Personal Best’s Instructor Team
Based in Overland Park, Personal Best Pilates Studio is the area’s first fitness studio devoted exclusively to Pilates. We are passionate about teaching you the art of Pilates and how it can strengthen your body, mind, and spirit. Our team of Experienced instructors come from a vast base of Pilates training. This helps us pair you with just the right style of teaching to best suit your needs and goal!
Becky Norton Suarez
Becky discovered Pilates in her early 40's when the toll of scoliosis, a C-section and the challenges of raising two young children developed into chronic low back pain. Pilates became the "miracle" cure, and Becky decided she had to share this with as many people as she could! Now in her late 50's Becky has been teaching Pilates as her full time career since 2008 and is the Founder and President of Better Bodies Pilates, LLC which purchased Personal Best Pilates Studio (est. 1999) in 2018.
Becky's original certification was from PBIA where she completed her training and 300 hour apprenticeship. In 2013 she became a Master Pilates Instructor from the Pilates Center of Boulder and passed her PMA exam through the Pilates Method Alliance in 2011 which requires 16 hours of continuing ed every 2 years. Becky has studied under Kristi White and Rael Isacowitz while completing her BASI mat certification; Rachel Taylor Segel and Amy Taylor Alpers while completing her Masters Program.
Stephanie Doering was introduced to Pilates as a teenager during a summer Ballet and Modern dance intensive. She was delighted to continue studying Pilates while pursuing her BFA in Dance Performance from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. After graduating in 2005, she moved to New York City to pursue a career as a concert dancer.
When Stephanie moved to the Midwest with her husband, she discovered Personal Best Pilates Studio. She completed her Comprehensive Pilates Instructor Certificate from PBPIA and became PMA certified in 2013. Stephanie recently became manager of The Boutique at Personal Best. She is beyond grateful to be part of the Personal Best family.
Karen Staley has been teaching at Personal Best Pilates since 2005. She holds double Pilates Mat Certificates from Body Art and Science and Sciences International (BASI), as well as Personal Best Pilates Instructor Academy. After demonstrating excellent coaching and mentoring skills, she was promoted to Master Instructor for Personal Best Pilates Instructor Academy in 2006. She is responsible for teaching all levels of mat classes, as well as mat instructor training workshops. Karen earned her equipment certificate through PBPIA in 2012. She is a Pilates Method Alliance Certified Pilates Teacher (PMA-CPT).
Karen has a background in secondary business education and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. She believes that not all adults learn in the same way, and she strives to create a supportive environment that involves many different teaching techniques - verbal, tactile and visual.
Colette Majerle, MBA, PMA-CPT
Colette was introduced and began practicing Pilates in 2005. She completed her Pilates mat training in 2008 and earned her Comprehensive Equipment Certificate in 2009. She became internationally certified through the Pilates Method Alliance in 2010. Colette has an undergraduate degree in Anthropology from the University of Kansas, and a Masters of Business Administration from Rockhurst University. In addition to Pilates, Colette enjoys reading, cooking and spending time with family and friends.
Kari Jessip, BS
Kari was first introduced to Pilates while in college obtaining her BS in nutrition. Although she liked Pilates far better than “going to the gym,” she admittedly wasn’t hooked right away. Fast forward several years, add three C-sections, and an abdominal hernia, Kari found herself developing chronic back pain and knew that she was going to need to rebuild her core. After several failed attempts with a personal trainer, she dusted off her old Pilates DVDs and was amazed to find immediate relief! She had to know more, which lead her to enroll and complete mat training at Personal Best Pilates Instructor Academy (PBPIA) in 2012.
While not in the Pilates studio, Kari has three beautiful girls, an encouraging husband and two dogs to keep her busy. She also works part-time as an esthetician and has interests in holistic nutrition and zero balancing.
Jessica discovered Pilates through a friend and immediately loved the way Pilates offers new challenges, improves balance, works the core, and relieves stress. It was something she could stick with, and she wanted to share its benefits with others by teaching. She completed her mat and equipment training with Pilates Instructor Academy. With a background in journalism, Jessica works in marketing during the week and loves teaching in the mornings and evenings and on weekends.
