Sophie has been in the fitness industry since 2000 as a group exercise instructor and personal trainer. In 2001, she completed her Pilates training with PhysicalMind Institute and Tom McCook at the Center of Balance in California. In 2006, Sophie continued her passion for Pilates and completed the Comprehensive Personal Apparatus Training (a 9 month long program including mat work and apparatus intensives) with ITT Pilates in California. She enjoys teaching in a group or private setting and is focused on assisting clients with their individual needs. Sophie is dedicated to helping participants develop healthy movements, functional strength and achieve balance within their body and mind.
Maria Sheldon was a professional dancer in her native country of Spain. She came to New York City in 2005 to dance, where she also discovered Pilates classes and became a dedicated student. She quickly discovered the huge benefits of the discipline, decided to become an instructor and completed her Pilates training with the Kelly Kane School in NYC. Maria has extensive training on all Pilates equipment, in addition to specialty Pilates training for tennis players and golfers. She achieved her Certified Pilates Teacher designation by the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) in July 2013.
Emilia Iorillo graduated from Rutgers University with a BF in Dance. She received her Pilates education through Polestar Pilates International, studying under Brent Anderson and Kim Gibilisco and holds a Pilates Method Alliance Certiﬁed Pilates Teacher designation. She strives to guide her students through a challenging, safe and fun movement experience that will strengthen and engage both the body and the mind.
Jaclyn Connelly discovered Pilates in 2003 and developed her personal practice for nearly 10 years before receiving her comprehensive Pilates training with Balanced Body in 2012. Pilates has enhanced her life and she is dedicated to sharing the gifts she has received. Jaclyn is also certified in Iyengar yoga (which emphasizes detail, precision, alignment and breath control), and has an extensive experience practicing and teaching this discipline.
With this combination, she brings a keen awareness of skeletal alignment and the ability to coach people to find their best form, while fostering the mind-body connection. Jaclyn is a gifted instructor, adept at providing both an athletic and therapeutic practice, which allows her to cater to individual needs, and to provide a safe yet challenging session at every fitness level.
Elly Mandarakas is certified through Pilates Academy International. She also holds a B.F.A. from Montclair State University and is credentialed in all levels with Dance Educators of America. After many years of studying various forms of dance and movement, she discovered Pilates and its unique and positive effects. She has experience as a professional dancer and teaching Pilates as physical therapy. Working with people who have injuries and need rehabilitation enhanced her approach to working with healthy bodies. Elly loves to experience new places, foods and ways of life while always keeping her very strong core with her family and communities.
Rachel received her Pilates certifications in mat and apparatus through STOTT Pilates and pre- and post-natal specialist certifications through Women's Fitness Center of America. She graduated Summa cum Laude from Montclair State University where she earned Bachelor’s Degrees in both Fine Arts/Dance and English Education. She also holds a Master’s of Education in Dance from Rutgers. Rachel trained in New York and has been teaching Pilates since 2009. She is the director of the Ridge Dance Department at Ridge High School in Basking Ridge, NJ where she teaches grades 9-12 and advises on dance related extra-curricular activities. She brings her experience in the classroom to her teaching of Pilates.