“I have worked with all of the staff at Aligned and they each bring a unique outlook with impeccable training. The approach is sensitive, rigorous and fun. It is clear that they care about their clients, each other and are dedicated to passing on the tradition and vision that Cara is dedicated to.”
-Carla Dore, client of Aligned for 4 years
Cara Reeser is the owner and Senior Instructor at Pilates Aligned, Inc. in Denver, Colorado. She earned a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA in Dance, from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. It was at NYU that Cara began her initial studies in the Pilates Method with first generation Master Teacher, Kathleen Stanford Grant.
In 1993, Cara moved to Boulder, Colorado where she continued her Pilates training at The Pilates Center. After certification, Cara taught there for six years before opening her own studio.
Cara is a continuing education provider for Pilates instructors offering a variety of workshops and mentoring programs for professionals worldwide as well as online with Pilates Anytime.
As a second-generation Pilates instructor and lineage carrier of the Kathy Grant work, Cara is the lead teacher and director of a post graduate training program called The Heritage Training®, she is also the co-owner and co-educator for Movement Science Made Simple™ a continuing education platform that works to advance the knowledge of functional movement and motor leaning for Pilates teachers.
Cara was a member of the Department of Dance faculty at Naropa University for 15 years, she danced and choreographed professionally for over 20 years. For the past 10 years has been a dedicated student of the Yoga tradition, all of which has inspired her interest in the science of movement and the body-mind connection.
Her staff at Pilates Aligned has been mentored under the finest movement educators, kinesiologists, and Master Pilates teachers in the country. Many have been certified through The Pilates Center in Boulder, Colorado.
Studio Manager & PMA Continuing Education Provider Laura Karpinski received a B.A. in Dance from North Carolina School of the Arts and danced ballet professionally for several years before graduating from the Pilates Center’s Teacher Training Certification Program in Boulder, CO. Mentored extensively under Cara Reeser, she has taken a strong interest in learning and preserving the lineage of Kathy Grant’s work.
For the past 12 years Laura has taught at Pilates Aligned, where she is a senior staff member, the studio office manager, and a PMA Certified Continuing Education Provider. Since 2012, together with Cara Reeser, Laura has been involved in assisting The Kathy Grant Heritage Training®- a year-long graduate-level Pilates continuing education program.
In addition to her Pilates education, Laura has been a student of yoga for 11 years with Cheryl Deer (and many others in the Denver area). She received her RYT 200 Yoga certification in 2013 at Root Yoga Center in Denver, CO with Amy Baker and Keri Bergeron.
As a self proclaimed “body nerd” who is continually reading and learning, Laura brings years of education and knowledge of movement, alignment, anatomy, and Ideokenesis to her Pilates and Yoga students.
“I love to teach my clients how to relax and have fun with all movement (even challenging movements and postures), as well as have new and positive experiences with their bodies while gaining strength and flexibility in body, mind, and spirit. I believe and trust in both Pilates and Yoga as safe, supportive, and healing practices which can profoundly transform one’s life!”
In Laura’s classes and privates you can expect to gain knowledge about proper alignment specific to your body; receive safe and intuitive adjustments that move you deeper while adding insight and understanding of the postures and movements; connect to your strength; and learn to practice in a playful way that brightens you spirit!
Laura practices being physical and present in her body through her own regular practice of Yoga and Pilates, and is an avid long-distance road cyclist, swimmer and runner.
PMA Continuing Education Provider
Gina de Soto took her first Pilates class while a college student in New Orleans. After earning her Communications/
Photojournalism degree from Loyola University, and working in the field of Journalism for a few years, Gina decided to apply to The Pilates Center of Boulder’s Teacher Training Program. She graduated in 2004 and loves her job!
“I am fascinated not only with Pilates but with movement, anatomy &kinesiology, alignment and the many intricate ways our bodies ‘speak’ to us on a daily basis.” A passion for learning about the brain and neuroplasticity keeps Gina’s bedside table full of books. In addition to teaching Pilates, she is also a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and received her diploma from the Nutritional Therapy Institute of Colorado. Ever a student, she continues to mentor extensively with Pilates Aligned’s very own Cara Reeser, and completed the Kathy Grant Heritage Training Program® in 2014.
“Meeting new people and sharing my passion for whole health through the Pilates Method is exciting! I look forward to each and every session taught and helping people achieve their goals. Every hour spent with my clients is an opportunity to help rejuvenate body, mind and spirit: I take that seriously, yet we still have fun!”
