The expert instructors at Fitwise are leaders in their field and teach from a deep place of knowing and compassion!
A key factor to your success is in your instructors.
WE ARE A COMMUNITY
We are a small, female owned and operated small business. Unlike chain studios and corporate health clubs, we have established roots in our community and strive to create a positive impact. We believe that Pilates is more than just another exercise it is a modality of wellness that creates positive and lasting change that keep our clients coming back.
PMA-CPT | MOVEMENT THERAPIST | OWNER / DIRECTOR, FITWISE PILATES
Ronda, owner and director of FitWise Pilates and Wellness has worked as a movement therapist, wellness practitioner, Master Pilates Instructor, Pilates Personal Trainer, group exercise leader, and exclusive specialty chef for private citizens and celebrities alike throughout the world for over 20 years. Ronda did her initial Pilates training in Brazil and through Polestar Pilates Education. Ronda is certified through Pilates Method Alliance. She has worked/studied with Elizabeth Larkam since 2006 as well as several other prolific educators including Jean Claude West. Ronda continues to attend advanced workshops, courses and master level classes. During her career as the Body, Mind and Spirit Chef, she instructed workshops and clients on weight management, movement medicine, energy optimization, personal fitness, wellness and other daily life concerns through an easy approach to nutrition, functional movement and sustainable lifestyle choices. Ronda’s Movement repertoire is vast and innovative, her clientele range from professional athletes to acute rehabilitation and everything in between. Dance and Movement Medicine are her areas of expertise. Movement and healing are truly her second nature. Ronda has traveled extensively throughout the West Indies, the South Pacific, as well as South, Central, and North America, researching medicinal and native foods, movement therapies and modalities that formed the basis of many of her flourishing practice at FitWise Pilates and Wellness. Her own desire for optimal fitness and well-being led her to create a style of nutritious haute cuisine for specialty diets and natural living in which currently she teaches and leads in wellness groups. As the owner and director of FitWise Pilates and Wellness in El Cerrito and Mill Valley, Ronda teaches Pilates, functional fitness, fascia fitness, brain fitness and movement therapies to heal, rehabilitate and strengthen both body and soul. Our goal is to provide you with a range of wellness services geared at enhancing your total mind and body health.
CERTIFIED PILATES INSTRUCTOR | CERTIFIED YOGA INSTRUCTOR
Stephanie was introduced to Pilates in 1997 through a dance program as a means of dance conditioning and injury prevention. She then went on to dance professionally with The Oakland Ballet and State Street Ballet where she continued to be an avid Pilates student. Stephanie experienced so many profound benefits from Pilates that she knew she would eventually make it her career. After relocating to Los Angeles, Stephanie received her certification through Body Arts and Science (BASI) in 2004. She started teaching full time at studios all over Los Angeles. Stephanie has been fortunate enough to work alongside physical therapists and leaders in dance medicine. She has worked with a large number of clients ranging from fitness enthusiasts and athletes to people suffering from various injuries and medical conditions. Stephanie continues to attend master level workshops and courses in the movement sector. Stephanie also discovered Anusara yoga and in 2009 she successfully completed an Anusara yoga certification. Stephanie is thrilled to be back in the Bay area at FitWise Pilates . She draws on her many influences to create an effective, diverse, detailed, and very challenging session. She is able to adapt the Pilates exercises to meet the many different needs of her clients including, athletic training, pregnancy, back issues, weight loss, fitness, and much more!
CERTIFIED PILATES INSTRUCTOR
Jen Raby is a fully certified STOTT™ Pilates instructor bringing 20 plus years of experience and success working in the fitness industry. Jen began her career in New York City with Certifications from New York University, and American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), working in top health clubs, as well as owning her own in-home personal training business. After taking her first Pilates class in 2000, Jen was hooked. Pilates was the intelligent, effective, and rewarding exercise program that she was looking for. Jen embarked on her journey into Pilates becoming a Level II STOTT™ Pilates Advanced Instructor. Eventually, she opened two studios in Newport and Bristol, Rhode Island. In addition to Pilates, Jen is an accomplished Equestrian competing in United States Dressage Federation Horse shows, recreational runner, and avid Yogi. Jen resides in Marin with her husband, son and two Jack Russell Terriers. She is thrilled to be part of the Fitwise team of instructors, and looks forward to working with you!
