Instructors’ Bios

Cassandra Mitchell

Methods: Yoga, Reformer, Barre, Mat Pilates

Power Yoga is my first passion. I believe whatever you do yoga makes you do it better. Clearing out what doesnt belong and making room for what does. The only thing holding us back from our highest potential is our own self limiting thoughts. Fitness is about having a quality of life, health, well being. As well as being trained in Power Vinyasa Yoga. I also have a backround in massage therapy and personal training. I am on the constant quest for new ways of having the best life possible, while keeping to the roots of what I know works. I live to be inspired and to inspire. Trained in Power Vinyasa & Hatha Yoga. Backround in Massage Therapy and Personal Training. Practicing Yogi since 2005.

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Janna Judy

Methods: Reformer, Barre, Mat Pilates

Janna is a comprehensively classically trained Pilates instuctor, completing her teacher training in early 2010. Certified through the PMA. Always learning, she discovered SPX (power Pilates) and was certified with Sebastien Lagree. Recently completed Barre Training with Booty Barre creator Tracey Mallett, finding her inner swan at the barre. Janna believes the mind body connection is important in your workout. Intuitive and observant, with a focus on form and alignment, she will create a thoughtfully fun and sweaty LAB5 experience. When not in the LAB, Janna can be found enjoying the outdoors with her Shiba Inu, admiring art or kicking butt at Scrabble.

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Jessie Smith

Methods: Reformer, TRX, Barre, Mat Pilates, Yoga, Self-Defense, Kickboxing, Kung Fu

Jessie Smith, has over 17 years of fitness training and teaching. She is an ACE Personal Trainer, and is now leading various Pilates classes, TRX, Conditioning Classes, Barre, Self-defense seminars, and Senior Fitness. Her current goals are to finish her STOTT Pilates certification, and work on rehabilitation training for baby boomers and more. Jessie brings a fun and playful energy to all of her classes. She strives to help people become inspired by their fitness routines. Her motto is “Move, and be moved”. In addition to having a fun class, with THE BEST music mixes, be prepared to be challenged on every level. Move the mountain!

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Melinda Ritchie

Methods: Aerial, Yoga, Mat Pilates

Melinda Ritchie has been active and dancing, along with tumbling and flying, since the age of three. Growing up on the Eastside, Melinda trained at Emily’s Dance Arts for 14 years, performing in yearly Nutcracker productions, dance competitions, recitals and BYT summer theater productions. At 18, she moved to Los Angeles where she attended college at Loyola Marymount University, graduating with a BA in Dance, and minors in both French and Asian and Pacific Studies. During school she was active in pursuing extra curricular training in the aerial arts, acrobatics, gymnastics – anything – in the LA dance community. Within a month of graduating from LMU, Melinda auditioned for and got into Diavolo Dance Theater, LA’s premiere dance company which fuses a hyper-physical, impact-rich style of modern dance with theater, pedestrian motifs, acrobatics and aerial stunts. Diavolo is helmed by Jacques Heim, a french-born choreographer who, as a part of Cirque du Soleil choreographed “KA” at the MGM in Las Vegas, among other notable works, as well as pieces for film, television and awards shows – to much international acclaim. Diavolo is unique in the dance world for many reasons, but most of all for its boudary-breaking synthesis of stunts and technique, its inclusion of the dancer’s choreographic material, and its mass, magnetic appeal to all types and walks of life. Diavolo is a non-profit company, which both means “no nets, ’cause there ain’t a budget for that!” and an enormous component of education and outreach in the community and in schools – from everything like donating free shows and dance classes in New Orleans within a month of Hurricane Katrina, to being a staple in the the Arts in Medicine program at the University of Florida, Gainesville, and special re-designed workshops at Autism camps, mental health facilities, and burn units. Touring so extensively for 8 years brought Melinda around the globe, to two Premieres at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic, and to dance before thousands and sold-out crowds, often times high above their heads, on almost every continent, and in every state in the Union except five.

