Team

Our multidisciplinary team of experts works with you to develop a customized program that meets your goals using our exclusive suite of methods.

Most of our instructors have been teaching movement for more than five years and hold certificates in more than one of our disciplines.

Growth is a core value for both our clients and our teaching community. We host continuing education workshops throughout the year and constantly refine our skills with other wellness practitioners to best serve your needs.


Director

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Jessica Gowen
Pilates Instructor & GYROTONIC® Master Trainer

Jessica founded CORE in 2006 to create her ideal wellness environment: a positive, friendly, team of experts that attracts outstanding instructors while providing exceptional client care. Her mind-body wellness journey began in Washington, DC, in 1998, where she took Pilates at Excel Movement Studios while working at a public policy oriented publishing firm. After experiencing the method's transformational effects, she left the policy world to teach Classical Pilates.

Jessica discovered Gyrotonic in 2004. She loved how it complemented her Pilates training and challenged her to take her work – both as practitioner and teacher – to a deeper level. She has completed certifications for Gyrotonic, GYROKINESIS® and all of the specialized Gyrotonic equipment. She was certified in both systems by the method's creator, Juliu Horvath. She is an Authorized Gyrotonic Pre-Trainer and a Master Trainer.

Jessica believes continuing education is crucial to every Pilates and Gyrotonic instructor’s growth. She has taken hundreds of hours of continuing education courses around the country, covering a spectrum of subject matter including working with post-rehab clients experiencing back and shoulder pain, refining her use of voice and touch, teaching Pilates to pregnant and postpartum women, modifying exercises for those with osteoporosis, and challenging elite athletes with the Gyrotonic method.

A passionate entrepreneur, Jessica currently focuses on setting vision for the studio and directing its operations.

Jessica is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Allegheny College, where she earned a B.A. in Political Science in 1997. She holds a Master of Public Management degree from the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland at College Park. A Decatur native, she lives in Ormewood Park with her husband and children.


Instructor Team

Kali Arnold
Pilates & Redcord

Kali is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where her love of fitness began as a competitive gymnast and dancer.  She continued to dance in the Vassar Repertory Dance Theater at Vassar College where she graduated with a B.A. in Biology.  She went on to embark on a career in medicine, graduating with honors from Meharry Medical College. As an athlete who had sustained several injuries, Kali noticed there was a paucity of doctors who understood the unique injuries of dancers and gymnasts. She was inspired to become an orthopedic surgeon to help athletes like herself. After completing her orthopedic surgery residency she finished a fellowship in foot and ankle reconstructive surgery before relocating to Atlanta to join a private practice group.

Throughout her medical studies, fitness remained a constant in her life through Pilates, yoga, tennis, and weight training. Her Pilates instructor encouraged her to obtain her Pilates certification, and she completed her teacher training through the Power Pilates program and began teaching at large fitness clubs and boutique fitness centers in the Atlanta area.

Kali is thrilled to be able to merge her love of fitness and her extensive medical knowledge of injury treatment and prevention to help a variety of clients through Pilates. As part of her thirst for continuing education, Kali added Redcord Active Advanced training to her skills in 2017. 

Kimberly Cook
Pilates & Redcord

Kimberly developed her strong sense of discipline from extensive studies in dance and earned a Juris Doctor degree. As a Pilates and Redcord instructor, she combines her discipline and zeal for movement to help clients develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Kimberly earned her Advanced Teacher Training diploma from The Pilates Center's intensive Bridge Program, as well as completed her Host Advisor training, in 2017. These achievements qualify Kimberly as a masterful teacher of teachers and a pillar of growth for CORE's Pilates trainees.

Kimberly has taught and performed in numerous venues across the United States and internationally, including the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, Carnegie Hall in New York City, and the Independence Day Celebration in Washington, DC. Kimberly also works with Donna Richardson Joyner in leading fitness workshops internationally and nationally in schools, churches and health organizations.

