Program Directors and Faculty
Kerry De Vivo
Kerry, Program Director, is the owner of Excel Pilates Annapolis and is a second generation Pilates teacher. She is a certified teacher of The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning by The Pilates Center in Boulder, CO (1995) and by Romana Kryzanowska at The Pilates Studio in New York, NY (1996). She has a MFA degree in Dance and a BS degree in Arts Management and is Pink Ribbon Program certified.
Kerry began studying Pilates in 1986 with Steve Giordano at SUNY Purchase. In 1998, after completing her Pilates certifications, she co-founded Excel Movement Studios (now Excel Pilates DC), a 5,000 square foot Pilates studio, with Lesa McLaughlin in Washington, DC. In 2002, she co-founded Excel Pilates Annapolis. The DC and Annapolis, MD studios now operate as "sister studios."
Kerry is co-director of Excel's Pilates Teacher Training Program established in 2001. The Pilates Teacher Training Program at Excel is dedicated to providing high-quality training in the original work of Joseph H. Pilates. It is a comprehensive and in-depth one-year training program requiring a minimum of 700 hours of hands-on training in all levels of the Pilates mat and apparatus work. Kerry works directly with apprentices to help them reach their goals of teaching Pilates. In 2009, Kerry helped develop Excel's Pilates Teacher Mentor Program designed to offer high-level continuing education to area Pilates teachers.
In 2009, Excel Pilates Annapolis became an official studio of The Pilates Center's Masters Program. Kerry is an approved presenter for continuing education workshops for The Pilates Center's Masters Program.
Kerry has taught the Pilates Method to clients who range in age from 14-80, applying Pilates in its original form for performance improvement, injury prevention, rehabilitation and fitness. Her clients have ranged from professional athletes including runners, dancers, gymnasts, football players, cyclists and rowers, to individuals with specific health issues, to those simply looking for an alternative fitness program. Kerry has worked with clients in pre and post-surgery situations.
Kerry has presented workshops on Pilates at Physical Therapy clinics and at the University of Colorado/Boulder, the University of Maryland/College Park, the University of Florida/Gainesville, and Shenandoah University. She was a Panelist on the Careers in Dance Board, representing Pilates, for the 8th Annual Dance Medicine Symposium at Goucher College in March 1998. Kerry was co-author of the research study, The Benefits of The Pilates Method for Shoulder Stabilization in Dancers, which was presented at the Annual Symposium on Medical Problems of Musicians and Dancers in Aspen, CO.
In addition to Pilates, Kerry had a professional career in dance. She served on the dance faculty at George Washington University and the University of Maryland at College Park. She performed with Deborah Riley Dance Projects for three years as a principal company member and has performed with Liz Lerman, Adrienne Clancey and Mim Rosen. Her choreography and performances have been viewed in Colorado, New York, Maryland, Washington DC, the U.K. and Australia.
Kerry's teaching is inspired by the life's work of Joseph Pilates as well as her clients. "It is a gift to work with a client for years and assist them in their journey to meet their health goals. Pilates is a sound method of body conditioning that is rich with detail and powerful with results. It is a method that is applicable to all bodies."
Kerry is dedicated to the original Pilates method and to offering clients an empowering fitness experience. She only employs teachers who share the same commitment.
Lesa, Program Director, is the owner of Excel Pilates DC and was certified as a teacher in The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning by The Pilates Studio in New York in 1995 under the tutelage of Romana Krowsanavska. She received a Gold Certification by the Pilates Method Alliance in 2005. She holds a BFA in Dance from George Mason University (1984) and has taught dance, movement and exercise for over 30 years. In 1998, she opened Pilates at Excel Movement Studios, now known as Excel Pilates DC, in Washington, DC. and in 2002 another Studio in Annapolis. MD. She has worked with clients for 18 years in The Pilates Method Of Body Conditioning. Ranging in age from 10-85 clients have included athletes such as dancers, gymnast, swimmers, ice skaters, runners, golfers, equestrian jumpers, and body builders, all working to achieve better performance or to gain a competitive edge. Lesa has also worked with clients at a rehabilitative level as well as injury prevention. Conditions and issues have included herniated discs, arthritis, Parkinson's disease, MS, knee surgery prevention, knee and hip replacement and pregnancy. In 2001 she collaborated with Kerry DeVivo to create and establish a comprehensive Pilates Teacher Training Program at Excel Movement Studios in which she developed the curriculum, program outline, and training manual. Currently, she teaches teachers all system levels as well as continuing education. Lesa McLaughlin's experience is that of a Master teacher. She considers her strength in teaching to be a deep understanding of the work of Joseph Pilates and helping each client to see, feel and reach their fullest potential. Lesa considers the work of Joseph Pilates to be an inspiration. She has experienced personally the depth and power of the work and considers her ability to practice and teach Pilates a true privilege. The most satisfying aspect of her Pilates experience is to see daily, through her teaching, the meaningful impact it has on others.
