pilates | barre

  • Allison Zang Owner & Instructor

    I started teaching very young, I grew up in family educators and I vowed at a young age I would never do that. Never say never. I love what I do, and I am so thankful for my clients and instructors. I have taught everyone over the last 15 plus years the young the old, rock star athlete, prima ballerina, injured, chronically ill, the beginner and expert. I took a step back and realized it is all fun for me but what draws me in are those who feel they can’t. (the secret is out you can!)

    Here is a little bit about me:

    After more than 15 years of teaching movement, most of teaching Pilates, and with 1000s of hours of pilates training. My current focus has become those that feel they can’t exercise and can’t feel good. The people who feel their body is failing them and they should sit around feeling worse and worse each day.

    I not only teach clients in my studio in Mechanicsburg, but I also help the instructors in all four studios with any clients that need some special TLC. Additionally I run our pilates teacher training program. I am the co-owner of the The Studio by AP and co-teach the barre teacher training program. These programs are producing quality instructors in good old central PA.

    My Resume:

    I have “been” in the industry since 2001. I began teaching mat pilates in college for fun money. What is better then working out and getting paid said 20 year old me! Then I ran a corporate gym in 2005. I have a Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Pittsburgh and two undergrad degrees from PITT. (I am learning junkie) #H2P

    I completed the comprehensive teacher training offered from Core Dynamics Pilates in Santa Fe, NM. This program was created in the Eve Gentry tradition. Eve is one of the Pilates elders who studied with Joe Pilates. I have taken specialty workshops for Pink Ribbon Pilates, Pilates for MS, the Center for Women’s Health and Fitness, Fusion Pre and Post Natal, Pilates for Neurological Disorders and Core Align Equipment. I am in a mentoring program call Skillful Teaching with Chantill Lopez right now.

    I can not forget I graduated from Institute of Integrative Nutrition in NYC. I am a gluten free foodie. I am also here for online health coaching for ladies across the lifespan!

    My Teaching Philosophy:

    Try it. You are more powerful than you realize. Your session is going to be fun and we might get some laughing in. Most of all we are going to get you moving any way we need to.

    My Rocks:

    I am supported by my amazing family, who I could do not this without. All the love goes out my husband Andy and daughter Alivia. I can not forget all the support from my mother who was my number one cheerleader all my life most importantly as I started this business. My dad, stepmom and best friend who now get the difficult task of being my sounding board and cheerleaders.

  • Beth Seitz

    After having my son 12 years ago I tried out Pilates for the first time to help me lose the baby weight. I gained 70 pounds during pregnancy and couldn’t get it off fast enough! I got the “all clear” from my Dr. to start exercising at the end of January and by April of that same year I was back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. I practiced Pilates diligently 3-4 times per week and could almost immediately notice a difference in my posture and feel my back pain becoming less, along with everything else tightening up and lengthening out.

    I wanted to become a Pilates instructor because I truly believe that Pilates not only will help you look and feel better physically, but that it will also help you become more mentally clear and centered. My mission is to help other individuals out there achieve the same results or better that I have achieved through practicing Pilates. I’m willing to do whatever is necessary to give you the most comfortable, personalized and enjoyable experience possible at Absolute Pilates..

  • Donna Lucas

    Push, push, push. Harder, faster, stronger. That was Donna’s mantra year after year. She has pushed herself in many areas of fitness: running, biking, weight training. While training for a triathlon 5 years ago many people around her were sustaining injuries…she didn’t want to be one of them. She decided to integrate Pilates into her training routine. She wanted her muscles to be strong and flexible. She could see and feel the benefits very quickly. She had a better awareness of her body, and felt longer, leaner, more pliable. She was hooked.

    What Donna likes about Pilates is that we are not building bulky muscles. We’re working on those deep muscles, the ones that provide support and allow us to carry ourselves taller, that help us to look and feel stronger and more flexible. It makes a difference in our daily lives.

    As a busy mom of 4 kids and 2 young adults, she has always maintained that no matter how busy you are, you HAVE to make time for yourself physically. You just do. She has struggled over the years with that love/hate relationship with fitness and nutrition. Do I really have time to work out? I’d rather take a nap… so many other things to be done… I feel selfish…. it’s… such… an… effort. And yet she has never regretted a workout: that’s the love part!

