Andrea Fossum Atkins

Andrea was born and raised in Greenwich, CT.  She is a college graduate with ten years professional experience in Marketing, Sales and Human Resources.  She first started taking Barre classes in 2000 and immediately became addicted to it.  As an avid student, she was in class as often as possible.  When her family re-located to Illinois, she became a student at a local Barre studio and was soon approached by the owner to train as a teacher.  After a full year and the completion of intense training, Andrea became an instructor.   A move back to CT prompted an immediate search for a dedicated barre studio. "The Pilates Barre is like no other studio I have ever attended and I am thrilled to be part of such a great team of professionals!" 2017 marks the start of Andrea's 10th year as a teacher of Barre Technique.



Natasha Kowatch

A former Media Planner in NYC, Natasha Kowatch discovered a passion for teaching after the birth of her first child in 2004.  Pre-kids, Natasha spent many hours outside, either running (she has completed countless 5k’s, several half marathons, and the 2002 NYC Marathon) or on her bike (including training for the Boston-NYC AIDS ride).  Once the munchkins arrived, Natasha quickly realized these lengthy outdoor sessions would be challenging, so she joined a gym and discovered Spinning.  A year or so later, Natasha attained her Spinning certification and taught for a year in the White Plains area.  After moving to Ridgefield, and the birth of two more children (all boys!), Natasha re-entered the fitness world.  She started out teaching Indoor Cycling, and then added her NASM Personal Trainer, TRX, and Group Fitness certifications.  During this time, she realized the personal training sessions she liked best were those that allowed her to help someone overcome an obstacle, or to rehabilitate after an injury.  When Natasha discovered Pilates it was like a lightbulb went off.  It was the missing piece of the puzzle.  She took the next few years to both practice and learn as much as she could, becoming comprehensively qualified to teach on all of the different Pilates equipment.  Natasha decided to focus exclusively on Pilates in 2014, and has been with the Pilates Barre ever since.  Ever the student, Natasha continues to take courses, and to broaden her base of knowledge and experience. In addition to Pilates, she teaches classes that are a blend of Bodhi suspension, Stability Ball, and Barre.  

Elaine O'Brien

Elaine is a fully certified Pilates instructor and trainer.  After a shoulder injury limited her ability to play tennis and exercise, Elaine turned to Pilates. She was so encouraged by the results, that she decided to pursue a career in Pilates instruction to help others maintain a healthy lifestyle. Elaine enjoys teaching challenging fitness routines, and tailoring routines for individuals with disabilities and chronic health conditions. As a mother of three, and the daughter of two active seniors, Elaine appreciates the opportunities that Pilates can offer to all ages and body types.  She loves working with groups and individuals to help them craft routines to achieve their unique fitness goals. Prior to her Pilates career, Elaine worked in the restaurant business with her husband where they own and operate three restaurants in Midtown.  She lives in Pound Ridge, New York, where she has resided with her family for the past 25 years.

Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced Reformer, Balanced Body
Mat One and Movement Principles, Balanced Body
Mat Two, Balanced Body
Trapeze Table and Cadillac, Balanced Body
Anatomy, Balanced Body
Pilates Chair, Balanced Body

Amanda Grant

Amanda is a Barre based exercise devotee.  After many years as a student of the method, Amanda was trained in BarSculpt, a contemporary version of the Lotte Berk method of exercise.  Amanda has been teaching Barre exercised for over seven years.  You can also find her leading spin classes at JoyRide Ridgefield.  Getting people focused and fit while having fun is her passion.  Prior to moving to Ridgefield with her husband and four children, Amanda taught at a top Pilates/Barre studio in Wellesley, MA.    

