Lara Garda, Studio Director & Founder
In her 20 years of professional fitness management and group fitness training Lara has worked to bring positive energy and motivation to both team members and clients. She strives to provide a fun, safe and effective workout experience with every visit. As Studio Director for CORE Pilates & Yoga, Lara holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education, Sports and Nutrition. She is a PMA certified Pilates Teacher with trainings from Stott®, Peak®, Balanced Body® and The Pilates Coach. On the fitness spectrum, Lara is an ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor and active presenter for the National Association for Fitness Certification. After running two marathons Lara searched for an active workout that was much kinder to her body and discovered her true love and passion in Yoga. Lara began teaching with YogaFit® in 1999 and has eagerly pursued many educational experiences since then with workshops from Baron Baptiste, Natasha Rizopoulous, Beryl Bender Birch, Joseph LePage, and more. She completed her 200-hour RYT with the organization of Integrative Yoga Therapy in 2002. And is now an E-RYT presenting Yoga Trainings with White Crow Yoga. Upon opening CORE Pilates & Yoga Studio, she began creating the eclectic blend of Pilates, Yoga and Core Fitness Movements: ZenLates™ - offering the experience of prana in Pilates. ZenLates™ Trainings are offered exclusively at CORE with courses in Reformer Fundamentals, Tower, Advanced Techniques, Fitness Chair and Barre Fitness.
Danielle Proctor, CEO & Founder
A graduate of CMU, Danielle has over 10 years experience managing businesses. After a knee injury requiring full ACL and meniscus reconstruction, Danielle started personal Pilates training to enhance her physical therapy program. Experiencing immediate results and an unusually speedy recovery, Danielle realized the true potential of Pilates and established CORE Pilates & Yoga in 2008 with the goal of providing an affordable, state-of-the-art Pilates equipment studio focused on customized results. Danielle is happy to combine her love of Pilates and yoga with her amateur golfing passion.
Jill is originally from the Pittsburgh area and after high school she took a brave new step and moved to Alaska! She graduated from the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Returning to Pittsburgh as a computer analysis she quickly realized that working behind a desk did not mesh with her adventurous spirit and outgoing personality. With a love for fitness and desire to lead an active lifestyle she dove into the health and fitness industry teaching group fitness and personal training. It was along this path that she discovered Pilates. Jill has been teaching Pilates for 10 years. She is a PMA Certified Pilates Instructor and recently completed a 200-hour Yoga Alliance Approved Training. Her many other fitness trainings include: Peak Pilates, Kickboxing and Personal Training. Count on Jill to deliver a cutting edge workout that will challenge you from the inside out!
Leslie is a Comprehensive Peak Pilates Trainer and a level 500 Hour E-RYT Registered Yoga Teacher. She is also trained in Booty Barre and TRX. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a background in gymnastics. Leslie has over 13 years of both personal and group training in mind-body exercises; she is able to design an exercise program to fit the needs of the individual; whether it be sports, rehab, weight loss, increased strength and flexibility or the establishment of a healthier body.
Beth lives in Wexford with her husband, two children and dog, Benny. She started out as a competitive runner and moved through various exercise crazes trying as many as possible. She found true love in Pilates, and trained to teach the integrated movement system, ZenLates™ with Reformer Training, Pilates Fitness Chair and Barre; plus Bender Ball® Foundations. Beth is also an elementary teacher in the North Allegheny School District and the Kids of Steel representative for McKnight Elementary School bringing the chance to increase nutrition and fitness to over 800 students! She is able to tap into her extensive background in education to teach others this fabulous fitness training method. Beth is excited to help you attain your fitness goals and feel energized and healthier!
Michelle is often known as the “Fit Guru” – she loves all aspects of fitness, both indoors and out! She is a natural coach encouraging her clients to strive for more…always while smiling and making a positive impact in their workout experience. Michelle holds numerous certifications and trainings in the fitness industry; she is a Mad Dogg Athletics Level 2 Spinning Instructor, a TRX Suspension Trainer and an AFAA Group Fitness Instructor. Her Pilates Trainings are with the Bender Method in Mat Work and ZenLates™ Training Systems for Chair, ARC, Reformer and Tower, Levels 1 & 2. Her love for the outdoors and for always having a goal to work towards have lead her to complete marathons, half marathons and various distance rides including the century! Another little known fact is that Michelle was also an ISIA figure skater – can we say Grace and Control in one package!
After an ongoing love affair with all things fitness-related, it was yoga’s ability to not only strengthen the body but soothe the mind that made Lisa add a new path to her accomplished life. Trained in YogaFit Level I and II, Lisa became an instructor to spread her passion for yoga’s unique practice of physical and mental health and give it back to others. Lisa is an accomplished runner and tri-athlete, having competed varying races including several half-Ironman races and two full Ironman distance races with her third Ironman coming up in fall of 2014. She has recently added Pilates to her skill-set completing the Reformer Fundamentals training at CORE through ZenLates™ Training Systems. In addition to her passion for fitness, Lisa owns a family, mediation and collaborative law practice and continues to give back to the community by volunteering her legal services to multiple organizations in the Pittsburgh area. Lisa lives in Wexford with her husband, Bobby, their 8-year-old daughter, 4-year old son, and their black lab.
Cathy brings over 16 years of group fitness experience with step aerobics, strength training and Pilates. Her certifications include AFAA – Group Fitness, Johnny G. Spinning, Resist-a-Ball, YMCA Personal Training, Flexibility Training and Mat Pilates; plus PHI Pilates Mat Work, and CORE’s in-house ZenLates™ Training - Pilates Based Movement Level 1, 2 and Chair. Cathy is an avid sport enthusiast- running competitively in a variety of road races from 5K’s to full Marathons. She has won the masters division in Hershey Pa; 1/2 marathon in 2005 and the St. Barnabas 5K in 2010 plus qualifying for the Boston Marathon! When she is not running and teaching, Cathy is “running” after her five children and dabbling in Triathlon Training. Cathy strives to bring customized variety to each workout!
Betty Jo Thaman
Betty Jo comes to CORE with 30+ years of professional experience in the fitness industry. She is ACE certified as a Personal Trainer specializing in pre/postnatal, post-rehab, cancer survivors, and clients with arthritis. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Marshall University (Huntington, WV). Betty Jo began teaching Pilates mat in 2000 and reformer in 2004 with training from PHI Pilates, Pilates Coach, and Peak Pilates MVe Fitness Chair. She also has yoga training through AAAI-ISMA and YogaFit®. Her specialty lies in training beginners, older adults, and those with issues or limitations that need a slower, calmer approach. Her experience affords her the ability to deliver a personal touch offering modifications for the beginner to more advanced movements for those who like to” kick it up a notch” and challenge themselves.
Amy is a certified PHI Pilates instructor and has been teaching Pilates for over 6 years. She started practicing Pilates when a running injury prevented her from running and was introduced to the healing qualities of the Reformer. After experiencing her recovery from intensive Pilates work, she began to study and train in a Pilates studio in Wexford. Amy has taught Pilates to a wide range of clients and enjoys teaching equipment and mat classes as well as private instruction. Amy has lived in the Pittsburgh area for 14 years and has her Bachelor Degree in Art Education. She enjoys teaching art, fitness, Pilates and biking.