ProPilates® Core Values
CARE: Total commitment to employees and client needs
EXCELLENCE: Set the standard in everything we do
PASSION: Obsessively driving our vision
COMMITMENT: Maintaining the integrity of all ProPilates® programs
The ProPilates® Team
Tonka Cascais, ProPilates Owner
Tonka Cascais has dedicated her life to transforming bodies and changing lives, regardless of a person’s age, physical, or emotional limitations. Tonka has studied Pilates for over 16 years. She has had the unique opportunity to train in New York under the mentorship of the famous Romana Kryzanowska, the esteemed mentee of 50 years to Joseph Pilates. Romana Kryzanowska appointed Tonka as a Level 3 Master Teacher. As a level 3 Master Teacher, Tonka was responsible for training new instructors in South Florida for Romana’s Pilates Certification Program in New York City. Tonka’s broad knowledge of the body and the dissection of how the body moves and functions inspired her to opened ProPilates® in 2000 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This pioneering concept for a complete holistic lifestyle approach to anti-aging, health, nutrition, and fitness evolved into the ProPilates® Lifestyle Solutions.
Under the ProPilates® Lifestyle Solutions concept, Tonka created her own method of teaching called the ProPilates® Method. The ProPilates® Method utilizes Tonka’s vast experience with Pilates and the human body in a personalized program for anti-aging, joint health, and weight loss exercise with no impact on the joints. Tonka’s unique development of the ProPilates® Lifestyle Solutions remains superior health and fitness, where equipment and nutrition are utilized in a new straight-forward and effective ways.
Rose Pontorno, ProPilates Front Desk Manager
You will always have a welcoming feeling when you walk into ProPilates® being greeted by Rose. Rose has been on the management operations side of fitness for over 13 years. Rose loves working here and watching people change their bodies and seeing results.
Julie Lemire, Acupuncture Physician, A.P.
Julie Lemire graduated from the Atlantic Institute of Oriental Medicine in Fort Lauderdale with a Master of Oriental Medicine and a bachelor of Health Science. Julie is nationally board certified in Acupuncture by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and Licensed to practice in the state of Florida. She trained in China in Pain Management and Neurological Disorder at the Zhejang Medical University in China. Her love for Alternative Medicine came about at a young age when her mother brought her to an Acupuncturist to treat the underlying cause of the pain she was going through as a developing teenager. Amazed by the effectiveness and result a seed was planted that eventually resulted in a career in Chinese Medicine. Julie is originally from Montreal, Canada and has called South Florida home for the past 12 years. Julie is fluent is French, English and Spanish.
Samantha Arbelo, ProPilates Senior Instructor and Manager
Samantha Arbelo has been teaching Pilates and practicing Massage Therapy for over 5 years. After graduating from Educating Hands Massage School, Samantha completed the IMX Pilates and Fitness training program to create a fusion of body work and calisthenics.
The combination of kinesiology, Pilates and restorative movements allows Samantha to work with a wide variety of ages and body types. Influenced by the teachings of Tonka Cascais, Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais and Dr. Milton Trager, Samantha approaches fitness with a nurturing mind and a focus on corrective exercises.
Additional training and education :
Madd Dog Spin Certification
Active and Isolate Resistance Stretching
Multi Dimensional Movement Arts Therapy
The Trager Approach
Diana Lopez, ProPilates Spin45 and CoreCycle Instructor
Originally from Columbia, Diana dedicated her life to physical fitness and nutrition starting at an early age by competing in marathons, triathlons and mountain cycling. Later obtaining a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Medellin in Business Administration. Diana moved to Miami in 1997 where she continued to pursue her passion in the fitness and health industry. In 2000 Diana was certified as a personal trainer and in 2006 she completed her certification in nutrition and spinning.
“Never, ever give up your results are endless.”
Elena Erchenkova, ProPilates, CardioBallet and AntiGravity Instructor
Born and raised in Russia, Elena has 15 years of fitness background and is happy to join the ProPilates team. As a Master Trainer with more than 20 International Certifications, Elena is proud to be teaching in the USA as well as Switzerland, UK and Holland to name a few. Instructor training has become a passion and she enjoys teaching others to become professionals in different areas such as:
– Aerial Fitness
– Functional Training
– Brazilian Dance ‘Forro’
“She knows her stuff” clients praise and they feel that her competence, skillful techniques and professionalism speak for itself.
“Do your best, no more no less.”
Britt Williams, ProPilates and Barre Instructor
Britt is a classically trained dancer in Ballet, Modern dance and Jazz for over 10 years. After a hip injury and Pilates based rehab, Britt realized she wanted to teach Pilates. Now fully certified in Pilates by Balanced Body University, Britt impress upon her clients the importance of gaining strength and body confidence. Her Barre class is a fusion of dance, body sculpting and isometric movements.
