Get To Know the Core Therapy & Pilates Team

Click on the photos below for more info about each person...

Stephen C. Dunn, MPT, COMT, PMA®-CPT

Co-Owner/Physical Therapist
Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist
PMA® Certified Pilates Teacher
Certified GYROTONIC® Instructor


Stephen graduated with a Masters in Physical Therapy in 1998 from LSUMC in New Orleans. Immediately interested in hands on therapy, he began to study with known manual therapist Brian Mulligan and became certified in the Maitland Australian Approach in 2003. Stephen completed a comprehensive Pilates training in Santa Monica at retroFit Pilates in 2002 and is Certified through The Pilates Method Alliance. The combined treatment of manual therapy with mind body awareness exercises using Pilates concepts was the start of his whole body treatment approach. Stephen then began to study the fascial system when he moved to Austin, TX in 2004. This lead to training with Alan Weismantle and hisFunctional Manual Therapy Approach and studying Myofascial Release with John Barnes. Stephen completed his level 1GYROTONIC®certification in 2009 becoming the first Physical Therapist in Texas certified in GYROTONIC®. In 2011, Stephen and Cheryl started the Pilates Teacher Training Program offered at CORE. Since 2012, they have had the opportunity to present the work of Joseph Pilates to the Physical Therapy schools at both Texas State and The University of St Augustine-Austin.

Now Stephen pulls from both a traditional and alternative mindset for an eclectic and innovative approach to physical therapy. Treatment consist of manual therapy (myofascial release, joint mobilization & manipulation, soft tissue mobilization, muscle energy, craniosacral therapy, traction, and neurodynamics) with mind body exercises utilizing Pilates and GYROTONIC® equipment. Stephen and his wife, Cheryl, opened CORE Therapy & Pilates in May, 2005. Stephen enjoy's hiking, sports and live music.  They have 2 boy's and are members of Westlake United Methodist Church.

"I opened my business after 3 years of working at the typical 'PT mill' with juggling 3 to 5 patients an hour.  So my clinic is now based on NOT being the typical and the first step is spending time with each patient.  So I chose to offer one on one, hour long appointments to address reaching the goals of each individual.  This allows me to learn about the body on each visit in a continuous assessment and treatment progressive approach.  With the home release program and awareness training, I teach patients to empower themselves to improve."

Your Favorite???

Place: The mountains!
Restaurant: Jaques-Imos (NOLA), Uchiko (ATX)
Food: Cajun
Vacation:  Colorado, Lake Tahoe, Mammoth
City: NOLA
TV show: 24
Film: The Usual Suspects
Singer/Group: JJ Cale, Widespread Panic
Celebrity: Willie, Shaq
Book: Rich Dad Poor Dad (that changed everything for me)
Sports: LSU Football and Baseball
Team: LSU
Hobbies: Live music and I Try to keep up with my kids!

Stephen C. Dunn

Co-Owner
Physical Therapist
Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist
PMA® Certified Pilates Teacher
Certified GYROTONIC® Instructor

Cheryl C. Dunn, PMA®-CPT

Co-Owner, PMA® Certified Pilates Teacher
Certified GYROTONIC® & GYROKINESIS® Instructor
GYROTONIC® Master Trainer


Cheryl graduated with a Marketing degree from LSU. After working a corporate desk job for a few years, she changed careers by completing her Pilates certification in 2002 at retroFit Pilates in Santa Monica, CA.  Cheryl then completed her Level 1 GYROTONIC® certification while working with Madeline Black at Studio M in Sonoma, CA.  Since moving to Austin to 2004, Cheryl has become level 2 GYROTONIC® trained as well as assisted Madeline in teaching Pilates education courses from California to New Orleans.  The year of 2009 was a busy one as she completed herGYROKINESIS® certification in Germany with Juliu Horvath, certifications on the specialized GYROTONIC®Archway, Leg Extension Unit, Gyrotoner and Jump Stretch Board, as well as becoming a Certified GYROTONIC® Pre-Trainer.  Not to mention having her second little boy.  Cheryl completed a Pilates mentor program in 2011 with Madeline Black offered by Balance Body University coined "Passing the Torch". In the summer of 2011, Cheryl and Stephen launched a Pilates Teacher Training Program at CORE.  Cheryl passed her PMA Exam and has studied the GYROTONIC® Therapeutic Application courses with German Physiotherapist Paul Horvath and Uwe Herbsreit. In 2014, Cheryl completed the requirments to become a GYROTONIC® Master Trainer and is now able to teach the GYROTONIC® Level 1 Foundation Courses as well as all updates for current certified GYROTONIC® trainers.