Clare Gordon
Pilates & Redcord

Clare Gordon discovered Pilates practice in 1999. She quickly realized how effective the practice was and began her teacher training with Romana Kryzanowska in Sydney, Australia in 2000. She completed her certification and has been teaching Pilates since 2002. Clare is Power Pilates and Redcord certified, and continually participates in trainings and workshops to deepen her knowledge of the body.

Clare truly believes in the benefits one can reap from Pilates and Redcord, and she employs her expertise to her varied clientele. She strives to personalize every client's workout specifically to their body, whether that be for back pain, neck issues, prenatal and postpartum work, or simply getting fit. Through the use of precision and flow, Clare challenges her clients to ensure that they leave each session feeling energized and exercised.

Outside of the studio, Clare shares her life with her husband and two daughters. She loves her neighborhood farmer's market, dinner parties, and spending time outdoors.

Erika Leeds
Gyrotonic & Pilates

Erika is originally from South Florida, where she began her dance training at the age of 3. She continued her studies in Dance at Florida State University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude, with a Bachelors of Fine Arts. While at school she was introduced to Kinesiology, Dance Science and a variety of Somatic Practices, for which she developed a growing passion. Courses in GYROTONIC® and Pilates helped Erika maintain her physical condition, strengthen, and prevent further injury for her rigorous dance schedule.

It was during this time that Erika discovered her love for the GYROTONIC® Expansion System and decided to begin her certification to expand her knowledge. Erika completed her Level 1 GYROTONIC® certification in May 2015 after studying intensively with Master Trainer Anjali Austin. During her training, she spent five months interning at Kinespirit a GYROTONIC® and Pilates studio in New York, under the direction of Master Trainer Chantal Deeble. While in New York, Erika taught a four-week progressive GYROTONIC® group class, focusing on the fundamentals of the system.

After graduating, Erika she had the opportunity to enroll in an update course, GYROTONIC® Application for the Shoulder Girdle taught by Master Trainer Uwe Herbstreit. This course helped Erika with maintaining and preventing further injury to her thoracic spine and shoulder girdle, as well as gaining valuable knowledge that she hopes to have the pleasure to share to all whom she works with.

Erika expanded her teaching at CORE in 2017 with The Pilates Center's Advanced Program, recognized as the most respected, comprehensive and intensive Pilates teacher training program of its kind for over 20 years. This certification allows Erika to teach the complete classical Pilates repertoire, from beginner level to advanced, on all pieces of equipment.

Outside of her work at CORE, Erika performs with StaibDance, a contemporary dance company here in Atlanta.

Kayley Pallas
Gyrotonic & Redcord

An Atlanta native, Kayley struggled with chronic injury from a young age. She discovered Gyrotonic in San Francisco, CA after back injury sidelined her early ballet career. The relief Gyrotonic provided for her lifelong issues with joint, back, and chronic pain inspired Kayley to help others feel the same transformation. She pursued her Gyrotonic certification in 2008 at CORE. During her journey as a teacher, Kayley fell in love with how well the Redcord method works with Gyrotonic for her clients and herself. Kayley is interested in helping clients from a holistic perspective and enjoys integrating methods to tailor sessions to the specific needs of each client. She especially loves working with people who have chronic pain or joint issues, and with post-natal mothers and athletes.

Falashay Pearson

Gyrotonic

Hailing from the windy city, Falashay graduated Cum Laude with a BFA in Acting from DePaul University's prestigious Theatre School. Her training there prioritized body awareness through movement, with techniques such as Feldenkrais, African dance, and Viewpoints. Before moving to Atlanta, Falashay spent many years at the front desks at elite gym and spas in Chicago. Those jobs made her passionate about making sure that every client she encounters receives that best customer service and it gave her confidence that CORE's values and her own are a match made in heaven! Falashay also has a passion for yoga, kickboxing, and discovering new physical pursuits.