Alexandra Adams, Program Faculty, is a third generation instructor of Joseph H. Pilates and owner of Excel Pilates Northern Virginia. She has practiced Pilates for sixteen years, and has been a certified Pilates instructor for almost a decade. Upon graduation from The Madeira School in 1999, she went on to attend Goucher College. Alexandra graduated from Goucher College in 2003, with a Bachelor’s Degree with distinction in Dance Performance and Choreography.
After dancing professionally throughout the Washington DC area and continuing to study Pilates, she completed a rigorous, comprehensive Pilates teacher training program at Excel Movement Studios. In 2008, after four years of teaching Pilates, Alexandra completed the Masters Program at The Pilates Center, in Boulder, Colorado. The Pilates Center is the first of its kind to offer a Masters Program to already accomplished teachers. At the time, Alexandra was one of ten instructors worldwide to complete the program. Since 2004, Alexandra has been teaching at the most respected Pilates studios throughout the Annapolis, Baltimore, and Washington DC areas.
In 2010, Alexandra opened The Pilates Center at The Madeira School, a boutique Pilates studio on Madeira’s campus. Just mere months after opening, The Pilates Center at The Madeira School was voted Best Pilates Studio by Northern Virginia Magazine. After four years of teaching Pilates enthusiasts from the DC area, Alexandra has relocated and naturally renamed The Pilates Center at The Madeira School to Excel Pilates Northern Virginia! Affiliated with Excel Pilates DC andExcel Pilates Annapolis, Excel Pilates NoVA continues a fifteen year tradition of providing the highest quality of traditional Pilates training.
Amanda Smith Breon
Amanda Smith Breon, Program Faculty, is a third generation Pilates instructor and has been studying Pilates since 2002 and received her teacher certification from Excel Pilates Teacher Training Program in 2004. Following graduation, Amanda was part of the teaching staff at Excel Movement studios in Washington, DC before moving to Emmitsburg, MD in 2005. Amanda had been teaching Pilates in Leesburg, VA, Frederick, MD, and Thurmont, MD until relocating to Annapolis to join the staff at Excel Pilates Annapolis - her "Pilates home." Amanda is a member of the faculty for the Excel Pilates Teacher Training Program and also serves as an apprentice advisor. Amanda holds a B.A. in dance from Mercyhurst College and has taught dance in various dance studios and programs since 1997. Amanda completed the Power Pilates Bridge Certification program in 2010. Amanda is also Pink Ribbon Program certified.
Amanda fell in love with Pilates when she came to explore the method to further her dance training. She not only continues to learn all the things she could ever want to know in order to better organize her body, but has also found a lifelong practice of the body, mind and spirit. "I have had such a profound experience with Pilates, the kindness and expertise of wonderful teachers, self discovery, and the feeling of success over and over again through this method. I can only hope to share some of that with others whatever their goals may be. For me, practicing Pilates grounds me and elevates my spirit while building my body one work out at a time."
Peter's unique perspective comes from years of experience as a Romana Kryzanowska certified Pilates teacher. Peter’s many years of study culminate into intriguing and fun workshops that periodically highlight the interrelationship between traditional Pilates and overall health. Because of his extensive work as a teacher trainer, instructors, students and the public can benefit from Peter's insights into the traditional Pilates method. Peter’s devotion with Pilates began in 1988, when he took his first class at Wee-Tai Hom’s studio in Manhattan. As his passion grew, he pursued teacher training at Drago’s Gym, receiving certification in 1998 from famed master teacher Romana Kryzanowska. Over the years, he honed his teaching and his practice with regular lessons from Romana, as well as from master trainers Jay Grimes, Kathy Grant, and other distinguished, traditional instructors. Peter continues to study the work and has dedicated himself to the preservation of the Pilates method, creating the ClassicalPilates.net worldwide directory of traditional instructors. Producer and director of the award-winning Classical Pilates Technique series of six DVDs as well as author of their critically reviewed companion book, Discovering Pure Classical Pilates and editor/contributor in Voices of Classical Pilates, Peter has been a frequent guest instructor at training centers throughout the U.S., Europe, and South America. He appeared in Romana Kryzanowska’s first commercial DVD project, demonstrating the Pilates Mat workout, as well as the DVD titled "Pilates Revealed," with master teacher Jay Grimes.