Instructors Archives - The Pilates Studio

Category Archives for Instructors

Nate Olson Pilates Instructor

Nate Olson NCPT

Pilates Instructor

Nate Olson credits the Pilates method with reversing the ill effects of a sedentary lifestyle and helping him return to healthy movement and physical fitness.  

As a Polestar certified Pilates instructor, he takes great satisfaction in guiding others along the same path towards health and wellbeing.

Nate calls himself an "all-around" runner who enjoys exploring different distances from sprints to the half marathon. Lower leg injuries in high school put him off running for many years,  but he started running again as part of a "life reboot" coinciding with his introduction to Pilates.

He realized that healthy movement was a big part of what he was missing, and that the forward motion of running helped him in all aspects of my life. Feeling firsthand the changes that the Runity method produced in his running mechanics was what interested him to become a Runity coach.

The emphasis on helping runners of all ages and abilities is what he appreciates most about the Runity program.  The relationship between Pilates and running has helped him better understand the biomechanics involved in running, and provided invaluable cross-training to improve flexibility, posture and body awareness.

Leave Nate a Review!

Nate has great energy. He always incorporates participants requests and keeps class fresh by showing us new things and utilizing different props.

Jennifer U.
Melissa H.

Pilates has helped me stay injury free and has improved my running form so that I can be a more efficient and stronger runner. Nate has given me so many tools that I can take with me when I do independent sessions. His ability to analyze my running form and make small changes to my form has made a huge impact.

Maura O.

I’d never tried Pilates before and signed up for a Beginner Series of individual sessions. I was hooked right away and added more individual sessions to keep progressing.
The instructor, Nate, has been incredibly helpful! He is specific in his instruction and always encouraging - exactly what I needed. And he tailors our sessions to address my particular issues and goals. I’m only a few weeks in and already feel better than I used to.
I also signed up for a beginner reformer class as soon as it was offered and am excited to be learning more and doing Pilates more often.
I’m very happy that I started coming here!

Jennifer U.

Nate has great energy. He always incorporates participants requests and keeps class fresh by showing us new things and utilizing different props.

Kristy Powell Pilates Instructor

Kristy Powell

Pilates Instructor

Kristy is classically trained and comes to The Pilates Studio with over fifteen years of Pilates-teaching experience.

She began her instructor training while in her first year at the College of Charleston after returning from Budapest, Hungary, where she trained with the Hungarian National Ballet.

Kristy completed a rigorous two-year classical Pilates certification, rich in anatomy and bio-mechanical mindfulness, with Karen Sanzo of Pilates Unlimited in Dallas, Texas. 

Kristy enjoys teaching a wide variety of bodies, abilities, and life stages, including persons with acute or chronic injury, various physical limitations, athletes, pre- and post-partum persons, those with specific physical goals in mind, and those with a simple desire to move mindfully and sweat.

Since becoming a certified Pilates instructor, Kristy has facilitated multiple full-apparatus and Mat instructor certification programs, educating classical Pilates instructors who now teach both regionally around the northeast and internationally. Additionally, Kristy created a Pilates curriculum for asthmatics in partnership with researchers from the Yale University School of Medicine. She developed the professional instructional video that was used as the primary intervention method in this study. Kristy has also pursued various opportunities for continuing education to deepen her specialization in pelvic-floor rehabilitation and the post-partum body.

Kristy approaches every Pilates session she teaches open and curious about how her clients will arrive, settle, and develop over the shared hour. She holds a profound reverence for both the space she shares with her clients and her clients’ dedication and commitment to their personal wellness. Kristy especially appreciates the therapeutic aspects of Pilates (she holds a Master of Counseling). She knows Pilates to be physically transformational through her own rehabilitation after an ankle injury ended her professional ballet career. Having been an instructor of Pilates ever since this injury (and a practitioner of Pilates since she was 13), Kristy intimately knows the ways in which Pilates meets a body where it is at, always providing room for growth, healing, and transformation. 

Leave Kristy a Review!

Denise T.

Pilates has changed my life. Training with Kristy for 7 months has been great. She is extremely dedicated and I love “classical” Pilates. My balance has improved so much when walking and my body feels much stronger. Everyone should sign up for a session with Kristy. Thanks, Kristy

Sarah H.

