Nicole Durfee Shipley

I am a lover of movement and people. I empathize with so many of the experiences of my clients, both positive and negative. I understand that feeling of awe and joy when you discover a muscle you’ve never felt before, realign in a way that makes you feel taller and stronger, or gain mobility or control in a motion that was once very challenging.
— Nicole

Educated at Florida State University:
B.A. Public Relations & Creative Writing, M.F.A. Dance Performance and Choreography

Lifelong Dancer | Challenged by Congenital Hip Dysplasia


As a lifelong dancer and Pilates and anatomy nerd,


I have both an intuitive and educated understanding of healthy movements and proper biomechanics. I believe in the power of mindful movement to heal physical aches and pains, relieve stress, and create a positive state of mind.

I know first hand how frustrating an injury can be, how difficult it is to accept physical limitations that come with aging, and how sometimes it feels like everything in life is keeping you from taking care of yourself.

Having worked through many injuries and congenital joint issues over 35 years of dancing, I often have personal knowledge of the challenges my clients are facing with their injuries.


I am a highly skilled Pilates Instructor because


I’ve had many varied trainings in movement: dance, multiple Pilates teachers, yoga, Alexander technique, Body-Mind Centering, and more. I had an amazing mentor with a similar background who helped me understand how to move smarter instead of just pushing harder and ingraining poor movement patterns.

Pilates is an incredible tool to use in guiding people to healthier movement.

I’m confident in my ability to teach Pilates because of great training, years of experience, and the influence of many talented colleagues along the way. After receiving my comprehensive Pilates certification, I was fortunate enough to teach a Pilates reformer course for dance majors at Florida State University alongside my first amazing mentor, Tom Welsh, professor of dance medicine and science.


Not only have I learned a vast repertoire of exercises,


I saw how to cue things differently by watching other instructors guide their clients with confidence and care to build trust, and I also learned from their mistakes. While teaching at a high-end gym in New York City, I was promoted to a Plus trainer there and had the opportunity to write the section on spinal injuries for their Plus trainer manual. That publication was ultimately distributed to both Pilates and traditional personal trainers in all of their locations nationwide.

One of my fellow teachers told me about Lesley Powell who became one of my most influential mentors. I trained in private, semiprivate, and small group classes with her for several years. She is a genius, and she refined my knowledge of Pilates and biomechanics beyond anything I could have imagined in my original training.

It was through Lesley’s mentorship that I was exposed to the Franklin Method and how to use imagery to help a client gain better movement and alignment. I learned about bone rhythms, the importance of our feet as our foundation, spinal alignment and mobility, and efficiency of motion.


“Kindness is my religion.”


This simple quote by the Dalai Lama best sums up my approach to life and work. I believe in the connectedness of all people and the power of positive thinking to affect our experience. I do my best to have a consistent mindfulness and meditation practice.




What Clients say about Nicole


Certifications and Training


Practiced Pilates since 2001 | Taught Pilates since 2001


Major Certifications:

  • Pilates Method Alliance Certified Pilates Teacher (PMA-CPT)

  • Studied under Lesley Powell (Balanced Body faculty) in private, semiprivate, and small group classes for 5 years

  • Answering the Call Yoga Teacher training under Catherine Calderon

  • Stott Pilates Comprehensive Certification

Workshops/Continuing Education:

  • Biotensegrity and Embryology in the Pilates Environment by Elizabeth Larkam

  • Fusion Pilates Practical Release Certification

  • Core Suspend Certification (Smart Movement Suspension System)

  • Introduction to Yoga Therapy by Doug Keller

  • Introduction to Structural Integration for Movement Instructors