Falashay moved from Chicago to Atlanta for an acting internship with Actor's Express Theatre Company in 2014. Her training and personal wellness pursuits led Falashay to CORE first as a member of our Client Care team, and then to our Gyrotonic Teacher Training program. Above all else, Falashay appreciates CORE's individualized approach to wellness and loves that our goal is to empower all clients to achieve mind-body wellness.

Darcy Pyle
Pilates

Darcy began her personal Pilates practice in 2002 and earned her comprehensive certification in 2004 with Power Pilates. Since that time she has been dedicated to exploring the progressive layers of Pilates and is devoted to personal and professional growth.

Darcy feels that Pilates balances her life and helps her do everything better. She strives to provide her clients with a stable base and challenges their abilities by building on the method.

Darcy has been a resident of Atlanta since 1975 and earned a Bachelor of Art degree from Auburn University in 1989. She currently lives with her husband.

Elizabeth Sears
Pilates & Gyrotonic

Under the guidance of Bob Liekens and Susan Moran, Elizabeth was the first person in Georgia to receive a Power Pilates Comprehensive Certification. She received her original Pilates certification from Power Pilates in 2002. In 2009, Elizabeth completed Romana Kryzanowska's Pilates beginner through advanced training.

She earned her Gyrotonic certification in May 2014. Elizabeth believes that the discipline and grace learned through the Pilates and Gyrotonic methods immeasurably enhance one's overall quality of life. She teaches with emphasis on technique, efficiency, and grounded lightness. She ran competitively in college, still loves to run, and also studies aerial and contemporary dance.

Elizabeth grew up in Atlanta, and received a BA in Philosophy from Emory University. She has two children.

Julia Seeley
Pilates & Redcord

After leaving a retail management career to parent her son, Julia discovered Pilates in her 40s. She soon realized that Pilates-based exercises were a central part of the conditioning program she had learned from years of ballet practice. Pilates has helped Julia regain strength, stamina, and stability and to challenge herself physically, despite chronic knee problems.

Julia completed her Power Pilates comprehensive certification in January 2007. She completed Redcord Active Intro and Corrective Exercise Courses at CORE and offers Redcord Suspension Training sessions. She is committed to her own continuing education and enjoys working with all type of clients. Julia strives to be a patient instructor who provides every client with a terrific workout while remaining true to the rhythm and flow of the classical Pilates approach.

Mileta Smith
Pilates

Mileta's Classical Pilates journey began in 2009 when, after many years of weight training, she found in Pilates the mind/body connection she'd been seeking. She completed her Classical Pilates certification in 2014 under the tutelage of Patricia Russell and has pursued continuing education opportunities with renowned masters including Bob Liekens and The Pilates Center's Rachel Taylor Segel. A member of the Authentic Pilates Union, Mileta enjoys continuously enhancing her training to benefit both her clients and her own Pilates practice. 

Outside of the studio, Mileta is also an experienced national and regional Advertising Consultant with Cox.

Candice Thompson
Pilates, Gyrotonic & Redcord

After dancing for the Milwaukee Ballet Company, Candice Thompson received her Pilates certification at BodyTonic Pilates Gymnasium in Brooklyn, NY, under the direction of Jennifer DeLuca (Romana Kryzanowksa) and Caitlin Cook (Maggie Black). She feels lucky to have studied with Pilates elder Kathleen Stanford Grant during her earlier training at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

In addition to her work as an Instructor and Deputy Director of Pilates Teacher Training at BodyTonic, where she trained and mentored three classes of apprentices, Candice has continued her Pilates education with workshops by Susan Moran and Leslie Levy (Power Pilates), Claire Dunphy (Progressive Body Works), Junghee Won, and at the Pilates Method Alliance conference in 2012. She completed a college level course in Anatomy and Kinesiology from the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries as part of her undergraduate degree and has furthered her knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics with workshops by Enja Schenck, Irene Dowd and Steven Featherhuff.

Since joining CORE, Candice has completed Redcord training as well as our Gyrotonic Teacher Training program.

