Amanda has been teaching Pilates in Chicago for 12 years as a STOTT PILATES certified instructor. Upon graduating from Columbia College Chicago with a BA in Dance, she received her comprehensive Pilates training including Injuries and Special Populations training from Vered Arbel at Elements In Motion in Chicago. Over the years Amanda has worked alongside physical therapists and chiropractors to strengthen clients during and after their treatment as well as with athletes on and off season. Amanda's passion and understanding of movement stems from her years of dance training and continues with her ongoing Pilates and movement education. With the opening of her first studio, she is dedicated to offer her clients services that help them find more stability, mobility, strength and flexibility in their bodies to move through life more efficiently.
Jacqueline Stewart is a native to the city of Chicago and has been practicing and teaching Pilates since 2007. She holds a BFA in Dance from The University of Iowa and a certificate in Humanscale Office Ergonomics. Founder and Choreographer of Jaxon Movement Arts and company member of Chicago Repertory Ballet, Stewart was the grand prize recipient for her choreography from the Joyce Theater Foundation of New York in 2010. She is certified in the Comprehensive Stott Pilates Approach where she trained under the direction of Vered Arbel. Jackie incorporates her extensive training in dance, sports and floor barre technique with in her teaching style.
A former professional contemporary ballet dancer, Karen began
studying Pilates after an injury while performing. Amazed by the
strength, balance, and energy gained once she returned to dance,
Karen turned her love of movement and her passion for helping others
into her next career. Karen is certified in Pilates through the
PhysicalMind Institute. She also holds a BFA in Dance from Wright
State University in Dayton, Ohio, an Associates degree in Applied
Science from Brown Mackie College and has continuing education
certifications in TRX and SUP yoga, to name a few. She also uses her
years of dance, Pilates, and exercise in her work as a licensed Physical
Therapy Assistant. In her free time Karen loves to be at the lake with
her family or pursuing her new hobbies of pottery and urban farming.
Paul has been a Platform client since 2018 and recently joined the Platform staff in 2021 as the Studio Manager. Paul has a passion for health and wellness and has spent his life in fitness and athletics. He originally sought out Pilates in 2015 as a remedy to chronic back pain that came as a result of a series of injuries sustained playing football in college. Since then, Paul has been working with Amanda and the rest of the instructors to continually improve his core strength, flexibility and overall wellness. Paul is excited to help create a positive experience for all Platform clients as they pursue their fitness goals. Paul graduated from Butler University with a degree in Management Information Systems.
Vered Arbel is an instructor at the Kinesiology and Nutrition Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Arbel earned both her BS and MS in kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and currently pursuing her PhD in Biomechanics at the kinesiology Department at UIC. Prior to working at UIC, she had a lifelong career as a professional ballet dancer, choreographer, and business owner in the health and fitness industry. She developed and taught Pilates and fitness fusion programs as well as certification courses and continuing education workshops for Fitness and Health Professionals. Her certifications include: certified personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine
(ACSM), STOTT PILATES Certified Lead Instructor Trainer, and teaching certificate from the Royal Academy of Dance in England. With over 30 years of professional experience she brings her expertise in qualitative human movement assessment. Arbel’s specialty is core stability, qualitative human movement analysis, postural analysis, fitness assessment and corrective exercise training. Her research interest includes correlation between core stability and gait parameters in people with osteoarthritis of the hip and knee and the influence of range of motion of the hip on the prevalence of injuries, enhancement of performance and functionality in general population and collegiate athletes.
Lauren Valentine is a PMA-NCPT Certified Pilates Instructor who has been teaching since 2006. First discovering the benefits of Pilates at The Ohio State University while completing a BFA in Dance, she continued to utilize Pilates as she danced professionally in NYC until she became mat certified with LindaFit Pilates. Teaching Pilates was an immediate fit for Lauren and soon after, she completed her certifications in all the apparatus at the Pilates Academy International, located at Pilates on Fifth Studio. By 2008, Lauren's excellence in the field qualified her to certify as a PAI Certifying Instructor, thereby training future Pilates Instructors to come. Lauren has completed certifications and seminars in Pre/Post Natal, Pilates Therapeutics, Cardiolates, Jump Board and innumerous others and most recently became certified as a Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist (FRCms). Lauren’s passion lies in helping people achieve a happy and healthy body using any means necessary, whether it be on the equipment, mat work, facial release, restorative practices, cardio sculpt, jumpboard, etc., she’s a firm believer that the body will talk, if we listen. When Lauren is not teaching Pilates, she is working on her golf game.