Click on an instructor’s name for information about their background & credentials.
Tara Gillespie • Studio Owner & Director, STOTT Pilates®, CORE™, Total Barre™, ZEN•GA™, TRX®, bellicon Instructor Trainer
Tara had been an instructor at Harmony for 10 years before purchasing the studio in July of 2013. She had always thought about having her own studio, but the thought of anyone else owning Harmony was a driving factor in her decision to become a business owner. She is passionate about people having an inviting, non-competitive atmosphere to work out. She is also resolute in her insistence that instructors know more than just the choreography, but also have a deep understanding of the body. The attention to detail and ability to work with clients ranging from healthy to dealing with chronic pain is what sets Harmony apart and she is very proud of her and her instructors for this distinction.
She was introduced to the Stott Pilates® method while studying dance as an undergraduate student. With a background in dance, theater and sports, Tara brings strong physicality, a keen eye and creative spirit to her sessions. No stranger to injury, Tara credits Pilates for keeping her active and managing what could be chronic pain from years of athletic misuse to her body. Tara earned her Bachelor of Theatre Arts degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.Certifications: Stott Pilates®, bellicon Master Trainer, CORE™, Total Barre™, ZEN•GA™, & TRX®
Three words that describe Tara’s teaching style: Detailed, varied, challenging.
Top dream travel destinations: Patagonia, South Africa, New Zealand.
Tara is also passionate about: Supporting Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Chicago Storefront Theater. Volunteering for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, running, taking dance classes, football Saturdays, and her staff – she loves them a lot!
Alex graduated from the Alonzo King LINES BFA Program at Dominican University of California with a minor in Arts Management. He discovered GYROTONIC® in school and experienced its benefits by incorporating it as a form of cross training with his dance studies. He recently moved to Chicago to continue his dance training in the Scholarship Program at Lou Conte Studio. He is interested in the way bodies work and the transformative effect the application of GYROTONIC® has on a variety of bodies. In his spare time he enjoys exploring Chicago, checking out the local arts scene, and spending time with friends.
Three words that describe Alex’s teaching style: Engaging, Accommodating, Proactive
Top dream travel destinations: France, Iceland, Japan, Milan
Alex is also passionate about: Dance, Immersion in The Arts, Fashion, Color Theory, Music, and Pop Culture.
Molly discovered pilates in 2008 as a new way to challenge her exercise routine and became hooked after her first mat pilates class. She loved the way it made her feel, look, and act. She has always been involved in sports and enthusiastic about health and fitness.
Molly went to the University of Iowa for a degree in Health and Human Physiology. While in school, she decided to share her love of pilates with others after getting certified in group exercise through AFAA and doing her Pilates training through STOTT. After graduation, she moved to Chicago to follow her passion of promoting health to others by working in Community Relations for Advocate Children’s Hospital and as an Educator for Lululemon on Rush Street. In her spare time she enjoys running along the lakeshore path, spending time with her friends, and exploring all Chicago has to offer!Certifications: Stott Pilates®,Total Barre™, ZEN•GA™, bellicon Move, bellicon Bounce, bellicon Circle.
Three words that describe Molly’s teaching style: Upbeat, challenging, and always diverse
Top dream travel destinations: Vietnam, Croatia, Argentina
Molly is also passionate about: Running, trying new restaurants, coaching girls on the run, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
/>Sarah was first introduced to STOTT PILATES® while studying at Columbia College Chicago for Musical Theater. Dance was always a fundamental component of her program but she struggled with balance and core stability. After a few sessions she was already able to reap the benefits. After obtaining her BFA in Musical Theater, Sarah traveled throughout Europe and rediscovered a passion for fitness. Upon her return to the United States, she took STOTT courses and became certified. Sarah trains a variety of clients but specializes in athletic conditioning and post rehabilitation. Pilates has always been a way to explore the mind and body connection. In addition to teaching, Sarah explores fitness endeavors by training for triathlons, studying ballet, and continually expanding her fitness education. Another aspect of Sarah’s life is her love for music and performing original material around the city. Sarah utilizes elements of music throughout her training sessions and believes that if you motivate the mind the body will follow. Certifications: Stott Pilates®, Total Barre™, bellicon Move, bellicon Bounce, bellicon Circle.
