“No man – no machine – can correct or create vitality, power, or health for you; everything comes from within, you have to unfold it.”
– Joseph Pilates
Everyone on our staff has a minimum of 1 year (1,000 hrs) of comprehensive Classical Pilates Teacher Training. We hire people who are enthusiastic about Pilates, quality, and your experience. With diverse backgrounds, our commonality is a deep belief in and passion for Classical Pilates.
We love our work!
Owner, Pilates Instructor, Founder & Director of Teacher Training Program
A passionate Pilates instructor for over 22 years, Desiree leads workshops and guest teaches frequently. She owns and operates Functional Strength Pilates and founded the Functional Strength Pilates Teacher Training program, an in-depth and uniquely supported comprehensive Classical Pilates Teacher Training program.
Desiree completed her initial training at The Pilates Center in Boulder, Colorado (1999), TPC master's training in 2008 and served on staff at The Pilates Center for over 10 years. She engages in on-going continuing education and movement exploration. Desiree's teaching is informed by her personal experience of movement & injury, her Buddhist practice and training, and her on-going study with some of the top Classical Pilates and movement instructors in the world.
She has extensive experience leading workshops for clients, teacher training, continuing education and professional development and is a frequent presenter of both classes and workshops at the Pilates Method Alliance member meetings. Desiree travels often and has delighted in teaching at many studios throughout the U.S. and Europe. She teaches in English, French & Spanish.
Liz comes to us with over a decade of teaching experience. Originally trained at The Pilates Center in Boulder, she has gone on to do continuing education with Deborah Lessen, Benjamin Degendardt and other notable teachers in the Classical Pilates world.
She worked at FSP for 8 years prior to leaving to pursue other opportunities and grow her family. Liz returned to FSP in 2018. She is part of our Teacher Training Program faculty and helped train many of the teachers you know!
Megan came to Pilates in 2004 after a low back injury and was hooked in just one session.
Following her Pilates-based recovery from a serious knee injury, Megan completed the Level II (1000-hour) Classical Pilates teacher training program at Functional Strength Pilates in 2016.
She has also studied with Benjamin Degenhardt, The Pilates Center, attended PMA Conferences, and is trained on Trent McIntire's Arcus Bar. Megan's love for travel has brought her to more than 17 countries, with plans for more travel (and Pilates) abroad!
Pilates Instructor, CMT
Shannon began teaching Pilates in 2007 after completing her training program at the Pilates Center of Boulder. She immediately began teaching at Pilates Aligned in Denver and honed her work in the Pilates Method with her mentor, Cara Reeser. Shannon has worked alongside and learned from some of the best physical therapists and Pilates masters in the industry. She has been a massage therapist since 2001 and often combines bodywork and Pilates to achieve lasting results with each client.
Shannon co-founded Malas for Tatas, a Colorado non-profit organization, with her sister Erin who was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2018. Malas for Tatas helps women with breast cancer afford holistic care to complement their cancer treatment. More info can be found at
Shannon loves spending time with her husband and daughter, enjoying the beautiful outdoors of Colorado.
Erin began practicing Pilates as a cross-training activity to support her love of long-distance running. After numerous injuries to her shoulder, knee, and back, Pilates became more than a cross-training activity – it allowed her to live without pain for the first time in years.
Erin decided to become an instructor to share this gift with others. She completed the Level II Teacher Training Program at Functional Strength Pilates in 2019. She loves that Pilates can be adapted for everybody and serve as therapeutic movement or challenging movement. Her goal for her clients is that they feel supported, challenged, and empowered.
Outside the studio, Erin spends time running after her kids, reading, writing, cooking, and knitting.
Katrina was first introduced to Pilates through a video (VHS) tape in the early 2000's and loved how it made her feel. Over the years, she frequently turned to Pilates as a counterbalance to her work as a dental hygienist. In 2016 she completed the Power Pilates Teacher Training Program in New York City.
Katrina loves how Pilates has changed her body, increased her energy levels, improved her posture, and relieved neck & back pain. She exudes excitement about Pilates and her clients cannot help but feel motivated by her dynamic and spirited teaching.
After several years of teaching a wide range of clients in New York City, Katrina relocated to Colorado. In addition to her Pilates training and continuing education, Katrina holds a B.S. in Dental Hygiene from the University of Michigan.
Outside the studio, Katrina enjoys walks with her dog, traveling, snowboarding, reading, hiking & spending time with family.
Shari fell in love with Pilates while attending Colorado State University where she earned her BA in Performing Arts with a concentration in Dance. She was able to receive college credit for Pilates and became a certified Pilates instructor in tangent with her Dance degree. She loved how much Pilates helped her increase strength, flexibility, balance and body awareness which improved her dancing.
Shari loves sharing her passion for Pilates and enjoys working with a diverse clientele. She takes pride in her work, enjoys helping clients progress and wants to see everyone succeed. Outside of her Pilates training, Shari is a professional CanCan Dancer, performing for audiences of all ages and she loves spending time with her husband and their puppies.
Teacher Training Faculty
In addition to our regular staff, the following adjunct faculty assist with our Teacher Training Program
Pilates Instructor, Training Program Faculty
Dina’s passion for Pilates began at age nineteen and shortly after she became a certified instructor through The Pilates Center of Boulder (1997). Dina has spent the past 20 years teaching Pilates and running Pilates studios in Colorado and New York. She teaches with an emphasis on breathing, proper alignment and creating lasting benefits in and out of the studio. Dina has an especially keen eye for spotting imbalances and working with her students to improve posture and movement patterns. She was on staff at The Pilates Center in Boulder, Colorado where she taught workshops, was on the teacher training program testing staff, and helped train Pilates instructors.
Dina’s continuing education has included extensive study of Anatomy & Iyengar Yoga. Additionally, she completed the Pilates Master’s program at The Pilates Center in Boulder and is a CoreAlign instructor.
In 2001, Dina earned her Masters in Social Work with a special focus on working w/ people in Therapeutic Horse Back Riding programs. While running her own studio in North Salem, New York, Dina ran an outreach Pilates program with at risk youth and created and taught a Pilates on horseback program. Since her return to Colorado in 2006, Dina has been excited to share her teaching and expertise with the local community.