Pilates Body Shaping

February 2020 | Charlotte, NC


  • Pilates Body Shaping Banner 1
  • Pilates Body Shaping Banner 2


“The dimensions and spring resistance of the Gratz apparatus enable us to properly engage the Powerhouse while maintaining alignment through strength and control. Gratz helps us to continue carrying on the legacy of Romana and the work of Joseph Pilates in its purest form.”

- Laney Abernethy - Owner & Instructor
Pilates Body Shaping

Gratz Archive Reformer - Pilates Body Shaping from Gratz Industries on Vimeo.



Pilates Body Shaping opened in Charlotte, NC in September, 2001.  It is set in the heart of the Elizabeth Neighborhood near uptown Charlotte.  Owner/Director, Laney Abernethy was certified a year prior by Romana Kryzanowska.  In addition to her studies with Romana, Laney has studied with Sari Mejia-Santo, Juanita Lopez, Cynthia Lochard, Marjorie Oron, and many other widely respected teachers in the Classical Pilates world.  When the Romana’s Pilates Teacher Training program was first established, Laney was hand-picked by Romana to open the training certification center in North Carolina. 

Over 18 years later, the studio has been fortunate enough to host numerous workshops, seminars, and continuing education for Romana’s Pilates. Pilates Body Shaping is the preferred studio in Charlotte to train Olympic swimmers, professional athletes and dancers, in addition to maintaining a clientele of dedicated, long-standing students.  To this day, Pilates Body Shaping is the only Teacher Trainer Center in North Carolina.


  • Pilates Body Shaping Banner 4
  • Pilates Body Shaping Banner 5
  • Pilates Body Shaping Banner 6


From its opening over 18 years ago, Pilates Body Shaping has only ever housed Gratz equipment.  Initially, the studio started with 1 Reformer, 1 Cadillac, a High Chair/Wunda combo, and a Ladder Barrel. We have now grown to house 4 Reformers, 2 Cadillacs, 7 Studio Wall Units with High Mats, a Wunda chair, and several other necessary pieces of Gratz equipment, with more on the way!  In order for our students and apprentices to learn the system of Pilates, it was essential they use only the best apparatus.  The dimensions and spring resistance enable us to properly engage the Powerhouse while maintaining alignment through strength and control. Gratz helps us to continue carrying on the legacy of Romana and the work of Joseph Pilates in its purest form. Pilates Body Shaping is one of the few studios in the area to house Gratz Studio Wall Units with High Mats in a group class setting. 

The People

All of our instructors at Pilates Body Shaping are certified through the Romana’s Pilates Body Shaping program.  The Romana’s Pilates Certification is a rigorous teacher training program that requires a minimum of 600 hours of extensive trainIng in order to continue teachings of Joseph Pilates as passed on by Romana. Additionally, our instructors all have careers and passions outside of the studio that make them a truly diverse, special, and relatable team.  We have a Doctor of Chemistry who chairs the program at a local University, a Doctor of Music who is an Assistant Principal Violist with the Charlotte Symphony, a lead Principal dancer for the Charlotte Ballet, a Pediatric Nurse, a Veteran of the US Air Force and trainer of a women’s veteran network, a passionate advocate/volunteer for rescue dogs, and the list goes on! 

Laney Abernethy-Studio Owner, Romana’s Pilates Level 3 Instructor/Teacher Trainer

Laney was certified by Romana Kryznowska in 2001. Soon after, she opened Pilates Body Shaping and was asked to become a Level 3 Teacher Trainer. Laney has worked with a variety of clients ranging from those suffering from chronic pain, to Olympic swimmers, professional dancers and athletes, members of Cirque Du Soleil, and the cast of The Lion King. Pilates Body Shaping is the only Certification Center for Romana's Pilates in NC, and a proud sponsor of Charlotte Ballet. 

Cara Waller-Director of Operations/ Instructor

Cara starting taking Pilates in NY, where, as a personal trainer and distance runner, immediately gravitated towards its focus on the individual’s needs. She started training for her Romana’s Pilates certification in 2012 at PBS, where she had been practicing since 2003. Since completing her certification in 2013, Cara has enjoyed teaching Pilates, seeing clients progress, become healthier, more flexible, and stronger. Cara genuinely believes that Pilates can transform and help so many people-injured, athletic, stiff, and weaker.

