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, 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 Master Instructor for Balanced Body Education.
In March 2007, she became a BB Master Instructor (BBMI) for Pilates Teacher Training as part of the inaugural group at Balanced Body. In 2009, added BBMI for Anatomy in Three Dimensions, 2015 Bodhi Suspension System,
and 2017 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.
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 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.
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.
Marketing & Social Media // 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™. She completed the Balanced Body Bridge Program in 2019 as well as completing the Bodhi Suspension System Training. 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.