Marie Schneider, Studio Owner, Pilates Instructor
As a former dancer, I discovered Pilates on my path to wellness after what I thought was a dance injury, but, unknown to me, was hip dysplasia that I had since birth. I began taking Pilates on the recommendation of my Physical Therapist and my eyes were opened to the infinite possibilities of this wonderful Method, not only for rehabilitation, but physical fitness as well. I was hooked and began taking my own Pilates sessions.
Eventually I did have hip surgery. Pilates was instrumental in getting me very strong before the surgery and enabling me to make a quick recovery! I was back to teaching Pilates two weeks after!
I was working in corporate America when I discovered Pilates, and it did not take me long to determine that I wanted a career change. I plunged in with both feet and began my initial comprehensive Certification in 2002 at Infinite Dynamics with Karen Shanley and Christine Wilson. This was followed by many many workshops and courses, taken several times a year with well-known leaders in the Pilates industry. In 2014, I was intrigued by an article that I read on Classical Pilates and went on to study with Tiziana Trovati and Siri Dharma Galliano, both Second Generation Classical teachers, with whom I am honored to continue studying, going deeper still into the Pilates Method.
In 2005 I opened Pilates of Old Town, said goodbye to corporate America and never looked back. I have never regretted my decision, because it is reinforced daily as I have the privilege of training our wonderful clients and seeing their bodies transformed by Pilates.
I am also a newly certified Ketogenic Living Coach, certified through Ketogenic 101, LLC. I have been living the Keto life myself for over 2 years and am completely sold on the wonderful benefits of this amazing way of life. If you have tried Keto and are struggling, or are interested in finding more about it, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help.
Jancy Hampton, Pilates Instructor
Jancy Hampton started her journey into fitness in 1983. She was immediately addicted to Pilates as she watched her body transform. Since then, Jancy became certified in Pilates under Joe Pilates and the Ron Fletcher method in 2003.
While training for Pilates, she earned a BA from UC Irvine and a MA in Dance Education from CSU Long Beach. During the years of 1997 to 2012, she was an Associate Professor of Dance for Coastline Community College. In her time there, she introduced Pilates to the program. Jancy has always been driven to evolve and became a certified personal trainer in 2011. She has other certifications in many aspects of the body such as TRX and functional training.
Jancy is passionate about teaching those who want to change their bodies and create symmetry and balance. Everyone is handled with extreme care, with a workout that is tailored to their physical and fitness needs.
Karen Daniel, Pilates Instructor
Karen Daniel has been doing Pilates for 15 years and been a certified teaching instructor for 12 years. She received her Pilates certification through Orange Coast College and Long Beach Dance and Conditioning. She appreciates Pilates particularly for the strength mobility and tone that it can develop. She also loves to see clients with issues such as back pain or poor posture becoming pain free and feeling taller and healthier.
Ale Serrano Wenzel, Pilates Instructor
Alejandra Serrano Wenzel was born and raised in Gran Buenos Aires, Argentina. From the time she was a little girl, Alejandra (or Alé for short) always showed great interest in dance and athleticism. She took ballet and flamenco dance in her pre-teen years and did floor gymnastics as part of her high school team. At the age of twelve she participated in a local tournament for team rhythmic gymnastics and won a bronze medal in the solo floor event. At that time Alejandra also started to develop an interest in fitness training and convinced her mother to get her a gym membership where she could take aerobic classes and condition her muscles with the weight machines.
At nineteen years of age Alejandra started to take dance seriously and she ultimately became an excellent salsa and merengue dancer. One of her best friends also convinced her to learn the tango at that time and before long Alé had become a good enough tango dancer to get a job as a professional tango dancer at Tango Mío. Additionally, Alejandra worked for a period of time with a magician as his assistant in the popular El Mago Alex stage show and had a great amount of fun with that.
In the late 90’s, Alejandra decided she wanted to relocate to Southern California which she did. She kept training at the local Orange County and LA gyms until she made the decision to became a personal trainer herself. Alé started taking classes at Orange Coast College and within a couple of years she acquired a Certification as a Fitness Specialist and a Certification in Dance and Pilates Conditioning. Fortunately for her, she was able to intern at the Pilates of Old Town studio during her program. Alejandra loved the studio, she loved the owner Marie, and she loved the other Pilates instructors that she would share her working hours with.
Recently, Alejandra became a fan and practitioner of the Les Mills fitness program, more specifically the Bodyflow and Bodybalance programs which are beautifully and carefully choreographed 50 minute classes inspired by Tai-Chi, Yoga and Pilates. Alejandra continues to live a life that revolves around fitness and dance and latin music, she has two wonderful sons and she currently resides in Irvine.
Micki Spencer, Pilates Instructor
Micki began her fitness career as a certified personal trainer in 2008. She developed a strong
interest in Pilates and certified through Balanced Body in 2019. Micki holds an undergraduate degree in Therapeutic Recreation and a Masters in Public Health with an emphasis in Health and Wellness; qualifying her to work with special populations such as MS, the aging population, pre and post rehab, as well as working with individuals with neurological issues. She has availability part-time evenings and weekends. Reach out if you are interested in Pilates or Personal Training with Micki or a combo session!
Emily Porr, Pilates Instructor
Emily Porr began began her Pilates journey taking lessons at Pilates of Old Town. Her background in musical theatre and dance enabled her to pick up the Pilates methodology quickly. The mind body connection was like second nature to her. Marie saw she would make an excellent teacher and encouraged Emily to pursue certification. Emily obtained her Pilates Instructor Certificate at Orange Coast College in 2023 after a year of intensive study where she had taken classes taught by Amelie Hunter, David McMahan, Dellyer Coffman, and Donna Place. The program exposed Emily to different approaches and styles of teaching, giving her a general knowledge of kinesiology, and educated her on different types of Pilates equipment. Emily’s goal in teaching Pilates is to give people an opportunity to let go of their stress while exercising their body in a way that will allow them to live a long, pain-free life. Not only does the Pilates method of exercise improve your health, she believes it is one of the best ways to show love to yourself and your body.
Interested in Joining Our Team?
Are you a Pilates professional looking for a great place to train your clients? We are a fully equipped Balanced Body boutique studio, including a Classical Gratz Reformer and a Baby Arm Chair. We have served the Tustin area for almost 16 years, and are freeway friendly. If you are interested in building your own business while working along side a group of highly qualified Pilates Professionals like yourself, please contact Marie for details and available time slots.