Our top priorities at the studio are creating a warm 'village' environment and teaching with the highest educational standard. Our team of instructors are fully certified in-house through Regan Zubak’s 750-hour Pilates Teacher Training Program and are also required to successfully pass The Pilates Method Alliance Certification Exam, and complete mandatory continuing education hours each year in the profession. This three-part training system establishes a common foundation amongst our team and creates a supportive and harmonious studio atmosphere; insures the highest professional standards; requires us to keep abreast on the ever growing information in the field; and most importantly, insures clients receive the best quality experience possible.
Regan Zubak: Regan is the owner, operator and master instructor of Village Pilates Studio. She opened VPS in 2005 and loves working with her clients every day, collaborating with the vps staff, leading the Teacher Training Program, and hosting Continuing Education Workshops for students and professionals. And in 2016, she became an ambassador for TripTribe, leading beautiful and inspiring Pilates beach retreats.
Completing among the most intensive Pilates certification program of its kind in the world, she teaches with knowledge, creativity, and inspiration. Fulfilling over 1,000 hours of apprenticeship work in the classical Pilates Method and studying with the most highly trained and renowned instructors in the field, Regan continues to be committed and impassioned as a lifelong student.
Her initial training consisted of a strict one-year 750-hour program under the tutelage of Fran Ahrens of Body in Balance, Hinsdale, IL. Regan continues to train, earning her ‘Master's in Pilates’ at The Pilates Center in Boulder, Colorado in 2010 and successfully becoming a Certified Pilates Method Alliance Teacher (PMA® - CPT) in Fall 2012. She also is a PMA approved CEC provider, hosting a handful of workshops each year for serious students and professionals. Regan is dedicated to her own daily Pilates lessons and continues to take workshops, lessons, and observations from the leading Pilates instructors in the country as well as from her own highly trained community of fellow VPS instructors.
In light of the Village Pilates Studio mission, Regan Zubak is consciously creating a ‘village’ atmosphere, with high educational and professional standards, for people to feel welcome and motivated to practice Pilates. She is dedicated in being a trustworthy Pilate's teacher, one who is thorough, caring and careful, and keeps abreast on the ever growing information in the field.
Len Palombi: Len is a classically trained Pilates instructor, qualified on all apparatus. He completed his initial training in 2012, through The Village Pilates Studio in Forest Park, IL, under the direction of Master Instructor Regan Zubak and is certified by the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA). Len has also completed the Polestar® Pilates Comprehensive Training Program and holds additional teaching certificates.*
Len is experienced in working with older adults. Having completed his training at age 60, he is able to draw on his own experience with the method to make Pilates accessible regardless of age or level of fitness. His mission is to change lives through positive movement experience.
*Practitioner of Pilates Studio – Polestar® Pilates
*Post Rehab Breast Cancer Survivor Exercise Specialist – Pink Ribbon Program
*Bone Safe© Pilates for Osteoporosis – Jenna Zaffino
Krystal Gavras: Krystal spent the first 18 years of her life being an athlete, mainly a competitive gymnast. In college Krystal began taking Pilates mat classes to fill the gap in her post-competitive gymnastics career and immediately fell in love with it. She earned her master’s degree in Sport-Exercise Psychology from Argosy University. Krystal began taking classes at VPS in 2011 and found an appreciation and passion for the classical method. She soon discovered that her love for Pilates went much beyond the physical. In January 2012, Krystal decided to take her practice to the next level and enrolled in the 750-hour Teacher Training program with the encouragement from senior instructor, Ellen Taylor. Krystal has been classically trained in Pilates on all apparatus and all fitness levels under Regan Zubak. Krystal has also completed a 160 hour Pilates Master Mentorship Program under the guidance of Pilates elder and First Generation Pilates Teacher, Lolita San Miguel. In July of 2016, Krystal graduated from the program and was granted the title of 'Second Generation Pilates Teacher' and 'Lolita San Miguel Pilates Master.'
Being a high level coach for over 10 years, Krystal encourages all athletes to add Pilates to their training regime as she believes that Pilates is the best cross training for long-term success. She has extensive knowledge of working with young athletes and has a special interest in helping athletes use Pilates as a tool for injury prevention. Krystal continues to be inspired by the method and is passionate about passing her knowledge to each one of her students. She feels that the body is what moves us through life and is our greatest means of transportation. If you move well every day, then you will be pleasantly surprised by what your body is naturally designed to do. Krystal looks forward to empowering people of all ages and fitness levels to achieve their movement goals with the Pilates method.
