WHO WE ARE
SAM SHANKMAN PROUTY
Sam has been practicing the GYROTONIC® Expansion System since the 1980s when she lived in Italy for 9 years as a dance instructor. She fell in love with the method in Florence and after moving back to the U.S., was certified in 2001. She has since trained and been certified in the Gyrokinesis Method, Gyrotonic Leg Extension Unit and Jumping Stretching Board.
Santa Fe, NM was Sam’s home from 1992 to 2005. She first received her Pilates training with Ray Kurshals and later was certified in 1998 by Michele Larsson, Core Dynamics Pilates where she was exposed to the Eve Gentry work. Sam continued to work with Michele until moving to Tucson in 2005. In 2006, she became a certified Pilates teacher with the Pilates Method Alliance.
After moving to Tucson, Sam worked at Canyon Ranch and the Jewish Community Center, teaching Pilates and the Gyrotonic Method and in 2006, opened up her own fully equipped studio.
Jeni’s love of dance came at a young age in San Diego through her cousins who were professional ballet and flamenco dancers. She entered the dance world early and started training at the San Diego School of Ballet and later in Tucson, at Southern Arizona Dance Theatre under the direction of Jane Matty Willet.
Her leading ballet roles include Sugar Plum (The Nutcracker), Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), and the lead in Snow White. She created roles in La Hetania with Richard Holdan and Manifestation with Hassan Afelock. At The Boston Conservatory Jeni studied on scholarship and premiered Tongue and Cheek.
Loving all types of movement, Jeni studied Pilates early in her dance career, as well as NeuroMovement Therapy as a balanced way of supporting her body with integrity. In 1997, she trained in the Ron Fletcher program at Body Works Pilates Studio, and since 2002 she has opened her own Pilates and movement studio, continuing to teach and raise three wonderful children.
More recently Jeni has trained in the GYROTONIC® method. With her training and continued desire to learn, she hopes to bring joy, health and healing to her clients through all types of movement and exploration.
Mirela moved to the U.S. from her native Brazil to join Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey circus in 2001 as a professional dancer and in 2015 she earned a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Arizona.
In 2005, she fell in love with the beautifully crafted art form of the GYROTONIC® Expansion System and was certified to teach in 2011. With Gyrotonic, Mirela found the expansion of space and freedom important in allowing full expression of one’s body within many dimensions. She also incorporates other modalities such as Pilates (2016), Alexander Technique and Floor-Barre Technique in her teaching style, continually exploring ways to build on the basics and dive deeper into the work.
Mirela, very attentive to her students, encourages them to
explore outside their comfort zone with balanced pacing and the use of imagery, much of which comes from her modern dance background. At the end of her sessions, she loves watching students feel more comfortable and grounded, having had the pleasure of moving and achieving their specific goals.
GYROTONIC®, GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® and GYROKINESIS® are registered trademarks of Gyrotonic Sales Corp and are used with their permission.