June 2016 | New York, NY
"Gratz equipment gives Pilates a voice like no other I have experienced. The combination of required strength, enhanced stretch
and overall control is the essence of what and why I love Pilates."
Hallee Altman, Owner
The Center Studio
The Center Studio is located inside JCC Manhattan on the Upper West Side. We are a boutique studio that offers private and semi-private instruction. Our team of instructors includes former and current professional dancers and athletes, as well as instructors who have been teaching for over 20 years.
The Center Studio opened in July 2005, when I saw an opportunity in my neighborhood and a community within the JCC that could embrace a Pilates studio. We have clients who have been with us for over 10 years, and others who frequent the JCC as Nursery School Parents or as part of their Parkinson Wellness Initiative, and are able to make Pilates part of their self-care.
I began my Pilates practice in Atlanta, GA under the watchful eye of Denise Reeves at the Atlanta Ballet satellite studio. I was hooked after my first mat class and returned to the studio every day of that week. I added private lessons and then a weekly semi-private, until I realized that becoming an apprentice would fulfill my goal of learning everything I could about Pilates. I moved to New York City in August of 2001 to study (and laugh) with Michael Fritze and Ton Voogt and complete my 600-hour certification with Romana Kryzanowska. My other major Pilates influences were Bob Liekens and Brooke Siler. From Bob I learned the art of verbal cueing and from Brooke, the impact of hands-on teaching.
The instructors at The Center Studio are my work family. I have both full time instructors and part-timers, but regardless of their hours, their commitment to the studio and to the Pilates method is inspiring. They love educating their clients, they love helping people feel good in their bodies and we challenge each other to stay current, uphold safety, and play!
As a 10-year anniversary present to the studio, I purchased an airplane board and changed the reformer springs to the vintage long neck springs. Our clients are amazed at “their new ride” and have fallen in love with leg springs all over again. Owning Gratz equipment is a source of pride and a selling point to potential clients. Romana captured the essence of the apparatus when she talked about the dynamic between the equipment and the client. Not only does the client’s energy move the springs, but it is like a duet between the human and apparatus. Gratz allows for this amazing exchange to happen in every one of the sessions that we teach!