits when applied in the rehab setting. He has demonstrated both professionalism and commitment to quality education by completing his training in STOTT PILATES Spinal, Pelvic and Scapular Stabilization, Matwork and Reformer. Alex is also fluent in Spanish.

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