Heather Leon

Owner & Pilates Instructor

Heather Leon is considered a master of the Traditional Pilates Method and is of a select few in the Pilates community today recognized to be a direct lineage of Joseph Pilates’ original teachings.

With over 35 years combined experience in various movement disciplines including dance, Pilates, Gyrotonic®, yoga and martial arts, as an instructor and movement educator, Heather offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise that delivers transformative results to her clients through her teaching and motivational practices. Specifically, Heather is highly sought after for her ability to utilize both the Traditional Pilates Method and Gyrotonic Expansion System® for rehabilitative benefits and for achieving the long, lean and supple “Pilates body.”Heather’s background in ballet, jazz and modern dance includes intensive study at the Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey Dance Conservatories, and a work-study scholarship with the Bella Lewitzky Dance Company. Heather received her Bachelor of Arts in Modern Dance Choreography from UCLA in 1990, and subsequently taught, performed and produced dance concerts in the Los Angeles area.

Heather received a scholarship to complete her Pilates certification in 1995 under the tutelage of Master Instructor, Romana Kryzanowska, direct disciple of Joseph Pilates. Heather therefore is considered a “second generation” instructor and has conducted her own comprehensive Pilates teacher training programs since 2005.

Heather received her certifications in the Gyrotonic Expansion System® and Gyrokinesis® in 2001 and 2004 respectively; and has studied extensively with Authorized Master Trainer, Lisa Marie Goodwin. As a certified Gyrotonic® Pre-Trainer, Heather conducted instructor trainee courses for students who wish to pursue certification in the Gyrotonic® Level I Foundation Teacher Training Program.

Heather is proud to announce the opening of her second Pilates facility, Sumbody in Studio City, California in April of 2015. Her first studio, Sumbody has been operating in Santa Monica, California since 2011. 


THERON COOK

Instructor
 
Theron has had a thriving Pilates practice in a private studio in Brentwood, where he trained underneath Doreen Remo, in classical reformer Pilates. From there, Theron expanded his practice and began teaching Pilates at the world famous Crunch Gym in West Hollywood. He has an MFA from USC, and an extensive background in film acting, stage combat, movement, dance and breath. As a current practitioner of Qi Gong, Karate and Hapkido, Theron’s quest for the unity of mind, body, and soul is never ending.  He is also a yogi practitioner with 200+ hours of teacher training. He was also one of the primary teachers of Underground Dance Yoga led by Michelle LeMay. A healer, meditator, and lover of life, Theron is extremely excited to offer his sevices at Sumbody!


DIONNA VEREMIS

Instructor

A certified instructor through The Whole Body Method, Dionna has been teaching and continuing her education since 2008.  With a background in dance and performing arts, she began practicing Pilates as rehabilitation for her own injuries and found the work to be life changing. She loves to share her passion for the system as an instructor, and continues to work in entertainment as well, thanks to the healing power of Pilates.Dedicated to authentic Pilates practice and attention to proper form and technique, she also believes a workout should be fun! Additional specialized work includes pre/post-natal care, surgery rehabilitation and weight-loss centered Pilates. 


JANET RUIZ

Instructor / DPT

With over ten years experience in the fitness industry and a Doctorate degree in physical therapy from The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, Janet has dedicated herself to the promotion of a healthy lifestyle through building strength, body awareness, and injury prevention.  Through a combination of manual therapy, Pilates, and functional training Janet has developed a program that  is not only geared toward rehabilitative treatment, but includes injury prevention, enhanced performance, and will provide patients with a better quality of life.  Regardless of your athletic background, age, or fitness level, she is interested in helping you improve your wellness and achieve your goals. www.BackInMotionLA.com 


LINDSAY RICHARDSON

Instructor

Lindsay was born and raised in Arizona where she attended Arizona State University receiving her B.A. in Journalism and went on to attend the Sandra Day O’Conner College of Law receiving her Juris Doctorate. After finishing law school and practicing for two years she moved to the Los Angeles area to work in Legal Consulting, which turned into a career in Software Consulting.Lindsay grew up an athlete participating in soccer, softball and long distance running. She has been active and interested in personal health and wellness her whole life. After practicing Pilates for a number of years she decided to become a certified instructor in order to understand the traditional method in depth and to help others lead a healthier lifestyle. She studied under Heather Leon who continues to mentor her. Pilates has given her a chance to connect with other individuals and assist others in leading a healthy lifestyle. 


LILY FINEMAN

Instructor
 
After doing Pilates for many years to improve her scoliosis, Lily received her Pilates certification through Pilates Sports Center in Encino. Lily loves teaching private lessons and group classes to help a variety of clients the same way that Pilates helped her. In regards to instructing style, she prefers quality over quantity and proper body alignment at all times when teaching exercises. She believes Pilates is most effective when combined with healthy eating habits and regular cardio. Pilates is her true passion and she works to strengthen her clients’ mind-body connection.


FLAVIA ZELEZNIK

Instructor

Flavia Zeleznik was born in Brazil and lived in NY for 13 years before moving to Santa Monica just 2 months ago. After having her second child Flavia developed diastasis recti (abdominal separation) and Pilates was recommended for rehabilitation. With Pilates Flavia learned how to work out smart, breath and be patient with herself. With that she thought, “I want to do this for the rest of my life.”Flavia majored in Business – Hospitality and Tourism in college. In addition to her 600hours certification from Power Pilates in New York, Flavia is a trained Chef and worked as a cook at a very busy, well known restaurant in NYC before finding her way to Pilates. A native of Brazil, she teaches in both English and Portuguese.

