Stephanie Ellison has been involved in dance and movement since the age of 3 when her Mom placed her in ballet and tap to help correct pigeon-toed feet and scoliosis. A class away from a dance minor at Illinois State University (just for fun mind you) she went on to work in radio for NPR and then in public relations in San Francisco. In 2001 she returned to movement and began teaching Pilates, being certified at Performing Arts Physical Therapy and The Pilates Studio of LA where she also worked as a physical therapy aid during her training. She has since studied with various instructors, including Romana Kryzanowska while working at Winsor Pilates in West Hollywood. Exploring play as an alternative to exercise led Stephanie to train in circus arts and establish a Pilates space at Bumbershoot Aerial Arts in St. Louis. While there she also taught Pilates curriculum in the Dance Department at Washington University. Having returned to Los Angeles, Stephanie spends her time making art and writing, while continuing to teach and study pilates, dance and movement therapy.
Finding Balance Through Movement
I’m a firm believer that the body and mind are not so separate, one informs the other. The culmination of life experiences live inside our muscles and viscera like ghosts. Understanding the body can also bring insights into the workings of the mind, not to mention it just feels good to get moving! Using Pilates, dance and other exercise and somatic modalities, I work with the individual to find a whole balance through movement.
Pilates at its best is a combination of stretching and strengthening movements that flow outward from a strong, yet flexible, center. To do this correctly takes time and understanding of one’s own body - inherent strengths, weaknesses, and imbalances. While there are a set repertoire of classical Pilates exercises, every body and road to wellness is completely different, which is why some amount of private instruction is important to any personal fitness regimen. I believe in finding movement that brings an element of joy - not doing because you have to, but because it is fun, social, or rewarding in some way. In my 20 years of working with people of all shapes and sizes I believe, no matter what you do, the keys to youth are an open mind, a sense of humor, and a balanced approach to life. One size does not fit all, thankfully. How boring we’d be! Even though I strive for balance, a bit off center is my favorite place.
For other projects by Stephanie Ellison visit TheRustedWrench.com