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Rebekah Marion

Methods: Reformer, Barre, TRX

Fitness expert Rebekah Marion is accomplished as both a Pilates and Ballet Barre instructor, as well as a certified personal trainer through National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). Rebekah’s appreciation for body movement began at a young age; taking shape in the form of dance, specifically ballet. She thrived on making fitness achievable for all; therein beginning her journey into the field of health and wellness. Rebekah was introduced to Pilates as a rehabilitative form of movement and was fortunate enough to study the Pilates principles under the tutelage of Gina De Soto and Cara Reeser, a second generation national and international senior teacher and lineage carrier of the Kathy Grant work; it was through that work that Rebekah developed a deep love and passion for teaching body movement and fitness. Rebekah’s firm belief is that Pilates is the foundation for all fitness. Rebekah incorporates her expansive training into a unique blend of BARRE, Pilates, TRX and HIIT (high intensity interval training) to create a fun, intense, effective, ever-changing mix of fitness. Self-described as passionate yet light-hearted, Rebekah promises that with dedication you will never get bored, you will not plateau, you will overcome obstacles, you will be challenged, your body will change.

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Ron Moodey

Methods: Reformer, TRX, Mat Pilates, Strength & Conditioning

Ron has always been interested in fitness, health and sport. He has personally trained for and completed 3 marathons, and has coached others to successfully run marathons. He has worked as the district fitness manager for Gold’s Gym in central California, developing a training program that focuses on whole body movement, strength and endurance. He is STOTT Pilates trained, NASM-CPT certified, Crossfit Endurance, as well as TRX group certified. Ron finds great satisfaction in helping and motivating others to successfully reach their fitness goals, whether it is weight loss, health, strength, mobility, or preparing for a marathon. Your workouts with him will always be: different, challenging but achievable, and of course…fun.

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Debra Yuasa

Methods: TRX, Aerial Conditioning, Barre, Fusion

A native to the Pacific Northwest, Debra gained her lifetime passion for exercise and fitness from her mother, who worked out with the original “King of Fitness”, Jack LaLanne.  (Yes, I know, many of you are way too young to remember him.)  Ever the innovator, LaLanne reached millions of viewers via TV with a simple message of “get out of your chair, work out and feel better.”  Debra likes this simple yet effective reality.  Her goal as an instructor is to provide a work out that gives you a sense of accomplishment and success, and makes you feel better , while focusing on proper body alignment and balance.  She is more about quality than quantity.  Debra is ACSM certified as a Health & Fitness Specialist, ACE certified as a Group Instructor, Group Gravity and TRX certified.  Her group fitness experience includes teaching Total Body Conditioning, Kinesis classes, Primordially Fit classes, Group Gravity, TRX, Ballast Ball/Core workouts and Aerial Conditioning classes; while loving floor, step and any kind of dance aerobic classes.  She is also a personal trainer.  For years, she’s been climbing trees, working trapeze, hoop, rope and acrobalance classes, and thinks they are way too fun.  She’s really a monkey dressed up as a human.  Debra holds a BA in Communications / Public Relations from UW, and an AAS as a Personal Fitness Trainer from Lake Washington Technical College.  She is currently working on her second degree in Exercise Science and Nutrition.

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Steven Sofia

Methods: TRX, Aerial Conditioning, Barre, Fusion

Steven, born and raised in Manhattan, is a 23-year Broadway veteran performer and dance captain. Some of his Broadway credits include: Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life, Chicago, Kiss Me Kate, Beauty and The Beast, Betty Buckley at Carnegie Hall, Guys and Dolls (‘92 revival,) and the World Tour of West Side Story . He’s been on the dance faculty for NYU, Marymount Manhattan College, CAP21, Steps on Broadway and New Dance Group. Steven was Christie Brinkley’s personal dance instructor for her Broadway debut as “Roxie Hart” in Chicago, The Musical.  Steven had practiced Pilates for years, but it was recently that he discovered the true healing powers of the Method. In 2010, while crossing the street, Steven was hit by a car, leaving him with severe back and neck injuries and tears on his left ACL and MCL. Steven decided not to do surgery and opted to rehabilitate using physical therapy and Pilates. After rediscovering the healing powers of the Method, Steven decided to become a certified Pilates instructor through Power Pilates in NYC and has been an instructor of it since. Working privately and in studios, Steven seeks to share with others the healing energy that Pilates gave to him.

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Founders’ Statements

Alan Cashman

I was personally introduced to Pilates in Palm Springs, California three years ago where my wife and I live during most of the winter months. I found the high energy workouts were very beneficial to me for flexibility, cardio, core strength, balance and toning using the latest equipment to get a complete workout in the least amount of time. We got to know one of the instructors well and discussed the possibilities of opening a studio in Seattle since there was nothing like this that we were aware of in our hometown here in Seattle.

