Fuse Pilates® Founder, Creative Director
In 1999, acting under the fear of a slowing metabolism, Mariska took her first Pilates class. After a 2002 diagnosis of MS, her dedication to mind-body fitness grew. She became a dedicated yoga and Pilates practitioner and taught her first class a year later.
In 2005, she started a Pilates program at DC’s Flow Yoga Center. She started mixing in elements of barre and yoga into traditional Pilates mat work, created new exercises to add to the mix, choreographed class to upbeat music, and started taking requests. Fuse Pilates was born.
Mariska has a savant-level ability to remember exercises and the knowledge and creativity to design new ones. With thousands of hours of training under her belt, and even more in front of a class teaching, she knows why an exercise will work and how to make it (and you) work better, smarter, or harder. She has written 7 training manuals for the Fuse Method, with additional books in the works.
Her fitness education includes comprehensive Pilates certification through Body Arts and Sciences, International (BASI), where she apprenticed with Karla Adams. As part of this training, she completed a research project on Pilates for multiple sclerosis patients, which she expanded into an in-depth “Pilates for MS” advanced teacher training, incorporating the latest research in neuroplasticity and neurorehabilitation into a Pilates program design.
Mariska also has mat certification through Power Pilates, additional apparatus, mat, and anatomy training through Balanced Body Pilates, Peak Pilates, and iM=X Pilates, and a certification in PureBarre. She was one of DC’s first barre instructors, trained under Lotte Berk disciple and PureBarre founder Carrie Rezabek. She taught barre classes at B.Fit Studio from 2006-2011.
Mariska is a PMA® Certified Pilates Teacher, the only third party professional certification in the Pilates field. In terms of advanced training, she is a Pre and Postnatal Pilates Specialist, trained through the Center for Women’s Fitness directly with its founder, Carolyne Anthony, who invited her to join the organization as faculty. She is also a Post Rehabilitative Breast Cancer Exercise Specialist, trained through the Pink Ribbon Program. Additionally, she has advanced certificate training in Pilates for Injuries and Pathologies and specialized training in Pilates for athletes and for men.
Since 2010, Mariska has been working in a one-on-one mentorship with renowned Pilates Master Julian Littleford, founding member of the Physical Mind Institute and one of the world’s most innovative and creative Pilates instructors. She also studies regularly with Jennifer Kries, 2nd Generation Master Instructor, who is credited with bringing Pilates to the masses.
Beyond fitness, Mariska received a 2006 holistic health coaching certification through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (part of Columbia University’s continuing education curriculum) where she studied with Drs. Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra, Barry Sears, and dozens of other leaders in the alternative health field. A former award-winning writer and creative director, Mariska puts those skills to good use as a frequent guest writer for fitness and lifestyle blogs (as well as creative directing Fuse’s website, marketing materials, and photos).
Managing Partner, Co-Owner
Roxanna (Rox) grew up in Europe but managed to come to the U.S. without an accent. She graduated from University in London with degree in Hotel Management and soon after moved to Los Angeles to work for Four Seasons Hotels in wedding and party planning. Ultimately, she burned out thanks to some of the more memorable brides and their mothers.
Rox left party planning for the world of luxury goods, where she worked for LVMH as Human Resources Manager for Hard Candy and Urban Decay cosmetics. She loved it, but sadly never learned how to apply make-up. Luckily, she has a young daughter who will one day benefit from her treasure chest of cosmetics (but not until she’s 16).
Rox left L.A. to follow her husband to D.C. and someday, she will forgive him for that. Over the past five and a half years, Roxanna became a quasi Bethesda housewife, raising a set of Irish twins. When she needed to stop playing house, she decided to venture out and start her own business. She has always been interested in fitness (Pilates, marathons, running after her kids). When she took her first Fuse Pilates class, she knew she wanted to help the brand grow. She, Mariska, and Sormeh formed Fuse 360 LLC, opened the Fuse Playground, and now, she’s not looking back!
You can find Rox at the Playground most days, handling the nuances of our online scheduling system, managing the work study team, helping with PR, marketing, housekeeping, welcoming students, and adding her fabulous sense of humor to the mix.
Managing Partner, Co-Owner
Sormeh met her husband on a ski trip in Austria and followed him the U.S. in 1998. She took a crash course in English and pursued an undergrad degree from the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business in Finance, which she quickly turned into two successful health and beauty ventures.
