MEET THE INSTRUCTORS

Meet Our Instructors

Make the right choice when it comes to your fitness needs. At The Pilates Center of St. Louis, we have a full staff of certified, professional, sophisticated instructors who are experts in their craft. When you want a Pilates center with a personalized, boutique touch, you know who to turn to. Call 314-569-9400 to find out more about our fitness classes.

Karen Prechtl

Karen Prechtl

Karen Prechtl is the owner of The Pilates Center of St Louis. Karen has been in the fitness industry since 1980. She is at her fourth and favorite location in Ladue which has been open since 2008. Karen has an extensive knowledge about and experience with movement. She has a degree in music and a background in dance.

She started teaching fitness classes in St. Louis and found that teaching Pilates would be the next logical step. In 1993, Karen opened the first Pilates studio in St. Louis and never looked back. Karen had the privilege of doing her initial training at the Pilates Center of Boulder with Pilates elder, Romana Kryzanowska. 

She learned about the importance of form and was reminded that Pilates techniques really could help heal improper movement patterns and help relieve stress and pain. She recently became a certified Teacher Trainer with Balanced Body, an internationally acclaimed certifying organization. 

The Pilates Center of St. Louis hosts workshops for aspiring teachers and does ongoing training for our talented staff of instructors. More than ever, Karen enjoys sharing the wonderful benefits of this method of conditioning the body and awakening the mind.
Mary Zorich

Mary Zorich

Mary Zorich studied Pilates in 1998 with Karen Prechtl to help with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, and arthritis pain. It helped so much that after a year, she was off disability and started teaching Pilates part-time. 

In 2003 Mary graduated from the Pilates center in Boulder's well-known teacher training program. Mary loves working with all types of clients, but particularly people with any kind of chronic pain syndrome. 

Prior to her Pilates life, Mary was an executive with the May Company, where she traveled extensively overseas, developing all areas of merchandise as well as quality control programs. 
Rebecca Milton

Rebecca Milton

Rebecca has had a life-long interest in physical activity. Involved in dance at an early age, she began realizing the importance of form, coordination, and confidence. She received her BSN and in 1994, she became an RN, working in women’s and children’s health.

She got involved in group exercise around the same time and taught fitness in the St. Louis area. In 2005, she became certified as a Health Fitness Instructor through the American College of Sports Medicine working as a personal trainer.

With this certification, she was able to combine her two passions: helping women with wellness through both health and movement. Her mission is to help clients achieve a healthy balance between self-improvement and self-acceptance through exercise, nutrition, and self-appreciation.

In 2010, Rebecca completed her Pilates certification through the Balanced Body University Teacher Training program here at The Pilates Center of St. Louis. Since then, she has been teaching here at our studio, leading students through sensible, yet powerful workouts. 

She has helped students gain confidence and self-acceptance, and to have an understanding of their bodies through Pilates. Students leave their workouts with Rebecca feeling strong, centered, and with a great knowledge about movement. 

Rebecca is now a Master Trainer and heads our Teacher Training Balance Body Certification program. 
Inessa Santos

Inessa Santos

Inessa Santos has been studying the Pilates Method since 2007 and is certified through Pilates PhysioServ (Applied to Physical Therapy), in Brazil. When she learned the Pilates Method, she fell in love with it and has yet to stop developing herself and discovering new techniques, including personally taking advantage of it during her two pregnancies.

Inessa went on to graduate school in Brazil, where she has acquired her knowledge about anatomy, biomechanics, and Physical Therapy. Inessa also has specialization in Neurological rehabilitation and she has trained all types of clients, in particular, people with injuries.

She loves working with challenging exercises to make her clients stronger and satisfied. 
Valerie Kit Love

Valerie Kit Love

Valerie Kit Love brings 42 years of practice and instruction in yoga & Pilates to the studio. Valerie is certified in Pilates through Boulder & Stott Pilates and completed her yoga training at the Kripalu Center of Yoga & Health, where she eventually became faculty in the specialty of Integrative Yoga Therapy.

