Our passion for Pilates and Physical Therapy can
Cari Riis Stemmler
Founder/Owner/Education Director // PMA Gold®CPT, CPT
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, movement science, anatomy and yoga.
Her professional dance career began in 1991. She performed both company and commercial work in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, and South America. She performed with Ballet of the Dolls, Winifred Harris’ Between Lines, and Cirque Productions among others. She has been a practitioner of Ashtanga and Anusara yoga since 1996 and started teaching Pilates in 1997 while dancing professionally in Los Angeles. In 2002, she earned her ACE & NASM certifications.
In 2004, 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 Los Angeles and in Minnesota for the Minnesota Dance Medicine Foundation. She also served as Education Chair for the Minnesota Dance Medicine Foundation from 2011-2018, 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 Los Angeles, CA. In 2009, she moved back to her home state of MN and opened Paragon, which was the first fully integrated Pilates and physical therapy studio in the region.
She is a PMA Gold certified Master Teacher and teaches comprehensive Pilates teacher training courses and continuing education as a senior faculty member for Balanced Body Education under the tutelage of Nora St. John.
In March 2007, she became a BB Master Instructor for Pilates Teacher Training as part of the inaugural group at Balanced Body. In 2009 she became a Master Instructor for Anatomy in Three Dimensions, 2015 Master Instructor for Bodhi Suspension System, and in 2017 Master Instructor for CoreAlign.
Cari also teaches 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.
Administrative Assistant // Pilates Teacher
Kathy discovered Pilates in 1995 while studying and training in ballet. She felt the benefits of Pilates as her alignment, flexibility, endurance, and overall strength improved. She furthered her dance career becoming a competitive ballroom dancer. Kathy became a three-time United States Ballroom Smooth champion from 2000-2002. She found Pilates to be the perfect compliment for her ballroom training.
After retiring from dance, she focused on her family and raising her two daughters. She continued practicing Pilates and decided to further her education and share the amazing benefits with others. She completed her comprehensive teacher certification through Balanced Body in 2011.
Pilates Teacher // Certified Personal Trainer
Matthew Hodge is certified as a Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and trained as a Pilates Instructor through the Kane School in NYC, the Y, and Balanced Body at Paragon. 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 is currently completing his prerequisites to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy.
Since 2005 he’s worked with a variety of ages and skillsets in clients ranging from athletes to clients with special conditions. He is well equipped with modifications for all levels.
Administrative Assistant // Pilates Teacher
Brenna Marlin first discovered Pilates while earning her BFA in dance and performance from the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin in 2013. After moving to Minneapolis, she began pursuing her dance career and quickly realized that on days she practiced Pilates, her dance technique would improve! It was helping her do what she wanted to do better. This realization is what truly ignited her passion for Pilates and she began going through the Balanced Body training program at Paragon Pilates and PT in 2016. Brenna has now been teaching almost 2 years and has her full comprehensive certification. She has danced with several companies throughout the Twin Cities such as Threads Dance Project and Arena Dances.
She loves using the Pilates method as a pathway to connect with other people to help improve their health, confidence, and overall wellbeing so that they can be the best version of themselves possible. This could range from walking up the stairs or making dinner to being a professional cyclist or dancer. Brenna believes in meeting someone where they’re at as a person, learner and mover so they feel safe and open to delving deeply into their Pilates practice and finding more balance in their life and body.
PMA® Certified Pilates Teacher
Balanced Body Master Instructor for Pilates & MOTR
Ginny found Pilates after pregnancy and felt that this type of movement was a healing source for her emotional and physical well-being. Pilates helped regain her strength postpartum, and she was able to inhabit her body in a new way. This experience generated a desire to teach Pilates and share these benefits with others.
Ginny obtained her mat training from the YMCA, and started teaching in 2004. As her interest in the work grew, she forged her own path and pursued her comprehensive Pilates training through Balanced Body Education (BBE), and graduated in 2010. Ginny owned a small studio in Forest City, IA for a few years before moving to the Twin Cities where she joined Paragon as teacher and studio manager before moving into the role of Education Coordinator. Always an advocate of further education, Ginny continued her studies, obtained her Pilates Method Alliance certification, and joined Paragon’s Education team as a Master Instructor for BBE in 2016. She was one of the first Faculty trained by BBE to join the education staff. She is also a Master Instructor for MOTR.
Ginny shares her knowledge in a genuine way, and her intuitive nature allows her to teach people of all ages and abilities. She particularly enjoys people who want to understand their bodies in a deeper way, and works side by side with them to achieve their wellness goals. She has completed coursework in pre & post-natal Pilates, Pilates for special conditions and osteoporosis.
Besides Pilates, Ginny’s main loves are her husband and three children.
Studio Manager // PMA® 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.
Studio Manager // Pilates Teacher
Shannon first became introduced to Pilates while studying dance in college. After completing her undergraduate degree in Dance from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte she began her training through the STOTT Pilates Method.
After earning her certification as a Level 1 Reformer and Mat instructor in 2008 she has since continued her training working with special populations including Pre-Post Natal, Athletic Conditioning, Intermediate Chair, and Total Barre™. In 2012, she earned her 200 hour Registered Yoga Training from the Green Lotus Yoga and Healing Center.
Shannon loves being able to help guide others on how to find what works for their specific body. She teaches modifications or challenges within the repertoire so clients feel confident and capable in their body as they access the strength they have within.