When she’s not at Pilates Aligned, Gina is racing about with her husband and their two German Shepherds, testing (and tasting) exciting new recipes in her kitchen, going to concerts, or hanging out in the coffee shop with her nose in a book.
PMA Continuing Education Provider Danielle Hendricks graduated from CU Boulder with degrees in Kinesiology and Dance. She earned her Pilates Certification and Master’s Degree from The Pilates Center in Boulder and has taught at Inner Strength in Chicago, Every Body Fitness and Martha’s Vineyard Pilates Center in Massachusetts and The Pilates Center in Boulder, CO. She has been teaching at Pilates Aligned since Spring of 2003.
Danielle dances professionally in both modern and aerial dance companies in the Denver/Boulder area. When she is not teaching at the studio, she is most likely dancing her heart out with 3rd Law Dance/Theater, soaring with Frequent Flyers Productions or performing around town on her stilts. Dani is thankful for the strength and movement awareness she has gained in her personal practice of the Pilates Method and is eager to share the gift of movement with others.
Joey Biederman started doing Pilates like so many others to heal. But as her pain began to disappear, Joey knew she had to share this wonderful healing technique with others. She started teacher training at The Pilates Center in Boulder and received her certification. She has also trained extensively over the years with Cara Reeser and taken advantage of many of the workshops Pilates Aligned has offered.
Several years of Pilates has made Joey extremely focused on her client’s needs. No routine is ever routine. Instead, she researches the exact nature of each client’s issues and prepares a precise series of exercises in advance. Bodies are changed, yet every session is fun because of her sense of humor.
Shannon Briese is a licensed massage therapist, owner of Total Body Wellness Massage Therapy and a Pilates instructor at Pilates Aligned. She is considered the “go to” source for injury prevention and rehabilitation, specializing in combining neuromuscular massage with Pilates. The combination of modalities is extremely helpful in exceeding her clients goals of increased strength, improved posture and pain-free movement.
She is a graduate of The Colorado School of Healing Arts, where she obtained her Associates Degree in Occupational Studies, specializing in Neuromuscular Massage, Sports Massage, Cranio Sacral Therapy and Pre-natal Massage. Her background includes working in some of the top rated injury clinics, spas and hospitals in the nation since 2001.
It was Shannon’s own need for strength and rehabilitation that first lead her to Pilates. “It wasn’t until Pilates that I felt like I got a users manual for my body.” To learn more about Shannon, visit ShannonBriese.com.
Jodi Brinkman is originally from Buffalo, New York and received her BFA in Musical Theatre at the State University of New York at Fredonia. She has worked as a professional singer/actress since 2002, in Denver, New York, and Cleveland. It was Cleveland where she was introduced to the Pilates Method. Aerobics, yoga, and weight training were always a permanent fixture in her life, but never did movement make more sense to her in her body than when she began doing the mat work of Joseph Pilates. She studied under Balanced Body’s Master teacher Troy McCarty, owner of Cleveland’s White Cloud Studios. After becoming certified, Jodi helped develop a full reformer studio at the Jewish Community Center of Cleveland and opened her own home studio which stayed open for 3 years.
With the Rocky Mountains calling her, Jodi said good-bye to her beloved clients of Cleveland and relocated back to Denver in late 2010. She enjoys working with all different varieties of bodies in front of her, from pre to post-natal, seniors and trained athletes. Recently Jodi became a student of Cara Reeser’s and is training with her and several other teachers in the Pilates lineage of Kathleen Stanford Grant. With this graduate training, she hopes to open up a world of strength for herself and her students.
Laurie Carlson is a Certified Pilates Instructor and PMA Continuing Education Provider. She has been a long time student of Cara Reeser and Laura Karpinski. She completed the first Kathy Grant Heritage training program with Cara and Laura and is committed to sharing this information with her clients. She most recently managed a Pilates Studio for over 9 years and is now excited to have more time to share her passion of Pilates with others.
Her goal is to have fun while creating an exercise program specific for each client’s individual needs and fitness goals. She believes that Pilates is a journey of self-discovery and you will take the skills you acquire in Pilates and incorporate them into every other activity.
When Laurie is not teaching Pilates, she enjoys practicing Yoga. She and her husband are also avid walkers, hikers and mountain bikers.
Katie Ross started exploring the Pilates method in 2008 after multiple shoulder surgeries. She was immediately drawn to the physical and mental benefits and knew that it would be a good outlet outside of her professional engineering career. Katie was trained in the Classical Pilates Method at the Pilates of Cherry Creek Certification Center and is a fully certified as an instructor of The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning. Katie naturally applies her analytical skills to dissect movement and teach to the client’s individual needs. Born and raised in Colorado, she holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University and is a practicing professional engineer when she isn’t teaching.