Kristy is a great addition to the studio. Though she's a new face here, she's clearly very experienced at practicing and teaching Pilates. She brings a great amount of knowledge and different perspective to her classes and private sessions. She's very friendly, enthusiastic, and supportive. Her classes and private sessions have given me lots of wonderful tips to take into every time I practice, highlighting the specifics of the breath, rhythm, and target area for every exercise. She always manages to fit a lot of movement of all different types into each session, and leave me feeling like I've had a wonderful workout.

Marla L.

Took my first classic Pilates class and it was reall instructive! Kristy was a great teacher, gave helpful instruction and I really felt like I got to different areas. If you are thinking about this class, I recommend it!

Cathy Lawlor Pilates Instructor

Cathy Lawlor PT, NCPT

Pilates Instructor

Cathy started at The Pilates Studio as a client to focus on “fitness for my fifties” and became totally enamored by her movement experiences in the studio.  As a result she participated in the Polestar Teacher training to become a Pilates Instructor.

Cathy is a physical therapist with more than 25 years experience who has added Pilates Instructor to her resume.  Her physical therapy experience ranges from early intervention and pediatric PT (primarily in school settings), to adults with intensive developmental challenges, to Rehab PT in a long term care facility. Cathy has also worked as a full time parent, classroom volunteer, parent aide, and “ultimate” mom – many times taping injuries on the sidelines, among other things.

Cathy believes that every physical therapist should have exposure to Rehab oriented Pilates.  She loves the mind and body connectiveness of the Pilates method makes for a positive whole body movement experience.  Cathy looks at her clients with an eye for rehab – whether to improve postural alignment, strength and flexibility, or body awareness, to relieve pain, or to prevent future injury.  She always wants her clients to walk out the door feeling more aware of their whole body – and just better in general!

In her free time, you will find Cathy out on her kayak, walking her young pup Gracie, busy with a small photography business, helping to support a small school in Haiti, or traveling to see her three children who are spread around the country.

“My personal goal is to “move” through life embracing age gracefully with enthusiasm and a sense of humor.”  Cathy believes this is possible with Pilates in her life. She hopes to share this goal with all her clients wherever they are in life’s journey.

Leave Cathy A Review!

Tristan Diaz Pilates Instructor

Tristan Diaz NCPT

Pilates Instructor

Tristan started practicing Pilates to address an injured hip and to help with chronic pain it also gave her an incredible sense of well-being.

She was so passionate about the positive, healing effects Pilates had on her body and mind that she decided to train as a Pilates instructor and share those benefits with others as well as her patients.  

Her goal is to work with clients of all levels and support them in their journey towards wellness.

As a Registered Nurse and Board Certified Holistic Nurse Coach, Tristan is a strong believer that the best medicine for pain is movement.

Classes with Tristan focus on awareness, proper alignment, flexibility, and strength and being present.  By practicing deliberate presence in Pilates, we begin to automatically have more presence in all of our activities and interactions thus making life not only less stressful but the rich, beautiful experience we are intended to have!  

Be assured that you’ll be challenged, have fun, and leave feeling invigorated and inspired and maybe a little taller!!

 Tristan lives in Northampton loves cycling the scenic rolling hills of the Pioneer Valley, yoga, hiking, traveling and living a healthy lifestyle.  Tristan continues to work full-time as an RN Case Manager practicing holistic wellness, Functional medicine, and lifestyle management for the elderly population to assist them to maintain function, maintain independence and to be able to enjoy a full life as they age.

Trainings & Certifications:

Registered Nurse

500+ hour Polestar Pilates™ Comprehensive Teacher training

Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher

Board  Holistic Nurse Coach

Certified Nurse Case Manager

Leave Tristan a Review!

I've been fortunate to have taken a number of classes with Tristan over the past few months. She is an extremely skilled instructor with a warm, compassionate personality. Her classes are relaxing, yet will strengthen your core and increase flexibility. I highly recommend taking a class with Tristan. You'll be very happy that you did!

Susan H.

Susan H.

I've been fortunate to have taken a number of classes with Tristan over the past few months. She is an extremely skilled instructor with a warm, compassionate personality. Her classes are relaxing, yet will strengthen your core and increase flexibility. I highly recommend taking a class with Tristan. You'll be very happy that you did!

Peter H.

Tristan is a relatively new instructor at the Pilates Studio in Hadley but she is not new to teaching and is very knowledgeable & experienced in Pilates and general fitness. I like her approach and look forward to trying out new classes that are just starting. She is a great addition to the staff there!

