Pilates Instructors

SamiaP

Samia Pillizarri
Instructor

STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor
STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor Trainer
ZEN•GA® Mat and Equipment Instructor Trainer
Total Barre™ Instructor

Born in Minas Gerais, Brazil, Samia moved to New York City in 1995 after graduating from UNICAMP (University of Campinas) in Sao Paulo with a BA in Dance. While studying at UNICAMP, Mrs. Pellizzari was the recipient of the Grand Prize for Choreography at the Rio de Janeiro Dance Competition and received Second Honors at the Sao Paulo Dance Competition. She also received the First Place Prize as a solo dancer at the International Dance Competition of Bento Goncalves in Brazil.

In New York City, Samia trained at Alvin Ailey, Steps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center. She has performed with dance companies, industrials and musicals such as West Side Story and the European tour of Grease.

While rehabbing a knee injury, she fell in love with Pilates. She then decided to pursue it as a career and began teaching at the studio Pilates on Fifth in New York City, where she also received her full certification in the STOTT PILATES® method. She has instructed Pilates since 2002 in New York, New Jersey, Austria and Southern California before relocating to the Atlanta area in 2007.

With a firm belief that STOTT PILATES® is the premier Pilates method in the industry and in an effort to promote the method to other Pilates instructors, Samia became a STOTT PILATES® Instructor Trainer in 2008. She also holds certification as a Fitness Instructor through the American Council on Exercise. Her vast experience with dance and a wide variety of clients has made her well-rounded instructor. She is a Senior STOTT PILATES® instructor at Inspire Health and instructs a wide variety of clientele; including athletes, pre and post natal clients, and post-rehabilitative clients. Samia is fluent in Spanish, English and Portuguese.

Terese Thomas

Terese Thomas
Vice President – Client Relations

STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor
ZEN•GA® Qualified Mat and Equipment Instructor
Total Barre™ Instructor

Terese, a former professional ballet dancer, received her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science from Georgia State University in 2001. During her dance career she became familiar with the teaching of Joseph Pilates. She practiced the classical method of pilates for several years and felt like something was missing with the training. It wasn’t until she started work at Inspire Health in 2006 that she discovered STOTT PILATES®. After working at Inspire Health as the Client Service Manager, she decided she wanted to go back to her roots and pursue a career in STOTT PILATES® through Inspire Health’s apprentice program.

Terese is a full Level 1 STOTT PILATES® Certified instructor. Along with STOTT PILATES®, Terese is certified in the CORE BARRE method and has held a personal training certificate through the American Aerobic & Fitness Association. Terese currently teaches adult ballet at the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education as well. Because Terese has been teaching ballet in the metro Atlanta area for over 15 years, her training and real-world experience provide her with a greater understanding of the body and how it moves. Terese’s clients love her enthusiasm and her eye for detail that her dance background brings to their workouts.

Jennifer Yellin

Jennifer Yellin
Senior Instructor

STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor

Jennifer holds a BA degree from The George Washington University and has a diverse fitness and wellness education to offer her clients. She is a Level 1 STOTT PILATES® Certified instructor. Additionally, she is a certified ISHTA Yoga Instructor and studied with Yogiraj Alan Finger. Jennifer has an approachable and adaptable teaching style for a wide variety of client goals, body types and issues.

Alicia Perez
Senior Instructor

STOTT PILATES® Trained Instructor
ZEN•GA® Qualified Equipment Instructor

Alicia comes to Inspire Health from San Diego, California with 17 years of experience in the fitness industry. She earned her degree in Kinesiology from San Diego State University in 2003 and worked as a personal trainer until she discovered pilates while rehabilitating a back injury. She then went on to complete her full certification in the STOTT PILATES® method in 2008.

Over the years Alicia has worked with clientele ranging from those who suffer from chronic pain to athletes wanting to improve their performance. In her quest to find more tools to help her clientele, she was introduced to the powerful healing effects The MELT Method®. She has since become a Level 2 MELT instructor and combines STOTT PILATES® and MELT to help her clients stay active, mobile and perform at their best.

Samantha Rafferty

Samantha Rafferty
Instructor

STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor

Born and raised in Georgia, Sam began dancing at a young age, and went on to receive an interdisciplinary, dance-focused B.F.A. at the University of Georgia. While in college, she both performed and choreographed works for the Young Choreographer’s Series, in addition to presenting an undergraduate thesis on the development of environmental awareness through movement. After graduating, Samantha received an ICE Grant to create a collaborative work, the Galatea Project, which premiered in 2014. Sam continued to pursue her education, and earned a Master’s Degree in Natural Resources at the University of Georgia. During her Master’s program, she developed a curriculum teaching ecological concepts through creative movement, which was presented at the NDEO 2015 National Conference.

Sam continued dancing with local contemporary company, Room To Move Dance throughout her Master’s program, and practiced Pilates as a part of her dance conditioning. In 2016, she chose to take her practice to the next level and pursue STOTT PILATES® Certification through Inspire Health’s apprentice program. She enjoys helping others develop healthy lifestyles and reach their wellness goals through Pilates.

Erika Evans

Erika Evans
Instructor

STOTT PILATES® Trained Instructor

Erika is a recent transplant from Florida and is our newest apprentice at Inspire Health. Her path to Pilates began during early childhood dance education where her ballet instructor incorporated Pilates exercises throughout class. It was through dance that she gained an appreciation for movement as an expression of the mind but also a necessary component of overall health. Her love for dance blossomed into a curiosity for both the body’s mechanics and dysfunctions, leading her to pursue a career in massage therapy. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2006 and has been licensed in Massage Therapy since 2007. Becoming a Pilates instructor as a compliment to her massage practice expands her skillset to better promote wellness. The empowerment of strength and comfort that Pilates offered her in dance, grew to enhance her everyday life, which is something she’s excited to share with others. Driven by a passion for helping people, Erika believes STOTT PILATES® can enrich peoples lives in a profound way.

Juliana Franklin

Juliana Franklin
Instructor

STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor

Juliana, an Atlanta native, has trained in ballet, modern, and contemporary dance for over 17 years. She graduated from Atlanta Ballet’s Conservatory program in 2018 and now performs with local company Bluebird Uncaged. During her training at Atlanta Ballet, Juliana was introduced to STOTT PILATES® as a unique way to strengthen her technique. She quickly discovered how beneficial it was for her body and mind, and was moved to pursue it professionally.

Now a trained instructor, Juliana endeavors to help others discover their strengths and improve their overall wellness. She is thrilled to join Inspire Health as an apprentice and is grateful for the opportunity to share her love of STOTT PILATES®.

Yenwen Quo

Yenwen Kuo
Instructor

STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor

Born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Yenwen started her dance training at the age of three with ballet, modern, and traditional Chinese dance. After high school, she came to the United States to continue her education. Graduating with honors, Yenwen received her BFA in dance and choreography from Shenandoah University. Yenwen has performed around the world with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line while holding managerial positions for eight years. Yenwen was a recipient of the Young Artists Tuition Scholarship from American Dance Festival and Gus Giordano summer intensive program. Her award-winning choreography has been performed internationally.

Yenwen went to London and received MSc in Dance Science from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Her thesis was accepted to present at both the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science annual conference and the Performing Art Medicine Association International Symposium in 2016.

Yenwen teaches dance and performs in the metro Atlanta area. She completed the STOTT PILATES® Intensive Mat course in 2008 and Reformer course at Inspire Health in 2016. Yenwen is excited to be part of the apprenticeship program with Inspire Health while continuing her education with STOTT PILATES® and becoming a full level one certified instructor in the near future.