Three words that describe Sarah’s teaching style: Challenging, Personalized, and Rejuvenating
Top dream travel destinations: Australia, Prague, Russia, and Vietnam
Sarah is also passionate about: Songwriting, trying new restaurants, and supporting the arts
Theresa grew up in Park Ridge, Il and was active in dance and track. She graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in communication. After graduation she worked in sales for a few years. She found Pilates while looking for a new method of exercise that would challenge her mentally as well as physically. She instantly fell in love and after a year of practice she knew she had to make a career switch. Theresa completed her STOTT® certification in Seattle where she could fully immerse herself in her practice and recently moved back home to Chicago. Certifications: Stott Pilates®, bellicon Move, bellicon Bounce, bellicon Circle.
Top dream travel destinations: Next on the list Iceland
Theresa is also passionate about: Theresa enjoys traveling and has been to 12 different countries and 5 continents in the last 4 years.
Bonnie Christine Willis (Christie) graduated from Illinois State University in 2011 with a BA in Dance Performance. She moved to Chicago in the fall of 2011 and began working as an independent dancer and choreographer, starting as a founding member of Salty Lark Dance.
Christie started her Pilates studies after a tear in her meniscus caused her to have to take time off from dancing. She trained at Sixpax Chicago in the Pilates Academy International syllabus. She joined the Sixpax team in early 2014 and is excited to join the family here at Harmony!
Certifications: Pilates, Pilates Academy International, bellicon Move, bellicon Bounce, bellicon Circle.
Alison studied Kinesiology and Exercise Science at Michigan State University. She then went on to get her doctorate in physical therapy from Oakland University. Growing up dancing, she has always been interested fitness. Once she began Pilates she fell in love right away. She became a certified STOTT Pilates instructor and started teaching in Michigan.
Now she has moved to Chicago and can’t wait to get started working a new group! Alison loves helping people change their bodies and achieving their goals. Educating others to improve their alignment and achieve muscle balance is a challenge she loves.
When she’s not teaching Pilates, you can find her working as a physical therapist for infants and children in the Chicagoland area. She has a background in physical therapy in orthopedic manual therapy, sport specific training, pediatrics, myofascial release and post-operative rehabilitation. Certifications: Stott Pilates®, Cardiolates®, TRX®
Three words that describe Alison’s teaching style: Intuitive, Individualized, and energetic
Top dream travel destinations: Spain, Chile, Monaco
Alison is also passionate about: Her family and friends that keep her smiling including her dog Peanut, her work as a physical therapist helping children and their families maximize their potential, and helping others stay healthy and aligned.
Katie was an avid Pilates student while working in the corporate world. Feeling unfulfilled, she decided a career in Pilates would be a much better fit. She completed her Stott Pilates certification in 2003 and has never looked back! With Katie’s dance background and love for all things fitness, she feels truly blessed to have found her niche. Katie’s passion for Pilates is matched with an energy to share her knowledge with her clients. Katie earned her master’s degree in Accounting Information Systems from Michigan State University.Certifications: Stott Pilates®, Cardiolates® Instructor Trainer, pre- and postnatal certification, Yoga Sculpt
Three words that describe Katie’s teaching style: Patient, precise, challenging.
Top dream travel destinations: Greek islands, Africa, and Australia.
Katie is also passionate about: Her family, especially her two children, working out, delicious food, and travel.
Born and raised right here in Lincoln Park, Lizzy has explored several professional and recreational interests since graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011. Prior to finding Harmony in early 2013, she had always considered physical activity as an obligation, rather than a critical element of a healthy life. This changed as she began to work with Tara; it wasn’t long before she discovered the empowering nature of Pilates as a mode of fitness, finding inner strength – physical and emotional – that has been an integral component in her life ever since. She’s excited to be a part of Harmony’s positive atmosphere and hopes to facilitate the best possible experience for clients and staff alike.
Currently a resident of Bucktown, Lizzy’s interests outside of Harmony include writing, crossword puzzles, all things aesthetic, and her 1-year old puppy, Franklin.