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Alexandra Trifonova

Alexandra was born in Bulgaria, where she was a gymnast for many years and that lead her body to multiple injuries and misalignments especially after the birth of her child. She experienced Pilates after a chiropractor suggested it is as a way for her body to get stronger and better aligned. After a few sessions she saw the incredible benefits of the exercises and quickly decided to enter a Comprehensive Pilates Instructor training program in Chicago. Soon after completing it, she was certified by National Pilates Certification Program (NPCP). Alexandra has completed several continuing education workshops with Pilates teachers Madeline Black, Cara Reeser and Carolyne Anthony. She is Pre and Post Natal and Diastasis Recti certified through Carolyne Anthony’s Center for Women’s Fitness.  Alexandra also completed Cara Reeser's Heritage Training, a post-graduate program for Pilates professionals. The program offers training in Kathy Grant’s work in The Pilates Method taught by her long-time student Cara Reeser

Gisela Perez

My name is Gisela Pérez. I have been teaching Pilates since 2015.  I am a National Pilates Certification Program (NPCP) certified teacher and completed a 620 teacher training program.  I have also completed several continuing education courses such as Pilates for Neurological Conditions, Cadaver Lab, Anatomy Trains as well as Pelvic Floor and Pre/Post Natal Pilates through the Center for Women's Fitness.  I have experience working with clients that have scoliosis, shoulder and knee injuries, pre and post surgery, pre and post natal as well marathoners and athletes.  I am passionate about the work that I do and love to see my clients succeed in their goals.  

My own journey began just over 15 years ago after the birth of my second child.  It took me a few years to fully appreciate what Pilates has to offer and now I am fortunate to be able to share this passion with others.  I live in the West Ridge neighborhood with my husband and 4 children.

Matthew Zumann
Master Pilates

Matthew has been teaching Pilates in Chicago since 1998. For over 20 years he has taught to a very wide population, including people who have limited mobility to working with  athletes.  Having this experience has made him an extremely astute teacher.  Matthew has taken numerous continuing education courses and completed Cara Reesers' Heritage Training Course for Master Teachers.  Matthew has extensive  experience working with Pre/Post Natal clientele, as well as individuals with Scoliosis, hip, knee and shoulder injuries, and pre/post surgery Matthew also ran Teacher Training Programs for several years for Pilates Teachers in training as well as hosted Pilates retreats.  He has also had the honor to have had numerous feature articles in fitness magazines.  Matthew is very passionate about Pilates and his enthusiasm shows in the work he does. “I am extremely excited and honored to be here at High Bridge Pilates”

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Valerie Cortier
Pilates Instructor

Valerie began dancing at age 3 and hasn’t stopped moving since. After graduation from Webster University with a BFA in Dance Performance, she moved to New York City to pursue her dance career. She went on to dance professionally with various companies, projects, and festivals . While performing, she also had a career as a teacher at a world renowned ballet school, Ballet Academy East. During this time, she started to study Pilates from masters in their field including Pilates Elder, Phoebe Higgins and Teacher Trainer, Erin King. Studying multiple times a week, Valerie never felt stronger. She noticed a change in her body inside and out. Injuries vanished. She was hooked for life. She knew she wanted to share this knowledge. She earned a mat certification in 2014, and then was awarded a full scholarship as an apprentice at the flagship Power Pilates in New York City, an internationally recognized certification program and leading educator of classical pilates. She graduated in 2017. She is fully certified to work with the very beginner to athlete and has studied special cases including injuries, pregnancy, seniors - clients of all fitness levels. Valerie's positive and supportive approach to movement gives clients the self confidence they need to get the physical results they're looking for.  Empowering her clients to feel their best inside and out is what it's all about. 

When not doing Pilates or taking a dance class, you’ll find Valerie with her adorable son and daughter, husband, and kitty.

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April Popp
 Pilates Instructor

A native of Chicagoland, April was diagnosed with scoliosis as a child and had spinal fusion surgery as a form of correction. However, it wasn’t until she discovered Pilates that she was finally able to achieve a sense of alignment. This inspired April to pursue a certification in Pilates through Pilates Chicago as a means of helping others find the same body awareness and balance. April is always eager for opportunities to learn and grow both through continued education and teaching a diverse range of students. 

Emmanuel Ramirez
 Pilates Instructor

Emmanuel Ramírez. Born and raised in Mexico, he started his Pilates journey in 2008 when he became a professional dancer when one of his colleges offered
him a class. He was amazed by how Pilates made him feel and has continued taking classes ever since, not only to strengthen his entire body but to improve
his dance technique and to help prevent injuries. Having moved to Chicago in 2017 Emmanuel’s desire to help others learn the benefits of Pilates led him to
complete a one-on-one certification with Steven Winterstein of Kinetic Axis
Pilates. Additionally he holds a national certification through the Pilates Method Alliance.
Emmanuel has been teaching Pilates privately and in group classes for the last 3 years and enjoys helping clients with their fitness goals. He is also able to
address specific conditions such as lower back pain, scoliosis, sciatica, and Multiple Sclerosis, and has worked with senior clients. Emmanuel also has
worked with dancers, creating exercises to help them to improve their posture
and flexibility as injury prevention. He enjoys getting constantly learning about and exploring movement and
recently completed a workshop on the biomechanics of Pilates Footwork in relation to the core and hip function. Emmanuel is excited to join to High Bridge Pilates and looks forward to helping clients reach their wellness, fitness and body conditioning goals.

Amy Rantala
Pilates Instructor

Amy is a certified Core Dynamics Pilates instructor, having been certified in 2008. She was introduced to Pilates to help her recuperate from the birth of her second child and quickly fell in love with its healing and strengthening properties. She then began her certification journey to spread the benefits of Pilates to others. Before finding Pilates, Amy pursued a career in Banking after receiving her MBA in Marketing and Finance at DePaul University. Her goal is to offer a fun and challenging mind-body workout, tailoring sessions to clients' needs.

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