Our passion for Pilates and Physical Therapy can
Cari Riis Stemmler
Founder/Owner/Education Director // Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher
Balanced Body Master Instructor for Pilates, Bodhi Suspension, CoreAlign & Anatomy in Three Dimensions
Cari has been teaching Pilates since 1997 and educating Pilates teachers since 2001. She has an extensive background in Pilates, dance, integrated movement science & rehabilitation, anatomy and yoga. She is a PMA Gold certified Master Teacher and has been teaching comprehensive Pilates teacher training courses and continuing education as a Senior Master Instructor for Balanced Body Education since its inception.
Her professional dance career began in 1991, and she performed both company and commercial work in MN, CA, CO and South America. Company work included Ballet of the Dolls, Winifred Harris’ Between Lines, Cirque Productions among others. She has been a practitioner of Ashtanga and Anusara yoga since 1996 and started teaching Pilates while dancing professionally in LA. In 2002, she earned her ACE & NASM certifications.
Cari trained in Dance Medicine with the prestigious Harkness Center for Dance and has lectured at national dance summits at the Edge Performing Arts Center in CA, and for the Minnesota Dance Medicine Foundation, where she served as Education Chair and started their “Ask the Experts” outreach program.
Cari was part of the original movement that pioneered the idea of combining Pilates and physical therapy at Core Conditioning in LA. In 2009, she moved back to her home state and opened Paragon, which was the first fully integrated Pilates and physical therapy studio in the region.
She has taught continuing education courses on integrating Pilates with physical therapy and special conditions, and has presented at national Pilates conferences since 2005, including Pilates on Tour and Pilates Method Alliance. She was invited by Balanced Body to contribute to their video podcast library. Check out her Balanced Body video podcasts for Athletes.
Cari holds a B.A. degree in Cross-cultural Communication from the University of Minnesota, has attended countless hours of continuing education coursework, and is a casual student of neuroscience. She enjoys helping those individuals with involved and complex movement issues, taking a whole-body myofascial approach to healing.
Annie Chesterfield is a women’s pelvic health physical therapist with a strong background in orthopedics and sports medicine and a special interest in dance medicine. She utilizes a variety of manual therapy and neuromuscular re-education techniques that are integrated with a carefully prescribed exercise program. Her philosophy is to treat each person as an individual in order to find the root of dysfunction and educate the patient for optimal, independent function and return to activity.
She graduated with a B.A. degree in dance from the University of Minnesota, and danced professionally with Danny Buraczeski’s JAZZDANCE. She then went on to earn her Master of Physical Therapy from California State University, Northridge (2008) and her Doctorate from Temple University (2013). She became an Orthopedic Certified Specialist through the American Physical Therapy Association in 2016. She also has a certification in Pilates from Core Conditioning in California. Her postdoctoral training courses have been with NAIOMT, Herman and Wallace, and the IPA.
Annie is a Minnesota native, but has enjoyed living and studying on both the West and East coast. In her free time she loves to enjoy the outdoors with her family, dance, run, and cook.
Stephanie is excited to be joining the amazing and gifted staff at Paragon! She has been dancing professionally in the Twin Cities her entire career with several companies including Ballet of the Dolls, James Sewell Ballet, T.U.Dance, MN Orchestra, MN Opera, The Children’s Theatre Co., Live Action Set, Sally Rousse/Noah Bremer, and works by Penelope Freeh. Stephanie is an award-winning dancer including The McKnight Fellowship, City pages “Best Dancer,” Sage Award recipient, among others.
Stephanie completed her Pilates training at Paragon through Balanced Body Education. She has held a lifelong belief in Pilates and its ability to heal. She relied on it throughout her dance career to heal her own injuries. Stephanie feels grateful, and full of joy to share this work with others, alongside an old and dear friend.
Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher // Certified Personal Trainer
Matthew Hodge-Rice is a Master Pilates Instructor and Personal Trainer, specializing in Corrective Exercise and Performance Enhancement. He holds certifications through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the National Pilates Certification Program. He studied at the Kane School in NYC, the Y, Balanced Body at Paragon and in Sacramento. He also holds certifications in Kettlebells and working with older adults.
Matthew graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and also studied at Otterbein College, majoring in Musical Theater and Dance. He has completed his prerequisites for Physical Therapy school and enjoys the ongoing study of movement science.
Since 2005 he’s worked with a variety of ages and skill sets in clients ranging from athletes to clients with special conditions. He is well equipped with modifications for all levels.
Studio Manager // Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher
Amanda’s love of dance and fitness lead her to Pilates, and she soon developed a passion for the Pilates method. After several years of study, she wanted to share the benefits of Pilates with others and received her comprehensive instructor certification through Balanced Body. Amanda enjoys helping her clients achieve their fitness and wellness goals. Her clients enjoy her enthusiasm, excitement, and ability to create a fun, supportive — and physically enriching — atmosphere.
Amanda received her B.S. in Business Marketing from the University of MN in 1999, and completed her MBA in Marketing from Capella University in 2001.