In her spare time, Sormeh had three kids, and met Roxanna in the sandbox six years ago while playing with her oldest. One day, the two were driving to the Spa and had the idea to pursue a fitness business. Sormeh’s sister-in-law, a student of Fuse, recommended she talk to Mariska. And, the rest is history.
Sormeh uses her finance degree and business savvy to handle the books at Fuse. But, you’ll also see her construction expertise as she wields power tools to assemble Pilates apparatus and furniture and manages contractors and electricians. This pretty and playful woman is also the “muscle” of the operation when we need a “tough guy” on staff.
Senior Instructor, Teacher Trainer
Want a really upbeat teacher? Meet Addie Johnson, who found yoga and Pilates after a decade of a running began to wreck havoc on her knees. A lover of dance parties, but not a “formal” dancer, she found that yoga was a wonderful way to fully express her emotions and thoughts through her body. She has been a yoga student since 2004 and was then introduced to Pilates and barre classes in Washington, DC when she moved here in 2006 for graduate school. In addition to her Master’s in Museums Studies, she has two Pilates trainings under her belt: a traditional training from Quantum Pilates and a Fuse Pilates certification. She also holds an advanced certificate in Pilates for Injuries and Pathologies through BASI Pilates. Addie has been teaching barre classes since 2008 and received her 200-hour yoga certification in 2009. After some serious life changes in 2009, she took her part-time teaching career full-time and has not looked back since.
Addie’s teaching style tends to be on the vigorous side with a strong emphasis on humor. She believes that while everyone should try to work towards their personal goals and strive to find harmony and balance within their body, laughter is essential.
In addition to teaching group classes and privates, Addie assists in Fuse Pilates teacher trainings, as well as developing exercises for the Fuse Pilates repertoire.
Allegra Poggio grew up in the Boston area and discovered Fuse Pilates as an activity to complement running and other outdoor adventures like skiing, hiking and sailing. She found that Fuse helped to balance her physical and emotional self by strengthening and toning muscles while simultaneously challenging, focusing and calming the mind. Through her practice, she learned the power and value of understanding one’s own body to achieve personal and emotional goals.
Her fitness education includes Mat and Reformer (bridge program) training with Fuse Pilates. Allegra also has comprehensive Mat and Reformer Certification through Balanced Body and has additional chair apparatus training through Peak Pilates and Fuse Pilates. Allegra has studied anatomy comprehensively as part of all trainings at Fuse and Balanced Body.
Allegra has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a graduate degree in Communications, and she is passionate about the emotional connection to physical exercise, nutrition, and working with people to achieve personal and fitness goals.
Her teaching style is challenging, disciplined, and calm. In her classes you’ll find detailed cues, energetic music, and a combination of challenging exercises to help you discover muscles that you have never felt before.
Allegra believes that understanding our own bodies can transform our actions and benefit ourselves and others. She sees balance in life as essential to help achieve personal goals and that you can do almost anything if you do it in moderation. This balance can be achieved through energy, determination, and commitment (and beautiful teasers!). She sees life – and every day – as an adventure: one for which we should be strong, energized and well-dressed!
In her other activities, Allegra enjoys traveling (especially to Italy to see family and friends), joining a good dance party, reading, cooking (healthy!), discovering restaurants, and spending time with friends. She blogs at fashionablegenes.wordpress.com.
Ayelet spends her life in studios either at Fuse or at school where she is obtaining her MFA in Interior Design at George Washington University. She came to DC after graduating with a BA in Communication and Media Studies from Goucher College in Baltimore. While at Goucher she became a fan of traditional Pilates method so much so that she had to receive special permission to take a third semester of the course. While at Goucher, she also had the opportunity to continue her interest in sports medicine, rock climbing, softball, photography and event planning.
Ayelet was introduced to Fuse by a good friend in February 2012 and it was love at first pulse, twist and tuck. She found the Fuse method challenging, effective and fun! She loved being able to use various modifications to build the strength she needed to nail the most challenging versions. Never being able to work out without music and always down for a dance party, Fuse brought the elements of a workout Ayelet was searching for together. In her first year at Fuse she took over 200 classes (!!) and partook in the Fall 2012 Fuse Mat Teacher training.
