Penelope began her Pilates studies during her dance career in New York City over thirty years ago. Although she taught throughout her years of performing modern and classical ballet, Penelope decided to pursue a formal certification through the Pilates Studio in New York City to work with world renowned Pilates master teacher Romana Kryzanowska and her staff at Drago, including Sari Mejia Santo, Bob Liekins and Juanita Lopez. Immediately following her certification, she was chosen by the Pilates Studio to direct the first national certifying program in the southeast at the Atlanta Ballet in Atlanta where she assisted Romana, Sari and Juanita with all seminars and apprenticing.
As the first certified instructor in the state of Georgia, Penelope launched Atlanta as a top Pilates destination. In 1999, she opened Body Central, in Atlanta, where she trained and directed a staff of over 20 Pilates instructors. At Body Central, she began her own certification program in 2002 to train teachers traditionally as she was trained by Romana in New York. In 2004, Penelope joined the staff of Urban Body Fitness where she avidly helped with the creation of Urban Body Studios, a 17,500 square foot, state of the art Pilates and Yoga Studio, the following spring. Penelope served as the Director of the Pilates Program for Urban Body Studios and once again began a classical training teacher training program to provide classical Pilates instruction for the Atlanta area. In 2011, Penelope helped launch, direct and teach at the first Atlanta Classical Pilates Conference with Brooke Siler, Chris Robinson, Dorothee VandeWalle, Peter Fiasca, Mejo Wiggins and Dana Sante.
In the fall of 2011, Penelope and her husband, certified instructor Hunter Barrow, left Atlanta to found PURE in Asheville, NC. As an authentic Pilates studio, a certified teacher training and continuing education center, Pure brought nationally acclaimed instructors to the southeast, hosting continuing education workshops with nationally acclaimed instructors, Kathi Ross-Nash, Chris Robinson, Mari Winsor, MeJo Wiggin and Brooke Siler.
Currently, Penelope is exclusively teaching private clients in both Asheville, NC and Greenville, SC while guest teaching throughout the Southeast as a teacher trainer. She has written her own 300 page teacher training manual, and is now at work on a book for teachers on classical matwork and the art of the transition. Her work has been featured in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta magazine, Upscale magazine, Fox Networks (both local and national) and CNN’s Healthwatch, and has been quoted in Time Magazine, among others. She specializes in core training for athletes and has instructed members of the NBA, NFL, the Olympic Rhythmic team, the Olympic Basketball team, and the Atlanta Ballet, as well as competitive runners, triathletes, golfers, cyclists and divers, most notably NFL Hall of Fame football player, Shannon Sharpe and Olympic Dream Team basketball player, Steve Smith. In addition to athletes, Penelope is sought after in the Atlanta and Asheville area for actors to maintain strength and flexibility while on location.
Melissa Kiner –
I have always been passionate about fitness and health. I fell in love with Pilates immediately after my first class in 2003. I have been hooked ever since. There isn’t a style of class or piece of equipment that I don’t love. Pilates is the one form of exercise that I believe everyone can do and that allows you to focus on being present. I believe it is the best stress reliever of all. My passion for Pilates led me to want to share my passion with others. I completed a comprehensive 600-hour advanced training course with Pilates at Studio 8. I have extensive experience working with master trainers from different Pilates disciplines. My goal is for my clients to never be bored and always enjoy their time in the studio. I love to incorporate my TRX training and other fitness modalities. When I’m not in the studio, I enjoy spending time with my husband, dogs, parents and being outside. I’m always looking for the next National Park or country to visit and animal experience/encounter to do. Life is full of adventure. I aspire to experience them to add to the things that I’ve done from visiting the Great Wall of China to skydiving to swimming with Dolphins. I am a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill.