December 2019 | McLean, Virginia
“Staying true to Joe’s method is paramount to Excel Pilates Northern Virginia and that is why we choose the original apparatus manufacturer, Gratz.”
- Alexandra Adams - Owner and Instructor
Excel Pilates Northern Virginia
Excel Pilates Northern Virginia first opened in 2010 as The Pilates Center at The Madeira School. At that time, the studio existed in a 400 square foot basement space on the campus of an all-girls school located just outside Washington DC. Thanks to Gratz’s Space Planning Assistance, we were able to fit perfectly 2 Reformers, a Cadillac, a Wall Unit, a Wunda/Electric Chair Combo, a Ladder Barrel, a PediPole, a Spine Corrector and a Small Barrel in the limited space. In 2014, the studio moved to a bigger and brighter space, invested in more Gratz equipment and rebranded as Excel Pilates Northern Virginia. Started by our sister studios, Excel Pilates DC and Excel Pilates Annapolis, EPNVA continues a 20 year tradition of providing the highest quality private Pilates instruction. EPNVA is also a host studio for the Excel Pilates Teacher Training Program, a 700 hour comprehensive training program. We seek to ‘Empower Your Body and Empower Your Mind®’ through Pilates.
Excel Pilates Northern Virginia is dedicated to preserving the authenticity of the Pilates Method and therefore, Gratz is our only choice for equipment. We want our clients to have the highest quality Pilates experience. From the teaching staff to the equipment, we strive for perfection. The proportions, the feedback, the tensions, and the cushioning are all crucial to getting a true Pilates workout. If you are teaching Pilates the way Joe intended, Gratz is the only option for equipment. Not all Pilates manufacturers are alike and Gratz is the industry leader because of their high quality craftsmanship and commitment to Joe’s original designs. Gratz apparatus not only guides the body, but Gratz safely changes it. Often we have clients that have experienced other brands of Pilates equipment. When they get on the Gratz, there is always this moment of “Wow! This is what Pilates should feel like.” Many of the pieces in our studio are over a decade old and you would never know it. This is equipment you will have for a lifetime. Each piece of Gratz apparatus is crucial to the overall system of Pilates and the development of our bodies to optimum strength and alignment.
Owner and instructor, Alexandra Adams is a third generation (considered by some to be second generation) of Joseph H. Pilates. She has practiced Pilates for over twenty years, and has been an instructor for fifteen years. During her enrollment at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, Alexandra was fortunate to experience two of the pillars of traditional Pilates- Romana Kryzanoska and Gratz Pilates equipment. Inspired by her few, but meaningful, experiences with Romana, Alexandra completed the Excel Pilates Teacher Training Program in 2004, under the tutelage of second generation instructors, Lesa McLaughlin and Kerry De Vivo. In 2008, Alexandra completed the Master’s Program at The Pilates Center under the tutelage of second generation instructors, Amy Taylor Alpers and Rachel Taylor Segel.
In 2010, Alexandra opened The Pilates Center at The Madeira School, which would eventually become Excel Pilates Northern Virginia. Alexandra is on the faculty of the Excel Pilates Teacher Training Program. She is a life-long student of the Pilates Method and all things Joe. She is the former treasurer of the Authentic Pilates Union and continues to be a supporting member. She is also an alumna Pilates Ambassador to lululemon Tysons Corner. Owning a Pilates studio is the realization of her lifelong dream. She is thankful to have a dedicated team and loving mentors to support her.
Gail Kelsey Sommers discovered Pilates while living in Los Angeles, where she obtained her doctorate in clinical health psychology. Pilates helped relieve a chronic neck issue and also complimented her psychology training from a mind-body perspective. Gail received her initial Pilates training from Siri Dharma Galliano, in addition to Romana Kryzanowska and Alycea Ungaro. Two children later, Gail rediscovered Pilates in 2016 and decided to pursue her longtime passion to become a certified instructor. She chose to study at Excel Pilates Northern Virginia because of Alexandra's expertise, her connection to the classical Pilates lineage and the studio’s use of authentic Gratz equipment. Gail completed the Excel Pilates Teacher Training Program in 2018 and currently instructs at EPNVA.
Victoria Azor began practicing Pilates in 2012, while searching for relief from recurring neck pain. After discovering classical Pilates on Gratz equipment in 2015, she realized the transformative power of the authentic method. Searching for a way to keep Pilates in her life forever and share her passion with others, she completed the Excel Pilates Teacher Training Program under tutelage of Alexandra Adams in 2018 and currently instructs at EPNVA
Strickland found Pilates after experiencing lower back pain and hip bursitis while training for her first marathon at the age of 40. Within a few weeks of Pilates practice, she was pain free. As she continued in her training, she experienced such a mind and body transformation that she enrolled in the Excel Pilates Teacher Training Program. She is on track to complete the 700 hours, year long program in November 2019 and cannot wait to share the benefits of the method. Although Diane enjoys working with every body and everybody, she has a keen interest in working with athletes and special-needs children and adults.
Excel Pilates Northern Virginia
6725 Curran Street, Suite 300
McLean, Virginia 22101