Her background as a gymnast and exercise enthusiast led her to an interest in Pilates and GYROTONIC®. Cheryl and her husband, Stephen, opened CORE Therapy & Pilates in May, 2005. They are members of Westlake United Methodist Church.

Your Favorite???

Place: There's no place like home 🙂
Restaurant: Uchi
Food: Chocolate
Vacation: The beach
City: Sonoma
TV show: Anything on the cooking channel
Film: Star Wars 🙂
Singer/Group: Mumford and Sons/George Strait
Celebrity: Brad Pitt
Book: The Shack
Sports: Football, gymnastics
Team: LSU
Hobbies: Hanging with my family

Cheryl C. Dunn

Co-Owner
PMA® Certified Pilates Teacher
Certified GYROTONIC® Instructor
Certified GYROKINESIS® Instructor
GYROTONIC® Master Trainer

Allyson Marshall

Physical Therapist


As a physical therapist in the Houston and Austin areas since 1995, Allyson has developed a gentle approach to whole body healing. At Core she has been able to spend more time personally with each client addressing the entire body and providing recovered clients with pilates training to keep them progressing.

“The one body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body.” Allyson uses this belief in three areas: First, in her approach to addressing areas of restriction throughout the body as a whole. Second, learning from co-workers, clients and other therapists taking pieces of wisdom and incorporating them into a whole treatment. Last, incorporating the pilates practice into discharge from physical therapy to continue parts of your recovery into a pursuit of health for your whole life. All parts making up one process of returning your body to health.

Her background in Total Motion Release techniques as well as Craniosacral Therapy, Strain/ Counterstrain and PIlates make for a holistic and gentle approach with quick results. The focus of her therapy is to empower the client with tools to heal themselves.

Allyson earned her B.S. in kinesiology at The University of Texas in 1992 and her M.S. in physical therapy from Texas Woman’s University in Houston in 1995. She has worked in pediatrics for 9 years also with great success treating pediatric orthopedic issues and infant torticollis with no crying!

Your Favorite???

Place: Running on a trail
Restaurant: East Side Cafe
Food: Fresh berries, coconut milk with pea protein powder and raw nuts and seeds on top
Vacation: Kauai - Napali coast
City: Austin
TV show: Don't watch
Film: Singer/Group: Beethoven, Lyle Lovett, Jack White
Celebrity: None
Book: Lord of the Rings
Sports: Love them! I do: Running, swimming, tennis, some biking, frisbee golf, ultimate frisbee, spikeball. I watch: football, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, basketball, golf, track
Team: Team Marshall 🙂
Hobbies: See above sports. Don't have much time for other hobbies

Allyson Marshall

Physical Therapist

Jennifer

Customer Service Team


Jennifer is the newest addition to our Core family. Working in the front office she’s the first friendly face to greet you when you walk in. She can help with all things scheduling and customer service.

Living in Austin for over 25 years she considers herself a true Austinite. Jennifer was in business for herself for over 10 years, owning Izzy and Ash Children’s boutique in Westlake. In 2014 she decided it was time to move out of retail and went back to school to study nutrition. In 2017 she became certified as a Holistic Health Coach and works with individual clients helping them build better habits around nutrition and their daily life.

With two kids in Westlake schools she can be found up and down Bee Caves road when not here at the office. She also loves spending Friday evenings with her husband, Duberly, catching up from the week.

Your Favorite???

Place: Playa Grande beach in the Dominican Republic, Barcelona, Costa Rica, anywhere in Italy…
Restaurant:
Way too many to name…. Clarks, Uchi, Odd Duck, Ippudo(in New York-or any Ramen that can match it - which I’ve yet to find)
Food:
Mexican food, dark chocolate and great salads
Vacation:
Beach first then the mountains of Colorado
City:
Austin…that’s why I live here!
TV Show:
Jane the Virgin, that 70’s show, Big Bang Theory
Film:
The Secret, Dances with Wolves, The Last Samari, Marvel movies
Singer/Group:
Mumford and Sons, G Love, The Lumineers, most anything from the 70’s
Celebrity:
Chris Hemsworth
Sports Team:
Whatever team my son is playing on
​​​​​​​Hobbies:
Traveling with my family, Spin class, Pilates, Camping

Jennifer

Customer Service Team

Alexis Zoë Kistler

Certified GYROTONIC® Level 1 Instructor


Alexis’ main intention for her clients is for them to enjoy a healthy and fit body, free from aches and pains, and to help them achieve their personal physical goals. She helps them experience a physical movement practice with personal guidance and training that brings them joy and improved physical activity regardless of age, previous injury or limitation.