CERTIFIED PILATES INSTRUCTOR
Amelia is a Denver, Colorado native and has enjoyed traveling the country thanks to a life long passion for ballet. She danced professionally with Nevada Ballet Theater, and then joined The Phantom of the Opera, Las Vegas, where she performed for six years. While training as a young dancer at the Kirov Academy of Ballet and Colorado Ballet, she began practicing Pilates to help her rehabilitate dance injuries and to balance her body from within. She continued her education at the University of California, Irvine and graduated magna cum laude. While at UCI, she kept up her Pilates practice and decided to deepen her knowledge of the body by studying kinesiology, and she worked as an intern in the school’s Sports Medicine Clinic and with local physical therapists. Amelia fell so deeply in love with Pilates that she became a certified Pilates Instructor in 2005 and has been teaching mat and apparatus classes ever since. She then became a certified Barre instructor, giving her the opportunity to fuse her passion for Ballet and Pilates into one fun, motivating and effective exercise program. “I love how toned and lengthened I feel after class, and I love sharing that feeling with my clients. Pilates and Barre can challenge clients at all levels while keeping the body safe and in proper alignment.” Amelia enjoys working with all types of clients ranging from dancers, athletes and fitness models, to clients rehabbing from surgeries and learning to cope with permanent paralysis, and even those who just want to improve their golf swing! “I am excited to bring my passion and experience to the team at FitWise Pilates and I look forward to helping clients reach their health, wellness and fitness goals.”
CERTIFIED PILATES INSTRUCTOR, PMA-CPT, JD
Jean was born in Wisconsin and was a successful equestrian for over 15 years. She also enjoyed water skiing, cycling, racquetball and group exercise. She received a B.A. From Marquette University and relocated to California to attend law school at Pepperdine University, graduating in 1990. She began practicing Pilates in 2002 to counter the stress of her work as an attorney and to balance out her body from the rigors placed on it by her love for mountain biking. Immediately realizing the profound difference Pilates made in her life and body she decided to leave the practice of law. Jean did her initial comprehensive Pilates training with Elizabeth Larkam in 2004 -2005 and was certified by the Pilates Method Alliance. She followed that with a second training at Integrated Teacher Training led by Madeleine Black and Jean Sullivan. She was featured as a Pilates Success story in the October 2006 issue of Pilatestyle magazine. Since that time she has continued to expand her movement knowledge by taking in depth workshops with industry leaders such as Karen Clippinger PT, Christine Romani Ruby PT, Jean-Claude West, Thomas Myers, Tom McCook, Eric Franklin, and Nora St. John. In addition to overall health and wellness her areas of focus are scoliosis, joint replacement, movement to alleviate back pain, and deep pelvic floor cueing. Her philosophy is move well, move often and have fun!
CERTIFIED PILATES INSTRUCTOR
Rachel took her first Pilates class more than 15 years ago and she has been hooked ever since. She felt strong, centered and present in her body and it was just the beginning. Over the years, Pilates helped Rachel adapt and thrive as she transitioned from dancer to journalist to busy mom. Now as a teacher, she is honored to share her passion for Pilates and movement. Rachel successfully completed the Balanced Body Pilates Instructor Training Program and continues to learn and study. She has advance training in the Franklin Method and pre and post natal protocols. Rachel is passionate about including release work, new movement patterns and laughter in all of her classes and sessions. She loves to work with students at every level: newbies, folks wanting to regain strength and Pilates veterans looking to go to the next level. Her philosophy is to see the unique gifts and challenges in all students and create a movement recipe that brings joy, healing and empowerment. Rachel is originally from Southern California and also enjoys yoga, dance, cooking, hiking and keeping up with her spirited son.
