Katy, owner of Chicago River North Pilates (CRNP), directed the Pilates teacher-training program for the PhysicalMind Institute in Chicago for seven years, is a Level 1 GYROTONIC® Pre-Trainer, and in November of 2016, was invited to join the world renown faculty of BASI Pilates.  She is a retired dancer, pre-Olympic gymnast and trapeze artist, and has been dedicated to mind-body fitness for most of her life.  After graduating from Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet, she moved to New York City to pursue a dance career while also studying Pilates to gain a certification.  Through her studies and apprenticeships, Katy soon realized her true passion was helping others attain their fitness goals by teaching Pilates.


In 2002, Katy moved to Chicago to pursue teacher trainer opportunities.  This led her to open Chicago River North Pilates in March 2004.  She maintains a full schedule of clients and also continues to expand her skill set by gaining advanced certifications and attending yearly workshops.  In 2011, Katy became a PMA® Certified Pilates Teacher.  In 2012, Katy completed the inaugural BASI ProBridge with creator Rael Isacowitz, and the certification for Level 2 GYROTONIC® exercise.  She is also certified on the specialized equipment such as the Ladder, Jumping Stretching Board, and GYROTONER®.  In 2016, Katy began studying under Katy Bowman to gain a certification in Restorative Exercise to be completed in 2018.  She also has studied and hosted Lauren Ohayon of Restore Your Core and will pursue a certification in 2017.


Since opening CRNP, Katy has successfully brought her dedicated clients to new levels of fitness and personal satisfaction.  Her client focus is on pre/post-cancer treatment, the aging population, clients with traumatic injuries, and training Pilates and GYROTONIC® instructors. Katy’s unique and intuitive methods of teaching combined with an unwavering focus have given her clients a decidedly fresh and holistic approach to mind-body health.


Katy Lush Striebinger, Owner + Pilates & GYROTONIC®


Wendy Freeman, Pilates

Wendy Freeman has been teaching Pilates for nearly 20 years. Certified through Physicalmind Institute, she brings a wide range of experience to her students. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Northwestern University in Children’s Theater and Speech Education, and a Master in Fine Arts in acting from Boston University. She performed extensively as an actor, singer and dancer in the Artist in Residence Program for the City of Chicago, under Mayor Bilandic. Her television credits include hosting and acting in the CBS children’s television show, “The Magic Door.” She also was a program host, producer and announcer for the Chicago NPR radio station, WBEZ.


Her background in modern dance, theater and education, combined with years of competing in triathlons, enhances her ability to teach her clients joy and strength in everyday movement and to create more fit and functional bodies. In addition to teaching private clients and group classes, she has also trained and certified Pilates instructors. Pilates is part of her family heritage, as her uncle and aunt were students of Joseph Pilates and had one of his first wooden home reformers.

Elizabeth Lapena, Pilates & GYROTONIC®

 Elizabeth Lapena, a native of California, began dance training at the age of 5 years old, ranging from ballet, modern, jazz, and Filipino folk dance. She furthered her classical dance training at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington D.C. where she graduated in 2005. In 2006, she joined Inland Pacific Ballet in Montclair, CA where she danced for three seasons performing classical and contemporary repertoire.


In 2009, Elizabeth wanted to pursue a higher education and explore more of the contemporary dance world. She furthered her dance education at Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet/ Dominican University in San Francisco, CA and in 2011; she graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. During her time in San Francisco, Elizabeth worked with Bay area choreographers and performed professionally with Project Agora and Dawson DanceSF.


 Elizabeth was first introduced to Pilates and GYROTONIC® through her dance training. She found both movement systems to be beneficial not only to her dancing, but to her overall health and well-being. After an ankle injury, she wanted to share her knowledge of the work and decided to pursue teacher training.


In 2008, she received her Pilates certification through Body Arts and Science International at the BASI headquarters in Costa Mesa, CA. Elizabeth was introduced to GYROTONIC® during her time in San Francisco and trained under the direction of Master Trainer, Debra Rose. She received her final certification in 2011 in Miami, Florida.


 Since moving to Chicago, Elizabeth has enjoyed working with a wide range of populations that include working with people rehabilitating from an injury or realizing movement potential in their bodies. She is inspired seeing other people practicing the art of movement through Pilates and GYROTONIC® and loves seeing her growth through them.


Kathleen Aharoni has been teaching Pilates and GYROTONIC® for more than 14 years. In addition, she is certified in the Feldenkrais Method®, Cranial Sacral Flow, Life Coaching and SoulCollage®. Through her expansive education and keen intuition, Kathleen helps her clients develop more optimal movement patterns, strength, freedom of movement, joy as well as increased awareness of self. Kathleen is told over and over, “I came for Pilates. I get so much more.”


Kathleen has served on the faculties of Northwestern University, Columbia College, Chicago, and New Trier High School. She has taught and trained Pilates teachers throughout the Midwest as well as Puerto Rico. Through her studio Water over Stone, Kathleen founded the GYROTONIC® community in Chicago. Water over Stone has been featured on the ABC, Channel 7 News, WMAQ Radio, Chicago, the Chicago Collection and Spa Magazine. Kathleen is also a published writer and a regular contributor to Chicago Health, Top Doctors & Hospitals through her column Health Mastery.


This Spring, I breathe my own breath, a children’s picture book written by Kathleen and illustrated by Ann Boyd, will be published. This delightful, sensorial story connects children and adults to “first breath”, the one that honors our differences, celebrates our distinctions and allows us to saturate in our wholeness, disentangled from the stories and drama of others.


Kathleen believes wholeheartedly in our innate wellbeing and limitlessness. To learn more about Kathleen and a schedule of her upcoming workshops, visit her website at www.water-over-stone.com.

chicago river north pilates gyrotonic and feldenkrais instructor kathleen aharoni

Kathleen Aharoni, Pilates, GYROTONIC® & Feldenkrais

Dara Pogoff, Pilates

Dara was introduced to Pilates while pursuing a degree in Dance and Choreography from Columbia College Chicago.  She soon noticed the benefits, from improving her dance technique to enhanced mental clarity.   She first studied a classical method through FFC in 2013.  She then went to train at Pilates Chicago in 2014, and is currently continuing her studies through the Pilates Center (Boulder) Bridge program. She is also a licensed Massage Therapist, graduating from Cortiva Institute in 2010.  Her approach draws from both Eastern and Western methodologies.  This helps with her awareness of anatomy, posture, gait function, and meridian/energy pathways when assessing clients.  Dara also holds a Personal Training Certification through American Fitness Institute and has taken courses through PTX Therapy, in addition to teaching a variety of Dance styles to both, children and adults.  She enjoys working with a wide demographic of clients and looks forward to continuing the journey.

Jenn Dresden, Pilates

A former gymnast, Jenn's lifelong love of movement and athleticism provide her with a solid foundation for nutrition and fitness. She was first introduced to Pilates in 1998, and soon afterward, her passion for teaching was ignited. Jenn received her certification in Mat and Apparatus from the Physicalmind Institute in 2006. She has also completed programs in Pilates for Rehabilitation and Gait analysis.


Jenn works with her clients from a holistic point of view, taking into account the whole person, not just their body, but also their mind, spirit and sens of humor. Her specialties include athletic training, pre/post natal work, and nutrition.

© 2004-2018 Chicago River North Pilates

213 W Institute Place, Suite 303 • Chicago, Illinois 60610

P 312.751.1256 • E [email protected]

GYROTONIC® and GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® are registered trademarks of Gyrotonic Sales Corp and are used with their permission.