Camila Ribeiro, ProPilates Instructor and Physical Therapist
Camila was born and raised in Brazil. In 1999 Camila started working with Holistic Therapy-Shiatsu and in doing so she grew to love the anatomy of the Human Body and how it works. Right then and there Camila decided to become a Physical Therapist. She received her Bachelors degree in Physical Therapy from The University of Estacio De Sa and worked with Orthopedic and Neurological Therapy at Fisio Prime Clinical. Camila’s interest in learning more about the spine and posture lead her to seek a certification in Pilates.
Camila’s certification allowed her to implement the new knowledge and skills here in South Florida at ProPilates, where she takes her passion for Pilates to a new level.
Shannon MacKinnon, ProPilates Instructor
Shannon has had the pleasure of teaching, dancing, and choreographing all across North America, Europe, South America, and the Caribbean. She is currently choreographing and teaching in Canada and the Eastern US. A classically trained dancer (R.A.D) Shannon is a highly sought-after Master Class instructor for Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Modern, Tap, Musical Theatre, and Burlesque. Shannon’s Choreography has won a multitude of awards across both the USA and Canada. Her work has participated/placed in the overall scoring in notable competitions such as YAGP, American Dance Competition, NYCDA, and Barcelona Dance Awards
As well as motivating individuals to achieve a healthier lifestyle, Shannon embarked upon a new campaign “Healthy Bodies~ Stronger Dancers” for dancers’ maintained health and wellness. She has lead in her industry in a multitude of speaking engagements, as well as assisting her team in providing nutrition assistance to young dancers with eating disorders. “Certified in Crossfit, USAW Olympic Weightlifting and holding several nutrition certifications makes me approach to fitness functional, fun, and always entertaining!”
Jason Blasi, ProPilates Instructor
Jason has been teaching Indoor Cycling since 1996. He trained with the spinning pioneer Johnny G who founded Maddogg Athletics, Inc. Jason prides himself in connecting with each student in his high-energy and results-oriented classes.
In addition to Spinning, Jason is also a certified group and personal trainer through ACSM. He has worked in many diverse fitness environments with extensive experience providing clients with a body fat analysis, nutritional recommendations, proper use of fitness equipment, and has tailored exercise programs to fit his clients’ needs.
Jason has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Physiology from Barry University in Miami, FL.
When he is not busy improving the health and fitness of his clients, Jason works as a fire fighter and EMT for the Miami-Dade Fire Department. When Jason is not working, he enjoys playing guitar, singing, surfing, fishing, and spending time with his family.
Gabriela Schaffer – ProPilates® and Gyrotonic Instructor
Gabby is a dancer and a choreographer. She loves teaching dance and choreographing movement with music. She was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina where she received her formal education in Ballet and Modern Dance. She founded the renowned MILONGA DE LAS MOROCHAS in Toulouse (France) and then in Buenos Aires (Argentina). Both tango halls are famous for their high quality tango classes and performances. Among her extensive credits, she has performed at the Teatro Olympia in Madrid (Spain), at the Parc de La Villette in Paris (France), at Odyssud in Blagnac (France), at the Haute Garonne Festival (France), at the Capitol Opera House in Toulouse (France), at the Qingdao Festival (China) and at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami (U.S.A). Gabriela found her true passion in the Gyrotonic System. She is a certified Gyrotonic and Pilates instructor.
Alexandra Davidava – ProPilates®, Gyrotonic and Dance Instructor
Alexandra was born in Belarus. She is a Pilates instructor, fully certified in classical Pilates method in all Pilates equipment and mat in 2012. She has completed Pilates Teacher Training Program with 400 practicing hours at Center for Movement NYC. She is also certified in Gyrotonic & Gyrokineses at Body Evolutions NYC in 2013.
Alexandra is a professional ballroom dancer. In 2002 she was named Master of Sport in Ballroom. She has represented the Republic of Belarus in European and World Championships for years.
Alexandra had a very successful career in ballroom dancing in the United States.
Cindy Kosor L.E.- ProPilates®, Skin Care Specialist
Cindy Kosor, a licensed Esthetician in the state of Florida and North Carolina, has over 15 years of experience in the aesthetic industry. Not only is she a member of the Associated Skin Care Professionals, she is certified in Medical Microneedling and Rezenerate. You may recognize Cindy since she has been featured many times in Plastic Surgery Products Magazine as an expert in Microdermabrasion. Over the years Cindy has worked closely with leading Dermatologists, Plastic Surgeons, and Cosmetic Chemist on a national levelto develop medical equipment as well as private label skin care.
Cindy possesses an exceptional knowledge of skincare, cosmetic chemistry and skin care development therapy. In addition, she has been trained and mastered the DNA Skincare system we offer at ProPilates.
Cindy is dedicated to customizing treatment plans for each individual,
providing expert skincare advice with results oriented and designed to your unique skin care needs.