- Tom McCook, Co-owner & Director, Instructor
- Karen deMoor, Co-owner & Business Manager
- Bridget White, Receptionist / Studio Administrator
- Radha Nasikkar, Receptionist
- Amy Moore
- Annie Wang
- Emilia Wysocka-Treder
- Karen Harris
- Leifann Brownstein
- Owen Grady
- Sue Meadows
- Susi Strigl
- Tali Vaknin
Co-owner & Director, Instructor
Tom is an internationally recognized Pilates Master Teacher and movement specialist. Beginning his full-time career in personal training in 1984, Tom designs programs for health and life performance for a range of clients, from Silicon Valley executives and Olympic athletes, to active seniors and people looking for solutions to their imbalances and injuries. Tom's unique approach synthesizes over 30 years of fitness training, Pilates, body therapy, Somatics, the Franklin Method of experiential anatomy and imagery, anatomy in motion, meditation and Life Coaching. His fascination with movement began at an early age playing sports and growing up in a large athletic family with 11 siblings. Tom's teaching focus is to inspire and empower people to access their mind/body intelligence with a practical understanding of their own anatomy through mindful movement and consistent practice. These skills go beyond exercise to cultivate presence, dignity and being responsive and resilient in life. His long and successful history working with athletes include the Stanford women's swim team and four Olympic Gold medal swimmers.
Tom has been leading teacher trainings in the Pilates Method since 2001 at Center of Balance, recognized as a premier movement, body therapy and education center. Tom is part of the teacher training faculty for Balanced Body for PIlates, CoreAlign and the Bodhi suspension system. Tom is also a sought-after international presenter at conferences, retreats and studios worldwide. He is on the teaching staff for the Franklin Method Institute, a groundbreaking education system for improving movement potential, health and mind/body mastery. Tom also reaches an international student audience through his online classes and tutorials on PilatesAnytime.com. Tom lives on the coast outside of San Francisco with his wife and business partner, Karen deMoor.
Co-owner & Business Manager
Together with Tom, Karen owns and manages Center of Balance. She oversees the business, planning and financial matters of the studio as well as designs the marketing materials and maintains the website. Karen's background is in non-profit management and fundraising, communications, and international political advocacy. Her work has been mainly involved in global environmental and human rights issues, with focus in Central and South America. She was the Development Director of Pesticide Action Network and National Press Director for Oxfam America, an international development and disaster relief agency. She holds a BA in political science from Tufts University in Boston. Karen has been practicing Pilates and Yoga since 1997, and completed PhysicalMind Institute's Initiation 101 Pilates Mat training with Tom in 2001, and Balanced Body's CoreAlign 1 & 2 in 2010.
Receptionist / Studio Administrator
Bridget keeps the studio running smoothly with her warm welcome and attention to scheduling. The "glue" of Center of Balance, she responds to inquiries and requests, schedules appointments, and manages our client database. She brings to Center of Balance a wide range of skills and experience in administration, data management and reception work.
Radha, originally from India, has a BS in Science and has done a lot of volunteer work as Nutritionist in her community. Working and helping in health-related fields is her passion. She has extensive experience in managing office tasks with a smile! Radha has been managing her husband's business for the last 4 years, and her favorite ways to relax is reading and doing crafts. She also enjoys making new healthy dishes and tutoring school children.
Trained by Tom McCook and certified with PhysicalMind Institute and Balanced Body University, Amy has celebrated over 13 years at Center of Balance where she continues to bring her warm, friendly teaching style and positive energy. Her skill is rooted in Functional Anatomy and traditional Pilates, influenced also by the work of Karen Clippinger and Eric Franklin. Amy is certified in all levels of CoreAlign, the Nemerov Method, and Elvis the Pelvis. She also implements FMS (Functional Movement Screen) and the associated corrective exercise protocol to progress clients toward their goals. Having experienced first-hand the benefits of alignment and functional movement, Amy collaborates with clients of all levels and life stages to reinforce optimal movement patterns and strengthen the body for daily activity.