Julia Haptonstahl: Julia Haptonstahl has been a practitioner of Pilates since it was introduced to her as a dance student at age 14. She attended Northern Illinois University on scholarship majoring in dance as well as studying anatomy of movement at Columbia College in Chicago. Julia danced professionally in MOMENTA Dance Company in Oak Park, Chicago, Austria, the Art Institute of Chicago and performed fire dancing and fire eating in the Chicago area.
Julia completed the rigorous 750 hour Pilates Teacher Training program at Village Pilates Studio in Oak Park, IL., in February 2013. She has been classically trained in Pilates on all apparatus and all fitness levels under Regan Hoerster and Cameron Jarrett. Julia completed her Pilates Method Alliance (PMA® - CPT) Teacher Certification in April 2013.
Training with exceptional and experienced teachers in Pilates and dance, Julia utilizes her life long experiences in movement to teach people to move intelligently with a sense of purpose, while providing an understanding of how the body moves anatomically. Julia has a unique intuition and intelligence of visual and spatial understanding to see the body as a whole when teaching clients. She hopes to help her clients meet their goals while creating a positive, challenging and motivating movement experience! Teaching to the whole person is essential in one’s movement and teaching journey. She is always open to learn more and more and work together to help her clients find their full potential and beyond.
Although nearly 30, Julia has endured many difficult experiences with her body and mind. After multiple surgeries and other health issues that have created setbacks, the teaching and personal practice of Pilates has always brought her back to life! Her extensive experience in dance, and being a long time patient in physical therapy, have inspired her to intensify Joseph Pilates’s idea of “quality over quantity.” She believes full body movement with focus on breath will help liven our spirits and prevent pain, injuries, and bad health overall. Pilates creates a balance between mind and body for her and she hopes to help her clients find the same sense of balance. Julia has a special interest in teaching dancers, athletes and those with previous or current injuries. Pilates has proven to be a lifesaver for her mind and body. She hopes the good health and happiness she has experienced through her practice of Pilates will be a source of inspiration for her own clients.
In the beginning of 2018 Julia is very excited to be entering the Pilates Master’s Program, “The Science and Psychology of Teaching” through the guidance of Master Teacher Chantill Lopez PMA-CPT founder of Skillful Teaching and Anne Bishop PMA-CPT, EdM founder of Body Brain Connect.
Catherine Ditto: Cathy entered the 750-hour Pilates Teacher Training under Regan Zubak’s tutelage in May 2010 after practicing Pilates since 2008. In addition to teaching at the studio, Cathy is currently earning her ‘Master's in Pilates’ at The Pilates Center in Boulder, Colorado. And in the summer of 2016, Cathy was awarded The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching for her 22 years of teaching mathematics, science and writing at Chicago Public Schools. Her excellence in teaching children transcends into her Pilates calling, offering a thoughtful and compassionate approach to learning movement.
Cathy has an undergraduate degree in therapeutic recreation and a masters in curriculum and instruction. Both support her desire to continue learning and to maximize freedom of movement to enrich her life. Through Pilates, Cathy hopes to help others improve their quality of life by improving the way they feel.
Annie Velez: Annie has been an avid fitness enthusiast for over 20 years and first tried Pilates at a health club. She was immediately intrigued and shortly after having her children, she pursued it further. Consequently, she began to feel longer, leaner and stronger. As a result, the study and practice of Pilates became her next journey in life, which perfectly complements her seasonal bodybuilding competition preparations. And helps keep her limber and athletically strong when she is off-season.
Annie turned to Pilates for a few reasons, one of which was to reestablish the loss of flexibility and core strength that occurred after her two childbirths. "Pilates has been a life changing experience for me as it helped strengthen my core and pelvic floor after having endured weakness from giving birth. “I am forever grateful to have been introduced to it and hope others can reap the same benefits."
Annie has always had a strong interest in the anatomy of the body in movement and how it contributes to its overall health. As she developed a passion for Pilates, Annie pursued the VPS Teacher Training Program with Regan Zubak and completed it in December 2012 with 1,150 hours of work and continuing education studies. She is currently back in school- to complete requirements for a career in Physical Therapy- after graduating Cum Laude from Northeastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. Having worked with many bodies throughout her teaching years she has learned that there is an advantageous combination of the use of Pilates with rehabilitation and desires to mend the two to help people get back to functional health.
