Leda has been studying movement, dance, and various forms of therapy for over ten years. She has taught Pilates in chiropractic offices, physical therapy clinics and Pilates studios since being certified in 2000. Her technique is influenced by a wide variety of master instructors and her approach is very personal and thorough. Her clients often comment that Leda has an amazing skill for understanding injury and also how to rehabilitate the problem. Leda has a compassionate and gentle approach to working with clients that allows new and established clients to challenge themselves with skills they once thought of as inconceivable. She offers both class instruction and private sessions throughout the week.
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Donna Otten started her career as a portrait photographer, graduating with a degree in Photography and working and mentoring with some of the worlds most accomplished photographers. In 2001 Donna was involved in a debilitating car accident that left her with multiple complex injuries. She started Pilates for rehabilitating purposes, gaining an immediate appreciation for the healing and strength building effects of practicing Pilates.
In 2010 after working as a professional photographer for over 10 years Donna took a hiatus from photography to focus on gaining a deeper understanding of the Pilates practice that helped build and strengthen her mind / body connection. In 2012 she decided to embrace Pilates by training to become a certified teacher.
Donna completed an intensive three month teacher training program with Maria Leone, who is one of the most sought after trainers in the United States lauded for her holistic, integrative approach to the Pilates Method. Having completed her apprenticeship with Maria through The Physical Mind Institute, Donna is now working full-time as a Pilates instructor.
A sampling of testimonials: “Donna is a naturally gifted teacher. Her background in photography really translated to teaching. Viewing clients through a lens has sharpened her eye and made her quick to spot faulty form with clients. ” – Maria Leone.
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For over twenty years Dirk Shafer has taken great delight in physically challenging clients through Pilates He has trained at every major gym in Los Angeles and some clients include, Katy Perry, Eric McCormack, Richard Dreyfuss and James Garner. He has a BA from the University of Oklahoma where his interests were in Film, Journalism, Gymnastics, and Fitness. He just released his first fitness DVD SWAPOUTWORKOUT.COM where you can learn his techniques and train anywhere at anytime. At Live Well, Dirk teaches a special hybrid bootcamp class which incorporates Pilates with cardio, core, back strength and fast paced fun. It is geared toward men and women of all ages and body types who want to tone, build, and strengthen. He has helped many clients rehabilitate after accidents and takes special care in variations and modifications to help everyone get the most out of their workouts.
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Stephanie, originally for Los Angeles, grew up in Seattle and Kauia, Hawaii. She spent the last 13 years working as a professional dancer and teacher. Notable performances include the Grammys and DWTS. Stephanie has also danced with some of todays biggest pop starts including The Rolling Stone, Jane’s Addiction and Christina Aguilera. Active all of her life she has tried every type of workout to stay in shape. While traveling and touring the past 6 years she credits Pilates as her saving grace in keeping her body and mind in shape and injury free. Fresh off touring and wanting to discover a deeper understanding for Pilates, she looked to master teacher/ trainer Maria Leone and Balanced Body University for her Pilates education. Through her Pilates training and her dance back ground she has developed a keen eye and ability to zero in on each person’s specific needs. Both form and function are key as she creates a highly personal and tailor made workout for the various age or physical abilities that she is accustom to working with.
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Jo-Anne was trained as a professional dancer and through her personal experience of caring for joint injuries she discovered pilates. Her focus on exercise and preventive care for her injuries has spanned a lifetime. She came to Live Well because of the focus that our office offers to those with sports related injuries and the team approach we have to caring for each person’s needs. Whether you want a class that brings you to understand Pilates at a higher level or an intense core challenge she will challenge your body to reach new strengths.
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Azzi comes to us from an athletic background. Since childhood she has been involved in soccer, swimming, basketball, karate, and tennis. She recently became a triathlete. Clients have enjoyed her positive and upbeat energy throughout the sessions. Azzi is certified through the PhysicalMind Institute. She has experience working with clients who are athletic or in rehabilitation. Azzi was first introduced to Pilates after graduating from UCLA B.A Philosophy. Originally, she wanted to go to law school but had a change of heart to help people in a humane way and with a healing heart. She can deliver a great workout or help improve personal goals. She is pursuing a physical therapy doctoral currently and hopes to be on top of her game when it comes to delivering only the best to her clients.
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