January 2023 | Annapolis, MD

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"I went to a well known PT once who told me trained gymnasts and figure skaters are the most difficult clientele to “read”.  We look balanced and can muscle our way through movement modalities.  I was happily practicing pilates for 15 years at an advanced level.  I thought I was in my powerhouse.  Gratz proved me wrong.

When I settled into my larger studio space, I started a search for more apparatus.  I happened upon a studio that was liquidizing and purchased their Gratz reformer and tower units.  I started my footwork and WOW - hello lower abs!  I didn’t have to try so hard to work from my center.  I enjoyed simply moving.  Everything synced.

I trained my clients on it and WOW - I didn’t have to work so hard!  I cued less, watching in amazement how their bodies responded.  The apparatus I had been accumulating for years looked similar, but felt different.  I dove deep into trying to figure out the differences.  I tried making my current equipment more “Gratz” like.  I even had heavier gear bars made by the local welder.  Eventually, I replaced everything.  I had completely Gone Gratz!

Why do I love Gratz apparatus?  It makes my job easier."

- Stefanie O'Rourke - Owner & Instructor
Chesapeake Pilates Center




“I prefer the Gratz Reformer because the springs are heavy and the straps are incredibly resistant. I have grown to really appreciate the extra challenge of physically pulling the carriage closed. It requires more work to “close” a Gratz Reformer which always gets my abdominals to work deeper. Gratz equipment makes me feel more balanced, connected, and supported in my body”.

- Lindsey Gillis, CPC client
Chesapeake Pilates Center


"A few months after I started training at Chesapeake Pilates, Stefanie began her transition to Gratz equipment. As a student, I was initially unaware she was making the transition and frankly, knew nothing about Gratz. Unbeknownst to me, she replaced her Cadillac, which I had used many times, with a Gratz Cadillac. I instantly noticed a difference and commented, “This Cadillac is different than the one I was on last week.”  Her other equipment was vey good, but the Gratz equipment was even better.  The same exercises I had been performing for years felt different. There was more feedback, more depth to each exercise, and a more purposeful connection.  When she acquired a Gratz reformer, it was the only one that I wanted to use.  She has several now, but my favorite is the 80” archival reformer. During Covid, I was fortunate to acquire two pieces of my own (a high chair and tower unit with a high rigid mat), for my home gym.  Stefanie’s extensive Pilates background and constant desire to learn more about Joe, coupled with her studio ‘Gone Gratz,’ has made me a better student, has taken my training to the next level, and has deepened my appreciation for this beautiful, yet often under valued, method of exercise.”  

Dana Schultz, CPC Client

"When I needed to find a new pilates teacher, I looked for a studio with Gratz equipment. I know that a teacher in a Gratz studio will have a solid grounding in the classic, Joe method. I chose Gratz for a few pieces at home because they’re built solid and will support my practice. Other brands may feel different and for home practice, I wouldn’t know if it was my body or the equipment that is off. Having Gratz equipment at home to supplement an awesome teacher has really accelerated my growth.”  

Traci La Valle, CPC Client



Stefanie and her husband Peter purchased a business condo in their hometown of Annapolis, Md in the fall of 2015 to create her perfect Pilates studio. Seasoned renovators, it took them only a little over a month to gut and build it out to Stefanie’s precisely graphed specifications. With Peter’s background of building quality houses on Cape Cod, he managed the sub-contractors to construct an industrial maritime design.

Like the City of Annapolis, the studio is charming and honors it’s history. Historic black and white photos of Joe Pilates and the 1st generation hang on the walls. The color of the walls match the color of the upholstery “surf”. The floors match the upholstery color “gunmetal”. This blending and color scheme help the studio feel calm and spa like. There are subtle personal touches. Stefanie’s love for the ocean flows into the studio with oyster shells tying in the maritime theme. She named the studio Chesapeake Pilates Center after her beloved
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. The green Christmas lights are staying up while the Philadelphia Eagles in the playoffs. All of these carefully thought out and controlled parts make Chesapeake Pilates Center a perfect environment to practice, learn and teach the system of Pilates. CPC is 30 miles from both Washington, DC and Baltimore, Md. Located across the street from the renovated Annapolis Town Center, It is easily accessible with plenty of parking.
Owner Stefanie and Teacher Robin Arnesen both completed Alycea Ungaro’s Real Teacher Training vigorous apprentice program last year to prepare for becoming a Host studio.  The first seminar is April 2023.




    6 reformers: (x1) 80" archival, (x1) 86" aluminum, (x1) wood, (x1) reformer/tower/cadillac prototype
    x2 Cadillacs
    x3 Tower units
    x4 wunda chairs
    x1 electric chair
    x2 arm chairs
    x1 guillotine
    x6 Spine Correctors
    x1 small Barrel
    x2 ladder Barrels

    x1 Push up device, 1 pedipole,1 Breathacizer, x1 neck stretcher, x1 Toe corrector, x1 foot corrector

    About Stefanie


    National Certified Pilates Teacher #15492
    PhysicalMind Institute, Comprehensive 2004
    Clare Dunphy Advanced Classical Seminar, 2019
    Alycea Ungaro’s Real Pilates Teacher Training, Comprehensive Bridge 2022

    Stefanie has over 2 decades of experience in the fitness industry.  She applies her understanding of movement to the system of pilates, using all apparatus as needed to tailor an individualized program for each student.  “The practice of pilates”, she says, “empowers the student to take ownership of their bodies, understand it’s movement patterns, and apply this to their every day life.”  

    Always active, Stefanie found that taking group exercise classes helped release the stress of her former career in personnel and advertising sales.  While taking a step class in 1995, Stefanie was recruited to teach group exercise which led her to various fitness modalities.  In 2001 a friend and colleague introduced her to Pilates apparatus and she was hooked.  “Short Spine (a pilates exercise) took me back to gymnastics…so much fun and it felt good!” she says...





    Robin Arnesen
    Comprehensively Certified Pilates Teacher
    Alycea Ungaro’s Real Pilates Teacher Training, Comprehensive Certification 2022
    CPC Apprentice 2017

    Robin found Pilates in her teens as a way to stay healthy and injury free and to advance other athletic endeavors.  The system worked and Robin continued an athletic career through college; playing lacrosse at Bucknell University.

    After graduating from Bucknell in 2002, Robin worked in pharmaceutical sales.  She returned to work in the fitness industry after she had her two children.  Robin has an ACE group fitness and nutrition certifications as well as certifications for Les Mills, Schwinn and SoulBody and TRX.  Robin began her apprenticeship at Chesapeake Pilates Center in 2017 while working as Marketing, Programming and Group Fitness director for a chain of health clubs.

    Robin completed Alycea Ungaro’s Real Pilates teacher training in New York City while working full time at Chesapeake Pilates Center in 2022.  Clientele who work with Robin appreciate her ability to make Pilates a workout with intensity and passion while safely focussing on their goals.

    Robin lives on Maryland’s Eastern Shore with her two children and German Shepheard.  She also works as a real estate agent for Keller Williams.  Out of the studio Robin can be found out doors coaching her children’s’ lacrosse teams and camping.



    Chesapeake Pilates Center
    Arundel Plaza
    108 Old Solomons Island Rd., Unit 9U
    Annapolis, MD 21401

    Email: ChesapeakePilates@gmail.com
    Phone: 443-333-9731
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chesapeakepilates/?fref=ts
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chesapeakepilatescenter/


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