Heather Phifer began her exploration of Pilates as a practitioner in 2008, seeking strength and confidence in her body that generic workouts couldn’t provide. She found Pilates to be an invigorating, yet relaxing practice and it became crucial to include Joseph Pilates’ principles in her life permanently. In 2009, Heather received her certification from East West Pilates under the supervision of Donna McLean and continued her education with Pilates Aligned by completing a 6 month observation and practice intensive.
The physical stamina of Pilates is what drives Heather to take an athletic approach; therefore, her teaching style emphasizes strength and endurance, with proper form, flexibility and a mental connection to movement also being essential. When you join Heather in the studio, you will notice that her creativity makes your time on the equipment and mat unique. She will relate the skills and strength you attain at Pilates Aligned to your everyday movements outside the studio.
When Heather’s not in the studio, she’s designing for her clothing company, Margo Belle and home decor line, Elevated Scraps.
Dina Manes’s lifelong passion for Pilates began at age nineteen and shortly after she became a certified instructor through The Pilates Center of Boulder (1997). Dina has spent the past 20 years teaching and running Pilates Studios in Colorado and New York. She teaches with an emphasis on breathing, proper alignment and creating lasting benefits in and out of the studio. Dina has an especially keen eye for spotting imbalances and working with her students to improve posture and movement patterns. She has been on staff at The Pilates Center advising students of the training program, teaches workshops, and is a teacher of teachers. Dina’s classical training is informed by her study of Anatomy and Iyengar Yoga. She has also earned her Master’s level Certification through The Pilates Center and is a CoreAlign Instructor.
Additionally, in 2001, Dina earned her Masters in Social Work with a special focus on working with people in Therapeutic Horse Back Riding programs. While running her own studio in North Salem, New York, Dina ran an outreach Pilates program with at risk youth and created and taught a Pilates on horseback program. Since her return to Colorado in 2006, Dina has been excited to share her teaching and expertise with the local community. When away from the studio Dina loves to enjoy the Colorado mountains; hiking, snowboarding and spending time with her family and friends.
Darlene Hartmann became intrigued with the Pilates method in the early 2000s and subsequently obtained a Pilates mat certification to teach mat classes. She was introduced to the Pilates equipment in the summer of 2009 and immediately knew she wanted to pursue a career in Pilates. Her path to certification took a detour as she was forced to focus on her own health and to rethink everything she had previously learned about posture, alignment and physical fitness, in general. After trying several different forms of physical therapy, she focused on Pilates as a means for rehabilitation as she experienced the healing benefits of the Pilates method, and she could incorporate the Pilates principles in her daily activities.
Darlene shares with her clients what she has learned about the ability of Pilates to heal the body with a focus on posture and alignment and how to incorporate the principles of the Pilates method into their fitness goals along with their everyday activities. She looks forward to continuing her journey of learning better movement patterns for less pain and improved physical vitality via the Pilates method and sharing what she learns with her clients.
Darlene obtained her comprehensive Pilates certification based on the classic Pilates repertoire from Streamline Bodyworks where the emphasis was on developing highly skilled, knowledgeable and creative teachers of movement rather than simply learning the exercises. While in the training program, she apprenticed at Pilates Aligned. She graduated college with undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting from the University of Alabama and is a Certified Public Accountant in the states of Alabama and Colorado.
Danielle Dugas received her BFA from North Carolina School of the Arts with a major in Modern Dance. It was there that she was first introduced to Pilates in 1993. She went on to receive her pilates certification at The Pilates Center in Boulder, CO. with Cara Reeser as her mentor. After completing her training she taught Pilates in NYC, Denver (Pilates Aligned), and Europe. She has a continued interest in the study of movement and is eager to learn about new techniques and ideas in relation to Pilates. Danielle’s teaching is also influenced by her studies in Reiki, yoga, meditation, and numerous styles of dance.
Movement has been Danielle’s source of comfort and inspiration for as long as she can remember; and Pilates has been a vital part of keeping her healthy during her dance career. After taking some time away from Pilates to raise her two kids and spending the last four years living in Spain, she is very excited to join the fabulous team of teachers at Pilates Aligned. Cara has continually been encouraging and supportive throughout her career; and she is honored to be working along side her again. Danielle brings a different perspective to the work that incorporates her creativity and skill at seeing the body as an intricate, beautiful, and expressive organism with endless possibility. Her hope is to empower her clients with more awareness and control of their bodies in order to enhance their moving lives.