Studio Owner and Certified/Licensed Instructor
GYROTONIC® Specialized Master Trainer (Levels 1 & 2)
GYROKINESIS® Specialized Master Trainer
GYROTONIC® Specialized Equipment Master Trainer
Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher NCPT®
Pilates/GYROTONIC® Conditioning for Dancers
ABT® National Teacher Training Curriculum Graduate
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Ballet Performance/Pedagogy
Classical Ballet/Pointe Instructor
Alissa Waller received her early dance training from world-renowned classical ballet teacher, Rose Marie Floyd in Royal Oak, MI. As a young ballet dancer, Alissa received several scholarships and was chosen out of a nation-wide search to model for the 1990 Dance Magazine poster ‘Arabesques and Attitudes’. Known as a dancer with strong technique, clean line, and a good eye for detail Alissa naturally gravitated to teaching and started teaching Ballet to both children and adults in her early 20's.
Besides her early training in Metro Detroit, Alissa furthered her dance education with the Cleveland Ballet, the Atlanta Ballet, the New School of the Arts in Amsterdam, Cecchetti Summer School in Chichester, England and at the Joffrey Ballet School. In 1997, she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Ballet Performance with honors while on full Full Scholarship at the University of Arizona. Alissa performed with the Detroit Contemporary Civic Ballet, the Chicago Ballet, and Elements Contemporary Ballet. She is a Fellow Member of the Cecchetti Council of America and has passed her Advanced Professional Teaching Examination in the Cecchetti Method of Ballet.
Alissa is also an ABT® Certified Teacher, and has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Curriculum from Pre-Primary through Level 7. Alissa is currently on the faculty of the Charlotte Ballet Academy where she teaches Ballet & Pointe technique for the Intermediate student division and Dance Conditioning for the Pre-Professional Division. The many students she has trained over the past 25 years have gone on to have professional careers in dance and in teaching with some of the best ballet companies in the world - American Ballet Theatre, Paris Opera Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Pittsburg Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, and the Miami City Ballet.
"Alissa provides a supportive learning environment
in which you can make mistakes and learn from
them. She builds upon your knowledge base of
Gyrotonic, whether you are a novice or advanced
practitioner." J.P., Client of CMAS
"Teaching might be the greatest of the arts, since the medium is the human mind and spirit." John Steinbeck
It was her dance career that fostered her love for mind-body fitness. Alissa began her formal Pilates education in the Ron Fletcher Method in 1995 and completed her first comprehensive Pilates certification with STOTT PILATES® in 1998. Her second comprehensive Pilates certification was through McEntire Pilates where she served as a teacher trainer for several years. Besides this formal education, Alissa has been fortunate enough to study the classical Pilates repertoire, and to attend many Pilates’ conferences, workshops and seminars to become exposed to a variety of teachers and styles. Those who have influenced her most have been Juanita Lopez, Jillian Hessel, Mary Bowen, Kathy Grant, the late Julian Littleford, Karen Clippenger, Barbara Muller, Brent Anderson, Irene Dowd and Sheri Betz. Most recently, Alissa has fine-tuned her teaching practice by completing Pilates for Dancers Specialization through BASI Pilates, a Certificate in Performing Arts Medicine, Dance Conditioning Training with the Inner Life of Ballet and Perfect Form Physiotherapy, and continued study with the Dance Medicine Education Initiative of NYC and at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Alissa has over 25 years of practical experience teaching Pilates in the professional studio setting. She is a Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher (NCPT) and has completed multiple advanced trainings in the application of Pilates to post-rehab clients, dancers, and special populations. She is also a member of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science as well as the Performing Arts Medical Association.
Alissa was introduced to the Gyrotonic method of exercise in 1997. From her very first session, she was amazed with how organic and natural the movement felt in her body. Since her first introduction to the system, Alissa has studied extensively with its' creator, Juliu Horvath (in New York, Denver, San Francisco, Miami, Austria, Italy, and Germany) and with many other seasoned Master Trainers worldwide. In 2008, she was chosen by Mr. Horvath to demonstrate the Level 2 Gyrotonic material at the International Gyrotonic Educational Convention in Rome, Italy. She has been certified by Mr. Horvath as a Master Trainer in both his GYROTONIC® method as well as his GYROKINESIS® method which enables her to train those who wish to teach. She has furthered her Gyrotonic education with advanced training in Gyrotonic Level 2 (advanced) Programs 1 and 2, Gyrokinesis Level 2 (advanced) Programs 1 and 2, Therapeutic Applications of Gyrotonic for the Pelvis, Spine, Upper Body and Shoulders, Scoliosis Programs (with both Paul Horvath and Uwe Herbstreit), Dancer Specific Program Levels 1 and 2, the Psoas Program, Equestrian Program, Gyrokinesis Breathing Programs and she is a Certified Master Trainer on all of the Specialized pieces of equipment: Archway/Ladder, Jump Stretch Board, Leg Extension Unit, and GYROTONER®. Alissa is a Licensed Specialized GYROTONIC®/GYROKINESIS® Master Trainer and conducts teacher training in all aspects and levels of the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM®.
Studio Founder & Lifelong Mover
In 2003, Alissa founded Chicago Northshore GYROTONIC®, a licensed studio and educational facility, which serves the greater Chicago area with comprehensive teacher training in the Gyrotonic/Gyrokinesis Methods and Pilates Teacher Certification. Alissa directed the studio until 2011 when she relocated to North Carolina. In 2014, she founded her current studio Charlotte Movement Arts Studio. Besides owning her own studios, Alissa has professionally consulted for many other businesses and movement facilities nationwide including founding the Pilates and Gyrotonic studio for the Health Spa at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Chicago (then the Elysian Hotel). In addition, Alissa has taught classes and workshops for festivals, seminars, and universities including Northwestern University, Hope College, and Florida State University. Her teaching practice encompasses general fitness, advanced applications, teacher mentoring, and special populations such as: post rehab, pre/post-partum, professional and pre-professional dancers, equestrians athletes, and seniors.
A lifelong student, she re-educates herself yearly and stays up to date with the most current advances in movement science. Alissa has deepened her teaching practice with extensive study of dance technique, dance science, anatomy, physiology, bio-mechanics, physical therapy, kinesiology, Thai bodywork, energy healing, yoga, meditation, breathing practices, osteopathy, bone rhythms and the work of Philip Beach, Robert Schlep, Gil Hedley and Tom Myers. She currently resides in Charlotte where she loves to go hiking in the mountains, chill out at the beach, or just relax at home with a good book and cup of tea.
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