Alison S.

At four-months post hip replacement surgery, Tristan’s restorative class is helping me to ease back into Pilates classes. The class is a perfect mix of stretch and strength.

Nancy Moraski Pilates Instructor

Nancy Moraski

Pilates Instructor

“Pilates is the answer to aging." 

Nancy spent her career working for the federal government.  Sitting at a desk, she suffered from the stiffness and pain of arthritis. But since starting Pilates, that's no longer the case. “I get out of bed in the morning, and I'm standing up straight.” Nancy inspires others “of a certain age” with her vigor and vitality as she teaches mat and apparatus classes, private sessions, and travels the world seeking adventure and fun.

Nancy's superpower is in her combination of commitment and perseverance. Most people would quit practicing forward lunges (if they could not do so without holding on) well before they got to 875.

After she graduated from UMass with a degree in sociology, Nancy became one of the people who never left the Valley. She has been certified to teach Polestar Pilates in 2015 and is a member of PMA (Pilates Method Alliance). She has also taught yoga and Barre classes in several locations.

Leave Nancy A Review!

Stephanie A.

Nancy-Thank you for always pushing your 7am team to be better each week. You change up the routines and bring new challenges weekly for us to grow and become better. You make getting up at 5:30 easy!

Marla L.

Nancy is fantastic at explaining exactly what to do, and providing help and encouragement. She's wonderful!

Jim H.

Nancy’s Barre Class is a blast! She is a great instructor who is highly skilled and has helped me get fit. I highly recommend this class!

I recently took a reformer class with Nancy. She was fantastic at explaining exactly what to do, and providing help and encouragement. Importantly, she made us laugh during the class. I would definitely take her class again. The next day I could feel the work that I did in her class, and overall I felt looser in my hips. If you have any question about taking her class...don't! She's wonderful!

Marla L.

Ivy Patterson Pilates Instructor

Ivy studied classical ballet at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, where she performed the role of Aurora in Sleeping Beauty. She graduated from Dominican University of California BFA degree program.  This program combines the acclaimed, rigorous training and philosophy of one of the nation’s premier dance institutions with the comprehensive liberal arts education and social values of the Dominican tradition. She continues to explore dance as a freelance performer and choreographer.

Ivy lived up to her first name by growing one foot during sixth grade. It was an early lesson in sensation and connectivity, as her brain struggled to determine where her legs ended. Ivy approaches her work in Pilates as problem-solving, and her empathic approach, training, and life’s experiences enable her to feel the different planes in her student’s bodies. She is an expert on the Gyrotonic equipment that emphasizes spinal fluidity.

Ruth Hutton Pilates Instructor

Ruth Hutton

Pilates Instructor

Ruth brings a rich background to her work at the studio. As a classically trained actor, documentary photographer, teacher of literature and of English to recent immigrants, she has a deep curiosity about and understanding of the human condition, including chronic pain. A lifelong teacher, Ruth is eager to help others discover what she did--that besides being entertaining, calming, and strengthening, Pilates can help you get out of recurrent or chronic pain.

Having lived in many places, Ruth learned to be comfortable with frequent transitions. Transition is often an underlying factor associated with recovery from an injury, fitness goals, or moving into a different phase of life. Ruth's superpower is her ability to meet her students wherever they are, and to guide them forward with empathy and compassion.

Ruth's has always found that exercise brought balance to her life. Besides being a Polestar Certified Pilates instructor, Ruth has a B.A. in Theatre from Williams College and an M.A. in English from Cambridge University, England, where she defied her beloved British friends who told her the truest test of her self-discipline would be if she could not exercise, but instead spend an entire weekend inside with them, drinking, smoking, and reading the papers.

Leave Ruth a Review!

Ruth is one of the wonderful instructors at The Pilates Studio in Hadley. I had taken mat classes for more than a year when I decided to try an apparatus class. Ruth was the instructor who welcomed me into her class and paid special attention to me, making sure that I was performing the exercises correctly. She has a very gentle, kind personality and I miss taking her mat classes!

Susan H.

Holly Keith Pilates Instructor

Holly Keith NCPT

Pilates Instructor

Holly is a Pilates Method Alliance Certified Pilates Teacher and a Polestar Pilates Studio Practitioner. Outside of the studio, she is a a bookseller, with additional interests in winter mountain climbing, Crossfit, running, bicycling, skiing, bouldering, paddleboarding, and geeking out on movement theory. Her favorite part of teaching is helping clients find movement they thought they’d lost. Her favorite place is the line between play and work, art and science, or funny and serious. Her totem animal is the Frosted Mini Wheat.

