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Charlotte Blake
Founder + Certified Pilates Instructor

Charlotte established Charlotte Blake Pilates to help people bring greater alignment, strength, and presence to their body and their lives. Charlotte’s passion for this work is fueled by her lifelong love for dance. After studying ballet and contemporary dance for many years, receiving her BFA in Dance from Purchase College, and navigating life as a dancer in New York City, she decided to pursue a career in holistic movement and wellness.

As a dancer, Charlotte struggled to take care of her self and her body. She developed a warped sense of body image and a toxic relationship with food, drastically fluctuating in weight. Pilates truly changed her life. Throughout her pilates training, Charlotte learned the importance of knowing how the body works. As she reconnected with her own body, she realized how much physical pain she had been living with and rediscovered how to stand, walk, dance, and move her body in a powerful and pain-free way.

Charlotte’s transformative journey ultimately brought her to a place where she now celebrates her life, honors her body, and loves her self in all her imperfection. Because of her experience, she takes the time to get to know each individual and determine what will best serve them and their body, listening attentively even when others haven’t. It is Charlotte's intention to help you better understand your body and your self so that you can stand firm in your power and embrace the beauty in your life.

 
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Emily Bennett
Certified Pilates Instructor

Emily has practiced pilates for over 15 years. Having trained at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, Emily honed her skills as an actor, singer, and dancer. Her athlete-like training integrated elements of Alexander Technique, Laban Theory, dance, contortion work, and stage combat. She has suffered many injuries throughout her career, but has always returned to pilates as a source of healing, strength, and empowerment.

Emily received her mat training from Jennifer Golden Zumann at Pilates Chicago and her equipment training from Kim Fielding at Gramercy Pilates in New York City. Her goal is to deepen her knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics of the body, and to integrate classical pilates theories with modern teaching techniques. She instructs both performers and non-performers alike in the hopes of sharing the lifelong benefits of pilates. She believes, as Joseph Pilates once said, “Everyone is the architect of their own happiness.”

 
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Risa Harris
Certified Pilates Instructor

Risa was first introduced to Pilates as a teenager, while studying dance at a performing arts high school. Her love of performance and music eventually led her to pursue a career in opera, and she moved to New York City for training in vocal technique and music theory at Mannes College of Music. Excited by the way Pilates grounded her body and eliminated her chronic back issues, Risa received her full apparatus certification at Center for Movement under Morwen Banq. 

Risa loves using Pilates as a means of connecting people with their bodies in a way that both nurtures and challenges. She is constantly inspired by the method’s long-term benefits in people of all ages. Eager to further her understanding of the human body in motion, she currently studies kinesthetic anatomy with Irene Dowd.

 
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Rebecca Oliensis
Certified Pilates Instructor

Rebecca came to Pilates as a lifelong dancer. After a debilitating hip injury, followed by an unsuccessful surgery, Pilates proved the most beneficial treatment for her recovery — enabling her to regain the freedom and joy of movement. Eager to learn more and share mindful movement with others, Rebecca became certified in anatomy, mat, and equipment. In her academic studies, Rebecca focused on Psychology, Creative Arts Therapies, and Creative Writing at The New School.

Rebecca trains people of all fitness and wellness levels, and she specializes in training dancers. In addition to Pilates, Rebecca has training in other modalities including Yoga, Gyrokinesis, Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique, and a broad range of dance styles. By aligning the body and correcting the inevitable imbalances life brings, she is able to help people move through life with ever-increasing ease.

 
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Ellyn Sjoquist
Certified Pilates Instructor

Ellyn made her way into the Pilates world when juggling dance jobs and desk jobs triggered intractable back and hip pain. She was totally astounded by how Pilates improved her day-to-day quality of life, and went on to earn her mat and equipment certifications from the Kane School of Core Integration at Kinected Center in New York City.

As a practitioner, Ellyn has worked with self-identifying movers and non-movers of all ages. Ellyn hopes to foster in her clients a deeper, more physicalized understanding of their own bodies as complex, malleable instruments. To build relationships as collaborative explorers and motivated body detectives. To help her clients to articulate their goals and then exceed them. To approach each client holistically, with deep compassion and sound knowledge. Ellyn truly believes bodies are amazing and movement is healing.

 
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Calleja Smiley
Certified Pilates Instructor

As a lifelong mover and dancer, Calleja is eagerly compelled to help people discover how to live and move well in their bodies. She enjoys working with a wide range of clients toward pursuing their fitness goals, recovering from injuries, and feeling physically stronger and more confident. Originally from Michigan, Calleja was introduced to Pilates as a young pre-professional dancer. She began to appreciate the endlessly beneficial possibilities of connecting deeper to body and mind, and has been practicing the method ever since.

Calleja received her first STOTT Pilates® certification in 2011 and has continued to teach wherever her dance career has taken her, including Houston, San Francisco, metro-Detroit, and most currently New York City. Calleja is a Fully Certified Instructor in all Pilates apparatus, as well as a Post-Rehabilitation Conditioning Specialist. Calleja holds a BFA in Dance from Alonzo King LINES Ballet/Dominican University of CA and works as a freelance dancer and choreographer for several companies throughout New York City.

 
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Colleen Chilson
Certified Pilates Instructor

Colleen grew up a competitive gymnast and has been an avid fitness enthusiast her entire adult life. She discovered Pilates 10 years ago and fell in love with the practice. Pilates helped her to regain flexibility, increase strength and learn better body awareness. She eventually decided to leave the corporate fashion world to pursue her passion of helping others through the Pilates Method. 

Colleen completed her Pilates mat and apparatus certifications from the Kane School of Core Integration in New York City. She firmly believes in the mind-body connection and the healing power of movement. She enjoys working with people of all ages and fitness levels and likes to provide a challenging but fun and rewarding session that is tailored to the client’s individual fitness goals.

 
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Sally + Sasha Mercedes
CBP Support Team

Sally + Sasha are committed to supporting you throughout your transformative journey. They are here to help you get started, handle all of your scheduling needs, and make sure your experience at Charlotte Blake Pilates exceeds your expectations.

Sally + Sasha take care of all the magic that happens behind the scenes so that you can focus on manifesting a more powerful you. For general inquiries and booking requests, email our Support Team at info@cbpnyc.com.

 
 
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Rediscover your inner strength and feel better in your body. Begin your transformative journey to a more powerful you.