Alexis was born and raised in Germany, where she graduated with a degree in Physical Therapy in 2005. She worked as a licensed Physical Therapist in Germany until 2009 and earned additional diplomas in Lymph drainage & Compression Therapy and Manual Therapy during that time. During one of her PT internships she followed her curiosity for integrative healing methods and started training with the GYROTONIC® Expansion System. She was delighted to discover that it works wonders on posture, flexibility and strength.

In 2009 her passion for personal growth and development opportunities brought her to the US, and she has lived in Austin since 2010. In her free time she enjoys triathlon training and is convinced that GYROTONIC® has provided her with unique benefits that cannot be found in any other training modality. It has helped her with an increased range of motion, ease of movement, and something that every athlete values - more speed. After experiencing the many personal benefits of GYROTONIC®, Alexis is devoted to help others overcome physical limitations and elevate their performance with the GYROTONIC® method.

Alexis is a certified GYROTONIC® Level 1 Instructor and has advanced training using the GYROTONIC® method therapeutically for hip, lower back, shoulder and neck problems.

Your Favorite???

Place: Sunrise on the beach
Restaurant: ???
Food: Sushi
Holiday: Thailand, Bali, New Zealand, Kawaii....
City: Amsterdam, Krabi, San Diego
TV show: Cooking Shows, anything that's really well written (6 Feet Under, House of Cards, The Crown)
Film: I am not your Guru, depends on the genre
Singer/Group: Depends on my mood, could be anything between Country and Hip Hop
Celebrity: Tony Robbins
Book: The Lord of the Rings & The Enneagram
Sports: Swim, Bike, Run (repeat); snowboarding
Team: TEC (Tank Engine Crew aka my cycling group)
Hobbies: Acrylic painting, my sports are my hobby

Alexis Zoë Kistler

Certified GYROTONIC® Level 1 Instructor

Ohara Hartmann

Pilates Apprentice


Ohara was raised in Southern California. After a career in Sales & Marketing, she went back to achieve a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University. She is an avid reader and mother of two, enjoying life here in Austin. Ohara is passionate about learning and sharing the many benefits of Pilates.

Your Favorite???

Place: Makalawena Beach, Hawaii
Restaurant: Perla's
Food: Pasta
Holiday: My Birthday
City: San Francisco
TV show: N/A
Film: Romantic comedies as a genre, Romancing The Stone, Bridget Jones Diary, Seems Like Old Times
Singer/Group: Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, Lyle Lovett, U2, Bruce Springsteen
Celebrity: Oprah
Book: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Hobbies: Reading, writing, cooking, listening to music, hiking, traveling, mothering, making people laugh and doing Pilates

Ohara Hartmann

Pilates Apprentice

Alayna Brenchley

Customer Service Team
Pilates & GYROTONIC® Apprentice


Alayna can be found anywhere in the studio, from the customer service team in the front office to teaching private lessons and group classes. She is a lover of movement. Throughout high school her family always found her in the living room trying any workout video she could get her her hands on. Kathy Smith workout videos were her first introduction to Pilates, and she discovered the rehabilitative aspects of Pilates when taking mat and reformer classes in college helped her recover from a back injury she sustained while working on her B.F.A in dance at Belhaven University. Her time dancing also provided connections with the GYROTONIC® world, and she was instantly hooked to the flow and challenge of the movement. Not one to take things slowly, Alayna started her apprenticeships simultaneously in both Pilates and Gyrotonic upon her move to Austin in 2017. She loves to challenge her clients without letting them sacrifice technique and hopes to help them experience the joy that movement can bring.

In her spare time you can find her cooling off at Barton Springs, finding a new way to cook vegetables, or pushing herself in her own Pilates and Gyrotonic practice.

Your Favorite???