Leave Holly a Review!

Holly rocks! She is incredibly knowledgeable and designs excellent workouts that are creative and that provide exercises you can work on outside of the studio. She is patient, thoughtful, and funny and has made a significant and continuing impact on our overall wellness!

Ellen H.

Kay Cowperthwait Pilates Instructor

Kay Cowperthwait

Pilates Instructor

 There is an ever-present question on Kay Cowperthwait's mind when she is working with her clients: “What is best for this person?"  Kay has coached many sports for many years. This gives her a unique perspective, both as a coach and an athlete. Strength, flexibility, balance, confidence— all are important. But Kay uses her intuition and lots of questions to clarify the individual goals, to get to the “why."  Whether it's running faster, jumping higher, or simply working in the garden without pain or stiffness, Kay brings her years of experience in Pilates and coaching to help her clients overcome fitness challenges and do the things they long to do.

Kay's superpowers are her love for people and her ability to witness progress and reflect that success back to a client as a moment for celebration: “Remember when you couldn't do that?”  She is an energetic force of positivity, moving forward and helping others to do likewise.

Kay completed the Polestar Comprehensive training in August, 2015.  She also has a Personal Training certification from American Council on Exercise and a Spinning teacher certification from She continues to want to learn more about Pilates and the human body, recently completing trainings in the OOV and the new running injury prevention program called Runity.

Kay graduated from Colby College, where she was a member of the varsity women’s ice hockey and lacrosse teams for four years. Kay coached at the collegiate level in lacrosse, ice hockey and golf for twelve years, before entering the fitness world in 2004.  She continues to coach ice hockey in weekly clinics for women and girls in Greenfield, Massachusetts. In addition to doing her own Pilates practice, Kay is a lifelong athlete who continues to play ice hockey and golf, and also enjoys running, spinning, biking, swimming and tennis.

Read more about Kay on The Pilates Studio Blog

Leave Kay a Review!

Kay's Bone Building Apparatus class is awesome. She is a very knowledgable instructor and she made me feel very comfortable and welcome the first time I took this class. I was worried about taking a new class and not being able to keep up, but Kay made sure that I knew what to do and she made me feel as though I wasn't a first time student in this class. I appreciated her warmth and would highly recommend taking a class with Kay.

Susan H.

Margery G.

Kay is a treat to work with…because she makes us work! When I'm finished with her class I feel that my muscles are alive...and well. She has such a good sense of how the body works that she puts together a routine that moves from somewhat easy to challenging and manageable while hitting all of the major muscle groups and how they can work together.

Patricia L.

I took a bad fall two years ago. During my recovery I started Pilates reformer classes. I have been working on my strength, balance and core. I am able to step up on to the platform without panicking, perform planks and for the very first time stand on one leg and extend the other behind while holding the springs! I feel so happy and proud! Special shout out to Cathy and Kay!

Susan H.

Kay's Bone Building Apparatus class is awesome. She is a very knowledgable instructor and she made me feel very comfortable and welcome the first time I took this class. I was worried about taking a new class and not being able to keep up, but Kay made sure that I knew what to do and she made me feel as though I wasn't a first time student in this class. I appreciated her warmth and would highly recommend taking a class with Kay.

Jenni Sussman Pilates Instructor


Jenni is a Polestar Pilates Practitioner and a Certified Pilates Teacher by the Pilates Method Alliance. She also works as a Mentor for Polestar Pilates. She began teaching Pilates in 2010. In 2009 she graduated with a BFA in Painting from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She values the study of movement as a way to find self awareness, body awareness and trust in one’s own body. Jenni’s work as a Pilates Instructor is informed by her training as an artist. She embraces a life of balance as she moves fluidly between her two worlds. Using her artist’s eye, the ability to see what is before you, not what you are supposed to see, Jenni evaluates and re-evaluates a client’s needs in the moment. She uses her capacity for observation to improve a client’s alignment and movement quality in order to create strength and pain free movement.

Read more about Jenni on The Pilates Studio Blog

Jenni teaches Private, Semi-Private, and Small Group Sessions by appointment and Group Classes on a weekly basis.