    As a Pilates teacher, Donna loves motivating and encouraging people to reach their goals, and then some.

  • Jessi Swartz

    Here’s a Little Bit about Me:

    Maintaining a healthy body and fit mind are essential to living a fulfilling life!

    Pilates has been influential in creating the best version of myself. I decided to train as an instructor to help people do the same! Since then I have been pouring my energy into instructing, observing, and participating in Pilates with the Teacher Training program. As a recent college graduate I am ambitious to start a journey doing something I enjoy!

    My Resume:

    I am Mat Pilates certified and participating in the comprehensive equipment training program as an Apprentice Instructor. I plan on becoming Barre certified in the near future as well.

    My Teaching Philosophy

    Take some time for yourself! I am passionate about empowering women, as it is essential for long-term personal and professional success. My classes are energetic and combine classical exercises with innovative variations. As instructors we are not only motivating clients but inspiring them to feel their best inside and out!

    My Rocks:

    My parents serve as my unyielding rocks! I aspire to be just like my mother – a committed mother, wife and professional. Fitness is something we share as workout partners (although she regularly kicks my butt). My father teaches me about dedication and strong work ethic as he embodies those traits every day.

    Lacey, my yellow lab, is my ultimate supporter and snuggle buddy!

  • Joyce Elhajj

    I have always been fitness minded but Pilates has become more than just a fitness regime, it has become a necessity in my life. I have been practicing Pilates since 2010 and it has given back more than I can even express. I love all aspects and all equipment of Pilates but Mat is my passion. I have gained more personally than one could ever expect – I have gained not only strength in the physical but strength in my relationship with the wonderful clients that have taken my classes over the years.

    I believe we need to bring Mat back!!!!

    After finding Absolute Pilates I completed the Compreshensive Mat Training and my goal in the future is to complete the full training once my life permits! 2016 is my year!! I will be finishing my Teacher Training and couldn’t be more excited.

  • Kathy Kitchen

    I have been in the fitness industry and teaching for 25 years. My first aerobics class was in 1983 at a Spa Lady in Sumter, South Carolina. I was hooked. I loved how I felt afterwards and I wanted to learn how to teach this cool stuff. When I say aerobics, I mean, good old fashion aerobics with the coolest outfits ever!!!! I knew that I could teach fitness anywhere I moved, because I married an Air Force Officer. I, myself, was a federal employee and if I could not get a full time job right away, I knew I had fitness to fall back on. My husband and I moved to Washington DC in 1985 and I began teaching at the Spa Lady there. I have been teaching since. Exercise helped me to stay strong through both of my pregnancies. I bounced back rather quickly, and I believe it’s because of the exercising. Movement of any kind is so important. This stays with us forever.

    When we moved here to Mechanicsburg in October of 1997, I decided to be a stay at home mom with my 2 year old son and 4 year old daughter. Fitness was where I wanted to focus more on. I love helping people and helping them to feel good about themselves. I want them to feel successful in all they can do. I always say, “Don’t say can’t, focus on the can.” In 2004 I was introduced to Mat Pilates and fell in love with how this discipline made me feel. I needed to find something that I could do (hopefully) forever. Pilates was it. I went for my first teacher training in 2005 and continued with my training until now, 2013. I have been training clients for 9 years and the reward from that is unexplainable. Just watching there own transformation of their bodies with the lengthening and strength shine through is really a neat feeling. I love the benefits you receive from both Mat and equipment. I love the principles of the connection with the body, mind and spirit. The awareness you obtain in your body is incredible. I still love to power walk and I still love to get on a bike and spin, or take a cardio class. Love that feeling!!!!!!!

    The rehabilitation you get from the equipment is incredible!!! I know first hand from a client that had two rotator cuff surgeries in the same shoulder. After working with her, she began to develop her shoulder muscles and became very strong. I saw her shoulder reshape itself from the work we were doing. I, now, am working with Allison to help me regain my full strength in my left shoulder, due to frozen shoulder and carpal tunnel in my elbow, in which I had surgery. The reformer has helped me to continue to gain more range of motion and strength. This is why I love Pilates. For me, Pilates is functional, anyone can do this.

