Sumbody Pilates

pilates classes | private lessons | teacher training

Heather Leon

Owner & Pilates Instructor

Heather Leon is considered a master of the Traditional Pilates Method and is of a select few in the Pilates community today recognized to be a direct lineage of Joseph Pilates’ original teachings. With over 35 years combined experience in various movement disciplines including dance, Pilates, Gyrotonic®, yoga and martial arts, as an instructor and movement educator, Heather offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise that delivers transformative results to her clients through her teaching and motivational practices. Specifically, Heather is highly sought after for her ability to utilize both the Traditional Pilates Method and Gyrotonic Expansion System® for rehabilitative benefits and for achieving the long, lean and supple “Pilates body.”

Heather’s background in ballet, jazz and modern dance includes intensive study at the Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey Dance Conservatories, and a work-study scholarship with the Bella Lewitzky Dance Company. Heather received her Bachelor of Arts in Modern Dance Choreography from UCLA in 1990, and subsequently taught, performed and produced dance concerts in the Los Angeles area.

Heather received a scholarship to complete her Pilates certification in 1995 under the tutelage of Master Instructor, Romana Kryzanowska, direct disciple of Joseph Pilates. Heather therefore is considered a “second generation” instructor and has conducted her own comprehensive Pilates teacher training programs since 2005.

Heather received her certifications in the Gyrotonic Expansion System® and Gyrokinesis® in 2001 and 2004 respectively; and has studied extensively with Authorized Master Trainer, Lisa Marie Goodwin. As a certified Gyrotonic® Pre-Trainer, Heather conducted instructor trainee courses for students who wish to pursue certification in the Gyrotonic® Level I Foundation Teacher Training Program.

Heather is proud to announce the opening of her second Pilates facility, Sumbody in Studio City, California in April of 2015. Her first studio, Sumbody has been operating in Santa Monica, California since 2011.



Theron Cook

Theron has had a thriving Pilates practice in a private studio in Brentwood, where he trained underneath Doreen Remo, in classical reformer Pilates. From there, Theron expanded his practice and began teaching Pilates at the world famous Crunch Gym in West Hollywood. He has an MFA from USC, and an extensive background in film acting, stage combat, movement, dance and breath. As a current practitioner of Qi Gong, Karate and Hapkido, Theron’s quest for the unity of mind, body, and soul is never ending.  He is also a yogi practitioner with 200+ hours of teacher training. He was also one of the primary teachers of Underground Dance Yoga led by Michelle LeMay. A healer, meditator, and lover of life, Theron is extremely excited to offer his sevices at Sumbody!

Dianne Kwon

Dianne received her comprehensive certification through Pilates Sports Center in Encino, Ca., where she was taught both classical and contemporary approach to Pilates. She has worked for Movement Pilates in Los Angeles, Ca. and currently works for Club Pilates franchise.
Dianne studied martial arts, contemporary dance, yoga, and fitness and has worked as a stunt woman in the past. She discovered Pilates after suffering multiple injuries. She has found Pilates to be the safest, most enjoyable and effective way to tone and condition the whole body. She fell in love with Pilates right away, so much so that she decided to become a fully certified instructor!! Her goal as an instructor is to help others reach their health, and fitness goals in the safest and most enjoyable way possible. She loves being able to share the benefits of Pilates!


Dionna Veremis

A certified instructor through The Whole Body Method, Dionna has been teaching and continuing her education since 2008.  With a background in dance and performing arts, she began practicing Pilates as rehabilitation for her own injuries and found the work to be life changing. She loves to share her passion for the system as an instructor, and continues to work in entertainment as well, thanks to the healing power of Pilates.

Dedicated to authentic Pilates practice and attention to proper form and technique, she also believes a workout should be fun! Additional specialized work includes pre/post-natal care, surgery rehabilitation and weight-loss centered Pilates.


Janet Ruiz

Janet Ruiz is a native to California, and having lived in Santa Monica for most of her life was introduced to Pilates at a young age. As a teenager she was privileged to study under Heather Leon, who has mentored her over the past ten years. Janet went on to attend The University of California, Santa Barbara where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. After earning her B.A. she became interested in the study of exercise and physical movement and the effect it had on people, both physically and mentally.

