About the Pilates Collective Denver Team
As a collaborative studio, each Pilates instructor and wellness practitioner contributes her unique experiences and diverse expertise to the group. This gives us endless opportunities to learn from one another. As a result, you take class from more fulfilled, well-rounded, and knowledgeable instructors.
Clara Gelatt, PMA-CPT
pilates instructor, studio Owner
Clara was introduced to Pilates in Washington DC and completed her teacher training at Pilates of Cherry Creek under Hope Petrine in 2013. After a few years of teaching at studios around Denver, Clara wanted to create her own studio atmosphere in which instructors truly felt supported to collaborate and develop their careers as they desired. In this community environment, she felt teachers could reach their full potential for themselves and best serve their clients. Clara is particularly passionate about working with clients living with disabilities such as MS, spinal cord injury, chronic pain, and muscular dystrophy. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and three children and playing the piano.
Claire Brunelli, PMA-CPT
Lead instructor, program CoOrdinator
A native of Austin, Texas, Claire is a PMA Certified instructor with a degree in Modern Dance Performance from the University of Oklahoma. Claire was lucky enough to start Pilates at age 12 under longtime teacher and family friend Kate Wodash Catlow, who later trained her as an instructor. As a dancer, Claire deeply appreciates the benefits of Pilates as they relate to both injury recovery and daily life. Sharing her insight into movement and the Pilates method is a fulfilling and exciting experience for Claire, and she looks forward to continuing down the spiritual, physical, and mindful paths Pilates has to offer.
Melissa began her study of movement in dance classes at age four in her hometown of Darien, Illinois. Now a professional dancer, she’s enjoyed the versatility of Pilates along the way as rehabilitation, cross-training, and a practice in the mind-body connection. Melissa received her Comprehensive Teacher Training Certificate from BASI in February of 2010 and has been teaching at studios around Denver since. She’s the "early bird" of the Pilates Collective, teaching our 6 AM classes and early morning private sessions.
Gretchen found Pilates while living abroad and searching for a form of exercise she could do anywhere. She earned her original certification in 2006, then received supplemental certifications in 2014 and 2016 from the Pilates Sports Center (under the tutelage of Sarah Smysor Panning) and Pilates Method Alliance respectively. Gretchen also holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology, a degree in Secondary Education (with experience coaching high school athletics), and a Personal Training Certification. All encompassing, she has over 15 years of experience in fitness and education. At The Pilates Collective, Gretchen works with clients of all experience and ability levels, relying on her biology background to help people learn about functional movement and improve their overall well-being.
Ann has been practicing Pilates since 1998 and teaching Pilates since 2002. As a competitive runner Ann immediately recognized the benefits of Pilates as the ultimate cross-training tool to improve performance and avoid injury. For Ann, Pilates highlights the many skills she reveres: natural movement, body awareness, balance, athleticism, and focus. She has recently taken on Pilates for MS classes to serve those with neurological disorders. When not teaching Ann enjoys running, hiking, reading, and honing her own Pilates practice
Heather Wechsler started her movement career in dance classes. When an injury led her to Pilates, she immediately became enamored with the mind-body-spirit connection it provided her and has been hooked ever since. In addition to her classical Pilates certification, Heather is a nationally certified Reflexologist, which contributes to her holistic approach to health and fitness. She is committed to supplementing her training with continuing education so she can provide her clients with fresh movement and concepts. Outside the Pilates studio, Heather enjoys yoga, kettlebells, being outdoors, and spending time with her twin daughters.
Gina de soto
Gina discovered the Pilates Method as a college student in New Orleans. As she worked the front desk of a studio, she saw that Pilates was not just about fitness, but about connecting with people one-on-one and helping them achieve their goals. She completed her training at the Pilates Center in 2004 and deepened her education for 10 years under the tutelage of Cara Reeser. Gina specializes in chronic low back pain as well as pre- and post-hip surgery patients, and started a movement education program for hockey athletes with her brother. Her degree in nutrition contributes to her holistic and approach to wellness.
Pilates Instructor + Studio Manager
Panny got her first taste of Pilates while living in Chicago after college. She immediately fell in love with the way it made her body feel. After relocating to Denver, Panny earned her certification in the classical Pilates method through pH7 Pilates. She finds strength and confidence through movement, and loves that she can customize the Pilates practice to help an array of clients achieve their own unique goals. Panny believes that the movement techniques learned through Pilates offers an invaluable combination of healing, energizing, life changing results.
Before earning her Pilates certification, Natalie held various positions in banking. While becoming an instructor, she realized Pilates was more than a side job and left the corporate world to pursue it more fully. Natalie loves that Pilates empowers her inside the studio and out, whether she’s taking class, hiking, or cycling. She strives to empower others through movement and create an inclusive environment that challenges clients of all backgrounds. Natalie moved to Denver from San Diego in 2012 to experience what she calls “real seasons.” When not in the studio, Natalie is spending time outside with her husband and their two dogs or cooking for the people she loves.