She received an MFA in literary nonfiction from Columbia University and is a frequent contributor to Dance Magazine, Pointe, and Dance Teacher, writing often about health, fitness, and yes, sometimes Pilates.


Therapeutic Team

Maija Salins
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) & KMI

Maija is a certified practitioner of CranioSacral Therapy (CST), a gentle, light-touch therapy developed by Dr. John Upledger that helps to restore optimal functioning in the fluids and tissues surrounding the Central Nervous System and throughout the body, and Kinesis Myofascial Integration (KMI), a form of Structural Integration based on the pioneering work of Dr. Ida Rolf and incorporating the Anatomy Trains concept of fascial continuities developed by Thomas Myers.

Maija’s first experience with Structural Integration was as a client in 2000, when she noticed the profound potential of the work in overcoming old dance injuries and postural patterns and developing a new sense of freedom and choice in her body. She came to CST later, after it was recommended for her son’s sensory processing issues and she decided to try it for herself as well. Maija has found CST to be an incredibly helpful modality in accessing the wisdom of her own body as well as her clients’ bodies, and has been constantly amazed at the level of healing it makes available at the physical, mental, and emotional levels. Maija completed KMI training in 2012 and earned Upledger CST Techniques certification in 2013. In addition to being a CST practitioner, she serves as a teaching assistant, study group leader, and certified mentor through the Upledger Institute.

Maija is originally from the Washington, D.C. area and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from The College of William and Mary in Virginia. She has two children and has lived in Atlanta for the past 10 years.


Client Care & Operations Team

Falashay Pearson
Client Care, Gyrotonic Instructor

Hailing from the windy city, Falashay graduated Cum Laude with a BFA in Acting from DePaul University's prestigious Theatre School. Her training there prioritized body awareness through movement, with techniques such as Feldenkrais, African dance, and Viewpoints. Falashay has a passion for yoga, kickboxing, and varied physical pursuits. Falashay's training and personal wellness pursuits led her to CORE. Above all else, Falashay appreciates the individualized and small group approach to wellness at CORE and loves that the goal is to empower all clients to achieve mind-body wellness.

Falashay moved from Chicago to Atlanta for an acting internship with Actor's Express Theatre Company in 2014. Before moving to Atlanta Falashay spent many years at the front desks at elite gym and spas in Chicago. Those jobs made her passionate about making sure that every client she encounters receives that best customer service and it gives her confidence that CORE's values and her own are a match made in heaven!

Kristen Cranford
Client Care

Kristen Cranford has spent many years in the beauty industry as a guest relations specialist for a variety of spas. Her mother is an esthetician who owned a successful business in North Georgia where Kristen would spend afternoons helping the administrative staff. She has worked at large day spas in the Maryland area along with a prominent Medical Spa, where she was able to gain not only abundant knowledge of cutting edge treatments in esthetics, but a also true appreciation and understanding of health and wellness. Kristen recently received her own esthetician license from the International School of Skin, Nailcare, & Massage Therapy.

Hope Barnard
Client Care, Marketing Coordinator

A passionate believer in CORE's mission of self-empowerment, Hope worked in Client Care for a year before transitioning into a marketing role. She graduated summa cum laude from Tulane University's Honors Program with a B.A. in English & Theatre, where her studies placed a heavy emphasis on movement and dance. Hope's experience with Suzuki Method, Overlie's Viewpoints, and the Alexander Technique taught her the importance of understanding one's body to get the most out of it. This gave Hope a deep appreciation for CORE's restorative, engaging, and individualized approach to fitness.

Hope's writing ranges from marketing to legal handbooks. Her first play, Monopolis, earned Tulane's Janice Torre Perky Award for Original Writing. An actor based in Atlanta, Hope writes, directs, and collaborates with other Southern artists through her film company, Brackish Films. Her creative experiences have instilled in her a team-oriented attitude and passion for small business that thrives at CORE.