Meet our instructors!

Our instructors are highly trained and committed to creating classes and a community that is accessible for everyone. We are continuously educating ourselves, through workshops and our own personal commitments to movement and inclusivity. We always welcome feedback on what we can do to build a stronger community for all.

Katie Clarke, the owner and lead pilates instructor at Grounded Pilates

Katie Clarke

Hi! I’m Katie, owner and instructor.

As a mother of 3, I have seen my body go through many shapes and stages of strength, but it wasn’t until I discovered Pilates that I truly felt at home in my body. I immediately sought out how to help others discover the same.

I’m a Stott-trained Mat + Reformer instructor with extra training in Cadillac and Stability Chair, and a BarreNone barre certification. This has led me to have the tools to lead clients through fun and challenging, but safe and intuitive classes. I’ve dug deeper into the world of movement through extra credits in Myofascial Movement, Joint Dysfunction and one of a kind training with Anula Maiberg and James Crader. Along with Pilates, I am also certified as a Level 1 Fascial Stretch Therapist (not to mention the expensive and always useful BA in Military History!) and love to learn more about the stories our bodies tell.

No body is a bad body! We see and feel our bodies go through so many transformations, good and bad. I feel incredibly honoured to be a part of anyone’s journey to discovering new levels of balance and strength. As well as an appreciation for what your body is fully capable of.

Inspired to not only teach Pilates but build a studio based on inclusivity, I have committed myself to learning how to incorporate anti-racism into my life, my teaching and my studio. I have started that through the teaching of Sonja R. Price Herbert and her Decolonizing Pilates training.

At Grounded Pilates + Lifestyle, we have created a space for everyone to find comfort in their bodies and find community with each other. All while having fun doing it!

Emily Hobbes, instructor

Emily Hobbes

A former national rhythmic gymnast and professional dancer, Emily has always been passionate about movement. She began practicing Pilates in 2009 as a complement to her competitive training. She quickly fell in love with the controlled, fluid movements and mind-body connection that is innate to the discipline. While training at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Emily attained certification through STOTT Pilates and Exhale in reformer and mat. She continued her education with training in stability chair, tower, pre/post natal, and numerous rehab-focused courses.

Emily is a self-proclaimed anatomy nerd. She is currently working towards a Masters of Osteopathic Manipulative Sciences at the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy. She loves helping clients connect with their bodies and discover an awareness for muscles that they never knew were there. For her, nothing is greater than that ‘aha’ moment for clients when they experience new movements or newfound strength and get a taste of the ‘pilates magic!’ Throughout her teaching career, Emily has worked with clients coming to Pilates for help with various injuries. From disk injuries/degeneration, scoliosis, joint replacements and shoulder issues. She’s also worked with competitive athletes, and dancers.

Emily is constantly inspired by the capacities of the human body. She hopes to share her passion and knowledge in every class she teaches.

Dominique Cheshire, instructor

Dominique Cheshire

Dominique is a lover of music and movement, especially when they flow together! She has spent her life investigating different ways our bodies facilitate movement, and the importance of mind-body connection.

Dominique has a background in Ballet and Contemporary dance, educated through Canada’s National Ballet School and The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. While formal dance education has been a big part of her life, Dominique began her yoga practice in her early teens as a way to connect in a more free, spiritual way. After a major accident, Dominique fell in love with pilates as a way to move and rehabilitate the body. She completed her STOTT Mat and Reformer training in 2014, and since then has completed multiple rehabilitative courses and movement faculties. Those include her 200hr YTT and Roll Model Method Training.

She believes the body is a fully connected, intuitive vessel. The more we can nourish and listen to this vessel, the better equipped we are to flow through our lives. It is her goal as an energy and movement facilitator to continue learning, sharing, and encouraging a loving mind-body connection. And of course, all while having fun with movement!

Chris Nguyen, instructor

Chris Nguyen

Chris is a movement educator. Curiosity brought him to his first yoga class. That marked the beginning of an ongoing journey and passion for the practice of yoga, and a profound desire to deepen that relationship.

As a yoga teacher, he is a E-RYT 500 with the Yoga Alliance, the highest teaching recognition with the organization. Under Dr. Andreo Spina, Chris is a certified Functional Range Conditioning Movement Specialist (FRCms). He continues to work with Head FRC and Kinstretch Master Instructor Dana John Heimbecker.

In 2018 under Dewey Neilson, Chris completed the Kinstretch Instructor training in the Functional Range Systems. He is currently completing the certification. Chris is also studying the art of hand balancing under renowned circus performer and coach, Nicolas Montes de Oca and handbalance legend Yury Bozyan. He is also a second degree Reiki practitioner.

Chris began his studies in contemporary Pilates (Comprehensive) in 2017, with esteemed Pilates educator Leslie Parker of Mindful Movement Centre. He followed this by completing the Yoga Tune Up Level 1 Teacher Training. He also worked privately with Steve Donald of Buteyko Toronto to study the Buteyko Breathing Method. To date, Chris has completed 15 trainings. He continues his studies daily in yoga, Pilates, anatomy, Biomechanics and physiology. He is currently studying Osteopathy at the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy.

To Chris, mindful movement is about cultivating contentment, mindfulness, self-acceptance and bringing awareness into the body.

Kathryn Bezan, instructor

Kathryn Bezan

Kathryn is a pilates instructor, sign language interpreter, and mom to a too-smart 7-year-old and 2 fur babies. After her scoliosis diagnosis, Pilates became part of her life when she started taking classes as part of physiotherapy. She was experiencing daily back pain, but still wanted to keep exercising and strengthening her body.

Continuous learning is important to her, especially in the area of anatomy and injuries. She loves pilates for the challenging exercises that highlight weak areas and for the attention to detail that make our bodies work how they should. When the opportunity to become a teacher fell into her lap, she couldn’t stay no!

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Heather Bodajla

As a yoga instructor, Heather strives to create accessible and safe classes that can be modified for every ability. It’s important to her that everyone in her classes feel comfortable and included. She loves to teach with props so students understand that it’s normal and helpful to use them in their practice too.

She’s practiced yoga for over 25 years (teaching since 2020). Sharing her love of yoga as well as the benefits it offers has been valuable for her students—especially those who were tentative about trying a class. Getting them to step onto the mat is the first phase. Once they are there, she hopes they begin to understand that yoga is more than just the poses.

Heather is an active recreational athlete and long-distance runner. She’s run eight marathons, seven Around the Bay 30K races and numerous half marathons in the past decade. She’s also been an avid golfer and snowboarder. In addition to running and yoga, she can also be found on the Pilates Reformer or her rowing machine. She’s currently working toward a Marathon Running Coach certification with NAASFP.

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Judi Savage

Judi worked as a Personal Trainer, Fitness, and Spin Instructor for many years. After and over training her body, Judi attended a Pilates workshop and immediately fell in love with it. She proceeded to take her Stott Mat and Reformer training, then later continued with Stability Chair training. About 6 years ago, Judi became a Yoga (200hr YTT) and Restorative Yoga teacher. She has been sharing her passion for Pilates as a teacher for over 20 years, encouraging clients to move their bodies mindfully, with breath and control. For her, nothing is more rewarding than bringing body awareness and love for mindful movement to others.

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Bailey Vajda, Brittany Rose, Kristen Carrington, and Susan Hamilton

Bios for our new instructors coming soon!