Annie was born and raised in Chicago where she continues to reside with her two children and husband. Pilates and her family are her biggest joys in life. The motto she lives by is simply to "be fit for 'LIFE' because you only have one life to live and it's beautiful!" She makes sure that in the whirlwind of life, she's taking care of herself in three personal areas; body, mind, and spirit so that life can be enjoyed in its full potential. She hopes to radiate her energy toward Pilates onto others, so they too can feel the hallmark benefits of Pilates in order to enhance their lives. She enjoys working with people at all levels, from the novice through the intermediate and advanced client.
Kay Harmon: Kay began the VPS Teacher Training Program in 2010 after five years of practicing Pilates under the inspiring leadership of Regan Zubak. Luckily, Kay happened upon Pilates when physical therapy failed to relieve chronic low back pain from a serious back injury. She found that Pilates not only relieved her pain and decompressed her spine, but made her stronger and more confident. Kay's desire to deepen her understanding of the Pilates method and admiration for the teachers who became certified under the guidance of Regan inspired her to join the VPS Teacher Training Program.
Kay loves teaching and helping clients realize their fitness goals. She is empathic with those who are just beginning an exercise program or on the road to recover their physical strength. She also provides a challenging workout for those who wish to maintain or enhance their fitness level. Kay's greatest joy comes from helping you become your best.
Jaime Bell: Growing up a dancer, Jaime has always had a deep appreciation for movement. As such, a career as a Pilates instructor seemed to fit uniquely well with her interest in health and wellness. For her, Pilates is not just a physical exercise, but also a cultivation of mind, body and spirit. Jaime believes health and wellness isn’t only about looking good, it’s about feeling good. For her, even after years of practice, Pilates simply feels good. She is wholeheartedly committed to helping her students develop happier, healthier versions of themselves through their Pilates practice. She completed her certification at VPS in October of 2013. After several years of teaching full-time and further developing her own practice, Jaime now enjoys fusing different styles of Pilates practice when creating her uniquely challenging classes.
Misti Fredstrom: Misti entered the 750-hour teacher training program in May 2014 and graduated August 2016. She was first introduced to Reformer exercises in 2010 and immediately knew she wanted to learn more and eventually teach. Misti holds a B.S. in Health Education, a teaching certificate in grades K-9, is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, and feels the addition of her Pilates certification aligns well with her belief that eating well and moving well will transform your life from the inside out.
Misti is an active mom of two children who also enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking and creating in the kitchen, reading, traveling, and learning.
Michelle Siu: Michelle has been a fitness and outdoor enthusiast all her life — playing sports, running marathons, snowboarding, hiking and practicing yoga. She took her first Pilates class at Village Pilates in 2007 prompted by back problems after childbirth. Not only were her back problems gone in a few weeks, but Pilates turned out to be a whole body workout (from the tip of the toes to the top of the head) that made her body stronger and leaner. “With Pilates, you strengthen your core, articulate your spine and fire every system in your body. It is the most efficient form of exercise I’ve come across. It is so important with our busy schedules to stay healthy so we can enjoy life with our family and friends.” Since then, Pilates has been a constant in her life as it keeps her strong, healthy and injury-free. She also loves that Pilates is ageless and can be practiced by people of all ages and all levels of physical fitness. Michelle joined the VPS Teacher Training Program in order to challenge herself and deepen her practice, and completed the rigorous 750-hour program in January 2017.
Andy Cox: Andy entered the 750 hour classical Pilates teacher training program at Village Pilates Studio in May of 2015. Nearly finished with a performance test remaining, he has over 800 hours completed. He has been trained on all apparatus and levels under Regan Zubak, Julia Haptonstahl, as well as working with Cameron Jarrett.
Andy was an athlete, playing baseball in high school and rugby in college . His background in exercising through weight training and endurance building gives him a solid foundation for understanding the Pilates method. Pilates is now his fitness staple and has helped him discover a resilience in his physical abilities.
“There was a distinct sense of community when I first walked into Village Pilates in 2015. My ankle had been getting chronically injured from work and drumming, and I was searching for a different way to exercise from years of athletic endeavors and weight training. Footwork on the reformer was my ‘aha’ moment, and I’ve fallen in love with the method since then.”
His focus is to help people reach their full movement potential through the pilates method. This includes greater flexibility and a commitment to getting the whole body to work in each exercise. His passion for pilates drives his ambition to help people achieve their movement goals.
