OUR TRAINERSMeet some of the finest professional trainers in Los Angeles
Amy holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education with minors in Biology and Kinesiology from the University of Illinois. Before moving into fitness on a full-time basis, Amy taught group fitness classes, personal trained, and worked as a successful middle school Physical Education and Science teacher.
Amy has held several positions in the fitness industry in both the corporate and private settings including Chase Bank One, Habitat Company, New West Realty, Fitness Formula, and Capital Fitness. She has trained professional and collegiate athletes including the University of Illinois baseball team and has had a list of celebrity clients over the years. Amy is an avid believer that you must continue to learn and educate yourself in order to stay successful in this every changing industry.
Amy currently holds many professional certifications including AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor, ACE certified fitness professional, SCW Personal Training, Lagree Method, and American Red Cross CPR and numerous Pilates and Yoga certifications. She is also an accomplished writer and has written many published articles about health and fitness. She is also the founder and owner of the Brick Betty brand of performance apparel, a Made in USA active wear company.
Becky was born and raised in rural western Pennsylvania. Starting at a young age, she embraced sports, skiing, gymnastics and just about any physical activity available.
Since moving to the west coast in 2001 Becky has made fitness a priority as well as a career. After the birth of her daughter, Becky started taking pilates classes at a local gym. After seeing her own results, she decided to make helping others experience the same results a priority. Becky then received her certification from Pilates Plus. Becky is very excited to integrate her fitness background, classic pilates and Systeme Dynamique SPX training into her teaching here at Pilates Plus!
Claudine fell in love with Pilates the moment the doors opened at Pilates Plus. Claudine saw changes in her body she never thought were possible and was immediately hooked. She loved the way Pilates made her feel both physically and emotionally and wanted to give that feeling to others.
Claudine brings so much enjoyment and passion to every class. Form is very important to her so she watches you carefully and even her smallest corrections will make a big difference in results. She truly wants you to get the most out of every workout so you feel as wonderful as she did.claudine-asmari
Claudine’s classes are a combination of SPX and classical Pilates. She will get you strong and lean while increasing your heart rate so you burn maximum calories every time. Her simple motto of having fun and proper form makes for a perfect workout.
With Deanna’s third child going off to school she decided that she was looking to try something new in her life. After taking a class in the newly opened Pilates Plus over 12 years ago she was hooked! Classes turned into managing the studio and managing turned into teaching classes and teaching classes has turned into private training as well. Being Lagree Fitness Certified and with over a decade of intense experience not only as a 5x a week pilates student but as a high level trainer Deanna has seen it all when it comes to Pilates. Deanna’s passion and super positive attitude for pilates has made her an in demand teacher at Pilates Plus by Lagree fitness.
Debi is one of the original Lagree Fitness certified trainers personally selected by Sebastien Lagree to carry on his work. It is her drive, professionalism, work ethic and compassion that make her the person she is today. Her extraordinary knowledge of the body and how it moves combined with her energy; enthusiasm and creativity are what make her classes unique. Debi focuses special attention to technique and detail and creates a most challenging class that results in achieving the ultimate in muscle definition, strength and flexibility yielding extremely impressive results.
Debi is the leading voice in this revolutionary fitness industry with years of combined and textured experience successfully teaching with her fingers and “long legs” on the pulse of the Pilates industry and plenty of real-life experience she shares with her apprentices. Teachers, clients, studio owner’s, people of all ages and walks of life, come from all over the country to study with her. Simply put, it makes sense to learn from the best of the best as her students will profess, “She is explosive, powerful and strong and that’s what I feel when I leave the studio”.
Jackie has always had an interest in fitness and has always made exercise a priority. Whether she was hiking, running, boxing or swimming she always found time to get her workouts in. Almost 5 years ago she met Kristi Vacanti at Pilates Plus in Encino and was hooked. She saw changes in her body that she couldn’t get from her other workouts. Pilates Plus quickly became a staple in her life. Jackie started managing Kristi’s studio and after subbing for a trainer one day, decided to get her Pilates certification. Since teaching for Pilates Plus Jackie has also obtained her personal training and TRX certifications.