Ayelet emphasizes challenging one’s self in class, teaching exercises that push students to learn about and build their own strength with an emphasis on proper form to best access muscles in new ways. Her classes are set to energetic mixes that double for her living room dance parties
Briana hails from Charleston, S.C. and found Fuse at Flow Yoga Center after relocating to Washington, D.C. in 2008. Having spent 22 years living at the beach, Briana’s athletic past revolves heavily around water sports. She was a competitive swimmer for 14 years, competing both nationally and internationally. She still enjoys open-water swimming and loves to kiteboard whenever she can.
Briana completed Fuse Pilates training in November of 2010 after two years of regular practice as a student. She understands the common physical challenges that the practice can help improve and looks forward to sharing Fuse with you and helping you love it as much as she does!
Briana balances Fuse Pilates with a dedicated yoga practice that includes Ashtanga, kundalini, and yin styles. Outside of the studio, she is a bookworm who believes you can never have enough futbol, vino, music, or travel in your life.
Briana’s classes are energetic and encourage you to foster a sense of physical and mental strength that will serve you both on and off the mat.
Tiny but tough, Clare Kelley can hold a perfect form teaser for minutes on end and then rush out of class to climb a up the side of a cliff while suspended from a couple of ropes and her fingertips. (Thanks, Fuse!) Her Pilates and yoga career began in 1999 as a complement to her various athletic activities – running, rowing, rock climbing, surfing, dancing, and even a (somewhat accidental) stint on the Costa Rican national aerobics team’s kickboxing squad!
Clare graduated from the inaugural Fuse Pilates teacher training and has been teaching ever since – first joining Mariska at Flow Yoga Center, and now, as a senior mat teacher at the Playground. Her continuing education and practice are informed by her experience with chronic back pain, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, and pelvic instability, a result of breaking her back in a rock climbing accident. And then breaking her back again (we think she should wear a bubblewrap suit). Clare’s fitness education includes Pilates chair and reformer jumpboard training with Fuse Pilates and additional chair training with Peak Pilates and Balanced Body. On top of that, she added specialized coursework in shoulder and lumbopelvic stability with teachers such as Amit Younger, Megan Davis, and Kathy Van Patten. Clare also holds certifications in Step, Aerobics, and Kickboxing Skills and Choreography from the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and 200-hour yoga teacher training. After deciding that a 9-5 job was hurting her back more than helping her life, Clare became a full-time teacher. She is completing her masters degrees (yup, two) in global public health and international development, where she focuses on preventing obesity through promoting healthy body image and fitness. She has completed coursework in pathophysiology, kinesiology, nutrition, and structural determinants of health.
As Fuse’s resident mixologist and Music Director, Clare puts her training from the Conservatory of Music at Lawrence University into practice by finding sweet tunes for classes — we call her the master of the mixtape. Her piano teachers would be so proud! (Clare is also a different kind of mixologist – try one of her amazing cocktails at our next event.) Clare’s classes inspire students of all levels of fitness to challenge themselves in a lighthearted, non-competitive environment. Come to her class ready to work hard and leave satisfied!
Courtney was introduced to Pilates by a friend 10 years ago and has not looked back. “I love teaching Pilates because I believe in the method and its effectiveness. I was addicted to Pilates after my first class, and I still am, almost a decade later!”
Courtney’s love for practicing and teaching Pilates is a complete departure from her career in construction project management and background in Civil Engineering. Pilates, although very technical like construction, serves as a way to employ her creative and artistic skills. At first glance, Courtney may appear to be a serious person but she loves to have fun and may occasionally crack a few jokes.
With experience as a Pilates mat and equipment instructor, Courtney enjoys learning new ways to challenge her students and herself through Pilates. She’s always looking to grow and not only become a better instructor, but a better person as well. Courtney truly has a passion for healthy eating and exercise and has a heart for helping people improve their self-worth. She believes that developing healthy habits through diet and exercise will help promote self-esteem and confidence.
Striving for excellence is one of Courtney’s strong suits. Her lifestyle is based on having a solid foundation with a continuous effort to maintain balance – much like having a strong core. Her key guiding principles in life are what she refers to as her “3- D’s” – Drive, Determination and Discipline.
Dasha first found her “flow” on the Reformer in college, eagerly attending 6am classes while her roommates slept until noon (being a morning person definitely helped!). After two years of living along the East Coast and practicing sporadically, Dasha returned to DC and found her true Pilates home: Fuse. She quickly fell in love with the workout, soundtracks and community she found at the playground. A regular Fuse practice kept her flexible, toned and, most importantly, sane. Knowing she wanted to be a part of this very special concept, Dasha completed her teacher training in winter 2012/2013.
