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Elise Smith

Elise is a body positive instructor teaching on unceded Chochenyo Ohlone Land, commonly known as the East Bay. She came to Pilates and the GYROKINESIS® method through studying ballet as a young person on unceded Tongva territory, commonly known as Long Beach. During her 15 years of classical ballet training, Elise discovered that the more seriously she trained the more frequently her hypermobile body was injured or in pain. At the urging of her instructors and physical therapists she began to explore the therapeutic benefits of Pilates. After spending years studying with ballet instructors who were also Pilates and Gyrokinesis trainers, Elise chose to pursue a career as a movement educator. In 2007 she received a comprehensive Pilates Instructor Certification through Long Beach Dance Conditioning under Marie-Jose Bloom. 


She was first introduced to the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® at the 2005 Alonzo King's LINES Summer Intensive. Elise studied under Sakua Ishi and Alicia Head at Up Studios in 2018. She completed her GYROKINESIS® Level 1 test out in March 2019 under Chantel Deeble and is a fully certified instructor.


Her ballet background and personal injury rehabilitation experiences inform her teaching on physical and emotional levels. Elise considers what is best for the whole person and enjoys meeting her clients where they're at each day. It’s her passion to help clients achieve their specific goals and experience less pain. She has a trauma informed approach and applies harm reduction principles to this work. Elise specializes in working with people healing from injuries, hypermobile people, queer and trans people, dancers, and people with eccentric personalities.


Additionally, Elise graduated from Smith College in 2013 with dual degrees in the Study of Women and Gender and Anthropology, and has a background in sexual education. She attended the Terra Sylva School herbal apprenticeship during the summer of 2016 and is continuing to study herbal medicine. Her other interests include meditation, ending the prison industrial complex, and collective liberation.

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