Kathleen Moran

A life-long exercise enthusiast, Kathleen took her first Pilates class in May of 2008 and immediately fell in love! With Pilates, she felt a different kind of strength developing from the inside out, and became fascinated with the method. In 2012 she began her teacher training with Balanced Body.  With over 500 combined hours of Pilates course work, observation and apprenticeship teaching, Kathleen earned her Comprehensive Pilates Certification on all Pilates apparatus. She is also certified in Pilates for Buff Bones® (Rebekah Rotstein, Founder), a medically endorsed system of exercise for bone health and balance, and holds AFAA Group Exercise Instructor certificates. Teaching the core principles in a group mat class, on the Tower or Reformer, Kathleen loves sharing her Pilates passion with all ages and abilities.


Mollie McGrath

Mollie first discovered Pilates and yoga in middle and high school as a way to deal with a series of sports injuries and scoliosis. After graduating from high school in Millbrook, NY she spent time traveling, living in Colorado, NYC and Florida. Eventually landing in Boston, she worked as a sports and orthopedic massage therapist at a sports medicine practice. Working with physical therapists and athletes lead to an obsession with anatomy and alignment, she then discovered barre in Boston and was immediately hooked. After moving to North Salem with her husband to raise their two young boys she decided it was time to make the jump into teaching. She completed her barre training with Balanced Body in Belmont, MA and continues to learn from the amazing women at the Pilates Barre. 


Abigail Silzer

In 1998 Abby took her first barre class at Lotte Berk in New Canaan and got hooked. The method was immediately alluring due to her modern dance background. Several years ago, she trained to be an instructor and has been working in local studios as well as in small private group settings. Before that, Abby spent sixteen years at Time Magazine in NYC. She and her husband have raised three children in Pound Ridge, where they have lived for the last 25 years.

Simone Rucolas

Simone Rucolas  has been certified to teach the Pilates Method since 1997.  She was trained by Joseph Pilates protégés, Romana Kryzanowska and Bob Liekens of Power Pilates in New York City.  She has counted ballerina Suzanne Farrell and actress Joanne Woodward among her clientele.  Originally from Switzerland, Simone grew up as a competitive skier and gymnast.  She earned a degree in Environmental studies and Economics from Vassar College, so clearly Pilates seemed like the natural path to follow.  In 1995, Simone moved to Ridgefield where she met her husband, Ron.  Now married, Simone is living the American dream with two beautiful kids, two dogs and a cat, sans white picket fence, because her husband installs electric fences.

Simone Gell

Simone Gell is Barre Certified by Exhale, NYC and has been a student and a teacher of barre for sixteen years.  Simone’s background is in dance and the equestrian art of Classical Dressage. Attentive to form and alignment and providing individual corrections for each student, Simone finds it fulfilling to help students reach their goals and to encourage and support them.

Willis Middleton

Willis Middleton is a classically trained Pilates instructor who has recently located to Ridgefield from Winter Park, FL where she has been training clients since 2002.

Willis is certified on all the Pilates apparatus through the Pilates Method of Body training founded by Joseph Pilates direct protégé Romana Kryanowska.  Willis feels that by studying privately with Romana, she has a direct link to Joseph Pilates revolutionary concepts and work.  She believes in constantly expanding her knowledge and continues her Pilates training through the Bodies Mind Program of Study based in Mill Valley, CA.


Madelaine Hutchings

Maddie is Bodhi Certified through Balanced Body and studied under Sharon McSpedon. She competed in three sports through high school, captaining each of them in her Senior year. Upon graduation she continued to play four years of collegiate field hockey at McGill University in Montreal, captaining her senior year. After competing for many years Maddie came back to barre and pilates as a way to stay in shape and recuperate her many injuries. She is currently pursuing her Masters from Sacred Heart University, coaches field hockey at Ridgefield High School, and student teaches at Middlebrook School in Wilton. In the next year she hopes to begin her Mat, Tower, and Pilates certifications. 