Bernadette Donovan-Merkert- Instructor

Bernadette became a Pilates Body Shaping client in 2002, and a Romana’s Pilates instructor in 2010. A professor of chemistry at UNC Charlotte since 1992, she is also a board member for Community School of the Arts, and is active in the chemical profession. Bernadette appreciates knowing that Pilates helps her to maintain physical health and rejuvenate her mind, and how her work as an instructor enhances the quality of life for others.

Diana Sibley- Instructor 

Diana has spent her career in the health services industry with a focus on serving her clients. Several years ago, Diana was reintroduced to Pilates; specifically the classical method. After noticing the profound changes in her own body with her practice and that of her clients, she decided to enhance her training and education through the Romana’s Pilates program. Pilates has become a lifestyle for Diana and a rewarding alternative to her corporate career. She loves helping her clients meet their wellness goals through Pilates with care and determination. She knows how Pilates can improve your mind, body and spirit and looks forward to continuing to share this with clients. Diana was an apprentice at Pilates Body Shaping and looks forward to continuing to assisting clients here.

Kirsten Swanson- Instructor 

Kirsten  completed her certification with Romana’s Pilates in 2015. She started taking Pilates in NY while at music conservatory because she figured a strong core wouldn’t hurt. Years later, Kirsten owes an injury and pain-free career as a violist to Pilates. She recently completed her DMA (Doctorate of Musical Arts) from UNCG with a dissertation on Healthy Playing Practices for Upper String Players which emphasized her experience with Pilates. She is the Viola Professor at UNCC and will be Acting Assistant Principal Viola with the Charlotte Symphony for the 2019-2020 season. She loves being a positive part of her client’s day by helping them gain strength, flexibility, and confidence through their Pilates practice. 

Josh Hall- Instructor 

Josh has been training at Pilates Body Shaping since 2012. Being a ballet dancer with the Charlotte Ballet he fell in love with the physical and mental dedication Pilates demands. He completed the Romana’s Pilates certification program in May 2018 and looks forward to continuing his Pilates journey and working with all types of clients!

Cassandra Kralik- Instructor 

Cassandra has been working in the fitness industry for over twenty years, with a primary focus on Pilates training. Before moving to Charlotte in 2014, she was a fitness director and studio owner. She entered the Romana's Pilates teacher training program in 2016 and completed her certification in 2017. Cassandra will inspire you to reach your fitness goals through her love of classical Pilates. She truly believes a dedicated Pilates practice will challenge and change both your body and mind!   

Cat Corchado- Instructor

Cat has taught at Pilates Body Shaping since 2008. She has a vast background in fitness for the last 30 years. Cat served 20 years with the US Air Force and works as a residential broker with Keller Williams. Her  desire to help fellow Veterans has resulted in the formation of Welcome Veteran - helping veterans transition from military to civilian life and was chosen to lead the first female veterans group in Charlotte- Women Veterans Network (WOVEN)

Dru Parker- Instructor

Dru was introduced to Pilates in 2005 and was later trained to teach Pilates mat and CoreBarre classes. Through her own research and practice, she discovered the brilliance and depth of Joseph Pilates and his system of "contrology." Wanting to learn the true Pilates method, she began studying Romana's Pilates in 2017 and became certified in 2019. She is very excited to share her passion for Pilates and all of the many benefits  that the classical Pilates method has to offer with her community.


Jennifer Hunt- Instructor

Jennifer started practicing Pilates 16 years ago. After a career as a meeting/event planner, she decided she wanted to do something that truly helped others and decided to go through the Romana's Pilates certification program. She enjoys sharing her passion for Pilates with her clients and anyone open to learning more about it. Jennifer lives in NoDa with her husband, two rescue pups and their cat. In her spare time she advocates  and volunteers for pitties in need.


Pilates Body Shaping
1940 East 8th Street
Charlotte, NC 28204




FacebookPilates Body Shaping (@ 8th Street Studio)

Share:   Facebook   |   Twitter   |   LinkedIn



More » Less «
  • List
  • Map