The Pilates Circle


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These are the biographies of the presenters of the 3 annual workouts or 1 annual moderated round table discussion.


Bonnie Nash, exercise experience:  July 23, 2016.  Pilates for Seniors:  It’s all about ease of movement as we age.

Bonnie Nash, lecture:  February 20, 2016.   Running a successful studio


Bonnie headshot

Bonnie has been a student of Pilates for over 25 years and became a Stott trained instructor in 2009. Prior to working in the fitness industry, Bonnie spent 7 years teaching English and English as a 2nd language in junior high school, high school and junior college with a unique 3 years in the Peace Corps serving in Afghanistan and Thailand.  Upon returning to the US, Bonnie entered the business world in the staffing industry and went on to run 2 companies with offices throughout California placing over 8,000 temporaries per year on jobs.  Her experience included working in the corporate world and as an entrepreneur.

After selling her business in 2008 she followed her passion and love of Pilates to become an instructor.

Combining her years of work as a client at Long Beach Dance Conditioning, hours of mentoring from a retired professional ballet-dancer-cum-Pilates-instructor and her Stott Pilates certification, Bonnie works primarily with seniors and special populations.   Bonnie firmly believes in slow, steady, balanced work with an emphasis on an ease of movement as we age.

Join us in her business practices lecture and/or her Pilates for senior populations exercise experience in 2016.


Karen Washburn Ness:  May 21, 2016.  Celebrate National Pilates Month by taking a Classic Pilates Mat Class!

Karen Washburn Ness

Karen Washburn Ness discovered Pilates and GYROTONIC® as a dance student at UCLA. Inspired by the amazing results she experienced in her own body, she decided to dedicate herself to the teaching and practice of these methods in 2001. Karen is a Teacher Trainer for Power Pilates, New York. She is certified in both GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS®, and also holds a masters degree in dance from UCLA. Karen is fully committed to bringing the highest quality instruction to her students in order to help them change their bodies and lives for the better.



Shuriu Lo:  Revitalizing Through Your Feet!

Shuriu Lo dismounts the Pilates Cadillac Trapeze Table Photo: Joseph Cinemato

Shuriu Lo dismounts the Pilates Cadillac Trapeze Table
Photo: Joseph Cinemato

Shuriu Lo certified on all pilates apparatus and mat exercises with a specialty in dance conditioning through kinesiologist Karen Clippinger, MSPE and Body Arts and Sciences International (BASI).  She also certified in pilates mat essentials with Karen Shanley who created the pilates certification program at Orange Coast College.  She advances her understanding of biomechanics by studying Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization, by weightlifting with Tony Haffner, by dancing ballet with various instructors — including Franklin Method instructor Carol Guidry. A longtime GYROTONIC® instructor, Shuriu dances Argentine tango, studying the classical salon style with Martín and Alyssa.  Shuriu encourages her clients to increase their skill level through regular practice and this is supported in part through her mind-body exercise DVD series.




Christy Drescher:  January 31, 2015.  Challenging Workouts for the Pregnant or Post-Partum Pilates Practitioner

Christy Drescher

Christy Drescher

Christy C. Drescher is a graduate of the Body Arts and Sciences International (BASI) School of Pilates and studied directly under the tutelage of the school’s founder, Rael Isacowitz.  She completed her Comprehensive Pilates Teacher Training with BASI in January of 2008 and has been teaching private sessions and group classes ever since.  This program requires over 400 hours of study, observation, and practice.  She originally came to Pilates in the mid-1990s by way of dance injuries.  Pilates helped her to rebalance muscles and generally align herself to be free of the chronic knee pain that plagued her movement.  She whole-heartedly believes that Joseph Pilates’ Method is an excellent tool for fitness, injury prevention and recovery, and overall health and wellness.  She has gone on to receive Health Coaching certification through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Massage Technician certification through the Institute of Psycho-Structural Balancing, and her Pre/Postnatal Pilates Certification through the Center for Women’s Fitness.


Megan Salisbury:  March 28, 2015.  Nutritional guidance for mindful movers through your cycles of life.