  • Kelli Kraus

    After 20 years of working in the administrative field, I decided it was time for a career change. Helping others has always been the forefront, but it was always sitting behind a desk or over the phone. I wanted to try something new and more rewarding.

    Exercise for me had always been something I knew was necessary, but it was painful to my joints and the big gyms and all those machines were intimidating. I attended an Open House event at Absolute Pilates and decided to give the “Introductory Private Lesson Package” a try. I was immediately hooked and for the first time in my life excited about the thought of exercising.

    Pilates became a priority for me each day. I have been attending classes and/or privates 5 days a week at the studio for the last two and a half years and I’ve never once walked away with pain in my joints. I have gained strength, enhanced stamina, increased flexibility, and improved my balance & posture.

    Then the “light bulb went off” regarding my career change and I decided to enroll in the Teacher Training Program with Allison. I’m now taking my new found passion of Pilates to continue my forefront of helping others.

  • Kristy Coppola


    From a young age I was very active from basketball to volleyball to dance… It’s how I stayed in shape. After my freshman year in high school I quit basketball and with dance being seasonal I needed something extra. That’s when I joined my first gym. I was trained by the owner Kim King a heavy weight body builder. (Now a strength coach at the University of Pittsburgh) After my first year there Kim asked if I would aid in training new clients. I happily accepted and that was the beginning of my exercise teaching.

    Fast forward to my wedding in October 2011; I had really put some time in to my fitness and diet. I felt confident and healthy. Then, a few months after being married I became pregnant and that all went out the window. After gaining 70lbs in my pregnancy; I had never felt so bad and completely out of shape. 7 weeks after my son was born I found myself in my first Pilates class.

    Thereafter, as a stay at home mom I found myself struggling to maintain my motivation. Allison suggested that I get certified and start teaching. I then got certified to teach Insanity and PiYo. It was just what I needed! Teaching keeps my head in the game! Exercise is the key ingredient to keep me mentally and physically healthy.

  • Lauren Kutz

    Lauren Kutz started her Pilates career in 2014. A life long dancer, Lauren was looking for a form of exercise to practice on a regular basis upon graduating from college. Lauren took her first Pilates mat class in college as part of a Conditioning for the Dancer course and took her first equipment class at Absolute Pilates in the fall of 2013, which immediately had her hooked.

    Lauren earned her Bachelor’s in Marketing and Bachelor’s in Theatre with Dance concentration from West Chester University. Her strong background in dance helped her to develop Absolute Barre, the formal barre training program at Absolute Pilates, along with Allison Zang. She held the first barre training at the studio in the summer of 2015. Lauren loves to challenge her clients to reach their fullest potential. She specializes in training dancers, brides, and barre students.

  • Mary Myers

    Mary’s lifelong devotion to fitness drew her to Pilates in 2006. Just months after taking her first class, she became aware of the many benefits of Pilates, noticing improvement in her overall well-being and posture as well as making her core stronger leading to improved performance of her other favorite activities including hiking, bicycling and kayaking. It seemed a natural progression for Mary to follow this new passion and become a Pilates instructor.

    Mary loves the way Pilates can benefit everyone no matter their age or physical condition. She enjoys the rewards that come with teaching Pilates and helping students move better and feel better. She loves helping students understand how to use their mind and body together to improve core strength. . She believes there is no other exercise system that is gentle to the body while giving it a challenging workout. Her passion for Pilates, desire to help others enjoy its benefits and her commitment to continuing education has led her to further her teacher training through ABSolute Pilates.

    Mary brings a warm smile and positive attitude into every class. She encourages her students to embrace the details and technique of Pilates.

  • Ryan Pines

    I started teaching very young, I grew up in family educators and realized in tenth grade that I wanted to be a teacher as well. My grandfather was a teacher for forty-four years and my mother has been a teacher for close to twenty years herself, it’s in my blood to teach.

    Here’s a Little Bit about Me:
    I am a public high school teacher in Harrisburg and have been teaching for about ten years now. I currently teach world history to eleventh graders and absolutely love it, there is nothing quite like the thrill of watching the “lightbulb” go off for a student when they finally understand a concept they had previously in which they had been struggling.

    I became interested in Pilates through the help of my wife, Lauren. After asking quite a few times, I finally gave in and took a few classes and have been hooked ever since and have been taking Pilates for over two years now.

