My basic promise as your trainer is that we form a partnership — you bring your experience and what you are feeling. I bring my training and skills and experience, but your body is the teacher. My motto is: “Everyone is an artist.” I see you as graceful, comfortable, skilled and efficient moving beings. You creatively develop an active relationship with your body. Together we create dynamic programs using neural integration to enhance alignment, balance, athleticism, and overall daily skills for all walks of life.
The wondrous alliance of form and function that is the human body is the inspiration for my work both as Dancer-Choreographer and as Movement Coach-Pilates Trainer.
“To offer each person the opportunity to know herself or himself deeply and thereby free the expressive capabilities of the body and the mind is the continuing joy of teaching movement.”
I grew up in the red rock country of Western Colorado. The fantastical contrasts of cottonwood and river gorge, quaking aspen and ascending mountain, peach tree and vast valley evolved my passion for the ever changing alignments of the natural world and specifically as they play out in the human body.
As a child I studied tap, modern and ballet; by age 14 I began to teach and choreograph.
As a young woman I danced and choreographed as a solo artist and with modern dance companies across North America and Europe. I often “moonlighted” in musical theatre, ballroom and ethnic dance. Due to my diverse background in the arts I am able to assist performing artists and companies weave together their artistic insights and creations with solid technical skill and strength. I currently direct LesCinqRoses, a physical theatre company in Verscio, Switzerland and am a guest instructor at Scuola Teatro Dmitri. In the Bay Area I am a performance coach for Paufve Dance.
In 1987-88 I received my full Pilates Certification at St. Francis Memorial Hospital, Center for Sports Medicine under the tutelage of Patrice Whiteside, Elizabeth Larkham, and Mercy Sidbury, after which I worked in the satellite clinic in Walnut Creek and maintained a private practice.
My lifelong fascination with the moving body has led me to explore a myriad of dance forms plus Yoga, Breema, Chi Gung, Feldenkrais, Gyrotonic, the Franklin Method, Kinesiotaping, and Jin Shin Jyutsu. I study Active Meditation with Dr. Christina Cross and Intuitive Meditation with Dr. Glenda Jeong. And our glorious brain and intriguing nervous system.
Movement has been a part of my life ever since my parents enrolled me in dance classes at the Linkletter/Totten School of Dance in La Habra, California at age 5. I studied tap, ballet, jazz and character dance. Dance training turned into a love of moving and expression. I played sports and danced through high school making dances to Earth, Wind and Fire, Joni Mitchell and many others. In college I fell in love with musical theater, modern dance and performance art working with Hangers, Rudy Perez and Sara Elgart and Dancers. My life in Southern California was full of learning possibilities but I decided to move to Northern California in 1984.
I have my BA in Theater from CSU Fullerton and MA in Dance Choreography from UCLA. I formed Mary Reid/Smaller Than Life in 1985 after moving to San Francisco. Smaller Than Life worked together until 2001 performing in theaters and festivals around San Francisco, Los Angeles and the East Bay.
In 1989, I began studying Pilates-based rehabilitative movement with Patrice Whiteside and Elizabeth Larkham at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco. I received my certification in 1990. Other influences include Ideokinesis, Laban Movement Analysis and Bartenieff Fundamentals. I have studied with Andre Bernard, Mercy Sidbury, Marie-Jose Blom, Betsy Kagan and more. For the past several years, I have been training in Z-Health and have taken Essentials, R-Phase, I-Phase and S-Phase. In addition to teaching at Pilates at the Plaza, I remain on staff at St. Francis Memorial Hospital’s Center for Sports Medicine satellite clinic in Walnut Creek for over 19 years.
I first discovered Pilates in college where I enrolled in a mat class that I thoroughly enjoyed. It wasn’t until I began practicing Pilates at Pilates at the Plaza that I gained an understanding of what Pilates is really about. Through my private training sessions of therapeutic movement therapy, I began to heal from the wounds caused by my own life’s emotional and physical trauma. This healing experience is what truly sparked my love for Pilates. Pilates not only brought awareness to my body and mind in ways I never thought possible, it also brought awareness of the endless factors that can affect one’s body.
I studied Pilates at Turing Point Studios and am a certified instructor through Balanced Body University. I also have my certification for Z-Health R-Phase for restoration, rehabilitation and remobilization. With the skills and knowledge I have gained from the R-Phase training, I am able to guide my students with a new understanding of the nervous system and the tools to help correct problematic movement patterns. My most recent certification acquired is for pre-natal and post-natal Pilates. The study of pre-natal and post-natal health and fitness has sparked a new interest in the pelvic floor and it’s importance for overall health in women and men. I find these new areas of interest especially intriguing at this time in my life because my husband and I are expecting our first child, a baby girl this June.
I teach with compassion, patience and attention to detail. My approach is meant to make my students feel safe and comfortable. As I continue exploring the path to health and wellness through movement, I look forward to sharing my new knowledge with you and inviting you to accompany me on my enlightening journey.
I received my Bachelor’s of Arts in Urban Studies and Geography from Macalester College in St.Paul, MN. Growing up in Milwaukee, I was a competitive gymnast and practiced martial arts. During college I studied modern dance and had an opportunity to learn breakdancing while I completed an abroad program at Columbia University in NYC. It became clear to me after I graduated that my greatest joy was learning new ways of moving. After arriving to the Bay Area, I decided to take the plunge into teaching movement and in 2006 became a Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council of Exercise and National Academy of Sports Medicine.
Since then, I have become a Certified Pilates and Vinyasa Yoga teacher. Hundreds of hours of learning each discipline has given me a deep understanding of how the body can be reconditioned from the inside out. I have studied energy work and see the body as an interconnected web where one’s thoughts affect one’s body and vice versa. When Z-Health entered my life in 2012 it unlocked the door to explaining the science behind how the body is a fully integrated unit and nothing lives in isolation. I have completed the foundation Z-Health courses (R, I, S, and T Phase) and am currently pursuing the complete 9S coursework. My current dream is to complete the Z-Health Master Trainer program and help people utilize Z-Health to accomplish their own dreams whether that be running a marathon, doing a handstand, or simple sitting comfortably in a chair. My coaching is clear, holistic, intentional, integrated, and informed. I am easy going, warm hearted, perceptive, playful, and sincere.