Jackie brings her love of fitness to every class and believes in giving a full body workout every time. Her high energy and passion makes even the toughest workouts seem fun. Proper form is very important to Jackie and she keeps a close eye on you whether your a beginner or a longtime client. Jackie teaches Pilates as well as Treadmill/Pilates and TRX/Pilates classes at PPLA and believes the combination of these classes are all you need to get the body you always wanted.
Katie brings her enthusiasm for fitness to her Pilates Plus classes. She is a certified Lagree Fitness instructor as well as TRX instructor. Her fast pace classes target every muscle group-including ones you didn’t know you had!
Fitness has been Katie’s passion since she was young. She was a division I College Athlete at UC Berkeley where she played Water Polo. Her energy and dedication are contiguous and her clients love her fun and challenging classes.
Kristi Vacanti left the Midwestern city of Omaha, Nebraska several years ago for the outdoor, sun-loving atmosphere of Los Angeles and immediately immersed herself into a world of mental, physical and spiritual growth.
While working with Brentwood Associates, one of the premier private equity firms who own and operate Spectrum Health Clubs and Exhale Spa, she became aware of the growing trend toward health clubs, fitness centers and spas as lucrative business opportunities. She combined her love of fitness and movement with a career as a personal trainer, but soon realized she had a desire to reconnect with a less stressful, more meaningful lifestyle and her passion for Pilates was ignited.
She began taking classes at Sebastien’s Pilates Plus, West Hollywood location. She soon realized that the connection between mind, body and spirit was effortlessly enhanced with Sebastien’s core strengthening workout. Kristi was so inspired by the changes she experienced in her life that she chose to become certified in teaching Sebastien’s LAGREE FITNESS™. And now with certification in tow, Kristi has decided that her next step is to open an affiliate that would offer others the benefits of this life-altering workout. Kristi is also STOTT Pilates trained and Corepower Yoga certified.
Lacey grew up in a small town in Northern Maine where even Classical Pilates classes are very hard to come by. Before moving to Los Angeles, she had never heard of Pilates Plus. Instead, she forced herself to run for weight loss even though it aggravated old injuries. It only took one Pilates Plus class before she was completely hooked. After just a few weeks Lacey noticed her body getting stronger and leaner without pain and with minimal time commitment.
Lacey has been instructing for over two years and Pilates Plus is still her favorite workout! The chronic lower back pain she suffered from for so many years is almost non-existent now thanks to the core strengthening attributes of Pilates. She feels stronger than ever.
In Lacey’s class you can expect high energy and upbeat music. Even at 6:30 in the morning! Lacey prides herself on giving a really tough workout while being a super supportive trainer that pays close attention to form and is always ready and willing to modify for you when it’s needed. She specializes in getting you your cardio while you strength train and can get you sweating in UNDER 40 minutes!
Since becoming certified in Pilates Plus/SPX Fitness, Lacey has also obtained her National Academy of Sports Medicine Personal Training Certification, Pilates Mat and Real Ryder Cycling certifications.
Megan is a California native, mom, and UCLA alum with a passion for all things fitness.
After spending a lifetime convinced she just “wasn’t athletic” Megan discovered how wrong she was when she stumbled upon a Lagree Pilates class. After one (very sweaty) class she knew she was hooked! Now 5 years later Megan is a Mad Dogg Spin and Lagree Pilates certified instructor, Megan loves sharing her addiction to fitness with others — especially those that don’t think they’re “athletic enough”. Megan hopes her clients will come to class ready to work, sweat, and get a little bit silly. Now for some bungee kicks and french twisting!
Morgan is a certified Integrative Health Coach, personal trainer and group fitness instructor. After trying Lagree Method once in her hometown of Nashville, she was hooked and knew this method needed to be added to her repertoire. The Lagree Method has made a significant impact on her personal fitness and she is excited to be able to share it with others. She was trained in and taught at Studio Novo, in Nashville for 12 months before relocating to Los Angeles.