Annie completed her comprehensive Pilates teacher training at Center of Balance with Tom McCook and Balanced Body. She began her Pilates journey in 2014 by taking her first mat class and instantly became dedicated to the practice, continuing on the path to becoming a teacher. In addition to Pilates, Annie is also a devoted practitioner of Yoga & meditation which has helped her become more in tune with her own body and aware of mindful movement. She is warm, caring, approachable and excited about helping clients to move better. Annie has been in the healthcare industry for more than 15 years and continues to educate herself in human anatomy and movement.
Juliet Tablak, DC
Chiropractor & Instructor
Juliet Tablak, D.C. is a Chiropractor and Pilates instructor at Center of Balance. She is a graduate of Palmer Chiropractic College and did her undergraduate studies in human biology. At Palmer, she was a member of the prestigious Sports Council where she treated athletes at major sporting events around California. Dr. Tablak has advanced training in cranial work through Sacral Occipital Technique, which includes gentle and non-invasive treatment for headaches, neck pain, vertigo, sinus pain and discomfort, jaw pain and TMJ dysfunction. She also has advanced training in treating extremities such as feet, ankles, shoulders and wrists. She is currently pursuing her clinical nutrition certificate so she can help support her patients nutritional needs also. Teaching Pilates since 1999, Dr. Tablak received her Pilates certification through PhysicalMind Institute and is skilled at working with beginners to advanced movers. She is also a classically trained ballet dancer and understands the demands athletes place on their body and the importance of maintaining health and well-being. Her movement training gives her an advanced eye for correct alignment and functional body mechanics. Dr. Tablak supports her clients in discovering their bodies’ innate intelligence, and helps them develop healthy conscious movement patterns that support a pain free lifestyle!
Karen has been a health and fitness specialist in the Bay Area since 1990. An Exercise Physiologist and Certified Personal Trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine, Karen is also a comprehensive Pilates instructor having studied under Tom McCook at Center of Balance. Exposed early in life to question how things worked, Karen embodies a strong work & play ethic of learning by doing, which she also applies to her teaching. Her approach takes into account the needs and issues of each client. She designs sessions to help make connections in the body with the support of the Pilates principles, which have a practical carry-over into living well. Karen is an enthusiast of many outdoor sports and activities that she enjoys with her husband, two kids, and two dogs.
Leifann Brownstein MA, PMA®-CPT is a skilled instructor of Pilates and a proponent of its positive benefits for health and well being. Although practicing fitness at the time, Leifann discovered a passion for Pilates through her struggle to deal with debilitating back problems. She gained amazing strength and alignment with her Pilates training, learning benefits far beyond solely alleviating pain. Wanting to share these benefits with others, Leifann completed her mat and equipment teacher training from Pilates Unlimited (Karen Sanzo, 2006) and Pilates Core Integration (Virginia Nicholas, 2010, Eve Gentry lineage). She received certifications through the Pilates Method Alliance, ACE group fitness, and the National Posture Institute (NPI) as a Posture Specialist. She has served as faculty adjunct at Arizona State University teaching yoga and Pilates. She has also served as a Ki-Aikido instructor. Leifann enjoys helping others discover the restorative properties of healthy movement while assisting them in their fitness goals.
Michelle Thong, BPT, OCS
Michelle has been a Physical Therapist since 1995 after graduating from the University of Queensland, Australia. She received her Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) certification through American Physical Therapy Board of Specialties in 2009. She underwent Pilates training through Polestar in 2012 and began incorporating Pilates-based exercises in her rehabilitation practice. She completed her comprehensive Pilates teacher training at Center of Balance with Tom McCook and Balanced Body. Michelle is passionate about educating and empowering her clients to improve their body awareness and increase functional movement. In addition to post surgical / orthopedic rehabilitation and sports injury, she also has special interest in pre and post-natal and women's health.