Linda Cabanban: Linda was born and raised in Oak Park and spent her early years studying ballet and ice skating at the local ice rink. Her competitive background includes speed skating, running track, and tennis. After taking some time off from ballet, she returned to dance and became a member of the Joel Hall Dancers, performing in Chicago, New York, and Europe. After leaving the dance world, she turned to fitness and became a certified fitness instructor, teaching many different formats of exercise, but was naturally drawn to the pilates method because of her dance background. She started her teacher training program at VPS in July of 2014 with an estimated completion time of June 2016.
Linda has found that the pilates method has been an amazing journey of transformation and self-discovery, elevating her quality of life, mentally, physically and spiritually. She hopes to share what she has learned and help others experience the many benefits of pilates.
In her spare time, she is involved in dog rescue, and loves making jewelry, and spending time with her husband and four furry children.
We expanded our space and moved to Forest Park in 2014, after teaching in neighboring Oak Park for nearly a decade. Our spacious and welcoming studio is located in the old Circle Theater building and we love the exposed brick, original wood floors, high ceilings and natural light. We are located just around the corner to great coffee and tea shops, restaurants, bars and boutiques. Parking is convenient and ample- either directly in front of the studio in metered spots or free on the residential section of the block, along with free street parking on Madison.
When you step into the studio, there is an inviting entry with plenty of storage for your things and a seating area where you can enjoy tea or water. We have two large bathrooms, towels for your use and essential toiletries. Our front desk staff/teachers are always friendly and ready to help with scheduling, class and practice advice, and account questions.
Our studio is outfitted with two large rooms for equipment and mat classes, space for cardio equipment and a separate private lesson room. We have eleven raised mats, eight reformers, eight low chairs, two cadillacs, five pole systems, five spine correctors, one ladder barrel and ped-a-pull, and all of the other Pilates accoutrement. This allows us to have an ample class schedule on all of the various apparatus, while supporting the needs of new clients and those committed to private lessons.
Our studio is sometimes bustling, yet we keep a harmonious vibe. We love the energy of the space, created through beautiful design, helpful and knowledgeable instructors, and friendly clientele. We welcome you to visit us for a tour or a class anytime.
"Before Pilates, I had a lot of pain and tension in my upper and lower back. Nothing would relieve it. I was also out of shape. The back pain and the lack of exercise motivated me to find an activity that would help me be healthy and pain free. I read about the benefits of Pilates and decided that I was going to do just that. I found Village Pilates Studio and never looked back. I feel really good. My back pain is completely gone. To my surprise, I have regained the flexibility that I thought I lost years ago. I am so pleased with my experience here. More than Pilates, it is also the staff that keeps me coming back for more on a daily basis. The staff are so kind and just truly inspiring. They really do individualize the exercise so that each person can get in a good and healthy workout. Thankfully, I live close to this studio but there are many clients that travel from all over Chicago to come here. I believe that in itself says a lot about this magical place. Do yourself a favor and come to Village Pilates Studio. It'll be the greatest decision of your life!"More Marisol Valentin
"I am 58 years old and have been taking private sessions and classes at Village Pilates since September 2014. People tell me I look terrific. I'm not skinny but I have great posture and am aware of my body. Thanks to Pilates training I have no aches or pains. The classes complement the private sessions and are always supportive even when it is your first one. The instructors are knowledgable and make accomodations based on the level of the student resulting in a positive experience. I have worked with Len Polombi in private sessions during this time. His knowledge of Pilates principles and application is phenomenal. I've learned so much from him."More Paula Kovarik
"I was a very dedicated Pilates practitioner in the last town I lived in. Then we moved. I missed my Pilates practice but then, I found a Groupon for Village Pilates. Little did I know that I would find so much more in a studio beyond Pilates at a great price. The teachers at Village Pilates are all amazing! I’ve had all of the instructors for the various classes, (mat, equipment, reformer and barre) and each of them possess wonderful qualities that make what they do anything but cookie cutter. Their abilities to tailor the workouts to their students is really quite wonderful. They are each extremely professional and kind. Kindness is BIG. The workouts are challenging and awesome! What I love most about Pilates is that it works absolutely every muscle group. It’s the most “complete” workout I’ve ever done – and it’s the one I’ve stuck with the longest. I know there are people out there who may feel that Pilates is a bit “slow.” But I disagree! The time and precision it takes to do these workouts is extraordinary and worth the time and effort to get it right. I’ve seen better personal results from this type of exercise over anything else I’ve ever done. I’m so pleased with my decision to practice Pilates at Village Pilates. It’s a lovely studio with a very dedicated community of people who are always willing to welcome new people, like me! I’m very grateful to all the instructors who play an instrumental role in our wellness."More Allison Beltramini
