Meet The Teachers

Xavier Cha

XavierXavier’s active career in performance art informs her fascination in the breadth and intricacies of human physicality. The mind-body connection essential to Pilates continues to inspire Xavier to help others find this empowering strength within themselves. Xavier completed over 900 hours of rigorous training at True Pilates New York and received her certification through internationally accredited Romana’s Pilates. There she studied directly under Joseph Pilates’ protégé Romana Kryzanowska and her daughter Sari Mejio Santo. She has since actively given private instruction in NYC for 7 years, as well as fostering her continuing Pilates education and personal practice. Xavier is committed to instructing Pilates in the way most effective and meaningful to each individual while staying true to the classical form. She has experience training a full range of clients including dancers, athletes, expecting mothers, elderly, and clients with acute and chronic health conditions including back, neck and shoulder pain, arthritis, and post-op joint rehabilitation. She believes strongly in the healing abilities of intelligent movement, and confidence in mind and body strength.

Jamie Graham


DSC_0017Jamie Graham is a classical Pilates instructor and professional dancer based in New York City. She aims to help her clients connect with their bodies to discover greater postural support, efficiency of movement, and flexibility through the precision and flow of the classical method. Jamie completed her teaching certification through Romanaʼs Pilates at True Pilates New York in 2007. She has taught at True Pilates East and Equinox Fitness, where she also taught group fitness and managed a studio from 2007-2012. She now teaches independently in the city, but is based out of Form Pilates in Union Square. Jamie also teaches Variable Pop Fitness through Dances for A Variable Population, a dance fitness class geared for adults.

Rebecca Greenbaum

Rebecca was born in Brooklyn, NY. She received her Comprehensive Classical Pilates Certification from the Equinox Pilates Institute under Carrie Macy, Gretchen Lopez, and Benjamin Degenhardt. She has also completed the 360 Pilates program. In addition to working at FORM, she teaches at Uptown Pilates, Equinox, and at Henry Street Pilates.  She  is a professional dancer and received her early training at the Joffrey Ballet School. She graduated Skidmore College Magna cum Laude and holds an MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She currently dances for XAOC Contemporary Ballet, Jamal Jackson Dance Company, Suzzanne Ponomarenko Dance, and The Little Streams. She is thrilled to be a member at FORM, and is inspired by the talented teachers with whom she gets to teach.

Makela Spielman

makelaMakela has been studying Pilates for 15 years, and teaching for more than 7.  After earning an MFA in Acting from UCSD, Makela began training at re:AB Pilates, working with master instructors Brooke Siler and Cary Regan, both students of Romana Kryzanowska, a protégé of Joseph Pilates.  Additionally, in 2013 she was certified by Cara Reeser in the Kathy Grant Heritage Training program.  Makela has pursued continuing education in pre/post-natal Pilates, Alexander Technique, Iyengar yoga, and stretch techniques.  She has worked with both pre- and post-natal clients, and clients who are rehabilitating from back, shoulder, ankle, and knee injuries, as well as scoliosis and chronic pain. She loves that Pilates is both challenging and inspiring at every level of fitness, through every phase of life, and for every body.  She is thrilled to continue deepening her knowledge and love of Pilates through teaching.

Claire Danese

Claire_Danese cropClaire Danese is a former ballet dancer who trained at the Royal Ballet School in London and performed with major ballet companies in Europe. Her interest in the human body led her to obtain her Pilates certification from Power Pilates in 2008. Since then she has developed her interest further focusing on Pilates benefits for the body and its ability to alleviate injuries and chronic conditions. She believes in mind body balance to lead a healthier life. She is an avid runner who ran many half marathons, practices yoga and enjoys many sports disciplines. After working at Equinox, Columbus Circle for more than 5 years she is now focusing on her private clientele.

Trisha Margolis

pilates-122Trisha creates personalized programs for women who are pre/post natal. She focuses on allowing women to strengthen & feel powerful in their bodies whether they are preparing for the birth of their baby or recovering afterwards. She knows how to help her clients reconnect with their post-baby body first hand. When the arrival  of her daughter threw her for a loop she became inspired to help women transform their bodies and create a new approach to fitness. Just bring your body and a little bit of faith and together she’ll help you make it happen! Want to be as healthy and strong as you can be?  Tired of your baby belly or judging yourself for not exercising?  Or are you simply not getting the results for your efforts? Do you have pelvic floor problems, chronic pain, diastasis recti and don’t know where to begin?  Do you tell yourself next week I’ll start caring for me and next week passes you by? Stop chasing Mondays!  Join me & cultivate strength, flexibility, freedom & joy in your body. 

Julia Starobin

photoJulia came across pilates through her background in dance and martial arts. Always fascinated by movement and different training methods, once she found herself in a pilates studio there was no turning back. The pilates method taught her alignment and introduced her to a way of moving that continues to challenge her everyday. Julia believes Pilates is such a wonderful method because it is accessible to EVERYONE! Wether you have not trained in years or you are a professional athlete pilates can add strength, balance, and flexibility to your life. In addition to teaching pilates Julia also teaches yoga and GYROTONICS. While she strongly respects the pilates method, sessions with her are infused with these other modalities. Julia believes when the brilliance of these techniques come together, bodies begin to change in amazing ways.

Kelly Keesler

img_2878-1Kelly’s light-hearted and highly motivational approach to teaching encourages her clients to give their all, no matter their experience level, and leads to satisfying results and progress on a daily basis. Kelly is classically and comprehensively certified through Core Pilates NYC. She is also certified in Pre and Post-Natal Pilates and the Lagree FitnessTM method, an exercise method performed on the Megaformer, an innovative take on the original reformer that transforms and sculpts the entire body with cardio-infused pilates-esque exercises. Kelly enjoys explaining the Method as she teaches encouraging her clients to understand what each exercise’s purpose is and why we move the way we do, but also maintains a healthy amount of laughter in her sessions as well. After all, laughter is one of the best core exercises out there!