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Pilates Instructor Academy, LLC is a private company offering online and in studio Pilates teacher certifications, continuing education and business support. PIA was founded in 2001 by two sisters who are veterans in the fitness industry.
Co-Owner and Chief Education Officer
Amanda has been a leader in the health and fitness industry since 1986. She began her career as a group fitness instructor and continued to teach all types of groups fitness classes, until she became certified to teach Pilates in 2000. She holds a BA in Exercise Science and an MA in Higher Education Curriculum Development / Exercise Physiology. Her philosophy toward Pilates instructor training and certification is to provide high-quality, exercise science-based Pilates education that is affordable, convenient and most of all taught in a supportive and inclusive environment.
Learn More About Amanda
- To educate fitness instructors in the method of exercise created by Joseph Pilates and to empower these instructors to take responsibility for their learning by helping them develop critical thinking skills
- To mentor new instructors as they gain experience in teaching Pilates sessions and classes through guidance and modeling.
- To help people improve the quality of their lives and their fitness level through active participation in a balanced exercise regimen.
Over 30 years of experience in fitness, exercise science and specifically Pilates in both academic and private business settings.
Owner and Director of Education Pilates Instructor Academy- 2000 to present
- Delivered to the marketplace a best-in-class Pilates instructor training program through Pilates Instructor
- Academy, (PIA) which supports fitness professionals, expanding their skills and impact by providing Pilates
- Method Alliance (PMA) continuing education programs, ranging from weekend workshops to an intensive, 506-hour instructor training program, geared toward the ultimate goal of PMA Certification
- Pioneered a method to replicate Pilates instructor training programs through a nation-wide licensing model
- Designed and presented workshops for Instructor continuing education ranging from anatomy reviews to choreography development to advanced stretching techniques.
- Designed and presented workshops for clients to increase their awareness on topics such as pelvic floor exercises, healthy feet exercises, and neck and shoulder health.
- Developed and delivered comprehensive study materials, including manuals, study guides, flashcards and exams for over 15 in depth workshops relating to Pilates training education
Full-time Faculty in the Fitness Education Department, Santa Fe Community College- 2000-2003
Pilates Instructor, Personal Best Pilates Studio, Overland Park, Kansas 2003- 2018
Spa & Tennis Director, Las Campanas Limited Partnership, Santa Fe, New Mexico. 1999- 2000
Group and Individual Fitness Instructor, El Gancho Fitness, Swim and Racquet Club, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1999 – 2000
Fitness Center Coordinator, Penn Valley Community College, Kansas City, Missouri. 1995 – 1999
Aerobic Coordinator, University of Missouri, Kansas City, 1988-1993
Amanda has been professional presenter in the Fitness and Pilates Industry since 1993. She has presented at the Pilates Method Alliance Annual Meeting since 2011, as well as various other national and local conferences, corporations and businesses on topics such as Advanced Pilates Chair Choreography, Designing Circuit and Interval Classes using Pilates Mat and Equipment Exercises, Pilates Modifications for People with Disabilities, Pelvic Floor and Pilates, Pilates and the Foot, Exercise and Nutrition Guidelines for busy Professionals, Stress Reduction, Healthy Holiday Eating, and Body Image and Exercise.
- Master’s of Arts, Higher Education Administration Emphasis: Fitness and Health, University of Missouri, Kansas City Graduated May 1995
- Administrative Practicum University of Kansas Medical Center, Kirmayer Fitness, Kansas City, Kansas Center January 1995 to May 1995
- Bachelor’s of Liberal Arts Emphasis: Exercise Science, University of Missouri, Kansas City Graduated May 1992
- NeuroKinetic Therapy Level 1 - 3, August 2013 - January 2015
- NKT Advanced Testing and Palpation Techniques November 2015
- Certified Pilates Teacher, Pilates Method Alliance, 2006 (now NPCP)
- Continuing education provider for ACE, AFAA, NPCP, NSCA
- Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, National Strength and Conditioning Association, 2000
Amanda has served on numerous committees ranging from Vice Chair of the Summit Development Committee for the Pilates Method Alliance 2014 to 2017 to organizing and managing community organization fund raisers and health events.
Co-Owner and Chief Operations Officer
Carrie has been a passionate and committed fitness entrepreneur since 1986, and has experience with all types of group fitness, personal training and especially Pilates. After obtaining her graduate degree, she felt compelled to invest even more in the world of fitness, which led her to open a Pilates studio in Overland Park, KS, in 2000. She grew that company into the largest Pilates studio in Kansas, with a staff of up to 18 people serving over 300 clients per week. She sold that studio in 2018 to focus full time on providing high-quality, affordable and accessible Pilates teacher training.
