560K River Road
Fair Haven, NJ 07704

Michelle Olson, second from left. Dina Smodlaka third from left.

Meet our teachers in training Michelle and Dina. These ladies love Pilates so much that they took on the Real Pilates 600 hour classical teacher training program so they could share their passion with others. Michelle and Dina are available and excited to teach and will be teaching a donation only class to benefit the NJ ASPCA and Project Write Now. Classes will be held Friday at 130 p.m. with Michelle (project write now) and Sundays at 11:30 a.m. with Dina (NJ ASPCA)


Michelle Olson

Q . What made you want to teach Pilates? 

A. I fell in love with the classical Pilates method during my very first session with Sandi Vilacoba in 2017. I was intimidated and challenged, but also encouraged to use my body and muscles in a way that felt very intuitive. I had always been physically fit, but never had a workout “clicked” for me like Pilates. I spent a year challenging myself in the studio and knew without a doubt that I wanted my Pilates practice to remain an integral part of my healthy lifestyle. Being able to share my enthusiasm with others as a Pilates instructor will be such a lifelong gift. 

Q. What is your movement background?

A.  I practiced the Cecchetti method of classical ballet from a very young age through college. I adore the discipline and artistic virtue of ballet, and still love to dance for fun. I then spent many post-ballet years developing a yoga practice, which I still enjoy. But Pilates is the perfect next step for me, as it is so similar to the deep, muscular work of ballet. It’s no wonder why so many dancers also practice Pilates.

What is your favorite thing about teaching so far?

A. It is beyond awesome to see a client’s facial expression change from: “I can’t do that” to: “I just did that!” 

Q. What do you like to do when you are not in the studio?

In my free time I like to….wander around New York City, sink my toes in the sand, snuggle our two dogs and spend FFMN (Friday Family Movie Night) with my husband, Brian, and our two children, Oliver (10) and Ruby (7).

Would you recommend the Real Pilates Program to others interested in teaching Pilates?

 Yes! The Real Pilates Teacher Training is not for the faint of heart. It’s a serious commitment with an end result of 600+ hours of training. However, we apprentices emerge with invaluable, real-world teaching skills, plus training and tips from some of the most committed classical Pilates teachers out there. You only live once — do what you love!

Dina Smodlaka

Q: What made you want to teach Pilates?

A: After I fell in love with Pilates, I wanted to teach it so others could also feel empowered and strong and now that they don’t have to suffer with various health issues any longer.

Q: Tell us about your movement background?

A:I was practicing yoga for two years and Pilates for about 6 months before I decided to become an instructor.  I have been teaching both for 12 years now.

Q: What is your favorite thing about teaching so far?

A: My favorite part of teaching is seeing my students have their “a-ha!” moment where they really make the connection to their practice and I love to see them progress and do things they never thought they could.

Q: What do you do when you’re not in the studio?

A: In my free time, I like to cook, read and visit museums to learn about history.

Q: Would you recommend the Real Pilates Program to others interested in teaching Pilates?

A: What would you say to someone who is on the fence?  I would absolutely recommend this program.  It is intensive, paced well and all encompassing.  The instructors want to see the trainees succeed and pass the legacy on to others.If someone was on the fence, I would impress on them that more knowledge and their practice and bodies is never a bad thing,whether or not they end up teaching.