Meet the gals who brought Pilates to the Finger Lakes and continue to innovate ahead of the curve.
Tori Ponder-Brown, LMT, NCPT, NKT3
Co-owner / Program Director
In 1994, Tori Brown, a member of Actor's Equity Association (AEA), was introduced to Pilates while on a break from performing in the 20th Anniversary International Tour of “A Chorus Line”. Tori began training to become a Pilates instructor in 1996, and holds multiple Pilates certifications including Pilates Method Alliance (PMA-CPT) and STOTT PILATES®. She is a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) and a Neurosomatic Therapist with certifications for Fascial Stretch Therapy - Level 2 (FST), NeuroKinetic Therapy - Level 3 (NKT), Yamuna Body Rolling® (YBR), RockTape Kinesiotaping, Personal Training (CPT) through AFAA, and RockTape Functional Movement Therapy as well as memberships with IDEA and Pilates Method Alliance (PMA).
Tori has worked with NHL players from the New Jersey Devils and has consulted with the head coach of professional AFL football teams in San Diego, CA, Wichita, KS, Davenport, IL, and Fairbanks, AK. Locally she has worked with the Cornell Women's Swim Team, the Ithaca Swim Club, professional dancers from the New England Ballet Company, and has instructed classes at Ithaca College.
Other performance credits include a starring role as Paula McFadden in the West Coast Premiere of "The Good-bye Girl", as well as a featured role in "The Will Roger's Follies", Don Arden's "Jubilee" in Las Vegas, and a year-long contract as a Los Angeles Rams Cheerleader (way back when...).
Chimene Montivero-Cole, MSPT, NCPT, NKT3
Co-owner / Education Director
After reaching her goal of competing internationally as a member of the USA National Karate Team in her late teens, Chimêne Montivero-Cole graduated with a masters degree in Science in Physical Therapy, and a minor in Nutrition Promotion from Ithaca College in 1999. In addition to holding multiple professional Pilates certifications, including Pilates Method Alliance and STOTT PILATES®, she has been a licensed Physical Therapist working in outpatient orthopedics since 1999 and prides herself in actively pursuing continuing education and developing as a movement specialist.
Her experience includes rehabilitation of a wide variety of spinal and sacroiliac disorders, movement impairments sydromes due to muscle imbalances, and pre and post surgery rehabilitation. She has studied the M.E.L.T method and various self mobilization techniques and incorporates them into her Pilates practice as needed. She is FMS Rock Tape certified, which can be used to increase circulation, and enhance performance and efficency of movement. Chimene is also a Level 3- Certified NeuroKinetic Therapy Practitioner. NKT is a system for assessing and optimizing neuromuscular communication to improve motor control and reprogram dysunfctional movement patterns.
Montivero-Cole and Brown opened the region's first Pilates studio, The PILATES Room , in 2001. They created and trademarked AQUALATES® - Pilates Inspired Aquatics in 2006.
Jennifer Makowsky, AS, PTA, NCPT
Jen Makowsky became a fully certified Pilates trainer in 2004. Trained in the classic Pilates method in Los Angeles, she returned home to Ithaca in 2013 and began working at The Pilates Room in 2014 where she has been inspired to explore a more contemporary approach to the practice.
Jen is a Physical Therapist Assistant and has been the Master Trainer for Pilates Associates Teacher Training Institute since 2017. In 2016 Jen became a RockTape Certified Functional Movement Therapist and the following year became a certified Level 3 NKT practitioner. Upon completion of these two programs, Jen felt the need to return to school to earn her PTA-AAS degree from SUNY Broome, in addition to her existing BA degree from SUNY New Patlz. She enjoys incorporating all of her training into Pilates sessions to enable clients to move more freely and easily while getting stronger.