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Our GFP team is comprised of rockstar women who are here to help you!

We are all classically trained which means we teach Pilates the way Joseph Pilates designed it. It’s a perfect fitness system that uses your whole body and mind to create a stronger you! We are all comprehensively trained with over 800 hours in training to ensure the highest level of Pilates expertise. We progress and challenge you safely with the highest attention to detail and form. You are our focus! Come enjoy fitness and have the best hour of your day with us!

Ashley Gilchrist, Owner
Vanessa Caesare
Elaine Dolan
Angela Cramer
Natalie Sjoberg

 


Hey, I’m Ashley, founder of Great Falls Pilates.

I’m a native to Great Falls, Virginia and have a background deeply rich in fitness. I grew up locally as a dancer and was first introduced to pilates as a ballerina. I went on to study pilates as an undergraduate at the University of Utah as a Ballet major. I was also struggling with chronic hip pain and eventually stopped dancing after needing major reconstructive hip surgeries during my college years.

My pilates life took a long hiatus as I explored other worlds of fitness after my dancing days were gone – from at-home high intensity workouts, CrossFit and normal gyms, cycling, and rock climbing. While I enjoyed most, they didn’t seem to help protect my body. I certainly was looking forward to a life with as much healthy movement as possible.

I became a Physician Assistant at George Washington University in a dual degree with a Masters in Public Health. I worked at Virginia Spine Institute with the spinal surgeons and completed their spinal residency program. I enjoyed treating patients in a wonderful holistic center for advanced spine care. I worked with four of the nation’s top spine surgeons, pain management physicians, a physical therapy team and even a massage therapist – all to create the best spine care for our patients. I talked pilates daily. Seriously, I did. It’s one of the very best things to strengthen your core and PROTECT your back. It can also help bring you out of back pain.

I was first pregnant in 2014 and used pilates throughout my pregnancy with major weight gain and joint discomfort. My body worked very differently but I found great benefit in prenatal sessions. Recovering from labor and an emergency c-section surgery meant reconnecting with stretched out and injured muscles. Postpartum pilates strengthened my body and helped me lose all the weight I had gained. Pilates got me in the best shape of my life, post-baby.

I decided to put my medical career on hold and thankfully had an opportunity to become a pilates instructor. I jumped right in! What could meld my interests and backgrounds more? Joseph Pilates founded his fitness on working in a neutral spine and protecting your spine. Posture, core strength, flexibility and stability – all the things I prescribed on a daily basis – found again with passion. My complex understanding of the spine, respect for holistic spine care, and my love for helping people all found each other in Pilates.

I’m committed to helping you discover just how awesome pilates is for you.

Enjoy!

Ashley R. Gilchrist, MPH, PA-C

Owner, Great Falls Pilates LLC
Physician Assistant, Spine Specialized
Peak Pilates® Comprehensive Certified Instructor
Member of the Pilates Method Alliance
Additional Speciality Training: Spine Care, Osteoporosis, Scoliosis, Pregnancy and Post-natal, Multiple Sclerosis


Vanessa_circle Hi, I’m Vanessa.

Over the years, I’ve sustained a steady love for fitness and health. Seeing health issues my family struggled with, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity, motivated me to maintain an active lifestyle. As a teen I enjoyed dance, volleyball and track. I even discovered the at-home VHS fitness craze (of which I still have a few) – weight lifting, spinning, step class and Zumba. About 15 years ago, I caught the running bug. Soon after, I discovered Pilates. I found it to be a great way to prevent injuries. It helped protect my knees, back and feet. I learned how to maintain a healthy posture and move from my “powerhouse” or core while running all of those miles. Pilates helped me in everyday life to move, breathe and function from a place of strength and fluidity. I have successfully run 5K’s, 10K’s, Half Marathons and a full Marathon without injury. I attribute that in large part to my Pilates practice.

My passion for Pilates moved me to become an instructor as I searched for a program that would provide an in-depth study of the original “classical” method. I believe that in all areas of life, we never stop learning. This is true in Pilates as well. My overall goal in life is to live in a balanced, healthy way, to remain curious and passionate, and to motivate my clients to find that within themselves. To quote Joseph Pilates, “Physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking nor outright purchase.”

I look forward to working with you at Great Falls Pilates.

Vanessa Caesare
Peak Pilates® Comprehensive Certified Instructor
Certified IBBFA Instructor, Member of the Pilates Method Alliance
Additional Speciality Training: Breast Cancer, Osteoporosis, Multiple Sclerosis


Hello! I’m Elaine.

My pilates journey started over a decade ago when I was living in NYC. As a graphic designer in the publishing industry, I had a desk job and suffered from intense lower back pain. At a young age, I started taking private Pilates classes and quickly fell in love. My pain disappeared, and I was stronger than I’d ever been.

Many years passed and I found my way back to Pilates through a recommendation from my cardiologist. Despite having a chronic illness, Pilates has improved my symptoms. A strong core improved my circulation and my overall health dramatically. I am now a Comprehensive Peak Pilates Instructor and am so excited to help heal and strengthen my clients as well.

Elaine Dolan
Peak Pilates® Comprehensive Certified Instructor


Hey, I’m Angela!

My Pilates journey began nearly ten years ago in a group mat class and has been a primary part of my wellness ever since. I’ve enjoyed the strength and flexibility it has brought to my body and love to challenge myself. I enjoy using a variety of exercises and apparatus (reformer, chair, tower) and you may even catch me on a paddle board! I’m forever on the path to deepen my ‘scoop’ and strengthen my core. Pilates has absolutely enabled me to be an active mom with my growing three children. Pilates brings my life joy and I look forward to sharing it with you in the studio. Hope to see you soon!

Angela Cramer
Peak Pilates® Comprehensive Certified Instructor


 


Hey, I’m Natalie!

I’m a Comprehensive Peak Pilates Instructor. I love to share my joy of Pilates with my clients. I am a mother to three children and have used Pilates throughout my pregnancies and postpartum time to be the best version of myself I can be. I enjoy working with beginners and am known to give my advanced clients a killer workout. I’m excited to get you into your best shape!

Natalie Sjoberg
Peak Pilates® Comprehensive Certified Instructor