    My journey with fitness started around the same time as my first Pilates class. I had put on a considerable amount of weight, around seventy pounds, and was struggling to find ways to take and keep it off. Even after just a few class, I could feel a difference in my body. I was losing weight, had better posture and was feeling more confident. With this new found confidence, I wish to spread my love of Pilates with as many people as possible.

    My Resume:
    I am currently a world history teacher in Harrisburg and have been teaching for close to ten years now. I went to Lock Haven University for my undergraduate degree and have been attending Penn State for my first master’s degree. I will be starting another master’s program at West Chester University in the fall.

    I have been taking Pilates classes for over two years now. I am currently in the process of completing the Absolute Pilates Teacher Training program. In addition to teaching Pilates, I am also certified to teach Barre classes and can be found teaching Barre at The Studio by Absolute Pilates in Mechanicsburg, Pa.

    My Teaching Philosophy:
    Anyone can do anything; it just takes the right support to make it happen!

    My Rocks:
    I am supported by some amazing people, without whom I would not be able to accomplish everything in life I wish to accomplish. The first of which is my wife Lauren, who is my rock through everything! I also have to include the rest of my family who have stood by me through thick and thin!

  • Sierra Webb

    Here’s a Little Bit about Me:
    I was a cheerleader for about 15 years and also did gymnastics in that time. I tried a lot different exercise programs until I found the one I like best. Pilates has made me love exercise again, after losing the love for a few years.

    My Resume:
    I am a certified Absolute Barre instructor and Babies at the Barre instructor. I plan on becoming a certified PIYO instructor in the near future.

    My Teaching Philosophy:
    Take a leap and try it! You don’t know if you like it until you try it. I love to laugh and have a great time while offering my clients a great workout. Also, if my clients shed a layer in my class, than I have done my job!

    My Rocks:
    My biggest rock is my husband, Mitch. We work together all day at my full time job, and he supports my teaching (he will even have dinner ready for me when I get home!) My family is so supportive of any dreams that I am currently chasing.

  • Lauren Villani

    My mom always told me “you have a lot of energy, Lauren.” That statement is almost always code for, she’s crazy and can’t be contained! I was outgoing, adventurous, opinionated, always tumbling, always busy, and not afraid of anything, so I started competitive gymnastics pretty young. I stayed with it for a few years, took a few years off and then started dancing in high school. I fell in love. I danced through college just because it was so much fun. My main focus was International Business and French, so I never thought I’d do anything with my dance background, which is why I was only 3 credits shy of a minor in Dance. Funny how things change!

    About Me:
    After a few years of traveling and working, I settled in Southern Virginia working for a Fortune 500 Company. There, I met my husband, quit my job and started a family. I went from an independent woman with a solid career path to a wife and stay-at-home mom of 3 energetic boys. In this journey of motherhood, I have gained weight and lost weight 3 times, I have forgotten who I am and replaced it with who I’d like to be, but most importantly I am figuring out what it takes be strong and fit. I am around women every day who have lost themselves in their daily lives and I want to help motivate them to find the confident woman buried inside.

    My Resume:
    I spent years training my body in gymnastics and dance. College was also where I was first introduced to yoga. For 15 years, I have been practicing on and off and in that time, I have been introduced to many types of fitness…particularly Pilates (which I began practicing on a regular basis for the past several years) and Barre. I also love HIIT, cycling and other types of group fitness. I have participated in numerous 5Ks and Fun Runs, a Sprint Triathlon and Spartan Race. I decided it was finally time to stop just taking classes and to get certified to teach. When I became a wife and parent, it became important to me to be healthy by walking the walk. I started reading and researching diet, health and fitness and in 2014, got my certification to teach group fitness through American Fitness Association of America (AFAA). I have been teaching group strength classes since and have only recently been trained to teach Barre. I will be training to teach Pilates in the near future as well. I have decided that teaching is a career I want to pursue which motivates me to be better…for myself and my family.

    My Teaching Philosophy:
    “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.” I have lived by these words from the first time I saw them when I was in high school. I have always embraced change and jumped in with 2 feet. You will never know what you’re capable of until you have given it what you’ve got. Work hard to prove to yourself you can do it and your light will shine for others. Being healthy doesn’t mean being skinny…it’s about balance in order to live the life you desire.