She was drawn to the Pilates ideology, based on concentration of the mind and coordination of the body. This interest ultimately led to her decision to become trained in The Traditional Pilates Method. She currently teaches Pilates and continues schooling towards an advanced degree in Physical Therapy. Her teaching stems from a desire to offer Pilates to every person regardless of limitations.


Lindsay Richardson

Lindsay was born and raised in Arizona where she attended Arizona State University receiving her B.A. in Journalism and went on to attend the Sandra Day O’Conner College of Law receiving her Juris Doctorate. After finishing law school and practicing for two years she moved to the Los Angeles area to work in Legal Consulting, which turned into a career in Software Consulting.

Lindsay grew up an athlete participating in soccer, softball and long distance running. She has been active and interested in personal health and wellness her whole life. After practicing Pilates for a number of years she decided to become a certified instructor in order to understand the traditional method in depth and to help others lead a healthier lifestyle. She studied under Heather Leon who continues to mentor her. Pilates has given her a chance to connect with other individuals and assist others in leading a healthy lifestyle.


Lily Fineman

After doing Pilates for many years to improve her scoliosis, Lily received her Pilates certification through Pilates Sports Center in Encino. Lily loves teaching private lessons and group classes to help a variety of clients the same way that Pilates helped her. In regards to instructing style, she prefers quality over quantity and proper body alignment at all times when teaching exercises. She believes Pilates is most effective when combined with healthy eating habits and regular cardio. Pilates is her true passion and she works to strengthen her clients’ mind-body connection.


Jill Bozhkov

Jill Bozhkov was born and raised in Los Angeles where she worked for many years in the entertainment industry. As a writer and producer of documentary/reality television she traveled the world with many a heavy bag on her shoulder. After years of back pain, she found Pilates and relief. She’d been practicing Pilates for 15 years before receiving her certification from Heather Leon at Sumbody Studio.

Jill knows firsthand how Joseph Pilates system of movement can ease physical ailments and strengthen the body. She’s very enthusiastic about sharing her personal experience and knowledge of Pilates with her students. Though Jill trains all sorts of clients, she specializes in runners, those with hypermobility syndrome (a condition she also has), and people who spend too much time in front of the computer.


Flavia Zeleznik

Flavia Zeleznik was born in Brazil and lived in NY for 13 years before moving to Santa Monica just 2 months ago. After having her second child Flavia developed diastasis recti (abdominal separation) and Pilates was recommended for rehabilitation. With Pilates Flavia learned how to work out smart, breath and be patient with herself. With that she thought, “I want to do this for the rest of my life.”

Flavia majored in Business – Hospitality and Tourism in college. In addition to her 600hours certification from Power Pilates in New York, Flavia is a trained Chef and worked as a cook at a very busy, well known restaurant in NYC before finding her way to Pilates. A native of Brazil, she teaches in both English and Portuguese.

Flavia was trained under Power Pilates Teacher Trainers Jordana Herman, Lesly Levy and Stephanie West. She originally came to NYC to visit a friend and met her soon-to-be husband.



Mandalyn Meades

Mandalyn got her first thrill of performing at the age of 3 on the local church stage. Although, the movement was terrifying and her teeth couldn’t stop shaking the entire performance, she fell in love with the rush that came with being on stage and never stopped chasing it. Originally from Louisiana, Mandalyn relocated to Los Angeles to travel, teach and perform worldwide with The Young Americans. She has since translated her love for stage to film & television…. and most recently, Pilates.

While studying acting and movement for performance, Mandalyn was introduced to reformer Pilates. This introduction was soon met with a joy that ignited a passion for health and fitness. With a background in performance combined with her new zest for Pilates, teaching seemed like the natural next step. Upon completion of training, she began teaching immediately and can now be found motivating clients to “plank it out” all over the Los Angeles area.

Mandalyn believes in “sweat with a smile.” She will push you to give 100% through form and focus, all the while challenging you to find what “drives” you.


