A talented team that leads by listening
We’re not just teachers. We’re passionate practitioners, with a heart-centered focus on the art and science of Pilates. Our legacy instructors lead by listening, and bring decades of experience and Pilates training, combined with a true love of their craft to help you achieve your goals.
Deborah is the owner and founder of MatWorkz Pilates Studio. Her Pilates practice and teaching began in 1997. The cornerstones of her success are her ongoing professional training, her belief that we are all capable movers and her ability to understand the importance of mental focus to be healthy and happy. Her way of getting people to understand their body awareness and her great depth of technical knowledge in movement is due to her study of AIM (Amend Integrative Model). She recently collaborated with Carole Amend of Mill Valley, CA. to create Pilates by AIM. She is enrolled in the Bodies Mind® Academy Somatic Movement Teacher and Tutor program. She is also on faculty at the Orlando School of Ballet.
- The Physical Mind Institute Mat Certification Mountainview , CA 1998
- The Pilates Method Teacher Training (Romana Kryzanowska) NYC 1999
- 3P’s workshop Clearwater, FL 2002 (Posture)
- GYROTONIC Expansion System® Level 1 Tallahassee, FL 2004
- Polestar Pilates Studio Series Denver, CO 2005 (Bridging program)
- GYROKINESIS® Level 1 Miami, FL 2007
- FAMI Workshop (Functional Anatomy for Movement & Injuries) NYC 2009
- GYROTONIC® Jumping-Stretching Board Training Orlando, Fl 2013
- Bodies Mind Associate Mill Valley, CA 2015
April discovered the Pilates method when she was referred as a teenager to the Pilates Studio in New York City because of an injury she had sustained as a dancer. After leaving the field of dance, April began a 23 year career in management with Walt Disney World. While at Disney, she earned a master’s degree from Rollins College in Human Development, and later used movement therapy to help women overcome eating disorders. In 1994, April rediscovered Pilates and ignited a passion that would lead to a major career change. After leaving Disney, she completed Pilates Method training in Atlanta and with Romana Kryzanowska in New York City.
- Pilates Method of Body Conditioning (Romana) 2000
- MatWorkz instructor since 2000
- GYROTONIC® Apprentice Teacher
Lisa is a comprehensively trained Peak Pilates Certified Teacher. She has been teaching right here in Central Florida since 2008. She is committed to continuing education and lifelong learning.
Lisa began her personal pilates practice in 2004 as a cross training program for running. However, she quickly realized that everyone -- regardless of age, goals, or fitness level -- can benefit from this truly transformational movement system.
And that's how she teaches. Whether you are an accomplished athlete, are just beginning your journey to physical fitness, or you're somewhere in between, Lisa tailors safe and effective pilates sessions to help you achieve your goals.
Lisa herself enjoys an energetic and robust way of life. In addition to running and competing in local road races, she also rows on Lake Fairview with the Orlando Rowing Club. She aspires to be a role model for her clients, and instill in them a passion for engaging in an active, healthy lifestyle.
- Peak Pilates Comprehensive Certified Pilates Instructor (2009)
- MatWorkz instructor since 2011
PJ Catalano is orginally from Michigan and grew up a dancer, following in her mother’s footsteps and becoming a dance instructor. Bringing over 25 years of teaching experience, she began instructing mind-body fitness in 2001 after developing a passion for Pilates. She has trained in Stott mat & reformer and is fully certified through McEntire Pilates. Known for her hands-on approach, detailed corrections and the enthusiasm she brings to each session, PJ has worked with clients from all walks of life and varying abilities. In addition to teaching, she continues to learn and explore the possibilities of body movement.
- Certified Pilates Instructor 2000
- Certified Level I GYROKINESIS® Trainer 2010
- Licensed Massage Therapist (#MA74094)
- Certified Thai Massage Therapist 2006
- Reiki Master 2006
- Dance Masters of America (tap, jazz, ballet & acrobatics) 1991
- Cecchetti Council of America Teachers Grade I & II 2000
- Certified Level I GYROTONIC® Trainer 2016
- GYROKINESIS® Level 2 pretraining
- MatWorkz Instructor Since 2013
Thouraya began her journey with Pilates in 2006. Her movement background began with dance at the age of six, which she continued through the university level. She found Pilates while dealing with a repetitive injury. The increased strength and flexibility she obtained was accentuated by the stress relief and relaxation that her Pilates practice afforded her. Throughout her Pilates practice she became fascinated with the rehabilitative origins and applications of Pilates. This interest initiated her pursuit of Pilates instructor training in 2011. She completed comprehensive Pilates instructor training through Balanced Body in 2013.
Committed to continuing her education, she regularly takes courses and workshops to further expand her knowledge of healthy movement patterns. She completed a certificate in Pilates for Neurological Conditions with Mariska Breland in 2017. She is currently studying the Amend Integrative Model, a somatic approach to Pilates developed by Carole Amend.
Thouraya has a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego and an MBA with a concentration in Finance from San Diego State University. A San Diego native, she relocated to Orlando following a twelve year stretch in central Texas.
Thouraya has worked with clients of various fitness levels and ages. She enjoys helping clients gain awareness in order to create a stronger and healthier body.
- Comprehensive Pilates Instructor, Balanced Body 2013
- MatWorkz instructor since 2016
Leslie started her fitness career in 1995 while working as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher. She embraced Pilates in 2000 as a way to improve overall strength and rehabilitate from dance injuries. She quickly grew to love the method, as it helped her become a more controlled and stronger dancer. Leslie decided to become a Pilates instructor earning certification through The Willow Pilates and Yoga Studio’s Comprehensive Teacher Training Program.
With a long-lasting fascination for how the body moves, she is dedicated to continuing education and development, and to helping people move toward growth and transformation, whether they have been doing Pilates for 1 year or 20 years.
Leslie has a Bachelor’s in Dance and History and a Master’s in Elementary Education from Columbia University. Originally from New York City, she has been teaching Pilates since 2002 and enjoys helping others discover the benefits of better strength, flexibility, and control. In 2009, Leslie also completed an Agatsu Kettlebell Certification Program for a Level 1 Instructor.
- The Willow Pilates and Yoga Studio’s Comprehensive Teacher Training Program 2002
- Pilates instructor since 2003
- Agatsu Kettlebell Certification Program for a Level 1 Instructor 2009
- Matworkz instructor since 2009