Place: Croatia
Restaurant: Babalus in Jackson, MS
Food: Roasted vegetables, dark chocolate, and tortilla chips
Vacation: Anywhere with a beach
City: Vienna and Boston
TV Show: Gilmore Girls
Film: West Side Story and Fiddler on the Roof
Singer/Group: Will Reagan, Michael Buble, Bethel
Celebrity: My mom (she's one in my eyes)
Book: Little Women and Wuthering Heights
Sports: Soccer
Team: umm...?
Hobbies: Cooking, cross-stitching, paddle-boarding, and exercising 😉

Alayna Brenchley

Customer Service Team
Pilates & GYROTONIC® Apprentice

Brandi Nelson

Marketing Specialist
Certified GYROTONIC® Instructor
Certified GYROKINESIS® Instructor


Brandi joined the Core family over a decade ago when she was referred to Stephen and Cheryl Dunn after a series of car accidents left her in pain and unable to to maintain the active lifestyle she had previously enjoyed. Through Physical Therapy at Core, she was introduced to Pilates and GYROTONIC® and discovered that both modalities provided a lasting relief to her pain, as well as a practice to strengthen her body, challenge her mind and lift her spirit. In 2012, Brandi left behind her previous corporate and non-profit jobs and decided to follow her passion for Pilates and GYROTONIC®.  She completed Core’s Pilates Teacher Training Certification Course in 2013 and went on to complete her GYROTONIC® Level 1 Foundation Training in 2014, with Final Certification in 2015.  Since that time, Brandi has gone on to complete her GYROKINESIS® Level 1 Foundation training, with her Final Certification Course planned for July of 2016, and the specialized GYROTONIC® Jumping Stretching Board Certification.

A breast cancer survivor who believes that Pilates and GYROTONIC® played a large part in sustaining her through her treatment, Brandi is committed to bringing her compassion, inspiration and love of movement to each person she works with.

Your Favorite???

Place: Big Sur
Restaurant: In Austin:  Vespaio
Food: Italian, Asian
Vacation: Beach/Mountain
City: San Francisco
TV show: The Wire
Film: Best in Show
Singer/Group: Bowie/The Who/The Shins
Celebrity: David Bowie
Book: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, The Year of Magical Thinking
Sports: Basketball/Soccer
Team: Rockets/Warriors
Hobbies: Cooking

Brandi Nelson

Marketing Specialist
Certified GYROTONIC® Instructor
Certified GYROKINESIS® Instructor

Celeste Knickerbocker

Certified Pilates Instructor
Certified GYROTONIC® Instructor


Celeste Knickerbocker is a Pilates & GYROTONIC® instructor with a basis in therapeutic massage and PT modalities. She discovered Pilates as a teenager majoring in dance, and nurtured a personal dedication to the practice for nearly two decades. After a enjoying a decade-long career in the corporate world, she finally went on to pursue her passion for working with healing movement. In 2011, she completed her Balanced Body Comprehensive Pilates training at EHS Institute in San Francisco.

After discovering GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® in 2013, she was impressed by this effective exercise art. Her many hours of study in this technique culminated into a trip to Germany in 2015, where she received her Level 1 Certification. Thanks to a lengthy background in dance, movement, massage and PT modalities, she is confident in her ability to work with all body types, and to help people prevent or recuperate from injuries. She finds interacting with a variety of people, while helping folks improve their overall health and well-being, to be deeply fulfilling. She is excited to be a part the Austin community now that she's settled here.

Your Favorite???

Place: On my reformer, listening to music
Restaurant: El Rancho
Food: Mediterranean
Vacation: Relaxing on the beach
City: Paris
TV show: House Hunters International
Film: Gone With the Wind
Singer/Group: The Raveonettes
Celebrity: Audrey Hepburn
Book: Contrology by Joseph Pilates (of course!)
Sports: Tennis, Volleyball, Surfing
Team: The Knicks
Hobbies: Writing, Dancing, Video production, Reading, Crossword puzzles

Celeste Knickerbocker

Certified Pilates Instructor
Certified GYROTONIC® Instructor

Julie Fields

Certified Pilates Teacher
Certified GYROKINESIS® Instructor


Julie began her Pilates practice in 2000 and soon realized that Pilates was exactly what her body needed to finally feel both strong and balanced. In 2007 she expanded her interest by completing a certification program through PhysicalMind Institute. At that time Julie was working in the public sector and teaching a few classes during the evenings and on weekends. Knowing she wanted to teach Pilates as her “act two career” Julie was a member of the Core Therapy’s inaugural teacher training program to expand her understanding of the Pilates method in physical rehabilitation. Julie completed the Pink Ribbon Pilates Program in 2012, a therapeutic application of Pilates for post-operative breast cancer recovery. In 2014 she completed Aston Kinetics foundation classes which provided skills in observing and assessing body movement patterns. Over the past year Julie completed training in GYROKINESIS® after seeing the results that this movement method provided in joint mobility and strengthening.

Julie is passionate about helping clients find their best body for function and health and thinks Pilates and GYROKINESIS® are smart ways to achieve both.

Julie Fields

Certified Pilates Teacher
Certified GYROKINESIS® Instructor