My wife and I had sold our main business interests in July, 2007 and were looking for the right opportunity to get back into a new exciting business. Even though our background is not the fitness area I could see the positive results for myself and my wife to our bodies and overall well being. Last October we began serious discussions how we could bring a new and uplifting fitness studio to Seattle. Our research indicated that Pilates had been around for many years but with new state of the art equipment and expanding the fitness studio workouts there was a great business opportunity to reach many people and also the chance to give something back to our community where we have lived for over forty years.

It was also important to me to be involved in something that we could provide an unique culture to the fitness arena but provide price points affordable for those serious about a quality overall workout. We strive to be the gold standard in up scale fitness in Seattle and provide the up-most in customer care. One of my mottos is we are here to help people in Seattle “Move the Mountain.”
Alan Cashman Co-Founder, LAB5 Fitness

Bonnie Cashman

My passion and vision for this fitness studio began as a result of proformer Pilates experiences in Palm Springs, California where I live part time commuting between Seattle and the desert. Let me start at the beginning of my fitness journey. During the past thirty years I have faithfully strived to be mentally and physically fit. I dedicated about an hour a day at least five days a week exercising. Usually my workout took place very early in the morning at five before work. I am blessed with being naturally disciplined, tall, petite, and a mindful eater. I should also mention that I have suffered from lower back pain for the past thirty years and rarely remember a day without pain. I also suffered a herniated disk in my C7, which left me with very little use of my left arm, plus balance and strength issues on my whole left side. During these thirty years, I tried several exercise disciplines—running, aerobics, treadmill, yoga, exercise videos, matt Pilates, and stretching routines. I truly never felt any measurable change in my physical body. I did, however, reap benefits mentally. I found that the exercise strengthened my mental health in business and helped de-stress my physic. In February 2008 I was introduced to Reformer Pilates, or what I call a hybrid Pilates which incorporates balance, flexibility, coordination, strengthening, elongating and building core strength.

My first “beginner class” included two other women who were obviously not beginners. They were in much better shape than I, yet I had been at it at that time for twenty-seven years. These two women moved like beautiful, agile cats and their bodies were just beautiful. I knew that they were older than I, but after class I found out that they were in their late seventies while I was fifty-seven at the time. Imagine how excited I got seeing how amazing they made almost eighty look! I left that class with a mind set to mirror what they had achieved.

I enrolled in what’s called a monthly unlimited package and attended classes five days a week. Imagine my excitement when after three weeks I could see a visible difference in my body, form, muscle definition and overall conditioning. Oh, I forgot to mention that at some point after that first month my back pain was gone and the usage of my left arm had greatly improved. As my three years have progressed, I continue to gain more strength, balance, flexibility and move like a woman years younger than my age. Let’s talk for a moment about vanity. My husband of almost forty years claims that my body looks better than ever. We met when I was twenty, so that’s a huge statement!

I should mention that I immediately dragged my husband to class with me. Our Pilates workouts have become a passion and actuality that we share together. I don’t care how long I live; I care about the quality of my life. Having the opportunity to watch our parents’ long lives, they’re all lived into their eighties and nineties but not with the physical quality that I am determined to have. My goal in life is to live a gracious, healthy, fit lifestyle. I make a conscious effort to surround myself with people who have common and like interests. Our studio will continue to create and grow this kind of community. I have been given so much during my life I look forward to sharing and giving back to our community.
Bonnie Cashman Co-Founder, LAB5 Fitness.

Molly Cashman

Ms. Molly is the official greeter at LAB5. She loves our members, community and always enjoys a friendly pat on the back!

Staff

Heather Adams

After living in six US states and five countries (two islands included!) Heather counts herself lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places she’s had the pleasuring of traveling to: Seattle! Growing up in an active healthy family was a major boost to her well being but a career in the hard partying music and touring business in Southern California wreaked havoc on her health and waistline. In 2009, Heather had had enough and made a pact with a best friend to get fit and healthy the old fashioned way, through regular fitness, healthy eating and positive thinking. Training under Patricia Wharton, a second generation Joseph Pilates student turned instructor, and taking classes such as spinning and kickboxing Heather lost 80 lbs (and counting), gained a huge self esteem boost and was able to run a half marathon in Summer 2010. After a few years of plateaus and workout routine boredom, LAB5 Fitness was a total game changer. The challenging and exciting mix of classes and encouraging instructors and environment have made Heather more determined then ever to continue down her path of fitness and health, reach her goal and maintain a health lifestyle for life!