CERTIFIED PILATES INSTRUCTOR
Tracey was introduced to Pilates in London in 2005. At the time she was a busy mother of four young children, working as a French teacher and running full- and half marathons in her spare time. She had been suffering from lower back pains, caused by weak core muscles and tight hamstrings. Regular Pilates sessions increased her core strength and flexibility which in turn eased her back pain. It also gave her an incredible sense of well-being. She was so passionate about the positive effects Pilates had on her body and mind that she decided to retrain as a Pilates instructor and share those benefits with others. She gained her certification in 2012 with Lynne Robinson at Body Control Pilates. Tracey went on to run many classes in London, working with people of all ages and abilities, including specialist classes for athletes, Post and PreNatal, mature adults and those with mobility issues. Since relocating to the Bay Area in 2014, she has been running classes at a local physical therapy studio, working closely with the physical therapists. Tracey continues to study advanced curriculum on movement, rehabilitation and Fascia Fitness. Tracey’s classes will challenge you and invigorate you. Tracey has a loyal following and is delighted to join the team at FitWise.
CERTIFIED PILATES INSTRUCTOR / CERTIFIED GYROTONIC INSTRUCTOR
Rita is a certified Pilates/Gyrotonic instructor and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Gama Filho University in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, her home town. Rita is also a classical dancer trained by the San Francisco Ballet School and has performed professionally with the San Francisco Opera, and in Brazil with the Niteroi City Ballet. After spraining her ankle during a ballet class, she was referred to the St. Francis Hospital and placed in a Pilates program which led to her full recovery under Elizabeth Larkam’s guidance. This experience led to her interest and training through Polestar Method Alliance, then certification with Pilates Method Alliance, followed by a Gyrotonic Expansion System® certification. Rita’s broad client experience includes caring for professional dancers, athletes, people recovering from varied injuries and physical conditions.
CERTIFIED PILATES INSTRUCTOR
Amy is a movement specialist with over 30 years experience in dance training and performance; her Pilates training, yoga practice, Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais work build on this foundation. She brings her love of motion, her kinesthetic awareness, and her inquisitiveness about what bodies can do to assisting you in developing a stronger, happier, healthier body. Amy holds a BFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah and is a comprehensively certified Body Arts and Science International (BASI) Pilates Instructor. She holds certificates in Pilates in Pregnancy and Beyond and Pilates for Injuries and Pathologies from BASI, and specialization in rehabilitation and age-related conditioning.
An active person who spent many years going “all out” as a professional dancer, Amy learned Pilates to address an injured hip with chronic pain and arthritis. She learned that if we consciously re-pattern motion efficiently, use healthy alignment, and strengthen muscles through proper body mechanics, we can remove limitations of motive expression and release the pain which restricts us. By doing Pilates regularly, you will find a restored confidence in yourself, in your body, and in your ability to do what you most love to do. Classes with Amy focus on awareness, precision, flexibility, and strength. Be assured that you’ll be challenged, have fun, and leave feeling invigorated and inspired!
CERTIFIED PILATES INSTRUCTOR
Haruki was first introduced to Pilates at the age of 14 while studying at San Francisco Ballet School. Pilates became an integral part of Haruki’s training regimen and she continued her practice throughout her ballet career — graduating from San Francisco Ballet School and performing with Ballet Metropolitan in Columbus, Ohio. Haruki comes to FitWise Pilates with a deep technical understanding of the human body and movement. She is a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant and holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from San Francisco State University in addition to an A.S. from Ohlone College’s Physical Therapist Assistant program. Haruki became a certified Pilates Instructor, studying under the direct tutelage of Ronda Priestner, owner of FitWise Pilates.
Prior to FitWise, Haruki had the privilege of working with many highly skilled Physical Therapists in the Bay Area over the past 10 years . As a Physical Therapist Assistant, Haruki employs Pilates techniques and fundamentals to train physical therapy clients and athletes to help them achieve and maintain healthy bodies free of pain. In the Pilates environment Haruki serves programs designed for dancers, athletes and those in need of strength in addition to restorative and curative. Haruki’s background of a dancer and Physical Therapist Assistant give her the ability to strengthen and preserve one ability to function optimally.
As a lifelong student of art and body movement, Haruki has dedicated her career to teaching the fundamentals of exercise, health, and well-being. In addition to Pilates and Physical Therapy, Haruki also served as a Yoga Assistant for therapeutic yoga workshops at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur and Yoga Tree in San Francisco. Haruki teaches from a deep place of understanding yet with the drive of a dancer. Haruki’s classes will align you, challenge you and bring out the best in you.