Our Studio

Pilates Place co-owners Carrie and Sarah met at a westside Pilates studio where they quickly became friends and coworkers with similar ideals for their clients. With diverse backgrounds in dance, theatre and swimming, Pilates has become a common ground on which to showcase their varied talents and extensive knowledge of how the human body moves. Sarah and Carrie opened their studio in February 2007 and have continuously evolved their teaching styles through dynamic workshops, private lessons, and conferences around the country in order to stay on the cutting edge of their industry. They authored a unique Teacher Training program that combines classical and west coast styles of Pilates because they believe that one style of teaching doesn’t always work for every individual.  Together they continue to grow as teachers, evolve as masters of the craft, and share their love of Pilates with others.

Dynamic Duo

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Carrie Jacobsen's professional qualifications & Bio

  • PMA® CPT

  • Received her Pilates instructor training on all apparatus from a second-generation instructor of the Ron Fletcher lineage.

  • Received her first Mat Pilates instructor training through the International Aerobics and Fitness Association of America.

  • Current CPR

  • Is a native Californian and graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Arts. As an avid swimmer for over sixteen years, Carrie competed on a state level in both the breaststroke and freestyle events, along with her first year in college. Her love of competitive sports, combined with her study of form while in the theatre, left Carrie yearning for a way to extend and improve her knowledge of the body in motion. The answer was Pilates. Carrie has been studying Pilates since 1999 and keeps striving to better her craft.

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Sarah Leifer's professional qualifications & Bio

  • PMA® CPT

  • Received her first Pilates instructor training on all apparatus from a second-generation instructor of the Romana Kryzanowska lineage. Along with guest teacher Jillian Hessel.

  • Received her second Pilates instructor training on all apparatus from a second-generation instructor of the Ron Fletcher lineage.

  • Current CPR

  • Hails from Hudson Valley, New York. Captivated by ballet and dance at a very young age, she spent the first twenty years of her life studying the art form. AS A member of the Royal Academy of Dancing, she was classically trained in ballet. later, she studied jazz and tap and then focused on modern dance in college. Sarah earned a B.F.A in Dance/Theater from Emerson College in Boston, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. A fractured left foot just prior to graduation put her dancing on hold, and she searched for a way to stay in shape and maintain her body’s strength. Pilates became a low-impact extension of dancing, a way to keep the rhythm, choreography and expression of dance alive. Shortly after moving to Los Angeles, Sarah became a Pilates teacher and has been practicing this new exercise (art) form since.

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Front desk extraordinaire …

Cat Braithwaite comes to our front desk from the seemingly disparate worlds of Nutrition and Rock and Roll.  As a rock vocalist and violinist who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 23, her focus on wellness and longevity led her to a love for Pilates as a holistic method of fitness, alignment and rehabilitation.  Her diagnosis also led her to seek wisdom through food, and in turn became a nutrition consultant in 2007. You can find her womanning the desk and plugging you into your favorite sessions on weekday afternoons and also reaping the benefits of Pilates in our group reformer classes.  Most nights, you may also find her thrashing out with the other metalheads on the Sunset Strip or performing with one of her many musical acts around town.  Keeping Rock and Roll alive AND well is her life's purpose and Pilates Place is the perfect place to keep this Rock rolling.

Amazing Teachers…

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Kat Ubungen was born in the Philippines and moved to the United States as a child. Growing up in Los Angeles, she has always enjoyed an active lifestyle that included yoga, hiking, cycling, and running. A friend introduced her to Pilates a few years ago and she instantly loved it- appreciating not only the physical benefits of the practice, but also the healing, calming, and centering energy it brings. Kat’s passion for Pilates continued to grow and led her to enroll in the Teacher Training Program at Pilates Place. She strives to infuse creativity and freshness to her classes while keeping it all fun and challenging. 

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Lien Han grew up in Hawaii and Los Angeles, where she received her BA from UCLA and a Masters from Pepperdine in education/psychology.  Lien left the working world to be a full-time mom to her two daughters.  It was back pain that introduced her to Pilates, and she has been a Pilates enthusiast ever since! It’s the physical, mental, and "core" aspect of Pilates that she loves so much, and now any free time she has is usually spent on the reformer! Lien earned her teacher training through Pilates Place, and is thrilled to be a part of the team here. She enjoys motivating people and strives to keep her classes challenging and fun! 

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Liz Slipko came to Pilates following a severe car accident that injured her low back and neck, damaging several discs as well as her spine and hips. After multiple surgeries and years of physical therapy, her research into an effective way to regain lost mobility and gently build strength led to Pilates, and she's been dedicated to practicing every day since. Viewing Pilates as a way to also improve posture, prevent injury, as well as tone and strengthen, Liz further credits Pilates with providing an outstanding avenue to actively continue to heal, and is grateful for the chance to help others reach their goals.

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Michelle Donati PMA® CPT, holds two Pilates trainings- BASI & PSC, and she also has her national PMA Certification.  She started teaching in Los Angeles and moved to London where she opened her own studio.  Life brought her back to LA, & we are excited she’s joined us at Pilates Place.  Under her instruction, clients can expect to receive attention to detail on all exercises to ensure they gain the full benefit of each pilates session. She loves seeing clients progress and grow- this is what motivates her signature style: a unique collection of knowledge, skill, and breadth of experience. Clients will find her energetic, encouraging, and helpful in the support of a positive and healthy lifestyle.

