Pilates & Movement Networking Night Announcements

The Connecticut Pilates & Movement Instructor Group will be having its first Meet & Greet Gathering at SOMA Movement Studio. 


SOMA Movement Studio
112 South Main St
Unionville CT 06085


Thursday, September 15, 2016
7 pm until Tired


Anyone who shares a serious love and passion for Pilates and Movement instruction. Instructors, trainees, apprentices, and serious students of movement are welcome to attend. This is a great night to meet other Pilates & Movement instructors and studio owners from around the state. Considering getting trained in Pilates or Movement? There will be representatives from several certification centers from Connecticut in attendance.


645 pm: Doors Open
700 pm: Night officially starts
710 pm: Fitness Fashion Show featuring Athleta, Vibram, and Crane & Lion
730 pm: Pilates Cadillac Performance by Visceral Movement Dance Company
740 pm: Opening Remarks by Mary Badon, MD MBA
750 pm: General Announcements, Selecting the Next Host
800 pm: "A Night with Mary Bowen: Pilates History and Perspectives"
The rest of the night: Informal Question & Answer, Networking, and Demos after Mary Bowen's program


Members of the Pilates & Movement Instructor group, please RSVP on our Facebook Group page
Non-Members, please RSVP on the SOMA Movement Studio Facebook page.


Check this page often for updates on all the activities planned for this event.


Distinguished Guests

Mary Bowen

In 1959, at 29, Mary Bowen began to learn the Pilates Method. She was in New York City as an actress, comedienne, and musical comedy performer with a recurring back problem. She saw an article in a newspaper with a man standing with his bare barrel of a chest, bare legs, swimming trunks and a white mane of hair. Joe was an intriguing sight – a human lion! In the short article he said “I base my method on the baby and the cat!” She had never had a baby or a cat, but she took it upon herself to find Joseph Pilates! That was the beginning of a life “root.”

Mary's back improved after only two lessons with Joe. Since walking into Joe and Clara’s studio fifty years ago, she has taken one to two lessons every week for all those years.

The Connecticut Pilates & Movement Instructors group is very honored to have Mary join us for the evening as our guest of honor. Please visit Mary Bowen's website or view her Pilates Anytime interview for more about Mary!

The lovely Sheila Morton Higgins is going to be at the Networking night and will bring some apparatus that Joe Pilates invented to help strengthen and align toes, feet and ankles. She will be available for question and answer and has generously volunteered to bring some of her apparatus to the Pilates Party and share a DIY trick for Pilates toe strengthening. Thank you Sheila! You can meet Sheila at the Networking night or visit her at her studio, Live Well Pilates in Avon.

Sheila Morton Higgins

Karry Orelup a comprehensively trained Peak Pilates instructor and is the instructor-owner of Becoming Balanced, a state-of-the-art, fully equipped Pilates studio located in Torrington, Connecticut. Karry is known in the community to be a resource and mentor for Pilates instructors at any stage in their careers. Karry has generously offered her expertise and to bring some of her equipment to the Networking night and contribute to the Pilates for Feet demo.

Karry Orelup

Ally Davis is the creative director and founder of Visceral Movement, a not-for-profit performance dance company in residence at SOMA Movement Studio. Ally is a choreographer, artist, and dance instructor. Ally has had the pleasure of working with & studying under many notable dance educators, choreographers, & artists in CT & NYC. Ally graduated with her Bachelor’s of the Arts from The New School in New York City, concentrating her studies in Choreography, Design, and Dance & Performance Studies. She also fulfilled a long-awaited dream in February of 2015, by founding Visceral Movement, which is a company of professional dancers focused on enlivening the Arts in the Farmington Valley & neighboring communities.

Ally Davis

Rose Ponte is the Economic Developer for the town of Farmington. Originally from Cuba, she immigrated to the United States as a child with her family and grew up in NYC. She has a diverse background and has worked in such organizations like the Nutmeg Conservatory and has been part of Connecticut Economic Development Association. In her role as the Economic Developer for the town of Farmington, she works with individual businesses to facilitate and support their growth and engagement with the community. She will be attending the Networking night and available for question and answer on how studios and business owners can engage with their municipalities. Read more about Rose in feature about her in the Hartford Courant.

Rose Ponte

Fernanda Araujo

Fernanda Araujo, the only Gyrotonic Method Instructor Trainer in Connecticut, will be coming to the Pilates Party and available for question and answer about Gyrotonic and demos for those interested. Originally from Brazil, she is a former professional dancer who came to the United States to study dance and choreography in NYC. She runs studio called A Spiraling Body in Fairfield offering both the Gyrotonic and Pilates methods.

Sonja James is a STOTT PILATES trained, Pilates Method Alliance (PMA-CPT) certified instructor who is has had amazing results using the Oov with her clients. Trained by the inventor Daniel Vladeta, an osteopath and neuroscientist, Sonja will show, explain and demonstrate how the Oov can be used with equipment or on the mat to help release the fascia of clients. The Simple enough for clients to use on their on at home, the Oov can help anyone learn three-dimensional stabilization, with axial elongation. Sonja works at Pilates Defined in West Hartford, which is generously providing their equipment for this demo.