Dasha was born in Moscow, grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, and studied International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania. After college, she enjoyed many delicious (and lonely) dinners as a jetsetting management consultant, then returned to DC to launch the city’s first organic cold-pressed juice line for sweetgreen, a fast-casual restaurant chain. More than once, she juiced kale at 4:30AM, later to be seen holding teaser at Mariska’s 6:45PM mat class. That’s love!
When not Pilate-ing, as her boyfriend fondly calls it, Dasha enjoys making green smoothies, scouting new consumer-oriented health & wellness brands, and rocking all shades of purple (seriously, she counts 5+ purple accessories in her bag!).
Gillian is our resident superhero. By day, she’s a structural engineer. By night (and sometimes morning), she helps students build stronger bodies.
Gillian has always loved the aerobic benefits of running but lifelong asthma limited her ability to get in hard workouts during the colder months. After a few frustrating winters in college, she took a friend’s suggestion and purchased a $5 combination yoga and Pilates DVD. Once she got used to the strange looks from her college roommates while practicing in the living room she quickly began to realize the benefits of mind-body workouts. When she moved to California to pursue a graduate degree in engineering she ramped up her Pilates workout to 3 days a week and balanced them with strength training and aerobic workouts to help counteract stress. She was never happier or STRONGER!
After moving back to the DC area she tried her first Fuse Pilates class and quickly found out she could get the benefits of her various workouts in one class! Realizing she wanted to learn more about the anatomy and physiology of the movements, she participated in Fuse Pilates inaugural Teacher Training program over the winter of 2009-2010. She received her certification in February of 2010 and has enjoyed being able to share this unique Pilates method with her students ever since.
As a “type A” personality, Gillian has always pushed herself and her students to focus on great form. As an optimist, she believes there is always room to be happier and stronger.
Ginny Johnson, CHHC, AADP
Holistic Health Counselor
In addition to being a Fuse devotee, Ginny Johnson is a Board Certified Holistic Health Counselor with a passion for helping others look and feel as radiant, vibrant, and happy as they possibly can. She founded Urban Animal Wellness to guide busy Washingtonians back to the basics of healthy living. Ginny believes that even in our unnatural modern-day habitat filled with commutes, computers and ubiquitous processed food, it is possible — and fun!– to seek and find healthy natural nourishment.
Ginny is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where she studied with field leaders such as Drs. Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra, Marion Nestle and Joel Fuhrman. She draws on this training and her own personal and professional experiences to help others harness the power of food to change their lives. With Ginny’s instruction and support, her clients tackle health goals such as achieving optimal weight, increasing energy, banishing cravings (even for chocolate!), and improving sleep.
Ginny’s philosophy is a natural complement to the Fuse approach to Pilates – it blends elements from dietary theories ranging from Ayurveda to the Zone into one high-impact, life-changing program. She designs eating plans, recipes and tips that work for everyone regardless of lifestyle: omnivore, pescatarian, vegetarian or vegan.
Ginny loves working with hard-core students in pursuit of their strongest, healthiest, most amazing bodies. She offers wellness and nutrition workshops as well as one-on-one counseling services at the Fuse Playground.
Jen Hoar is a reformed ballerina who first saw a Pilates Reformer in a dressing room at her childhood ballet studio. She concluded it was a torture device for the ballet teachers, and she was half-right. Her own experience practicing Pilates began years later, post-college, when she succumbed to a Saturday morning infomercial sales pitch for a Pilates video and bought the VHS tapes. Following the mat workout video on her living room floor with the same people in the same outfits, in the same movements, every time, left her wanting more variety, fewer leotards and a real, live fitness family.
Allergic to human hamster wheels at gyms and hobbled by a sprained wrist from yoga, she fortuitously discovered Fuse one day in the fall of 2011, and became a Fuse convert immediately. Not long after, she became a Fuse evangelist and started teacher-training in Fall 2012. Jen became a Fuse teacher to share the strengthening and lengthening benefits of the Fuse workout with students, and do her part to contribute to the studio’s greatest asset of all: the community. It’s all about you, after all. She strives to ensure that students enjoy and benefit from the customization and personalization of the Fuse experience, which were the reasons she got hooked in the first place. Work on the body parts you want with a teacher who knows your name and is glad you’re there!
Jen is grateful that Fuse allows her to be the amateur DJ she never was and she has too much fun building new and diverse playlists for class. She also appreciates the opportunity to inject comedic commentary into class. You might as well laugh at her jokes. It’s good for your (hard)core.