She believes in the truth that each of us has the capability to sharpen and the capacity to be sharpened by one another. Every person has a heart’s desire to live in optimal health.
Paola was born in South Carolina and lived in Hawaii and the Philippines, all before moving to Los Angeles at the age of 5. Growing up, Paola was always engaged in one fitness-related activity or another, but as an adult, she found herself living a less active lifestyle. After 10 years in a sedentary job, she decided to transition into a new career in fitness and hasn’t looked back.
As a Lagree Fitness Instructor, NCSF Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist, and national level Bikini Physique Competitor, she is fulfilling her passion for healthy living and sharing with others how to do the same. Paola became addicted to Lagree Fitness classes after noticing a complete transformation in her body, especially in her core, after only a few weeks. Little did she know that teaching the class would be even more addicting! Paola uses her knowledge of exercise science in every single routine, combining a sequence of movements along with upbeat music, from mainstream tunes to old school jams! You can expect an encouraging and high intensity workout every time!
Rocio Ponce, a Flamenco Dancer for 30 years, is a certified Personal Trainer in Strength Training, Pilates (mat & all apparatus), Yoga, TRX, Sports Nutrition, Group Fitness Instruction, Lagree Fitness, has a B.A. in Dance from one of the top ten dance programs in the nation (CSULB), & has an MFA in Movement for performers & non-performers (movement for performers & non-performers) for Television, Film & Theatre & was a cast member in Cirque Du Soleil performing physical aerial work as well as doing character work.
As a mover herself, plus over 25 years of experience & qualifications in dance, fitness, mind-body & nutrition, Rocio enjoys teaching fitness and mind body to members of all walks of lives. Rocio is also available for one on one sessions with meal-plans customizable to your goals.
“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.” — Zig Ziglar
Whitney was born in Santa Ana, California and grew up in Orange County. She enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2007. Whitney served overseas in Afghanistan working in Supply, earning a Navy Achievement Medal for her outstanding service distributing thousands of supplies throughout Iraq and Afghanistan to other military units.
After her honorable discharge in 2011, she found an interest in barre fitness and pilates. Whitney has over 2 years experience teaching barre and mat pilates to groups of varying levels as well as private reformer and mixed apparatus sessions. Currently she is completing a Booty Barre certification and Comprehensive Mat Pilates certficate with College of San Mateo and Balanced Body.
Whitney attended the Academy of Art in San Francisco for 3 years, studying Advertising prior to her career in fitness. There, she found another passion for video editing and producing when her first self-made music video was a finalist for the Radio and Video category for the Spring Show in 2014 at AAU. Whitney hopes to continue this work along with other passions of hers like modern dance and ballet.
Whitney has many growing interests and activities she would like to attempt like skateboarding, hip hop dance, windsurfing, aerial acrobatics, and still has a drum set she’s been yearning to learn how to play!
Certified in March 2016, what Whitney loves most about Lagree is the results and the way it makes her feel. “I feel so strong, so stable, and so sore after every class! It’s that long-term burn that I crave. The results are also visually striking. I see muscle fibers that I had not seen before, I see muscles and mean curves come to life. I also love how it challenges my endurance, it will feel as if I have just ran a mile during some intense parts of class. Most of all, i’m excited to see how Lagree will impact my petformance and fun with whatever physical activity I dare to seek out.” -Whitney Diaz
What Whitney loves most about teaching Lagree megaformer classes is her passion for learning more about the body and movement. She is always observing form, skeletal alignment, and movement, even outside of the studio. Whitney loves to help clients progress to grow and train into their best selves.
Ashley began as a client at Pilates Plus. She fell in love with the Lagree Fitness Method after her first class and continued to take classes for a year, before becoming a certified Lagree Fitness Method trainer. Her favorite part of teaching is getting to know her clients, and seeing their physical and mental health improve with the method. She’s seen many of her clients with injuries and pain become healed by the workout!
In Ashley’s class you can expect an awesome ever-changing playlist, as it always includes the latest upbeat hits, and is flavored with some old school songs as well; You can also expect to get a tough, challenging, sweat dripping workout, and to have some fun while doing it. Ashley is originally from Connecticut and got her B.A. in Sociology at DePaul University in Chicago. Ashley is also an actor, and stand-up comedian.
