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."
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!
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.
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
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!
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
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.
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
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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 😉
Customer Service Team
Pilates & GYROTONIC® Apprentice
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.
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
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.
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
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.