Bree Thompson

Bree loves to bring out the best in people. She believes that the key to one’s evolution of spirit and soul, is the union of mind and body. Bree was born in Colorado and grew up in the mountains where her best friend was her horse. At a young age she became interested in holistic medicine and homeopathic approaches to dealing with life. She spent a portion of her high school years on the Lakota Sioux reservation in the Black Hills of South Dakota connecting with the earth and her self. Bree always felt very connected to the universe and realized that everything is connected. She found that what makes her most happy is helping others and uplifting everyone she comes in contact with to reach their highest potential.

Bree moved to Los Angeles and graduated from Occidental College where she received a BA in Psychology. She then decided to start her own private training business because she realized that the fastest way to get into someone’s head was through their body. By helping her clients get into better physical shape she was peripherally enhancing their mental state along with their spiritual well being.

After getting her Pilates certification and understanding how much power resides in the navel she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to create a class to harness that energy. She decided to create a mat Pilates and meditation class to conjure and direct this powerful energy and help whoever was ready manifest their reality. Bree mixes Kundalini yoga with classic Pilates techniques to create a magical and transformational experience for her students. As well as working privately with her clients on a one to one basis; she also teaches group Pilates classes.
She motivates and helps people to make their true home (their body) into the best place possible to be. She is intuitive and well informed. A healthy body is a happy mind and a healthy mind is a happy body.

Bree has many fitness training certificates including AFAA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, Certified Pilates Instructor, IKYTA Kundalini Yoga Teacher, AFAA Certified Group Exercise Instructor, Johnny G Certified Spinning Instructor, as well as AHA Certified AED and A+ CPR & First Aid.


Corianna Di Julio

Corianna Di Julio has been teaching for over 10 years dance, aerobics and general fitness. For seven years, Corianna owned a fitness company that catered to youth and teens that she later sold to focus on her acting career. She can be seen on commercials, television and has recently co-produced an award winning tv pilot. She is also a Mommy and loves the flexibility to be able to stay at home with her daughter. She has just signed with a publishing company for her children books so look out for her fun loving books come next year!

Corianna is very active and thankful to share her knowledge of Pilates which has given her both physical and mental flexibility to balance both of her careers. In 2007, Corianna was certified as a Pilates instructor at RetroFit School of Pilates in Santa Monica with Barbara Wintroub, focusing on anatomy, therapy and educating clients on an awareness of the body. She has worked with a variety of clients both male and female ranging from general fitness, strength training, core stability and rehab.



Michael Miranda

Michael received his comprehensive teacher training and certification in 2003 through Retrofit Pilates in Santa Monica, CA; a  Pilates Method Alliance certified studio under the tutelage of Barbara Wintroub, Director & Gold Member Pilates Method Alliance certified. A competitive cross country runner at a very young age, Michael completed two marathons by age 13. His disciplines continued with training in dance, providing him with a strong foundation for an emphasis on precision to which he credits on becoming the disciplined Pilates instructor he is today.

Michael is a senior level Pilates instructor with Equinox Gym and formerly taught Mat Pilates classes at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. He has worked with chiropractors and physical therapists, implementing Pilates based rehab exercise programs for a wide rage of injuries and overall fitness. Michael continues to broaden his knowledge by attending cutting edge workshops as well as train in both the contemporary and classical Pilates method.


Danielle Mitchell

Danielle holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice. After working a corporate desk job for many years she began to feel the wear and tear in her body. This led her to Pilates in 2011 where she fell madly in love with the discipline. In 2016 Danielle completed her Pilates certification at Sumbody Pilates Studio in Santa Monica, CA. She is a third generation, classical instructor who has experience with all ages and athletic abilities. Danielle also holds a Pre & Post Natal Specialist Pilates Certification through Fusion Pilates.

Whether she is teaching a class or a private, she is known for balancing her cheerful, energetic encouragement with butt-kicking workouts, all the while keeping it fun. On a daily basis Danielle is inspired by the changes she sees in front of her as she watches people build strength and make health a priority.



Allison always thought in her 40’s is when she would study Pilates, but five years ago after being put on work restriction from getting sick and her immune system being shot she decided not to postpone studying. She immediately felt the difference in her body and believes that this exercise experience should be available to everyone.

Allison studied Pilates at Whole Body Method. She is known to make everyone in her class feel welcome, to share some fun personal experiences, & to make her students laugh during class.