My motto is,
I am not afraid to fail in order to get better!
Desire is the key to motivation,
But it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek. ~ By Mario Andretti
Beth is a Lagree Certified Pilates trainer. Originally born in Rome, Italy, and moved to Los Angeles, California at 9 months of age. Her background growing up playing tennis and being an avid runner, conquering many marathons led her body manifest various injuries. This led her seek the wonderful benefits from Pilates. Her love and passion integrating Mind, Body and Soul as a lifestyle, comes across in all her classes to each and every individual. Teaching and helping clients are her passion, while making each and every workout challenging, energetic and fun. Beth will take you to the next level.
Brittany fell in love with Pilates the first time she stepped onto the reformer. She was amazed at how efficient a full body workout could be in just 55 minutes. Her addiction to Pilates is an understatement – she became obsessed with the lean, mean, fat burning machine.
Brittany fractured her left hip the Summer of 2012 in the Malibu ocean, landing her in the emergency room and on crutches for five months. She slowly got back into Pilates in the physical therapy room. After being on bed rest and no weight bearing activity for five months, she returned to the Pilates studio full throttle, exuding positive energy and smiles, paying particularly close attention to and perfecting her form, making safety her priority. Her commitment to Pilates paid off, completely recovering and transforming her body. Experiencing this transformation first hand made her desire to share her experience with others.
Brittany graduated Magna Cum Laude from California State University Northridge with her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, Criminology and Criminal Justice. She has been certified through several Pilates studios as well as completed the high intensity training of the Lagree Method Certification. Since becoming a certified Pilates trainer she has also obtained her National Academy of Sports and Medicine Certification in Personal Training.
Brittany’s classes are upbeat, fun, challenging and make you want to dance! Expect high energy, smiles and positive vibes from her and her classes, burning 450-650 calories a class. Her goal is to make you, “make it rain!” Client’s have nicknamed her, “The Rainmaker.” Hard work and dedication will definitely pay off in her classes!
A native Californian and long-time Malibu resident, Ellen’s passion for Pilates started in 2009 when she first began taking classes at our Malibu studio location. Taking classes daily quickly evolved into teaching, and in 2010 Ellen was inspired to receive her Lagree Fitness Method of Certification.
“What I initially loved so much about the Pilates workout was challenging all of my muscles and getting a full body workout within the span of only 55 minutes. Within a short period of time, my core strength improved dramatically, along with my muscle tone, and posture — and all of this made me want to work out more!”
Whether teaching group classes or working one-on-one with her clients, Ellen will offer an effective and creative workout with a well-rounded approach from beginning to advanced movements. “I love to help my clients see the results they envision for their bodies that will enable them to achieve a healthier, happier life.” You might even see Ellen in class on one of the machines next to you taking it to the next level.
Ellen resides in Malibu with her husband and children. If you have any questions, you may reach her at email@example.com.
Trainer info coming soon!
“My life’s passion is my children and challenging myself through health and fitness.
I hold Nationally Recognized Certification with NASAM in Personal Training. I have continued my fitness education with National Recognized Certifications from AFAA in Group Resistance Training, Yoga and Youth Fitness. I am also a Madd Dog certified spin instructor and hold TRX and RIP certification.
I have always made it a priority to find a way to stay active within the fitness community. In 2012 I was introduced to and fell in love with the Lagree Method. As I began to notice the positive impact it brought into my life and the motivation it inspired, I became a Lagree Certified Instructor and have been teaching Lagree for 4 years.”
Ky Evans is a trained ballet dancer-turned scientist who is obsessed with the idea that fitness is the ultimate form of human expression.
His training patterns take natural functional movement to a whole new level. Evans holds degrees in Exercise Science & Biomechanics (with minors in Philosophy & Ballet) – and began his fitness career when he began working with visionary Sebastien Lagree, who introduced him to his Megaformer and taught him the Lagree Method. Soon after, Evans built his own following – becoming one of the most sought after group instructors in Los Angeles with a clientele that includes television and film personalities, professional athletes and Olympians.