    My Rocks:
    I am supported by my wonderful family–my husband, Robert and my 3 busy boys, Will, Alex and Luke. I love them more than anything. And of course, the one who has been with me from the beginning is my mother. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without her support, her love and her example of a strong woman.

  • Lindsay Crandall

    I never really saw myself as a teacher, but here we are! While completing my student teaching hours, I realized that I love teaching Barre classes. I enjoy the challenge of coming up with new playlists and challenging workouts to teach and can often be found listening to the same song a hundred times while plie-ing around my dining room trying to perfect it. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to teach and share something that I enjoy so much with our clients.

    Here’s a Little Bit about Me:
    I originally planned on completing yoga teacher training, but couldn’t find one that worked with my schedule. I was also hesitant, as I wasn’t sure it was a good fit. The scheduling issue turned out to be lucky for me because barre and becoming a barre teacher is definitely a much better fit for my personality. I have been taking barre classes at various locations for about two years and started at Absolute Pilates in September 2015. It quickly became the only studio I attended.
    Prior to barre, I practiced both yoga and aerial yoga for several years. I spent a while attempting to become a runner (it only partially worked) and a half a year after that focusing on weight lifting. I mostly just love being active and will try anything once.

    My Resume:
    I participated in sports throughout high school and started teaching in college; however, I was teaching horseback riding lessons to children and adults of all ages. I became a certified English and Western Horseback Riding Instructor and taught both group and private lessons. I also helped organize and teach a disabled riders program, working with Easter Seals in Central PA.
    My formal education is completely unrelated. I completed my Master’s degree in Homeland Security, Bioterrorism, and Disaster at Penn State and am currently employed as an Intelligence Analyst with the Pennsylvania State Police where I focus primarily on International Terrorism. I love my job and I’m so grateful to have it, but it’s a high stress environment. Being so involved in The Studio gives me a wonderful outlet to relieve some of that stress and tension.

    My Rocks:
    My family and friends have been amazingly supportive. My mom and friends allowed themselves to be my guinea pigs and tried out new lesson plans, told me what worked and what didn’t, and attended Community Classes while I was student teaching. Also my boyfriend, who kept our house running and my dog alive while I spent all of my time at Absolute Pilates trying to complete all of my personal practice and student teaching hours.

  • Lydia Scavage

    I was never the girl who loved to exercise. I didn’t like to work up a sweat, and while I always wanted to run 5ks and do cool races, I just didn’t have any interest. My mom’s Maid of Honor was a local dance instructor when I was young, so there was really no discussion on the matter. I was going to dance. I loved ballet. I loved the grace and the beauty of the dancers. As I got a little older, though, my social life was more important, so I stopped dancing. Secretly, I missed it.

    In August 2014, I was having brunch at Sophia’s at Walden with my mom when Absolute Pilates caught my eye across the street. I picked up a brochure and booked my first class online. I was hooked. I would come at least once a week to a reformer class, but I always found myself curious about barre classes. The moves were familiar to me, and struck a sentimental chord.

    About Me

    After graduating from Penn State (Go Lions!), I spent a few years working and decided to go back to school for my Master’s of Social Work from Temple University. I wanted to save the world. I moved to the Harrisburg area, and fell into my current job. I have been working here for over 5 years, and finally figured out my passion: to learn, be challenged, and teach others to be their best self.

    My Resume

    While I can’t say I have years of formal dance experience, I do have the passion of teaching others and working to be my best self. I am a certified trainer at my consulting firm, and love to teach! I have been doing Pilates for over 2 years, and engaged in barre for about a year and a half. I became certified to instruct barre classes in September 2016.

    My Teaching Philosophy

    “If you don’t fail often, you’re not trying hard enough.” These words have kept me coming back to Pilates and barre. I may not be able to perfect a move on the first try, but guess what? I am going to keep trying, and keep pushing myself! I work hard, I fail hard, and I keep going.

    My Rocks

    My parents, Bob and Frannie. Throughout my life, I always questioned myself and my capabilities. They have been my cheerleaders from the very beginning and their support never faltered. I would not be where I am in this life of mine without their guidance, love, gentle nudging and support.