Instructor Bios - Pacific Northwest Ballet

Instructor Bios

Instructor Bios2018-11-09T08:38:07+00:00

cond_logo“My method develops the body uniformly, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit.” (Joseph Pilates)

Originally designed for PNB dancers and students, today PNBConditioning uses the Pilates method to help people from all walks of life strengthen and sculpt their bodies. PNBConditioning develops core strength and stability, promotes long lean muscles, increases flexibility, and works for any fitness level.

Instructor Bios

Marjorie Thompson

Marjorie Thompson founded PNBConditioning in 1998. Marjorie studied ballet at the School of American Ballet and joined the New York City Ballet, under the direction of George Balanchine. Marjorie had the privilege of taking her first Pilates session with Joseph Pilates himself. She went on to direct the Lotte Berk Method in New York and receive her Pilates certification from Romana Kryzanowska. Marjorie teaches at both of our locations and although she primarily works with our dancers, she is pleased to see clients by special request.

Carol Elsner

Carol Elsner has a BA in physical education from the University of Washington and an MPT from the University of Puget Sound. As a former competitive gymnast she toured South America and Southeast Asia with the Greater Seattle Gymnastics Club under the auspices of the US State Department. She coached gymnastics for the AOG in Bellevue and at the UW 1969–74. As a dancer, Carol began the study of ballet and modern dance at the age of 26 at the UW, later studying on partial scholarship at the Martha Graham School and performing with some small modern companies in NYC. She is currently a per diem PT at Swedish hospital Cherry Hill Campus. She enjoys teaching Pilates to enable clients to deepen core connections, enhance alignment and to reach their conditioning goals. A long time student of PNB Conditioning, Carol has earned her Pilates Certification from The Physical Mind Institute. She teaches at both the Seattle and Bellevue studios.

Teresa Hanawalt

Teresa Cowan-Kuist received her BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts in 2003. Immediately after graduation Teresa co-founded NorthWest Dance Syndrome (NWDS), a collaborative Modern dance company based in Seattle. Teresa co-artistic directs as well as dances for NWDS producing choreography and performing at many venues including Velocity MainSpace Theater, Broadway Performance Hall, Bumbershoot, and at On the Boards as part of the 12 Min. Max series. NWDS most recently performed in the Northwest New Works Festival at On the Boards in May, 2008. Teresa has been teaching dance at several dance studios around the Seattle area since 2004. She is currently teaching dance at the Marysville Performing Arts Centre. Teresa completed her Stott Pilates training through Bodycenter Studios where she is an Associate Instructor. Teresa is excited to be teaching for the PNB Conditioning program at both the Bellevue and Seattle locations.

Deborah Kenner

Deborah Kenner received her BFA from the University of Arizona on a full academic and dance scholarship and a MS in Kinesiology from A. T. Still University. Ms. Kenner performed professionally with Colorado Ballet, David Taylor Dance Theatre and State Street Ballet. She was introduced to Pilates as a student at Ballet West Conservatory. Ms. Kenner believes Pilates should be an essential aspect to ballet training. She holds a Pilates certification through the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA), specializes in neurological disorders, barre training through Balanced Body, and has been certified in Progressive Ballet Technique (PBT). Ms. Kenner is also part of the Balanced Body Faculty to train Pilates Instructors.

Dina McDermott

Dina holds a BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School in New York, and an MFA in performance/choreography. She danced, choreographed and has taught professionally for more than 20 years. Dina had done Pilates for many years, but did an intensive certification through Stott Pilates in 2001, following a serious knee injury. Dina is interested in sharing the Pilates method with her clients, as a method to achieve physical balance, integrity and wholeness. She teaches at both the Seattle and Bellevue studios.

Kayoko Price

Kayoko is a Pilates instructor who has been teaching at PNB Bellevue studio since 2007. She’s a certified instructor through the PhysicalMind Institute. Before teaching Pilates, Kayoko was a structural engineer and dancer. She practiced engineering for a prominent Northwest engineering firm and has danced for a few Seattle choreographers. She has Bachelor’s Degrees in Dance and Civil Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Structural engineering, all from the University of Washington. Kayoko feels that Pilates blends her structure engineering and dance skills in a unique way. She loves how Pilates can be a tremendous help for her clients.

Suzanne Singla

Suzanne trained with Columbia Dance Ensemble, Oregon Ballet Theatre School and Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, where she received a Certificate of Dance. She performed professionally with dance ensembles in Oregon, New York and South Africa. Her teaching credits include faculty positions at Connecticut Dance Theatre, School of Steps and Ballet Hispanico and she currently teaches ballet and Pilates at Pacific Northwest Ballet School. For many years, Pilates has been an integral part of Suzanne’s training and helped her recover from a back injury and, more recently, two pregnancies and births. She became inspired to become a Pilates instructor and completed her training through STOTT Pilates in Seattle. The dramatic changes she experienced through Pilates excites her to share her knowledge with clients of all populations helping them to feel great and reach their personal goals.

Tara Stepenberg

Tara, M.Ed., M.Ed., CMA, RMT, ACE and certified in the Method Pilates, is a multi-faceted movement specialist. After completing her B.S. in Dance at The Juilliard School, she taught, directed, and choreographed for several University dance departments including: Hampshire College, The Five College Dance Department, The Naropa Institute, and Earlham College. Tara also directed the Certificate Programs in Laban Movement Analysis at the Laban Institute of Movement Studies in NYC. She trained in The Method Pilates in 1994 with Michelle Larson in Santa Fe, NM, and currently is a Certification Trainer for the Physical Mind Institute. In addition, she has completed the coursework for Poletstar Pilates Rehab Program. Prior to coming to the Northwest, Tara was a movement specialist and director of a Pilates program in Cincinnati, Ohio. Tara enjoys working with individuals of all ages and levels of fitness. She credits Pilates with feeling 35 at 61. She teaches at the Bellevue studio.


In The News

Preemptive Strike: Get in Balance Like a Ballerina,
Seattle Magazine, March 2009

Living Well: Pilates keeping PNB’s dancers on their toes
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 28, 2005

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