Evans is not a huge fan of weight training, or impact, instead, he incorporates the art of expression with the science of performance, creating his own unique training philosophy or, “Kylosophy.” He believes that through physical failure we can discover the truth of spiritual happiness. Evans’ goal is to help his clients uncover what is already true – that there is only one you and in that, lies your real strength. The once shy, chubby, bullied kid from Detroit, who was often self-conscious about his immigrant family, has blossomed into a philosopher and fitness guru.
Evans has been featured in over 40 fitness publications and was Shape magazine’s 2014 Hottest Trainer in America. He is also recently ordained as a Minister of the Universal Life Church.
Trainer info coming soon!
Lisa Jey Davis
Lisa Jey Davis is a Lagree Method certified fitness trainer, and a classical Pilates and yoga instructor. Her heart pumping PPLA classes will give you a fat and booty-burning, muscle-toning & lengthening workout that keeps you coming back for more! Lisa Jey is also an author and an award-winning writer. In addition, she writes for the Huffington Post and is a fitness & health contributor for Livestrong.com. You can follow her on Twitter (@bodybylisajey) and on Instagram (@lisajeydavis).
Luke Lombardo’s first love is fitness, as witnessed by his credentials as a Lagree Certified trainer, RRCA Certified Running Coach, and fitness writer. Luke has been a dedicated athlete from a very young age. He belongs to a elite running team in LA and has also run marathons for numerous charities, raising money for children as well as for ALS. Currently he has a record high of placing 16th in his age group for the LA Marathon.
Luke’s high energy, athleticism and likeability have attracted press coverage, including The Today Show, E! News, Good Morning America, In Style, NY1, Fox5, NY Daily, Metro NY, Shape and Gawker, to name a few. Luke claims that nothing in the world makes him happier than helping others reach their fitness goals.
From a very young age Mikael grew up playing soccer, baseball , football, motor-cross racing, and martial arts and all through high school and beyond continued with jujitsu, muy tai. Now with more than 14 years under his belt as an acclaimed celebrity hairstylist, Mikael is constantly looking for the next workout that can improve his active lifestyle.
Mikael started weight lifting with Sebastien Lagree in 2005 and quickly learned about Sebastien’s Pilates Plus. Afterwards he couldn’t get enough and was taking classes almost every day. “After a short time I noticed such a difference in the gym just when I thought I hit a plateau and realized how effective LAGREE FITNESS was, and I wanted to help others achieve the same results!”
MoNika Ell “MO” is an Albanian/ Cambodian mix athlete, born and raised in Portland, Oregon. His training background includes: Aerial acrobatics, pole fitness, ballet, Pilates, yoga, Lagree fitness, conditioning, Cross fit, flexibility, Gymnastics and Martial arts.
He found a love for movement at the age of 6 and began his athletic training in martial arts: WuShu and later on went to study classical ballet along with a mix of dance styles throughout his youth.
MoNika was introduced to the Lagree Method the summer of 2012 and instantly fell in love with the workout. In a short amount of time, he knew that he wanted to teach this to others and have others feel the beautiful pain of the megaformer!
Companies he had the privilege to collaborate with are: Pendulum Aerial Arts, Cirque Du Soleil, Lululemon Athletica, Nike, ADIDAS, Norwegian Cruise Line, Aerial Arts Academy, Intel and many more.
2013: Male performer of the year Portland, Oregon
2014: World Pole Dance and Fitness Championship UK 2nd
2014: Florida Pole fitness Championship 1st
2014: National Aerial Pole Art Championship 1st
2015: National Aerial Pole Art Championship 3rd
“I am so happy to be a part of the Pilates Plus family. To me, working out is like a performance. I like to use all of my experience on stage and put it into the class. Pretend like your performing and let the music take control. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling the yum-yum and getting maximum results.”
- Gymnastic placed 15th in the state of CA.
- Professional Dancer trained in Ballet, jazz, & modern.