Growing up in the professional ballet world, Kit has always had a love of biomechanics and movement. While dancing, she turned to Pilates to recover from back and hip injuries. Kit decided to pursue Pilates as a career, earning her Pilates Mat certification in 2006 with Linda Farrell of LindaFit Pilates and her apparatus certification at Pilates Academy International (PAI) in New York City. She is also a certified CARDIOLATES® instructor, Barre Above Master Trainer, TRX for Club Pilates educator, and Senior Master Trainer for Club Pilates. Kit’s teaching style reflects her roots as a dancer as well as her experience as a marathon runner and IRONMAN athlete. She has trained a wide range of clients including NFL football players, professional dancers, and Pilates beginners. Kit pushes and challenges her clients to fulfill their fitness potential while maintaining a fun and encouraging environment. Since earning her certification, Kit has appeared in a GAIAM Pilates DVD (Total Body Challenge: Pilates with Linda Farrell) and Pilates Style Magazine (March 2007, Do You Believe In Magic, by Jillian Hessel), was interviewed for SHAPE Magazine, as has developed mat classes for fitness clubs around the NYC area. While outside the studio, she continues her running and triathlon training throughout the year with various charity groups.
A native of Houston, TX, Skye received her BFA in modern dance from the University of Oklahoma. As a lifelong dancer, Pilates has been beneficial to maintaining her strength and alignment both mentally and physically. Skye believes the mind-body-spirit connection is very important, and earned her Pilates certification through Peak Pilates to help others strengthen this connection. Now a professional dancer, Skye has experience dancing nationally and internationally, including in Rome, Italy with VIVO Ballet. She currently performs with several companies in Denver.
Yael Japha Trainer, PMA-CPT
Pilates Instructor + Trainer
Before her journey into Pilates, Yael Japha Trainer was a professional dancer and dance teacher with various companies and studios across the Front Range. A third generation Colorado native, she discovered Pilates while living in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2008. In 2009, Yael felt the pull of the mountains and returned home to Denver, where she spent four years developing her personal practice with Cara Reeser at Pilates Aligned. Yael earned her teacher training certification from the Pilates Center of Boulder, completed the Kathy Grant Heritage Training Program® in 2013, and today is an active PMA®-CPT certified educator as well as a teacher trainer for Pure Body. Before opening TerraFly Pilates, (now Pilates Collective Broadway), Yael taught at Pilates Aligned, pH7, Colorado Athletic Club, and BlueSky Physical Therapy. For her, Pilates is about helping each individual find connection through movement. Yael loves taking classes at other studios and is constantly inspired by the Pilates community in Denver. When not teaching, Yael cherishes time with her young son and enjoys biking, running, and climbing with her husband and dog.
Born in Boulder, Cassandra grew up in New Jersey and moved back to Colorado in 2017. She earned a BA in Anthropology from UC Berkeley, and an MA in Political Science from Rutgers University. Cassandra loves to work with groups to develop collective leadership and co-authored a book called Five Elements of Collective Leadership, published in 2017. When not teaching Pilates, Cassandra loves kayaking and visiting hot springs.
See them in action!
Lea graduated from St. Louis University with a Bachelors in Exercise Science in 2000 and a Masters in Physical Therapy in 2001. Throughout her career, she found herself gravitating towards pregnant and postpartum patients, and in 2007 received training to specialize in pelvic floor disorders. Lea’s strong orthopedic background has contributed to her whole body approach to treatment. Depending on a patient’s needs, she may utilize massage, trigger point dry needling, visceral mobilization, Selective Functional Movement Analysis, and kinesiotaping in addition to traditional physical therapy work. When she’s not treating patients, Lea enjoys gardening, cooking, yoga, Pilates, and spending time with her husband and three children.
Massage Therapist, PILATES INSTRUCTOR
Shannon is a perpetual student of the body. Throughout her education as a massage therapist, she’s pursued supplementary training in sports massage, neuromuscular massage, and craniosacral therapy. She deepened her knowledge with an extensive study of anatomy, including a stint assistant-teaching anatomy classes and assisting physical therapists. In 2007, Shannon received her Pilates training from The Pilates Center of Boulder. She now combines her many areas of expertise to provide clients with a well-rounded approach to physical wellness. Shannon is particularly excited about collaborating with other wellness practitioners in an effort to continue learning and better serve her clients. When not in the studio, she enjoys the beautiful Colorado outdoors with her husband and daughter.
Dance & Pilates
A Chicago native, Maya began dancing at a young age and was touring with various companies by age 11. She now has 25 years of experience teaching dance and choreographing, including a 12 year stint as dancer and assistant choreographer with the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. In addition to her extensive dance background, Maya earned a certification through the Pilates Center and completed the Kathy Grant Heritage Training Program so she could extend her Pilates teaching to include children. She now teaches in the basement studio of The Pilates Collective where she offers classes for movers of all ages.
Interested in joining our talented team? Reach out.