Founder and Owner of Pilates Plus
Dara is certified in Pilates for Neurological Conditions and can work with clients with stroke, MS, and Parkinson’s. The combination of classical education mixed with a modern interpretation of the method allows Dara to create well rounded and personalized sessions for all of her clients.
Dara shares her passion and knowledge of movement with all clients. Living in DC and suffering from back pain in her late 20s, Dara was determined to find a form of exercise that didn’t hurt. She found Pilates and started taking classes 5 days a week. After 2 months, Dara realized she was pain free and looking forward to workouts. Her passion for Pilates drove Dara to quit her job in Emergency Management and pursue a comprehensive 700 hour certification at Quantum Pilates. Dara spent the first years of her teaching career at Fuse Pilates where she mastered a modern interpretation of Pilates that allowed her to incorporate all kinds of fitness backgrounds.
– Dara’s personal moto is “If you’re laughing, your abs are working.”
Mary Beth Blend
Her specific areas of interest and study include spine injuries and conditions, Scoliosis, and running injuries.
Mary Beth fell in love with Pilates shortly after completing my graduate studies in Physical Therapy. While in PT school, she found out she had scoliosis. She began looking for the best forms of exercise to address the scoliosis imbalances and found Pilates! It didn’t take long for her to realize that Pilates was a life-changer and wanted to share the benefits of it with others.
Mary Beth first certified with Polestar Pilates International in 2004, and has been practicing and teaching at various locations since then. She also serves our community as a full-time physical therapist at Richmond Physical Therapy. Mary Beth strongly believes in the effectiveness of a consistent Pilates practice as an important adjunct to rehabilitating from injuries as well as improving quality of Life.
– Mary Beth is excited to join the Pilates Plus team, and looks forward to helping You!
Sema is comprehensively certified through Body Arts and Science International (BASI) and believes that everyone can benefit from Pilates, regardless of age, body shape or size, ability or disability.
Sema started doing Pilates mat classes at home, via VHS tapes, after hearing it was a good exercise method for staying strong throughout pregnancy and post-partum recovery – and it was! Sema had been exercising since her teens, with the never-ending goal of trying to maintain a healthy weight, while at the same time finding exercise methods that brought joy, not dread, into her daily life. After discovering a studio where she could continue her Pilates workouts on Joe’s uniquely designed equipment, she was hooked for life.
– Sema believes everyone who does the work will move and feel better than they did when they walked in the door to Pilates Plus.
Ashley is certified in Pilates for Neurological Conditions which trained her to work with clients who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, M.S. and who have a history of stroke.
Ashley began her teaching journey in 2011 when she received her 200 hour RYT certification through YogaWorks and an ACE personal training certification. She has been teaching movement classes ever since. Her love for Pilates came after the birth of her son. She began her Pilates training in 2017 and became a Balanced Body certified Reformer instructor in 2018. Since then she has been through training for Cadillac and Tower. In 2021, she became certified in Pilates for Neurological Conditions which trained her to work with clients who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, M.S. and who have a history of stroke. Ashley brings knowledge from all of her certifications into her sessions and believes in making movements accessible for everybody.
– Ashley enjoys working with clients of all ages!
Mary is also a certified Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor. She started the comprehensive apparatus certification through Body Arts and Sciences International (BASI Pilates) in 2017 and completed her 500 hour apprenticeship in 2020.
Mary started teaching yoga as a college student at UNC Wilmington. She completed 2 certifications through YogaFit and a 200 hour Yoga Alliance Certification at Wilmington Yoga Center. She studied Heath and Physical Education, Exercise Science, in college and has a graduate degree in Environmental Studies.
– Mary enjoys teaching movement classes that combine yoga, Pilates, and fitness.
Pilates Plus RVA:
5407 Patterson Ave. | Suite 200A
Richmond, VA 23226
Pilates Plus West End:
1404 Starling Dr. | Studio 1
Henrico, VA 23229
Phone: (704) 315-7120