- Appeared in several commercials for McDonald’s, Pepsi, and Mervyn’s and appeared in the opening dance sequence of the major motion picture “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.”
- Toured with Debbie Allen as the lead in her production of “Pepito’s Story which opened at The Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
- Toured the world including opening up for Britney Spears, Lenny Kravitz, Destiny’s Child, & 98 Degrees as the lead singer of the pop group “No Authority” which was discovered by Michael Jackson and signed to Madonna’s label Maverick Records.
- Certified Pilates instructor for 5 years working with celebrity clients that include Marcia Cross, Sarah Michelle Geller, and Dita Von Teese.
- Released two EDM Pop records as Ricky Rebel.
- Appeared in two My Chemical Romance videos as the character Showpony for the tracks “Na Na Na” and “Sing”.
- Voted artist of the year at the RAWards
- His single “Geisha Dance” from his album “Manipulator” spent 10 weeks on the media Base Chart, the same chart that powers on air with Ryan Seacrest.
- Appeared in several magazines including Elle Magazine Spain, LaWeekly, and on the cover of Get Out Magazine.
- Played with Grammy Award winner Mya at the Avalon.
- Performed at the biggest Halloween party in the world The West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval in front of 500,000 people.
- Currently an UsWeekly fashion contributor.
- Ricky Rebel – The Blue Album is available on iTunes.
Motto: Make yourself proud.
Shalize Theus was born and raised in Orlando FL, with a background in dance. Growing up in a household of enthusiastic Orlando Magic fans, the Florida native set her sights on making the NBA Orlando Magic dance team from an early age. At the age of 18, she achieved her goal and became apart of the Orlando Magic dance team in 2010 and completed 3 seasons with the team ending her journey with the Magic in 2013. Shalize traveled with the team internationally to Spain and the Philippines to perform in various NBA events. During the 2012 NBA All Star Game halftime show, she performed with Pitbull and Neyo and has also danced for Prince Royce, Daddy Yankee and Pitbull, who she backed during his performance at the 2012 Premios Juventud award show presented by Univision. Following her departure from the team, she spent time in Mumbai, India living with five other former Magic dancers, performing on live sports show “Extraaa Innings.”
Shalize’s love for fitness sparked while she was on the team. “Fitness was one of the most important parts about being an NBA dancer, it was always important to look your absolute best. Finding ways to continue challenge my body physically became my obsession.” Upon moving to Los Angeles in 2013, Shalize began trying different workout classes and after taking a few classes at Pilates Plus Encino she fell in love with the Lagree Fitness technique. “After years of putting myself through various bootcamp classes, personal training, and group fitness classes, I had finally found what was perfect for my body and began seeing results right away. The Lagree Method is the most challenging workout I have ever done. It was exciting for me to find a workout so effective, yet low impact and easy on my joints.
Shalize is a Lagree certified instructor and with fitness as her main focus, she is actively pursing her career in modeling and dance signed with Go 2 talent agency and CESD models. “I love teaching at Pilates Plus, I enjoy making my classes challenging yet fun. Its important to me to make sure my students know that its only one hour of their day that they have to put their 100% effort into, so lets put our all into it and make it worth it! I love seeing and helping my clients work hard to reach their personal goals.”
Stacy is passionate about the results that people can achieve through the high intensity method of exercise at Pilates Plus. She was born and raised in Texas and is the mother of two young children. She may not get enough sleep or follow a perfect diet (hello barbecue), but she is more fit than she ever has been before. She attributes that to challenging, high intensity strength training sessions focused on form and safety. She is a true believer in time-saving workouts that deliver great results, and as a passionate advocate for this style of workout, she wants to help you reach your goals.
Stacy began her Pilates training in the classical method and was later introduced to the higher intensity method of Pilates Plus. A proud graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, Stacy is a certified Pilates instructor with continued training through the Lagree Method, and is a certified Spinning instructor. Stacy has worked with clients in small group and private training sessions, and has trained people ranging from competitive athletes, postpartum mothers, performers returning on tour, and novice weekend warriors.