Owen has been teaching Pilates and Yoga full-time in the Bay Area since 2002. He is a certified Physical Mind Institute Apparatus, Mat and Standing Pilates instructor. He began his studies and teaching of Pilates with nationally-recognized Pilates Master teacher Tom McCook, founder of Center of Balance in Mountain View, CA. He credits Tom's mentorship & coaching as key factors in his rapid development and success in teaching movement full time. In 2005, Owen began studies with Eric Franklin, founder of the Franklin Method, combining vivid imagery and experiential anatomy to help people navigate their bodies with greater ease and facility. Owen is a Level 2 Franklin Method Movement Educator. He is also certified by Pino Carbone of Body Code Systems in Bodykey instruction and completed the CoreAlign teacher training in 2010. Owen's Yoga teaching is founded on a combination of his personal practice of Iyengar and Ashtanga Yoga and more recently influenced by the Core driven styles of Ana Forrest and Jill Miller, with whom Owen recently completed his Level 2 Yoga Tune Up® certification. Yoga Tune Up®, developed and created by Jill Miller, is a "whole body" regenerative fitness system integrating elements of Yoga, calisthenics and body therapy.
Sue Meadows is a Pilates Method Alliance Certified instructor. She completed her Pilates certification training with Nora St. John and has trained with Valentin, Tom McCook, and Elizabeth Larkam, plus Stott and Powerhouse Pilates. She has been in the health and fitness industry since 1984 as a health promotion consultant, group exercise instructor and personal trainer. In the transition into the second half of her life, Pilates has been a major influence in Sue's personal and professional growth. She blends technical expertise, creative style and contagious enthusiasm, guiding clients to enrich their bodies and lives through movement.
Susi completed her comprehensive Pilates education at Center of Balance through Balanced Body with Tom McCook and continues as an apprentice with Tom. She is from Vienna, Austria, where she studied medicine, later dentistry and finally specialized in Orthodontics. After the birth of her first baby and working on patients in her clinic, she found Pilates to be helpful in recovery, releasing tension and realigning her body. Moving to California with her three kids and husband, Susi decided to start teaching what she loves to do, Pilates! Her goal is to help clients discover the many benefits of Pilates and learn how to move and feel better in their bodies.
Tali has been teaching Pilates professionally since 2005, certified after her studies in Israel by the Pilates Method Alliance. In 2016, Tali received her Diploma of Osteopathy by the Israeli Institute for Applied Osteopathy. During that time she also studied medical massage therapy, and received her diploma from the Zinman College of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at the Wingate Institute of Israel. Tali's approach to Pilates has been heavily influenced by a deep understanding of anatomy and bio-mechanics. This allows her to focus her Pilates sessions on clients with specific rehabilitation or post injury needs. Although not a licensed osteopath in California, she is fully licensed by the state of Israel and incorporates osteopathic philosophy and techniques into her Pilates instructing style. Tali loves instructing and challenging clients of all levels, beginners to advanced. Tali strongly believes that the human body needs to move in a functional way in order to stay in good health. She focuses attention on making sure movements are being done correctly for maximizing their impact on the body and mind.
Therese Voelker, MPT
Therese is a Physical Therapist, Polestar Certified Pilates instructor and CoreAlign teacher. She earned her Master's degree in Physical Therapy in 1993 and has received additional training in McKenzie and Maitland based manual therapy. Therese began studying Pilates exercise with Master instructors Brent Andersen, P.T. and Elizabeth Larkham, M.A. in 1998. Through this experience, she learned how valuable Pilates work is in the rehabilitation of orthopedic and sports related injuries. Therese enjoys creating fun, innovative programs geared towards helping individuals restore balance, strength and healthy movement.
In Memory of Brody
For many years, Brody was our unofficial greeter and could sometimes be found beneath the front desk conserving his energy. Gentle and sweet, he specialized in human affection and may have licked your toes in exchange for a pat on the head. Brody passed away October 2008 and we miss him dearly. We adopted him from Golden Gate Labrador Retriever Rescue, an organization in need of loving homes for rescued Labs - particularly in this tough economic climate and home foreclosure crisis, pets are now much more vulnerable to abandonment.