She developed the Life Mastery Yoga Program and served as Director of the program for 13 years. Valerie holds a number of certifications and degrees which have given her a well-rounded approach to both Pilates and yoga. 

She is a Registered Occupational Therapist with a Fitness Exercise emphasis, which was acquired from the University of Tulsa and is certified as a Resistance Training Specialist. Valerie started her own business, Valerie Kit Love yoga / Pilates of Oklahoma City, which operated successfully until she chose to relocate to the St. Louis area.   
Karen Proper

Karen Proper

Karen Proper began her Pilates practice in 2006 and quickly fell in love with the Pilates method and what it did for her body. Having also been an accomplished triathlete and cyclist, Karen has great appreciation for the feeling and benefits of the low impact nature of Pilates.

Karen became certified through the Balanced Body program so that she could share her passion for Pilates with others.
Martha Allen

Martha Allen

Martha’s love for Pilates dates back to her high school days when she was a student dancing at COCA in St. Louis, MO. 

After a dance injury, Pilates was instrumental in her recovery. Her passion for Pilates continued through her college years as Pilates was part of the dance curriculum at University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA where Martha received her BFA in Modern Dance.

After dancing with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company 2 in Dayton, OH Martha returned home to pursue other dance opportunities. In August of 2013, Martha began her certification training under classically trained Mary J Brown, through The Core Center. 

Martha is thrilled to share her love of Pilates and knows firsthand the transformative qualities Pilates has for the mind, body, and spirit.
Tami Lowe

Tami Lowe

Tami has dedicated over 15 years to the fitness industry. She is a Master Pilates Instructor and Personal Trainer. She has trained all levels of fitness from the beginning novice to the professional athlete.

She is certified with Balance Body and Peak Pilates, being trained in both classical and contemporary methods. She was the Pilates Coordinator and Teacher Trainer for Lifetime Fitness, training and mentoring her students to be certified instructors.

Tami spent the last few years operating studios in Boca Raton and Boynton Beach and is thrilled to be back home in St. Louis and at The Pilates Center!
Amber Specter

Amber Specter

Amber Specter has been practicing Pilates for 11 years. In February 2016, she began the Balanced Body Instructor training with Rebecca Milton and is excited to share the joy of this exercise as an instructor.

Pilates gives her energy and strength and has completely changed her body and the way she moves in everyday life. When Amber is not working or studying Pilates, she loves to travel and spend time with her husband and two young boys.
Melissa Murdock

Melissa Murdock

Melissa fell in love with Pilates in 2013 when she took her first mat class at her local gym on her birthday. Her appreciation and passion for dance moved her to introduce Pilates into her fitness routine.

Although not technically trained in dance, Melissa has been dancing since she can remember mainly to Latin rhythms from her native Venezuela and neighboring Latin American countries. 

Melissa is a tirelessly inquisitive learner who has found her niche in Pilates and is forging her path to create a brand that helps athletes, artists, and those interested in living life to their fullest develop into the best version of themselves by incorporating movement awareness into their lifestyles. 

Melissa is a dedicated, enthusiastic, and compassionate instructor who is being mentored by Rebecca Milton as she completes the Balanced Body Instructor training. Melissa is a firm believer in whole living, combining the pillars of spiritual, mental, and physical health into daily life. 

She enjoys doing life with family and friends, cooking, eating, learning about people and cultures, languages, and traveling. 
Anna Welke

Anna Welke

Anna started her Pilates training with BBU's Karen Sanzo in Dallas and finished here at The Pilates Center of St. Louis with Beth Ruder. Prior to Pilates, she trained to be a yoga teacher with Pam Schulte of Just Practice Yoga. 

Anna, a former lawyer, left corporate America nine years ago, to fulfill her dream to teach; a dream that began sixteen years ago when she journeyed into a yoga practice which then led her to Pilates. 

Anna taught at this studio until three years ago, when she moved to Dallas. She is delighted to be back. She takes great joy in assisting her students' self-explorations through the medium of Pilates and seeing them enrich their lives through improving their well-being. 
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