"Julia has been my “go-to” instructor for privates as well as group classes. She has a keen eye for proper form, enabling her to make sure students are moving correctly and getting full advantage from their workout. She’s also in-tune with students’ individual needs. When I was injured, she developed a series of moves to help me regain muscle strength, safely and effectively. I highly recommend her."More Nancy Creighton
"Thanks to Krystal, I have developed a passion for Pilates. She has a unique ability to inspire movement through her attentiveness and expertise in teaching. Her enthusiasm for teaching has kept me challenged to strive for more everyday. My stress levels have decreased and I feel better both mentally and physically."More Sarah Sekki
"I started Pilates as a form of PT for osteoarthritis in my knee in 2012. Since then, I've had the opportunity to work with different studios and instructors. All have been good, but the folks at Village Pilates are a cut above. Solid accessible instruction, beautiful studio, and a welcoming environment."More Marsha East
"VPS.....my secret weapon for perfection, remarkable, wunda ful (low chair). I am able to harness unlimited energy with a total body workout with out embarrassment."More G. Shaw
"I’ve been coming to Village Pilates for over 3 years. Here’s what I love about the studio: Classes are small allowing one to receive individual attention and feedback. Instructors are well educated, motivated and extremely caring and helpful. The studio is well managed and clean. I’ve learned about body parts I never knew I had. Classes here have helped me maintain functionality and flexibility. The personable instructors bring a high level of energy to each class. The workouts are always changing and never boring. The classes are not only a physical challenge but help maintain a positive mental attitude as well. Great sense of community and vitality."More Linda K.
"Since Regan opened the studio 10 years ago, regularly attending three to five Pilates classes a week at Village Pilates Studio has become an indispensable part of my daily health and exercise regimen. Regan's approach to Pilates as a way to maintain health as well as fitness is complemented by her talent in creating a wonderfully supportive, encouraging, mentally stimulating exercise environment. The instructors are extraordinarily well-trained and careful, always looking out for your best interest, providing a boost when needed. The exercises, from the basic to the advanced level, have been absolutely instrumental in maintaining and improving my body's balance, flexibility and strength. At my age (72) every doctor asks about falls, and I tell each one of them that, thanks to Pilates, I have not experienced a single fall. In short: I simply cannot do without Pilates as practiced at the Village Pilates Studio, if I want to remain mentally active and engaged in the world around me. Pilates for me will be a lifelong pursuit."More Elisabeth M
"I began my Pilates journey by calling Regan and asking her if age 60 was too late to begin learning Pilates, she chuckled and assured me that it was not too late to start. What Regan didn't know was that I had previously called another studio and they suggested that I join a group that was focused on stretching. Regan's words were welcome and I began Pilates about five years ago, meeting with Len, who has been my instructor since that time. Before I started Pilates I had already had back surgery and last year a hip replacement. Len's dedication to helping me prepare for the surgery and his work with me to rebuild strength in my hip has been inspiring. Len is passionate about the practice of Pilates, and he continues to enrich his learning, which he then incorporates into his teaching. He is patient, kind and humorous; working to help students understand the principles of Pilates, as well as, the movements. Through Pilates I've been able to build overall strength, gain flexibility, and a consciousness about how my body moves. Kudos to Village Pilates, and the founder, Regan. She has built a first-class facility with first class instructors and the students are the beneficiaries."More Maria J.
"I love Village Pilates Studio-a beautiful space and Regan (the owner) is warm and very communicative with all her patrons. One teacher in particular shines here. Krystal is a very gifted teacher, whose classes both exhaust and invigorate you. She is observant, patient, and knowledgeable. I have taken both private and group lessons from her, and she has a talent for creating workouts that challenge you both physically and mentally. I always look forward to my next class (even while I'm whining about how hard the last one was!)"More Audrey Stone
"The Pilates method is helpful for many levels of fitness. What's great is that Village Pilates Studio will pay attention to each client’s specific needs. This also makes their teacher training program unique, because it takes the client-centered approach to Pilates while providing comprehensive knowledge of anatomy and movement."More Andy Cox
"Practicing Pilates can be very challenging and rewarding! Being in the teacher training program has been a very rewarding experience and Regan, who I consider to be my mentor, takes Pilates to a whole different level in the way that she teaches."More Walter S.