Since graduating from Georgetown University in 2002, Jen has lived and worked in Washington, DC, and is originally from Westchester County in the New York City Metro area.
Like many Fuse teachers, Jen began her fitness journey with yoga. Jen has been practicing that physical and mental flexibility for over 8 years. She has completed the Flow Teacher Training (200-hour) as well as the Jivamukti Yoga (300-hour) teacher training with Sharon Gannon and David Life. After exploring many styles of yoga she has settled into a rhythm that comes from combining a committed Ashtanga practice with Jivamukti classes-giving her practice both discipline and devotion.
In her Fuse classes, Jen’s demeanor might be a little more like a yoga teacher than a drill sergeant, but you’ll work hard in the calm she creates. Expect long holds of exercises and an emphasis on proper alignment.
Jen offers challenging classes with a sense of humor and believes that practice is what transforms our knowledge into a means for real freedom.
Her mother claims that Jocelyn started running before she started walking, and that energy stuck with her!
Jocelyn came to Fuse in pursuit of the ever-elusive Ashtanga jump back and was instantly hooked. She dabbled in yoga, Pilates, and running for years, but a diagnosis of bursitis of the hip at 23 led her more seriously to the yoga mat. In 2004, she discovered the Ashtanga practice and had the honor of going to Mysore India in 2008 to study at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Center with Sharath Jois. She continues her Ashtanga study with DC’s David Ingalis. But it’s Fuse Pilates that she decided she wanted to teach. Jocelyn loves the constantly changing, fully body workout that is Fuse and is delighted to help spread it to the community.
Jocelyn’s classes are fun and lighthearted but challenge students to push towards their edge. Having started out “weak and inflexible,” she knows that with hard work and practice, you can change your body and even your mind. Her motto is: If you don’t try it, you’ll never be able to do it. So give it a shot and you will be surprised at what your body can do.
Outside of Fuse, Jocelyn loves to travel, is fluent in Spanish, and spends time with her Sorority (Alpha Kappa Alpha). She’s also working hard on the solution to global warming. Okay that’s an exaggeration; she’s actually just working to proliferate an eco-friendly lifestyle in DC. But, it’s working, and as she says, “if you don’t try it, you’ll never be able to do it.”
Jocelyn is currently completing her comprehensive Pilates certification through BASI (Body Arts and Sciences, International).
A longtime student of ballet and traditional Pilates, Kara considers herself lucky to have squeezed into one of Mariska’s Fuse classes years ago when her scheduled yoga class was cancelled at the last minute. Ten minutes in, she realized she had been “doing it wrong” because Pilates was never so much fun before Fuse!
An avid runner, Kara wanted to became an instructor in part to learn how to use Pilates to strengthen the muscles needed to do other things, like sit properly at her office desk without resulting back or shoulder pain, practice yoga, and run.
Having just completed her eighth year of service to the federal government, when not on the mat, you can also find her perusing DC farmers markets and running around Capitol Hill.
One of the rare breed of native Washingtonians, Kate began her movement training at the Washington School of Ballet. (But only after overcoming several years of stubborn refusal to wear the light blue leotard required of beginning ballet students rather than the pink tutu she’d craved.) Having matured over the years and swapped purple for pink as her favorite color, Kate found in Pilates an outlet for the strength, flexibility, and precision she’d honed and come to love from her dance training.
Several years after beginning her personal Pilates practice, Kate encountered Mariska and Fuse Pilates in 2009, and Kate was hooked. She was eager for the chance to learn from Mariska and work with the Fuse approach. In the meantime, Kate trained in traditional mat work and began teaching a fusion-type class in the DC area. She began her training in Fuse chair in 2011 and works to inFuse her class with precision, challenge, and intensity, all while bopping to fun pop tunes. Whoever said sweat and a smile were incompatible?
For Kelly, Fuse Pilates was love at first teaser. Having been an enthusiastic yogini for five years, Kelly didn’t expect to love a high intensity core workout as much as she did a soothing vinyasa flow class. However, she was pleasantly surprised and she liked it so much she decided she wanted to teach.
In addition to Fuse training, Kelly holds a 200-hour yoga certification through Tranquil Space, where she also worked as studio manager for the Arlington studio when it opened.