Martha has been living with Lupus SLE for the majority of her life. She discovered Pilates over 15 years ago and loved that she had finally found a workout routine that didn't leaver her body feeling sore and fatigued for days. After having her two children her family moved to South Africa and it was there that she was able to take a new step in her life and become an instructor. Martha received her comprehensive Pilates certification from Body Arts and Science International BASI in 2015.
Mindy has been a loyal customer of Personal Best since 2007 after a friend persuaded her to try out an equipment class. She was skeptical at first and nervous to try something new. She has always been involved in fitness focusing on cardio and strength training, but Pilates was just the thing she needed to complete the circle for her fitness routine. It strengthened her core, improved her posture and forced her to focus on proper alignment and form which had been neglected for so many years. After her first class, she was hooked and rarely missed her Wednesday noon class for 8 years!
Mindy and her husband started DATACORE Marketing in 1991 where she handled database marketing campaigns and account service activities for a number of clients. She left DATACORE in 2000 to stay at home with their daughter. During those years, she served as her daughter’s Girl Scout leader and as PTA President for 2 years along with many other volunteer positions. In 2015, another Personal Best instructor encouraged Mindy to get her mat certification since she was thinking about what she was going to do in the next phase of her life. After obtaining her mat certification, she completed the comprehensive equipment certification through the Personal Best Instructor Academy along with the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) certification in 2017.
WHY SHE LOVES HER JOB (in her own words)
Pilates has changed my life. It’s demonstrated that you don’t have to pound your body to see results. I want to share that with others, so we can age appropriately protecting ourselves from injury. However, when we do have injuries, Pilates is one of the only forms of exercise that we can do safely and effectively. For me, Pilates is about helping people with their individual fitness goals, struggles or limitations and strengthening their mind/body relationship.
Kristen first started Pilates in her basement with a series of DVDs. She discovered Personal Best Pilates Studio in 2006 and was amazed at the difference working with a certified Pilates instructor made.
Pilates became a passion for Kristen and decided to share her love of Pilates with others in early 2011 when she received her Pilates Mat Certificate through Personal Best Pilates Instructor Academy. A mom of 2, Kristen and her husband also love baseball, coaching cheer and spending time at the lake with friends.
Lindsay has been dancing since the age of 2 and started teaching dance classes at the age of 12. With a background in Jazz, Ballet, Modern, Lyrical and Tap dance, Lindsay was introduced to Pilates while studying dance as an undergraduate student at KU.
With an education in dance, she grew to love the practice of Modern dance and Martha Graham’s technique. She decided to learn more about pilates through D.K. Body Balancing method. Lindsay is certified in Pilates mat, chair, Cadillac and reformer. She most recently has become Barre Intensity's Regional Master Trainer, in which she certifies throughout the midwest. She additionally has certifications in Core Barre, Barre Above, Balanced Body Orbit, PiYo, Transform Barre & Juvo Board. She is one of the first certified instructors in Kansas City for Juvo board which is a piece of equipment mimicking stand up paddle board with a mix of Pilates, yoga and barre, plus the first to bring Barre Intensity to Kansas City.
With much knowledge in the pilates and barre field, Lindsay intensely brings an exciting and challenging work out that works well for all levels of ability. With Lindsay’s classes you will experience more energy, strength, tone and confidence.
Denise has been an avid fitness enthusiast for over a decade. After her Rheumatologist informed her about the mind/body connection Pilates offers as well as a focus on strength and mobility, her curiosity was piqued. As someone who has suffered from Arthritis since her teens, this seemed like a perfect pairing. She tried one Pilates class, was hooked! After several years of practicing the Pilates method began her quest to become a certified Personal Best Pilates Mat & Equipment Instructor in 2011.
Elise brings a fabulous combination of Pilates (Classically Trained Pilates of Kansas City) as well as 200RYT in Therapeutic Yoga (The Yoga Studio) Elise has a watchful eye and excels in fine tuning movement patterns, deep stretching and the mechanics of Pilates Flow!
Bre discovered her love for Pilates while attending the University of Missouri. After completing Pilates training through Leisure U and gaining a Classical Pilates certificate from AFAA in 2015, Bre went on to teach at MizzouRec for 2.5 years. Since moving to the Kansas City area in January, she has decided to further her instructor education and has enrolled in the comprehensive Classical Pilates Instructor program at Pilates of Kansas City and will be offering apprentice hours at Personal Best!