Flavia was trained under Power Pilates Teacher Trainers Jordana Herman, Lesly Levy and Stephanie West. She originally came to NYC to visit a friend and met her soon-to-be husband.


BREE THOMPSON

Instructor

Bree loves to bring out the best in people. She believes that the key to one’s evolution of spirit and soul, is the union of mind and body. Bree was born in Colorado and grew up in the mountains where her best friend was her horse. At a young age she became interested in holistic medicine and homeopathic approaches to dealing with life. She spent a portion of her high school years on the Lakota Sioux reservation in the Black Hills of South Dakota connecting with the earth and her self. Bree always felt very connected to the universe and realized that everything is connected. She found that what makes her most happy is helping others and uplifting everyone she comes in contact with to reach their highest potential.Bree moved to Los Angeles and graduated from Occidental College where she received a BA in Psychology. She then decided to start her own private training business because she realized that the fastest way to get into someone’s head was through their body. By helping her clients get into better physical shape she was peripherally enhancing their mental state along with their spiritual well being.

After getting her Pilates certification and understanding how much power resides in the navel she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to create a class to harness that energy. She decided to create a mat Pilates and meditation class to conjure and direct this powerful energy and help whoever was ready manifest their reality. Bree mixes Kundalini yoga with classic Pilates techniques to create a magical and transformational experience for her students. As well as working privately with her clients on a one to one basis; she also teaches group Pilates classes.
She motivates and helps people to make their true home (their body) into the best place possible to be. She is intuitive and well informed. A healthy body is a happy mind and a healthy mind is a happy body.

Bree has many fitness training certificates including AFAA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, Certified Pilates Instructor, IKYTA Kundalini Yoga Teacher, AFAA Certified Group Exercise Instructor, Johnny G Certified Spinning Instructor, as well as AHA Certified AED and A+ CPR & First Aid. 


MICHAEL MIRANDA

Instructor

Michael received his comprehensive teacher training and certification in 2003 through Retrofit Pilates in Santa Monica, CA; a  Pilates Method Alliance certified studio under the tutelage of Barbara Wintroub, Director & Gold Member Pilates Method Alliance certified. A competitive cross country runner at a very young age, Michael completed two marathons by age 13. His disciplines continued with training in dance, providing him with a strong foundation for an emphasis on precision to which he credits on becoming the disciplined Pilates instructor he is today.Michael is a senior level Pilates instructor with Equinox Gym and formerly taught Mat Pilates classes at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. He has worked with chiropractors and physical therapists, implementing Pilates based rehab exercise programs for a wide rage of injuries and overall fitness. Michael continues to broaden his knowledge by attending cutting edge workshops as well as train in both the contemporary and classical Pilates method.


Marie Soulé

Instructor

Marie Soulé is a classically trained Pilates Instructor certified by Power Pilates and Pilates Method Alliance. She was introduced to Pilates after a knee injury and the onset of arthritis limited her ability to engage in aerobics and trail running. Since then, Pilates has played a vital part in keeping Marie injury and stress free in all her endeavors. Marie is inspired by the vision of Joseph Pilates “We retire too early and we die too young. Our prime of life should be in the 70’s and old age should not come until we are almost 100.” Marie’s vision is to build a retirement community of lively and healthy life enthusiasts.


Isaac Hughes
Instructor

Fitness has been a lifetime pursuit for Isaac.  Isaac’s training includes an eclectic background in both martial arts and wrestling from a young age.  As a certified personal trainer through NASM for over 6 years and Pilates certified for 3 years, Isaac combines his passion for movement with the mind, body, spirit connection in his teaching.  He is committed to helping people of all fitness levels and ages and instructs clients with safety, efficiency and patience. 


Alexa Sohn
Instructor

Alexa graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in mathematics, then moved to Los Angeles to work as an actuary in the healthcare industry. Working long hours at the desk, she started practicing yoga, pilates, and barre in her free time to strengthen her mind and body. After being a fitness fanatic for over 5 years, she started her professional fitness journey by joining the Pure Barre teaching team in October 2017. She is a certified Pure Barre Classic teacher and teaches at the Pure Barre Brentwood and Santa Monica studios.

Even after she became a barre teacher, Alexa could not give up her passion for pilates. She met Heather Leon and started her Classical Pilates training in 2018. 


Sherri Babaeian
Instructor

Sherri first found Pilates through physical therapy in 2003, after she suffered a back injury, as a result of her years as a competitive gymnast. After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from UCLA, where her studies were focused on Physiology and Psychology, she became even more interested in the mind-body connection. Sherri has since completed a comprehensive 450 hour study of the Pure Pilates Method under Heather Leon, and her practice has focused on self-healing, increasing energy levels, and lengthening key muscle groups. 

Sherri is also an adept chef and nutrition guru. She formerly owned and operated Cookie Collective, where she developed recipes for cookies and treats that conformed with the AIP/Anti-Inflammatory diet, in addition to being allergen free (gluten, dairy, nut, etc) and delicious. She is passionate about nutrition and holistic health, and loves to provide her clients with tips and tricks in the kitchen.

In addition to Pilates, Sherri enjoys hiking, climbing and has over 70 hours of experience as a private pilot. She loves to travel and particularly enjoys exploring lesser known destinations off-the-beaten-path. She looks forward to sharing her personal experience and passion for Pilates with all of her clients!