Kelly’s classes offer upbeat and challenging workouts choreographed to energetic music to keep you moving and having fun. Kelly also teaches and assists yoga and practices karma yoga by volunteering teaching yoga to women at St. Elizabeth’s Psychiatric Hospital. She aspires to become trained in therapeutic yoga.
Laci is from Southern Indiana, the state where basketball rules. Being a tomboy whose favorite color was pink, she quickly devoted her free time to perfecting her basketball and softball game (and always had perfectly curled hair while playing). Since she was the first to dive on the floor after a ball – or for fun – she began noticing chronic back pain that oftentimes required bed rest. After seeing neurologists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and orthopedic surgeons; she accepted that her life was going to be restricted by back pain, swelling, and limited mobility. Not the case!
Laci was introduced to Pilates in 2007 when offered a complimentary session at a studio. It was love at first roll down! While far from being considered “flexible,” her improvement in posture and ease of movement was easily observed. After training with Suzanne Pride, Power Pilates Master Trainer, privately and in groups, she decided to pursue her comprehensive Pilates certification through Stott Pilates in order to share with others the transformation that had occurred on her own body.
When she relocated to DC, she stumbled upon Fuse, and she realized Pilates could be wonderfully fun AND effective! Who wouldn’t love doing spine stretch forward to Pitbull beats? The “up an inch, down an inch” method has decreased quite a few inches around her waist, but most importantly has vastly improved her quality of life. She attended classes six days per week for several months, joined Fuse’s apparatus training, and is beyond thrilled to be teaching a method she is so passionate about.
Leah fell in love with Fuse Pilates during her very first set of ‘hundreds’ back in January of 2011. Since then, she has watched her body transform and, just as importantly, loves that her measure of success changed from monitoring numbers on a scale to counting numbers of reps each class.
Leah grew up dancing and never lost the love of movement and expression. She gets the utmost joy out of pushing herself to her limits physically. Cycling has become Leah’s passion in the past few years and she enjoys bike touring, century rides, and cyclocross races. She has completed two multi-state rides and can often be seen heading out on the C&O Two Path with her camping gear strapped to the back of her bike.
Leah hails from Louisiana and prizes boiled crawfish and fried oysters above all other food groups. She is an environmental engineer working on watershed protection by day, but spends much of her spare time advocating for better bicycling facilities and alternative transportation.
Lisa is a health policy lawyer by day, but her outlet has always been fitness. In fact, her passion for fitness began before she could even think about it. Her parents put her in dance class at the age of 2, and Lisa danced seriously through college. When she was an undergraduate at Princeton, she was the artistic director of eXpressions dance company. People would often find her on the elliptical machine or in a coffee shop choreographing dances in her head (yes, people stared…)
Lisa also started incorporating non-traditional music not only into her choreography, but also into dance rehearsals she led. Demi pliés to Blackstreet’s “No Diggity?” Why not? After college, she continued to dance and resurrected a defunct dance group while she was at law school.
When Lisa became a lawyer in NYC, she needed a new outlet and discovered willpower & grace®. After moving back to DC in 2009, she couldn’t find the class anywhere, so she became certified to teach it. Lisa has been teaching willPower & grace® for almost 4 years, and she is extremely excited to bring it to Fuse.
Lisa also found Fuse Pilates in 2009, and she loved it from the beginning. She became a more regular devotee when she discovered the Fuse Playground. With Fuse, Lisa has never felt stronger – Fuse has even helped her be able to do a real push-up! ☺ Lisa thinks that Fuse is the perfect combination of strength training, flexibility, and creative movement.
Because of Lisa’s dance background, you can expect her classes to have fun and interesting music – she lets the beat move her. She also is a stickler for good form, from head to toes (yes, she cares a lot about what is happening with your feet). Lisa also has the gift of gab – she loves to chat before and after class, so come say hello!
A former dancer, Meredith searched for years for a workout that would neither bore her to tears nor aggravate her pointe shoe damaged feet. Encouraged by a friend, she tried Pilates, and after dropping a dress size and growing half an inch, she became a devotee! Meredith received traditional mat and apparatus training from Quantum Pilates and was thrilled to join the Fuse teacher training program in 2012.
In addition to her Pilates training, Meredith has a law degree from Vanderbilt University and spent more than 6 years practicing at a large DC firm before deciding to pursue teaching full time in 2013.
Meredith understands the frantic place of Washington life – and will often cue you to relax those shoulders! She believes that while a Pilates practice will strengthen and lengthen the body, the benefits are far greater than killer triceps or flexible hamstrings. She encourages her students to leave their worries at the door; you will leave feeling rejuvenated and de-stressed.
