#124 VauLt Houston, GYROTONIC® Houston



….a little information about our fabulous teachers:

AMY ELL holds a B.S. in Exercise Science from Texas Woman’s University where she specialized is cardiac rehabilitation and corporate fitness. Amy is considered a Pilates® Master Teacher having been studying and teaching the work for the last 20 years. Initially, she acquired her training via mentorship (the way it was done in the ‘old’ days) and then proceeded to participate in formal teacher trainings with both the Physical Mind Institute and Elizabeth Jones-Boswell. Since those early days, Amy has gone on to study the finer details of the the Pilates work with Master Teachers including Kathy Corey, Ron Fletcher, Colleen Glenn, Alan Herdman, Barbara Huttner, Rael Isacowitz, Michael King, and Karen Klippenger.

As for the wonderful world of Gyrotonic….Amy is a certified GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Master Trainer, GYROTONIC® Leg Extension Master Trainer, and GYROTONIC® Archway Master Trainer.  Amy has completed training and is a certified teacher on the GYROTONIC® Jump Stretch Board, the GYROTONIC® Ladder, and the GYROTONER®. She has participated in Level 2 work in both GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® in addition to completion of specialized courses in cervical spine/shoulder rehabilitation, lumbar spine/pelvic rehabilitation, scoliosis, and GYROTONIC® for golfers.

In 2002, striving for greater knowledge, Amy started studying the ancient art of Thai Yoga or Thai Massage, a type of ‘dancing yoga’ where the practitioner manipulates the client into easy poses to help stimulate circulation and the flow of chi or life force energy. Amy started this search in the continental United States working with both James Peckham and Dr. Anthony James. In 2004 she organized a trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand to study with Thai Massage Master Pichet Boonthumme.

Another stepping stone in Amy’s fitness/dance career is her love of flying…the complete strength, flexibility, and agility training acquired through an aerial arts practice. Though she has dabbled in the aerial world since 1989 (see ‘Aerial Arts’ for information on earlier influences), it wasn’t until early 2007 that Amy fervently focused on aerial arts. To date she has traveled throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe collecting and digesting information. What she brings to GYROTONIC® Houston is aerial arts peppered with the influences of her dance training and the Pilates, Yoga, and Gyrotonic methodologies.  Currently, Amy teaches fabric/silks, trapeze, and pole work.  She is one of few who has a comprehensive teacher training program on fabric. In September of 2009 Amy debuted her dance company, Vault, at Miller Outdoor Theater to rave reviews.

EMILY JESSE is an aerial dance on silks teacher and will begin the GYROTONIC® certification process this Spring. In addition, she is a University of Houston student working on a degree in Interpersonal Communication and works in marketing and public relations at Berridge Manufacturing. Emily was an understudy with Vault in September 2009.

NAO KUSUZAKI is a Certified GYROTONIC® Instructor and a Soloist with the Houston Ballet. She has been practicing Gyrotonic methodology for 10 years as a compliment to her dance career and credits it for her continuing healthy career as a dancer. Gyrotonic has also tremendously enhanced her understanding and awareness of a body’s infinate capability. Nao was trained under Amy Ell, Debra Rose, and Sebastian Plettenburg before becoming certified. She is excited to share the wealth of knowledge gained through the master trainers in combination with her expertise of ballet. Nao’s dance repertoire includes featured roles in ballets by internationally acclaimed choreographers as Jiri Kylian, Stanton Welch, William Forsythe, George Balanchine, and Hans Van Manan.

JOE MODLIN, a native of Indiana, came to GYROTONIC® and Pilates® by way of his dance career (he is currently a company member in Jane Weiner’s Hope Stone Inc.). He believes that if put into practice, all the core training done at GYROTONIC® Houston, really will improve life! He is a Certified GYROTONIC®, GYROKINESIS®, and GYROTONIC® Jump Stretch Board instructor and is certified in Pilates® through Peak Pilates.

MIKA STEPANKIW is an aerial dance on silks teacher. She believes the aerial on silks program at GYROTONIC® Houston cultivates agility, poise, and strength, all of which are necessary to dance gracefully and fluidly through the air. She is currently working on her Masters in Professional Writing and Technical Communication at the University of Houston-Downtown.

MARY WILLIAMS is a Certified GYROTONIC®, GYROTONIC® Archway, and GYROTONIC® Leg Extension instructor.  She is also a GYROTONIC® apprentice. She graduated from Rice University is 1997 and is completing a PhD in Early American History. An active person who enjoys swimming, running, and the practice of Pilates®, Mary was introduced to GYROTONIC® and GYROTONIC® after she sustained a neck injury. She believes that the methods greatly aided her recovery by improving her body awareness, enabling her to move more intelligently, and helping her to build strength. She feels that it has had a positive influence on both her athletic and academic pursuits. She hopes to share her enthusiasm for GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS®, with others.

MELANIE BELL is an aerial dance on trapeze teacher. She has been taking aerial arts classes for over a decade. She enjoys the physical and mental challenge that aerial art classes provide, and the ripped abd and toned arms are just icing on the cake!

BETH EVERITT is a former professional ballet dancer and was a member of the Houston Ballet, the Louisville Ballet, and most recently Dominic Walsh Dance Theatre.  She is currently an instructor on staff at the Houston Ballet Academy.  While dancing, she discovered GYROTONIC® while recovering from injury.  Beth is a certified GYROTONIC® instructor of GYROTONIC® Level 1 and Level 2, and Leg Extension Unit.   She has completed the GYROTONIC® Application for Dancers course as well as the Application for the Pelvic Girdle and the Application for the Shoulder Girdle courses.  Her goal is by the end of summer 2012 she will have completed her certification on the following specialized equipment:  Jumping-Stretching Board, and the GYROTONER®. and GYROKINESIS®, with others.

DANA BAYER is an aerial fabric teacher and teaches the kids aerial program that includes fabric and static trapeze.  She enjoys the combination of both circus style and aerial dance on a variety of apparati including trapeze, fabric, hoop/lyra and harness.  She has found an increase in strength, body awareness and gracefulness in the air since starting aerials at Vault in 2010.  Aerials is also just plain fun and provides stress relief!  She loves helping beginner students make the same discovery with themselves and believes no matter the students age or background, they can see improvement.

KAREN is a certified GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® instructor.  She began her movement training practicing Pilates in Houston, Texas with Amy Ell in 1995.  After moving to Palm Desert, California Karen opened Pacific Pilates Studio.  Soon thereafter she was introduced to the Gyrotonic Expansion System® through Authorized Master Trainer Lisa-Marie Goodwin at In-Spiraling Movement Arts GYROTONIC® Studio in Los Angeles, CA.  Her extensive travels have afforded Karen the unique opportunity to practice with many master trainers across the country.  She completed her GYROTONIC® training with Authorized Master Trainer Sebastian Plettenberg at GYROTONIC®-Manhattan in New York.  Karen splits her time between two great states, Montana and Texas.  In Montana, she is the owner of GYROTONIC®-Big Sky located near Glacier National Park.  The studio also serves as a retreat center and a teacher training facility.  While in Texas she is happy to be part of the GYROTONIC®-Houston family!  Karen enjoys sharing GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® with others enthusiast.

Kids’ Classes are back!  Click here to check it out!