Lauren Thompson has been teaching Pilates (and yoga!) since 2007 and holds an MA in Counseling and Guidance from UMKC. With her extensive background in both how the body moves and how our minds work, Lauren brings a unique perspective to her clients, using techniques from both worlds to help her clients achieve total health, mentally and physically.
Through pilates and yoga, Lauren has worked with athletes on cross-training to improve technique. She also works with clients who have serious medical conditions, such as scoliosis, hip replacements, neuropathy, ataxia, and Parkinson’s disease, to regain mobility and ease pain.
Through counseling, Lauren has worked with clients on stress management, pain management, eating disorders, improving body image and self-esteem, diet adherence, weight loss, and substance abuse. She enjoys introducing others to mindfulness through movement and knows how to keep clients motivated and achieve their fitness goals!
- Pilates Mat and Equipment Certification
- Certified Pilates Teacher
(Pilates Method Alliance)
- Registered Yoga Teacher
(RYT-200 – Yoga Alliance)
- Pre/Postnatal Pilates Specialist
(Center for Women’s Fitness)
- Breast Cancer Patient & Survivor Pilates
(Pink Ribbon Program)
- MA, Counseling & Guidance (UMKC)
- Licensed Professional Counselor
- Licensed Addiction Counselor (Kansas)
A firm believer in the importance of women’s health, Lauren is also a certified Pre and Postnatal Pilates Specialist and is certified through the Pink Ribbon Program to provide pilates rehabilitation for breast cancer patients and survivors. Pre-and postnatal sessions focus on general wellness and recovery during and after pregnancy. Lauren is also certified to help women with healing exercises for Diastasis Recti, C-section and Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction.
Lauren holds a BFA in dance and a BA in psychology with a minor in women and gender studies from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. She is active in the Kansas City arts community and continues to perform. Lauren is also a board member of the Young Friends of Art steering committee for the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and BARRE for the Kansas City Ballet.
Taryn discovered Pilates in 2007, as a dancer looking for a way to improve her strength and stability, without limiting mobility. She was delighted by the results Pilates provided, and eventually decided to pursue becoming an instructor.
Taryn has been teaching Pilates since 2009, and completed certifications in mat and equipment with training through both Stott Pilates and the Kane School. She received her Pilates training and certifications in NYC, where she has also attended many continuing education workshops, including the Functional Anatomy for Movement and Injuries (FAMI) workshop at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She continuously strives to gain more knowledge about anatomy and various movement techniques, hoping to broaden her perspective, and deepen her approach.
Additionally, Taryn has been teaching ballet for over ten years, and is an American Ballet Theatre certified teacher. Taryn loves helping people of all ages and abilities work towards their goals, and achieve healthier bodies, with the increased functionality and greater ease of movement Pilates can provide.
Katarina Fitzpatrick is a Pilates instructor, professional dancer, and freelance choreographer. Her love of Pilates was sparked at age ten when she began taking classes to supplement her dance training. She is now a certified Stott Pilates instructor with a passion for helping students utilize efficient movement patterns in their everyday lives.
Katarina is a company member with Kansas City Contemporary Dance and has appeared as a featured guest artist and collaborator with local dance companies, including City in Motion and Quixotic, and with independent artists. She graduated magna cum laude from Mercyhurst University with dual majors in dance (choreography concentration) and anthropology/archaeology (sociocultural anthropology concentration).
Hello! I am Fallon Schwalbe. I was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. As a child and teenager I enjoyed sports, later getting into weight lifting and running. After graduating high school, I went off to college and acquired a degree in Apparel Merchandising, Design and Production and a minor in Entrepreneurial Studies from Iowa State University. For 6 years after completing college, my husband and I moved around from Portland to Seattle to Denver while I worked in various retail buying and planning positions.
While in Denver I started taking Pilates and Yoga classes offered through my employer. When we decided to move back to the Midwest I made the choice to stay home with my daughter. I opened an Etsy shop focused on children’s dress-up clothes to satisfy my love for apparel construction and my daughters’ desire to play pretend. At the same time I started to really get into local fitness classes, including Pilates. After my second daughter was born I decided to make the leap into teaching.
I am currently certified as a Balanced Body Pilates Mat Instructor and AFAA Group Fitness Instructor. I am also working to complete my Pilates Comprehensive Certification (including Chairs, Barrels, and Trapeze Table). I look forward to meeting new clients and can’t wait to begin teaching at Thrive Pilates and Movement Studio.
Mandy began her yoga studies in 2004 and started teaching Ashtanga and vinyasa style yoga two years later. Mandy is currently studying with Chase Bossart, who teaches a more gentle and therapeutic style.
Through this process Mandy has embraced the broader teachings of yoga: yogic philosophy and texts, which include āsana (postures), prāṇāyāma (breathing techniques), meditation, vedic chanting and the practical application of the tools of yoga for therapy.
Monica Dixon is a visual artist as well as a yoga, movement, and meditation facilitator. She has cultivated a fascination with physical movement for as long as she can remember. Her practice ranges in intensity from vigorous vinyasa to restorative yoga, and she emphasizes cultivating a trusting relationship with one’s own body, and a focused awareness of breath and sensation.
In 2014 she lived and worked at the Kripalu School of Yoga and Ayurveda in Stockbridge, Massachusetts which exposed her to a depth and diversity of new and ancient movement practices including yoga, qigong, and dance. In 2016 Monica completed her 200 Hr RYT training in the Kripalu tradition after over a decade of practicing independently and communities. She is currently in the process of pursuing her 500 hr RYT certification. She teaches group classes as well as individualized sessions. For more about Monica and her work, visit her website at monicajdixon.com
Body Arts and Science educated California native, Kia has been teaching Pilates in between entrepreneurship for over 17 years. Recently completed 200 hour Katonah influenced Yoga teacher training at Love Yoga Venice last year and just completed an advanced 50 hour teacher training in Costa Rica this year which focused on body adjustments and pranayama breathing techniques.
Shannon Mortimer has a background in professional dance. She taught ballet for 5 years before graduating from Belhaven University in 2004. At BU, Shannon completed her BFA in Ballet. She went on to dance with a contemporary ballet company in Kansas City. Then, upon moving to Brooklyn in 2005, she danced with the New York Theatre Ballet and Opus Dance Theatre.
In 2007, Shannon became fully certified in Pilates Mat, Pilates Equipment, and Pilates Props from Personal Best in Kansas City. She taught mat classes, private sessions, and group equipment classes from 2007-2011. During those years she and her husband, Dylan, had two amazing boys who love to practice Pilates with her whenever possible!
In order to stay closer to home, Shannon began teaching Pilates at The Carriage Club. There, she continued her love for learning and completed several Balanced Body and Excel Barefoot Training workshops as well as becoming certified in TRX, ViPR, and Barre.
After teaching at the Carriage Club from 2011-2018, Shannon and her family moved to Brooklyn, NY. There, she enjoyed teaching all ages and clients with various ailments at Club Pilates Park Slope in 2019.
While in Brooklyn, her husband underwent his second successful double lung transplant! Needing some rest and recovery, Shannon and her husband decided it would be best to move their family back to Kansas City.
Shannon loves to encourage others and brings so much positive energy to any class she teaches. Her greatest joy in teaching is helping clients along their own journey in discovering a greater sense of body awareness, in strengthening the muscles around the spine for better quality of life, and in lengthening the muscles in the body for release of tension and overall better health.