Sonja James

Do you wonder if your business should be an LLC? Considering adding employees vs subcontractors? Ask Reuel Stoltz, who is a certified public accountant who has a private practice in West Hartford. He specializes in small businesses of all kinds as well as individual income tax and financial consulting. Reuel will be available to answer these questions and more.

Reuel Stoltz

Certification Center Representatives

A Spiraling Body
Fernanda Araujo is the only GYROTONIC Method instructor trainer in Connecticut. She offers GYROTONIC Method Pretraining, the first stage of GYROTONIC Method teacher certification at her studio in Fairfield.

Evolution Pilates
Cate Vallone, a Lead Instructor trainer for Merrithew Health and Fitness, will be present to answer questions about STOTT PILATES certification as well as the continuing education workshops that are hosted at her studio, Evolution Pilates in South Windsor.

Marlborough Pilates
Mary Beth Lawrence is the owner and instructor trainer at Marlborough Pilates. Her program has three stages spanning 10-12 months. It is a comprehensive, apprenticeship based teacher training program. Upon completion of the program students are eligible to take the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) Certified Pilates Teacher exam.

Pilates Defined
Sonja James, a lead Pilates instructor will represent Pilates Defined of West Hartford. Pilates Defined offers a 450 hour, comprehensive, contemporary approach to teaching the classical work of Joseph H. Pilates to prospective instructors. Upon completion of the program students are prepared to take the PMA Certification Exam.

SPONSORS & Business representatives

FVPT is the official sponsor this networking night! FVPT is a physical therapy clinic that combines evidence-based rehabilitation with common sense and a holistic approach. They offer traditional physical therapy and modalities, Pilates and GYROTONIC® Method-based physical therapy, and FVPT is the only Hanna Somatic Education® Institute in Connecticut. This event would not have been possible without the generous support of FVPT and their physical therapist-owner, Boguslawa Badon, RPT.

Farmington Valley Physical Therapy


Athelta has been a premier fitness apparel brand exclusively for women since 1998. As athletes themselves, they live a life in motion. That’s why we design versatile and fashionable performance apparel for the gym, studio and everything in between. Athleta Westfarms will be attending the Networking Night, has generously provided clothing for the Women's Fitness Fashion show and will be hosting giveaways and special discounts.


Vibram is a worldwide leader in design and manufacturing of high performance soles, FiveFingers and other premium outdoor products. Vibram will be attending the Networking Night and has generously provided footwear for the Women's Fitness Fashion Show, and is hosting multiple giveaways and very significant discounts at the party.

Balanced Body has always believed that mindful movement like Pilates changes people’s lives. Their passion for positive change has resulted in their becoming the world’s largest provider of Pilates equipment and education. They were the first Pilates company to substantially update Joseph Pilates’ equipment by combining state-of-the-art engineering, materials and technology with a modern understanding of human biomechanics. Balanced Body has generously lent demo equipment for instructors' review during the Networking Party.

Balanced Body

Crane & Lion is an atheletic and fashion apparel company hailing from Boston, MA. Their name comes from the Crane & the Lion; two poses in yoga. The crane is a pose that requires strength and stamina. It inspires us to take risks and find our edge. The lion is a breathing exercise that helps us relax and relieve tension and strain. The juxtaposition of the two poses reflects how we live our lives: some days want to push the limit and other days, we need to recover. Their design philosophy stems from the desire to provide women with resilient clothing that is also chic and sophisticated. Crane & Lion strives to continuously aspire to be a part of everyday fitness fashion statement. Crane & Lion has generously provided clothing for the Womens Fitness Fashion Show.

Crane & Lion

Visceral Movement is a company of professional dancers focused on enlivening the Arts in the Farmington Valley & neighboring Connecticut communities in a way that makes dance accessible outside of traditional venues & concert performances. Through collaborating with other artists, performers, & fitness professionals, Artistic Director Ally Davis is most interested in diversifying the culture in her community by offering public & private performances, spontaneous and site-specific works, developing a rich curriculum of dance workshops & fitness classes for all ages, as well as organizing community Arts & family events. Visceral Movement will be featured in a very special Pilates Trapeze Table performance at the Networking Night.

Visceral Movement

Voilà Rouge is a Connecticut-based catering company specializing in organic, local, and multi-ethnicity food and beverages. Voilà Rouge will be preparing warm and cold hors d'oeuvres as well as a variety of warm and cold drinks for our guests. Voilà Rouge happily caters events large and small throughout Connecticut with farm-to-table, locally sourced ingredients with a special focus on beauty and presentation. Contact Voilà Rouge at 203.51V.OILA (203.518.6452).

Voilà Rouge

Founded by Chip Wilson in Vancouver, Canada in 1998, lululemon is a yoga-inspired, technical athletic apparel company for women and men. What started as a design studio by day and yoga studio by night soon became a standalone store in November of 2000 on West 4th Avenue in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood. Lululemon Atheletica has grown to design clothing yoga, running, cycling, training and most other sweaty pursuits for women and men. Lululemon Westfarms will be attending the Networking night and promises to delight and surprise.

Lululemon Athletica