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Tatiana Lanning was born and raised in Oxford, England, and has lived in Santa Monica for the last 11 years.  She began her Pilates practice more than 14 years ago, after suffering years of terrible back pain. She was very proud to graduate from the first Certification program at Pilates Place in 2009, and has been teaching consistently since then- injury and pain-free! As an athlete and former dancer, Tatiana has an innate understanding of the body in motion, proprioception, physical and mental limitations, and how to push them safely, and intelligently.  Her clients range in age from 19 to 96, and as a mother of three who has lived and worked in two continents, she brings all kind of skills to her teaching style and ethos. Her focus is attentive, prescriptive, and fun!  Getting more flexible, stronger, more confident in how the body moves and works, and enjoying the huge Pilates repertoire is her guiding force.  

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Zoe Gannon grew up in San Diego, CA. When she wasn't at the beach she could be found at dance or gymnastics. A graduate of SFSU, Zoe earned her Bachelors in Liberal Arts with a minor in Dance/Creative Arts. After attending college in San Francisco, Zoe moved to Los Angeles to be close to friends and family. She completed classical Pilates training at Sheppard Method Pilates from a 2nd generation Pilates teacher. Zoe believes that as an instructor, she has the opportunity to guide people toward better health through Pilates practice; to participate in the pure joy of movement and to link Pilates to everyday life. 

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Brigitte Toubia was born and raised in Santa Monica, California. She strongly believes that fitness based physical activity and conscious movement is essential for one's well being, and that Pilates offers practitioners the best of both. Brigitte was introduced to Pilates in college, and her love of its unique brand of strength building and focus led her to become certified with Pilates Place, where her love continues to deepen thanks to her wonderful teachers & peers. She feels the effect Pilates has on a person’s body is truly altering, and is honored to help her clients learn to listen to their body and activate their core. She looks forward to teaching you, and will make each class challenging, motivating, and of course, fun! 

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Chloe Peterson is a native Angelino and wellness enthusiast. She has an extensive background in Theater and studied abroad with the London academy of music and dramatic art. Chloe discovered pilates from a friend (who was getting certified) and was instantly hooked! A firm believer in the body-mind connection, Chloe knew she had found a fitness regime that not only truly challenged and changed her physically, but also prevented injury while emphasizing body alignment and awareness. Chloe went on to complete the Instructor Certification program at The Sheppard Method. She is thrilled to be teaching and finds delight in helping others feel good in their bodies.

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Danica Dias is a So-Cal native and grew up dancing and being active. While attending college at UCLA she explored a wide range of career and personal interests ranging from Dance, Acting, Sociology, Communications, and eventually received her B.A. in Political Science. She was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 13 and lived most her life in extreme back pain after a serious car accident at age 15. Finding Pilates helped alleviate her back pain, improved her posture and alignment, and enhanced her range of motion. She credits Pilates with rehabbing her muscle strength, flexibility, and overall spirit. After years of working in corporate America, Danica realized that she was missing the amazing feeling that dance and being active brought her, so she decided to take a chance and joined an intensive classical Pilates certification program from a 2nd generation Master Pilates Instructor. Her life has been changed for the better ever since!

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Julia Wood is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, and moved to Los Angeles after graduating from Villanova University with a degree in Computer Science.  She grew up playing almost every sport imaginable - from soccer to gymnastics to archery, but settled on Volleyball and went through college playing for their varsity team.  Upon graduation, she began a stressful career in LA and began looking for a good workout that would also keep her centered and calm. She found Pilates. Not long after, Julia was hooked and decided to quit the computer world to further her Pilates practice. She enrolled in the Teacher Training program at Pilates Place, and years later as she continues with Pilates, her enthusiasm for it only grows.

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Jenna Reed is a So-Cal native and beach enthusiast! Sticking with her ocean roots, she graduated from UCSB with a B.A. in Sociology. Soon after leaving Santa Barbara, she moved to Santa Monica, where she spent 10 years in Advertising. In order to decompress from long stressful work days, Jenna found Pilates as a way to find peace, quieting her mind while tuning into her body. She fell in love with the practice and left advertising to pursue a career in health and fitness. Her classes are challenging, functional, and creative! She firmly believes in the power between mind and body, and roots this in her classes. When she is not teaching, you can find her in the library studying--she is currently working on her Master's in Nutritional Science. Jenna loves healthy living, being in nature, and traveling the world!

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Jessica Vaughan graduated with her Masters in Business Administration from Fullerton. Her passion for an active life led her to Pilates. In her youth, Jessica backpacked, rock climbed, and snowboarded in the mountains of Utah and Wyoming.  She found that adding Pilates to her fitness routine allowed her to continue to participate in the activities she loved by helping her maintain a strong body and avoid injury. In addition to being a Pilates instructor, Jessica has been a licensed massage therapist at the five-star/five-diamond level for 11+ years. She applies the same conscientiousness and devotion to technical skill that has allowed her to flourish in that environment when teaching Pilates. Her sessions are infused with balance, precision, creativity, and the right amount of challenge for you to get results.