Learn More About Carrie
- To support the Pilates industry by providing high-quality, affordable and accessible Pilates teacher training courses
- To create jobs by providing individuals the skills they need to help others become more fit
- To empower fitness professionals to build a successful careers teaching Pilates
- Started teaching fitness classes in 1986
- Worked in for large corporations in various leadership positions from 1986 - 1998
- Earned a BA in Business Administration and an MBA from the University of Missouri
- Opened Personal Best Pilates Studio (PBPS) in 2000, the first Pilates-only fitness studio in the Kansas City area
- Ran PBPS for 18 years, including managing a staff of up to 18 Pilates teachers, serving over 3,000 clients with annual revenues topping $500K
- Was named Top Woman Business Owner by the Kansas City Business Journal in 2005
- PBPS was named Top Woman Owned Business in the state of Kansas by the Kansas Department of Commerce in 2005
- Elected to the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) Board of Directors in 2010, and served on the Executive Committee of the PMA Board from 2011 - 2014
- Presented at the PMA Business Owners Forum in 2014
- Presented at the PMA Annual Conference in 2016
- Sold Personal Best Pilates Studio in January of 2018 to focus on supporting independent fitness business owners
Over 30 years of experience in the fitness industry with specific devotion to the Pilates method.
Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Pilates Instructor Academy, LLC 2018 – present
- Provide Pilates teacher training and continuing education plus support for Pilates and fitness professionals through live and online workshops and continuing education.
Founder and Owner of Personal Best Pilates Studio, 2000 – 2018
- Grew company from start-up to the largest of its kind in the region with over 5,100 square feet and a client base of more than 3,200
- Delivered to the marketplace a best-in-class Pilates instructor training program though Personal Best Pilates Instructor Academy, (PBPIA) which supports fitness professionals, expanding their skills and impact by providing Pilates Method Alliance continuing education programs, ranging from weekend workshops to an intensive, 500-hour instructor training program, geared toward the ultimate goal of National Certification
- Directly created dozens of jobs for her own businesses, and trained hundreds of fitness professionals to work in the fastest growing sector of the fitness industry, the Pilates method
- Pioneered a method to replicate Pilates instructor training programs through a nation-wide licensing model
- Launched Pilates Academy Online in 2012, a video-on-demand platform delivering continuing education webinars and training courses for fitness professionals around the globe
Fitness Leadership since 1986
Taught a variety of group fitness classes in gyms and fitness centers in the Kansas City area from 1986 - 2000
Corporate Leadership Experience
Prior to opening her studio, Ms. Cohn worked in the private sector for 14 years, and has experience in manufacturing, construction, and information technology. She held executive positions with Procter and Gamble and Butler Manufacturing in management and organizational development, training, organizational assessment, strategic planning, leadership development, organizational transformation, and human resource development.
- Bachelor of Business Administration, Park University, Parkville, MO. Graduated Magna Cum Laude, 1994
- Executive Masters of Business Administration, University of Missouri at Kansas City, 1997
- Graduate of Kansas City Tomorrow Community Leadership Program, 1999
- Named one of “Kansas City’s Top Women Business Owners” by the Kansas City Business Journal
- Named “Top Woman–Owned Service Business in the State of Kansas” by the Kansas Department of Commerce
- Certified Pilates Instructor – Pilates Method Alliance
- Pilates Equipment Certificate - Physical Mind Institute
- Pilates Mat Certificate - Physical Mind Institute
- Certified Yoga Instructor – American Aerobic Association International (AAAI)/International Sports Medicine Association (ISMA)
- Certified Spinning Instructor – Madd Dog Athletics
- Secretary of the Board and Member of Board of Directors (Executive Committee) The Pilates Method Alliance, 2010 to 2014
- Fundraising event committee member benefiting Phoenix Family Housing Corporation, 2010 to present
- Vice President, then President of Alumni Board for the University of Missouri, Kansas City Bloch School of Business
- Board Member of Kansas City Tomorrow Community Leadership Alumni Association
- Committee Member for the American Heart Association’s annual Dance for Heart fundraising events
Our online and live Pilates teacher training and certifications exceed the highest standards set in the Pilates, fitness and bodywork industries, and are recognized by leading authorities for continuing education credits, including:
- NPCP - The National Pilates Certification Program (formerly the Pilates Method Alliance, PMA)
- ACE - The American Council on Exercise
- NCBTMB - The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
We proudly support our US Military families! Military spouses may qualify for tuition assistance through MyCaa.
Looking to sit for the NPCP (formerly the PMA) certification exam? Pilates Instructor Academy's 505 hour comprehensive equipment certification exceeds the requirements to sit for the Certified Pilates Teacher (CPT) exam offered by The National Pilates Certification Program (NPCP), formerly the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA).
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