Samantha Galasso

Samantha Galasso first discovered her passion for fitness while working as The Pilates Barre’s Front Desk Manager as she pursued her Master’s in Teaching in 2017. In between ringing up clients’ sock purchases and answering phone calls, Samantha obtained her certification as a classical Pilates Mat instructor through Power Pilates in 2019. Samantha is currently a high school English teacher, so fitness instruction is a natural next step for her in her capacity at the studio. She considers herself a lifelong learner and hopes to continue her Pilates education in Tower and Reformer in the future.

Sharon McSpedon

Sharon has a unique multidisciplinary approach to conditioning that is a natural outgrowth of her own diversified background. After years of dance training and performing, she became certified in group exercise, personal training and kinesiology in NYC. She then worked for the NY Health and Racquet Club and as the manager and teacher trainer of an elite exercise studio on Park Avenue. Shortly there after she became an avid student of the Lotte Berk Method and barre exercise as a method of conditioning. In 1987, Sharon was introduced to Pilates and received her first full Mat and Reformer Certification with Marie Jose Blom, of Balanced Body and Smart Spine fame.

Read more about Sharon

During her Pilates apprenticeship, she became certified in Yoga Therapy by it's creator, Michael Lee of Phoenix Rising and began to work for Manhattan Home Fitness. After thousands of hours of training and teaching, she launched Creative Conditioning, a personal training company that catered to the needs of many high profile clients in NYC and then in Los Angeles. As the West Coast representative for the Personal Fitness and Bodywork Professionals Association, Sharon was also instrumental in promoting one of the first companies dedicated to providing a professional organization devoted to the needs and education of trainers. While working in LA, Sharon taught group fitness for several well known studios and health clubs where she quickly became known for incorporating elements of Pilates into all of her classes, including Low Impact Jazz, Step Aerobics, Body Sculpting, Circuit Training, Slide, Prenatal Fitness and Sports Conditioning. She also created a Pilates based training program for a running club in Manhattan Beach, CA with whom she trained and completed the Los Angeles Marathon. She continued her work in Bergen County, NJ after returning to the East Coast and in 2002, received her certification in IMX Pilates, known for it's advancedprotocol and emphasis on athletic conditioning.

Over the years, she has had the privilege of learning from several of the Pilates elders including Lolita San Miguel and Mary Bowen. Sharon has most recently completed comprehensive coursework with Balanced Body for her third Pilates certification. She has also had intermediate and advanced training in the form of workshops with PEAK, Power Pilates, Physical Mind Institute, and STOTT.

Sharon moved back to Ridgefield in 2003 where she has maintained and grown her practice, teaching Mat, Reformer, and Barre Work to a wonderful and devoted clientele. She is the wife of Kevin (often seen around town, nursing an injury from playing or coaching hockey) and the mother of three terrific children, Maggie, KC and Braeden. In addition to Pilates, she is known in Ridgefield for having taught dance and musical theatre to children and directing the Children's Choir at St. Mary's Church. The Pilates Barre is the culmination of 25 years of teaching, training and connecting.

Owner/Director – Creative Conditioning, LLC 1989 – Present


Full Mat and Reformer, Marie Jose Blom/PFBPA, 1987
Mat and Reformer, IMX Pilates, 2002
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced Reformer, Balanced Body
Mat One and Movement Principles, Balanced Body
Trapeze Table and Cadillac, Balanced Body
Anatomy, Balanced Body
Pilates Chair, Joy Puleo
Yoga Therapy, Michael Lee, Phoenix Rising
Spinning, Madd Dogg Athletics
Studio Barre, Tower, Fundamentals, Technique, Artistic Flow – June Kahn
Foam Roller, Movements Afoot

Some recent professional Pilates workshops including Pilates on Tour:
Exo Chair Flow, Pilates Arc, Reformer for Athletes, Pilates for the Low Back, Assessment Techniques, Tactile Cueing, Standing Pilates, Jumboard Technique,Triad Ball, Bender Ball, Gliding, Magic Circle, Box & Pole, Bosu Skills & Drills.