Meet The Instructors
"Every moment of our life can be the beginning of great things...everyone is the architect of their own happiness." --Joseph Pilates
Andrea M. Chesek
(Studio Owner & Pilates Enthusiast)
Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, I fell in love with Pilates upon my return to the USA after extensive international travels. I attended my final year of high school in Buenos Aires, Argentina at Associación Escuelas Lincoln. After graduating, my travels continued and I relocated to Rome, Italy. In 2001, after living abroad for almost 6 years, I received my BA and minor in Psychology magna cum laude at John Cabot University, an American University located a short distance from central Rome. After several years working at various companies and meeting my husband in Italy, who was visiting the area, I once again decided to move back to the United States to Orlando, Florida in August of 2003. Here I took my very first Pilates class and was instantly captivated.
Throughout my life I have always turned to physical fitness in helping me manage stress, anxiety, depression, and overall physical health. I have congenital diastases recti, a separation between the two sides of the abdominal muscle walls. Though I have always been physically active, I was unable to achieve the fit abdominals that those without diastases achieved through regular sit-ups, exercise, and dieting. After discovering Pilates and committing to the work after only 10 classes, I could immediately feel the difference! Continuous practice, and I finally was able to achieve a stronger core that defined my midsection and whole body like no other fitness option I had ever encountered. I was able to achieve this not only once with Pilates but again a second time after pregnancies!
Experiencing first hand the incredible results gained practicing Pilates in 2003, I knew that I had to become certified and teach others the amazing benefits it provides. In 2006, I moved to Atlanta and married in May 2007. My passion for Pilates lead me to complete my Classical certification and apprenticeship with Second Generation Instructor Penelope Wyer-Barrow at Urban Body Studios in Atlanta, GA. I continued to teach Pilates at Urban Body Studios, and various other locations throughout the metro area including students at Georgia Tech University, full time for a period of over 4 years until the birth of my first daughter in late 2010. During those years, I had created a large following and many of those clients today have also become certified instructors after my departure from Atlanta and continue to teach or have opened their own studios throughout the country.
In 2013, my family and I relocated to Peachtree City, GA. During these transitional years, my passion for the work never ceased. I continued my Pilates education attending various workshops with well renowned classical instructors as Penelope Wyer-Barrow, Chris Robinson, Brooke Siler, Kathy Ross-Nash, Mejo Wiggin, Bob Liekens, Dana Santi, Marie Windsor, and Jay Grimes. All classically trained and respected, and continue to carry on the legacy, knowledge, and spirit of Joseph Pilates, inventor and creator of "Pilates".
A year after the arrival of my second daughter in early 2013 and finally settling into Peachtree City, GA, I felt further challenged to get back into shape. I was now faced with having not only diastases but also an umbilical hernia, amongst other common physical changes that result from pregnancies and lack of exercise. I returned again to practicing Pilates with even more persistence, insistence, and focus on proper technique and methodology. Within 6 months of starting private sessions with Mary-Ann Briggs (owner/instructor at The Pilates Loft in Newnan, GA), I once again began to feel and see the positive changes it did not only for my body as it did the first time but my mind and spirit too, as Joseph professed faithfully.
My growing enthusiasm and belief in the effectiveness and benefits of Joseph’s work compelled me to open my own studio to give others access to this incredible fitness concept and share my knowledge and passion of Pilates. With previous experiences working with clients of all strength levels, I insist clients work hard and try things that they have never done before, while being mindful of safe and proper body alignment, exercise execution, and equipment use. The cornerstone of Pilates training philosophy is using mat classes, equipment classes, and private sessions in combination in order to maximize results and gain strength, control, and flexibility.
By persistently progressing through your practice of Pilates, I truly believe it will improve whatever your other activities are - whether it's playing a favorite sport, personally or professionally, just chasing your kids, or even something as simple as walking!
Hope to see you in the Studio! In body, mind, and spirit…
Andrea M. Chesek
Born and raised in Toronto Canada, I had my first taste of pilates at a local gym where I took a class and was instantly hooked! I have always been in good shape as a swimmer but always had lower back issues. It wasn’t until I took pilates on a regular basis that my pain started to subside and realized that strong abdominal muscles didn’t necessarily mean a strong core. My back was weak and my abdominals were taking over. I continued to take pilates throughout my 3 pregnancies and credit pilates for getting me back into pre-pregnancy shape very quickly.
I moved from Toronto Canada to Peachtree City Georgia in 2007 and for the first time took pilates in private sessions on various equipment. My trainer was very well versed and I learned a lot-including my weaknesses! After my divorce in 2010, I was ready to take the teacher certification but ran into personal issues that held my dreams back for a few years. My work as an actor and consultant for Rodan+Fields never fulfilled me, and I felt the need to bring to others what I had learned in my years practicing pilates.
Proper Pilates Studio opened up in 2017 and I was thrilled to see such a beautiful studio minutes away. I started taking classes and privates with owner Andrea Contin-Chesek. In conversation, I had mentioned to her my interest in teaching and asked if she ever planned on hosting a teacher certification. My passion for pilates led me to start my Classical Certification with Penelope Wyer-Barrow, a Second Generation Instructor who also certified Andrea. I knew I was in great hands! I started my journey in June of 2017 and completed my Classical Pilates Certification August of 2019.
My beliefs and awareness of Pilates’ effectiveness, has me crazed for bringing my knowledge to others. Working with all levels, I believe pilates can bring everything you do in daily life with ease and mindful body alignment.
Hope to see you in the studio!!
Lydia hails from Ceiba, Puerto Rico. She attended Sacred Heart University of Puerto Rico and received her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Upon graduation she was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army in the Military Police Corps. Lydia served several tours both in the United States and overseas including Germany, Kuwait, and Iraq. Lydia retired from the Army as Lieutenant Colonel in 2008 at Fort Belvoir, Virginia after 22 years of active duty service.
Upon retirement from the Army, Lydia began a second career with her husband Mark as franchise owners with McDonald’s. Her journey into the world of Pilates began years ago thru books and videos as an avid athlete looking for various ways to stay fit and healthy when she was at home or on military deployment. Her thirst for knowledge continued as she began looking for low impact options to work after her 55thbirthday.
In April 2017 she read an article about a new Pilates studio in Peachtree City. After a few classes and a private session with Andrea in the Proper Pilates studio she was hooked. Seeing firsthand the changes it was making in her own physique, she decided to pursue her training certification as an instructor in the classical Pilates method.She is currently in the apprentice program working towards her certification as a Pilates Instructor.She is excited to share her knowledge with friends and family and to give the gift of Pilates to everyone who wants to improve their fitness, confidence and quality of life in all day to day activities!
Look forward to meeting with you!