Having taken her first class with Mariska over three years ago, Monica still considers herself one of Fuse’s most devoted groupies. A shy book-lover who started weight training as a teen, she’s always loved the muscle fatigue that comes with concentrated toning work, and in Fuse, she found that burn in abundance.
Monica completed all levels of classic Pilates mat certification with Power Pilates in early 2010 and immediately followed it with Fuse Teacher Training the same year. She’s also a certified yoga teacher (300 hr training) due to extensive studies with Rodney Yee in 2010—it was a busy twelve months! In the time since, she’s studied anatomy and breath with Leslie Kaminoff, and taken restorative yoga teacher training workshops with Judith Hanson Lasater as well as Pilates-geared anatomy workshops.
Monica’s classes emphasize form and fun, and are set to the craziest mashups and remixes she can find. She loves Pilates for the powerful sense of accomplishment that comes from executing movement with precision and complete control, as well as for the way it’s shaped her body. Who can resist a work out that gives you amazing results while you lie or sit down?
Unlike many of her fellow instructors, she is an avid non-runner.
Rachel hails from San Diego, CA and brings a diverse array of experiences in the dance, Pilates, and fitness fields. She first discovered Pilates as support to her dancing in 2006; after pursuing her interest further, she completed her nine month comprehensive teaching certification in the classic Pilates method with an emphasis on the Ron Fletcher work from Studio du Corps in Costa Mesa, California under the direction of Master Teacher and former professional ballet dancer, Diane Diefenderfer. When she relocated to DC in 2009, Rachel began teaching Pilates throughout DC as well as the barre method at BFit. She first discovered Fuse when a friend convinced her to sign-up for bootcamp with Mariska – from that day forward, she knew Fuse was something special!
Rachel holds a BFA in Dance Performance and minors in English and Biology from the University of California, Irvine. Her strong dance background paired with her classical training allows her to focus on muscle lengthening, flexibility and core strength. When she’s not dancing or in a class, you can find Rachel enjoying good food, good friends, and traveling whenever possible. She takes on life with grace and strength – the same exact qualities that you’ll find in her classes.
Randi first experienced Pilates in 2002 when she went looking for a fun, efficient way to stay in shape. Finding the gym highly disagreeable, she took to the Pilates method as a way to expand her body’s potential for strength, flexibility, and movement in a challenging, holistic way. She stuck with because it worked. Ten years later, Randi still finds herself consistently challenged in her own Pilates practice as well as in the classes that she teaches – and there’s nothing like Fuse’s “three requests” to keep a teacher on her toes. With this continuum on growth in mind, her classes strive to be both efficient and responsive to the ways individual bodies work best and emphasize Pilates training as a part of a large approach to wellness. Randi is a certified Prenatal & Postnatal Specialist through the Center for Women’s Fitness.
Originally from sunny California, Randi completed Pilates teacher training in 2008 at Pendelton Pilates in Cincinnati, Ohio while also earning a graduate degree in Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies. This experience being forever intertwined, she can’t help theorizing the sociopolitical implications of Pilates and has a few term papers to prove it.
In 2003, Tori accidentally started her Pilates practice when she began studying Tae Kwon Do as a means of staying in shape. While she didn’t know the intense core workouts her instructors gave her traced back to Joseph Pilates, they were included to help the students develop the strong core and discipline it takes to be a black belt.
After 7 years of Martial Arts, Tori moved on to the restorative practice of Yoga, and became more interested in the strength building potential of Pilates. One day, she dropped into one of Mariska’s Fuse Pilates bootcamps and started thinking about core training in a whole new way.
Tori sees yoga and Fuse not just as a means of working out, but a life long practice to better health. Her classes incorporate vibrant music with the intensity of Fuse exercises, and she occasionally mixes in fierce martial arts moves. Though Tori’s classes are always a challenge, they will appeal to the beginner student as well. Since she, too, was a new student once, Tori makes sure to give precise alignment cues, along with options to modify whenever necessary.
Tori received her 200 hour Yoga certification from Washington, D.C.’s Flow Yoga Center and her Fuse Pilates Certification in 2010. Tori also completed her Balanced Body Reformer training in 2012 and the Fuse Pilates reformer bridge program in 2013.When Tori is not in a yoga or Fuse class, she can be found running through DC and Virginia training for her latest 10 miler.