Megan Salisbury Photo: Joseph Cinemato

Megan Salisbury
Photo: Joseph Cinemato

Megan Salisbury fell in love with Pilates while she was attending an elective Pilates class through the dance department at California State University Long Beach with Karen Clippinger.  She took the next semester off to get certified through Long Beach Dance Conditioning in 2001 and has been teaching ever since.  A few years later in 2005 she trained with Sheila Kelley to teach at the S Factor movement studio in Costa Mesa.  Megan has always had a passion for nutrition, so she decided to go back to school and received schooling from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Here she was trained in more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. She also continued her certifications through Total Health Mastery developing a better understanding between food, cleansing, stress, and how emotions play a part in keeping you healthy or keeping you sick.  Drawing on this knowledge, she will help you create a completely personalized “roadmap to health” that suits your unique body, lifestyle, preferences, and goals.  (Megan will be presenting a fun and sexy slow-motion Pilates-based mat sequence for helping those with chronic back stiffness in 2016.)


Erin Haffner:  May 30, 2015.  Creating the energetic space for deeper learning and true connection for your mindful movement (Pilates) practice.

Erin Haffner. Photo: Joseph Cinemato

Erin Haffner.
Photo: Joseph Cinemato

Erin Haffner discovered Pilates in 1995 while studying for her BFA in Dance at York University in Toronto, Canada.  Using Pilates, Erin was able to correct misalignment and dysfunctional body mechanics finally freeing herself of chronic knee pain. This inspired Erin to become an instructor of Pilates — traveling to study with Marie-José Blom at Long Beach Dance Conditioning in 1999. Shortly after, Erin began her journey into the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® –which is described as “The Art of Exercising and Beyond™.”  She completed her GYROTONIC® foundation training with Master Trainer Donna Place in 2002. Becoming certified in GYROKINESIS® as well as the GYROTONIC® specialized equipment, Erin has been most interested by “the beyond” aspect of the GYROTONIC® system. She has furthered her understanding by studying the energy system of Reiki, an ancient Hawaiian practice called Ho’oponopono, leaning and practicing transcendental meditation and Cosmic Freedom Qigong.  Erin uses her knowledge of the body and her understanding of energy to intuitively aid her clients towards their true state of perfect health and peace.  Erin is a co-owner of Long Beach GYROTONIC® studio where she is grateful to be teaching and doing what she loves with wonderful people in a welcoming space.


Dr. Cyndi Butler:  November 2015.  New advances in physical therapy deepen any corrective exercise or mind-body movement practice!

Dr. Butler spent a lot of time on the Colorado slopes. An avid ski enthusiast, she still hikes and enjoys the outdoors.

Dr. Cyndi Butler’s work has evolved through several incarnations.  Originally an athlete and personal trainer, then a chiropractor, Dr. B, as some of her patients affectionately call her, now focuses primarily on postural, movement, and manual therapies.  While she specializes in helping athletes and performing artists overcome injury to return to their craft stronger and better than before, Dr. B sees clients of all ages and backgrounds.  Her goal is to assist in each individual’s recovery and to empower each to recover faster through homework exercises and self-care.  While Dr. Butler founds her work on Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization, she has the openness to apply any supportive modality in arsenal of healing tools to speed you to your recovery.  To schedule an appointment with Dr. B, please contact her at her Dr. Cyndi Butler clinic.


Donna Place:  2017.

Donna Place graduated with a BA in music education from Whittier College in 1987.  She spent the next 12 years teaching music, folk dance and physical education, both in college and in elementary schools.  Convinced of the necessity of movement in the school system, Donna began studying dance more formally at local studios and the Bella Lewitzky summer dance program.  She received her MA in dance studies in 1995 from the Laban School for Movement and Dance in London.  During that time she also began studying Pilates with Alan Herdman.  After returning to the United States she continued Pilates training with Marie-José Blom and GYROTONIC® training with Mary Halzworth, completing both programs in 1996.  In 2000 Donna became a GYROTONIC® master trainer and in 2001 she joined the dance faculty at Orange Coast College where she currently teaches kinesiology for dance.  Donna travels throughout the United States and abroad teaching anatomy seminars for various movement programs as well as teacher training courses for the GYROTONIC® system.  She owns and operates two mind-body exercise studios:  Long Beach GYROTONIC® and Orange County GYROTONIC®