The Studio & Our Instructors
About the Studio
Pilates in Port was established in 2000 at Inspiration Wharf by former professional ballet dancer, Tricia O'Donnell, and former modern dancer, Susan Brilliant. Pilates was such an integral part of the co-owners lives, they both decided to get classically certified by Romana Kryzanowska, protege of Joseph Pilates.
The ability to see clients transform in front of their eyes mentally and physically has inspired all of the instructors at Pilates in Port. High quality instruction and emphasis on the client, are the foundation of this highly successful Pilates studio. Now located on Haven Avenue in the heart of Port Washington, Pilates in Port has created a community of dedicated clients who strive for the ability to keep the "spring in their step", allowing for a strong yet flexible body. It's easy to understand why our clients continue to come year after year after one has experienced the spirit and intelligence of our staff and studio. All of our instructors have completed an established and respected 600 hour certification program.
Pilates in Port continues to grow stronger
Tricia Dean O’Donnell had spent eight years climbing the ranks of the ballet world when her career suddenly ended. She was a solo dancer for Pennsylvania Ballet in Philadelphia when she sprained her ankle. Had she known then what she knows now, she could have continued her career as a ballerina. But the injury effectively ended her career as a dancer.
Tricia Dean O'Donnell
Owner, Pilates In Port
As a student of the School of American Ballet, I was told I did not have the legs of a dancer. "They were too bulky." I was told Pilates would help develop the correct muscle groups, essential for creating the long line for ballet. After less than a year I could see major changes in my body and my technique.
I graduated from the School of American Ballet in 1985 and joined the Pennsylvania Ballet to become a soloist in 1987. I toured with New York City Ballet stars Heather Watts and Wendy Whelan on a "Tribute to Balanchine" tour along with other principals from New York City Ballet in 1993. After 8 years of a short career, I retired due to an ankle injury. I was reintroduced to Pilates as a form of rehabilitation. Little did I know the important role it would have in the next chapter of my life.
Randee is a certified Pilates instructor. She received her training certificate from the Physical Mind Institute in 2001. She was introduced to Pilates after seriously injuring her spine. After 3 months of Pilates, she saw the light. Pilates' core-conditioning using the powerhouse and stretching with strength and control improved her condition. The benefits of Pilates were amazing - the dull and chronic ache dissipated, while her ability to sit on a floor unsupported improved. At the same time there was improvement in her over-all posture and alignment. She re-shaped her body by losing inches, and maintained a general euphoria from feeling healthy again. She decided to give back the benefits of Pilates and began teaching. Randee grew up in Port. She decided to come back home " to the town by the bay ", to raise her 3 children; who are now 3 young adults, and teach in the community she loves.
A few months after moving to NYC in 1980, to pursue a career as a dancer/choreographer/ videographer, I began studying Pilates with Kathleen Stanford Grant. Kathy was a genius in her own right, known for her innate creative ability to heal. She was always very careful to credit Mr. Pilates for his work and differentiate it from her own inventions. She was one of only two teachers that Mr. Pilates certified. At the end of Kathy’s tenure at Henri Bendel, I documented her work. I also began studying Kinetic Awareness in the early 80’s, with Elaine Summers. KA is a mind/body system that uses small rubber balls for support, for release, and for self-discovery. I use balls when clients come in stressed or in pain, when they have lost proprioception from illness or injury, or to teach a specific concept. My work is also informed by the practice of Feldenkrais, Alexander, and Ideokinesis. I have been inspired by work with Andre Bernard, Irene Dowd, Aileen Crow, Mary Bowen, Brook Siler and many others. I have certifications from the PhysicalMind Institute, and the American Council on Exercise. I have studied anatomy FAMI, Functional Anatomy for Movement and Injuries and with Zoohoric systems. (I modeled for its founder, artist, John Zohoric). My choreography has been supported by Dance Theatre Workshop, Women Make Movies, and the Colorado Council on the Arts. I earned a BFA from Empire State College in Performing and Visual Arts and studied over three years in Mexico at Universidad de las Americas.
"I was first introduced to the Pilates System as a serious ballet student recovering from an injury at age 15. Although I did not realize at the time, I had the very good fortune to study with Romana Kryzanowska and later Carola Trier, Joseph Pilates' first generation disciples. For many years since, I have continued to depend on the Pilates System, "Contrology," to maintain my own skeletal and muscular health and have recommended the method to my ballet students, friends and family over the years. Finally, a mere 35 years later, I have decided to pursue my certification in the Classical Pilates System, and look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with others seeking a strong, lean, healthy body. In addition to teaching at Pilates in Port, I teach on the faculty of the Adelphi University Department of Dance teaching ballet technique, pointe, classical repertoire and Pilates."
Bonnie has been in the fitness industry for over 30 years as a Dancer, Personal Trainer, competitive Body Builder, and Classical Pilates Instructor. She has been teaching full time for 17 years and is currently a Senior Instructor and Lead Teacher Trainer for Real Pilates. Bonnie received her full Comprehensive certification from Power Pilates in 2003.
I was first introduced to Pilates in 2002, as a mother of two year old twins who was trying to reconnect with and strengthen my core. As an avid tennis player, skier and generally active person, I found that Pilates was not only a way for me to workout, but that its benefits spilled over to the rest of my life. Pilates helped me make that mind/body connection, align my body and improve my overall strength, flexibility and physical performance. After many years of my own practice and being a Pilates enthusiast, I decided to take my Pilates to another level by pursuing my Pilates teacher certification in the Classical Pilates System through the New York Pilates Studio® Teacher Certification Program. Under the tutelage of Brett Howard, Director of Education and Senior Teacher of Teachers of the United States Pilates Association® and the guidance of Tricia O’Donnell at Pilates in Port, I have come full circle.
Jane has been an exercise enthusiast for the past 25 years. She is a practitioner in Pilates, yoga, weight training, and cycles inside and outside. In 2005 she was certified by Power Pilates to teach Pilates on all the apparatus and Mat work. She attends many workshops for Pilates and other movement modalities. She uses her skills as a student and teacher when teaching. Jane is thorough and a lot of fun.
SUZANNE has enjoyed a 40 year career as a professional dancer, singer, director, choreographer and stage manager for regional, international, touring and Broadway companies. She had the honor of being the dance captain of the original Broadway company of 'Cats' for 13 years, as well as being a performer and stage manager. She has directed and choreographed many shows around the country and has taught several styles of dance at schools including NYU's CAP 21 and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.
As a health, wellness and lifestyle coach, Suzanne is a certified yoga instructor (including pranyama and meditation) massage therapist, nutritional counselor, personal trainer and group fitness instructor. She developed a "Stretch and Balance" class which focused on clients with scoliosis and parkinson's, which she taught at Chelsea Piers Sport Center in Manhattan. Her greatest passion, however, is Pilates. Suzanne studied with Bob Liekens and Susan Moran at Power Pilates beginning in 2008, received her advanced certification, and has added many specialty continuing education certifications along the way. Suzanne truly believes movement heals!