Meet Our Teachers

meet our teachers


Anissa Pollard, owner, CPI

When a human being feels pain, limitation or struggle in their body, no matter how minor, it can lead to the most fascinating beginning of self-discovery. The initial reaction of “what is wrong with me, and how can I fix it?” or for athletes “how do I get that edge?” begins to unravel a deeper journey into a wide scope of complex questions that arise every day for millions of people trying to fully understand. Pilates opens that door to awareness and forges a unique connection with the body. It’s a journey that is ongoing.

I have dedicated my life to helping others heal through these fundamental principles. It is why I opened Marathon Pilates 12 South and will continue to expand by partnering with innovative, educated, competent teachers and Body workers of all kinds. My own post-pregnancy story of crippling back pain led me to Pilates and it healed my body both intrinsically and irrevocably. It continues to be the answer to all my bodies inquiries. Personally, I enjoy facilitating the Pilates Body foundation by mixing it with my own unique blend of what I feel will accomplish the client needs…that of a strong and balanced body. Myself and a Village of talented amazing people are here to serve and pass along the methodology of Joseph Pilates life work.

I’m a consciously engaged mother of 2 daughters, a faithful dog Roxy, and a mystical little kitty Esme. I am also an avid cross trainer. I love Barre, Spin and love to travel. I have great friends, a loving supportive family and feel like I’m the most grateful being on this planet! I have a BA from Xavier University, 1993 and am a Certified CPI, Balanced Body. My all time favorite body quote: “Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness” Joseph Pilates



Emily Barbee, CPI

Emily became a certified Pilates instructor at the age of eighteen, just prior to moving to NYC to train with the American Ballet Theatre and Joffrey Ballet School for two years. In 2009, soon after returning to Nashville, she suffered a spinal injury that resulted in severe scoliosis, multiple relapses, and disintegrating hopes for a career in dance. The next year she providentially discovered Balanced Body University, and under the mentorship of Erin Myers, became fully certified in their approach to rehabilitative training and anatomical application.

Her personal restoration fuels her profound empathy and intuitive insights for those in pain, and she has experienced great fulfillment in inspiring hope, strength, and joy through movement in her clients. Her exuberance, mastery of technique, and deep faith in our bodies capacity to heal are essential elements in the training she provides.


Mary Vanko, CPI

Mary is a Balanced Body certified Pilates instructor with a heart for sharing the healing properties of the practice with her clients. She strongly believes in the renewing qualities of both the physical principles of Pilates and the practice of self-care that they encourage.

Mary found Pilates after years of high-impact exercise left her with a painful disc injury that required daily maintenance to heal. Through her Pilates practice, she has been able to dramatically increase both her physical health and quality of life. She loves that Pilates provides a customizable, full-body workout and safely increases stability and strength through movement.

Trained by Erin Myers, and mentored by Emily Barbee, Mary has developed a passion for providing safe and effective workouts for clients of all fitness levels. She loves sharing in her client’s health journeys and cheering them on as they gain new levels of strength and wellness through Pilates.


Christin Frenzel, CPI

Christin is a Balanced Body University certified Pilates instructor with over 8 years of progressive teaching experience. Her passion for strength and movement were foreshadowed throughout her years as a gymnast and competitive cheerleader. She went on to coach competitive cheerleading in college and became an ACSM certified personal trainer in 2004.

In January of 2009, Christin started the BBU teachers training program as a way to cultivate excellence through knowledge in her field. She admits to never taking a Pilates class prior to pursuing her certification, and shares this with her clients as a testament to how approachable Pilates is to newcomers and advanced enthusiasts alike.

Needless to say, one class and she was hooked. Her primary focus and methods revolve around injury prevention and total body strength through proper alignment. Though a stickler for form, Christin’s goal in every class is to help you keep your muscles guessing and have FUN doing it. She is a firm believer that experiencing joy in the process of self care is essential to living a whole and balanced life.

When she’s not teaching, you’ll most likely find Christin spending time with her family, loving on her dog, Ruby, or  in the woods hiking, camping, and otherwise getting back to nature with her spectacularly bearded husband, Landon, and their son Quinn.


Jennifer McNamara, CPI

Jennifer is a former principal dancer with the Nashville Ballet and currently is on the faculty for Vanderbilt University’s dance program, teaches at Centennial Youth Ballet, and is an adjunct professor at Middle Tennessee State University. She was introduced to Pilates by a fierce modern choreographer from NYC and personally embraced the practice during rehabilitation for many injuries throughout her career, but did not begin teaching until she had retired from performing. Erin Myers was gracious enough to take her as an apprentice, offering her a position with Simply Pilates, the studio she founded and later sold to David Gensheimer; Jennifer moved to Marathon Pilates when Anissa opened her studio. Jennifer particularly loves merging her passion for ballet and her wonder at the possibilities inherent in the human body in her work with both private clients and small groups. Her clientele includes aspiring dancers, medical professionals, athletes, patients leaving physical therapy and transitioning back to regular exercise, and many beautiful women and men who have trusted her quiet demeanor and exacting instruction over the years. She is a faculty member with Balanced Body, helping to train prospective Pilates teachers.


Lindsey Stevens, CPI

Lindsey has been dancing classical ballet for over 20 years. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, she has trained in Chicago with Joffrey Ballet, NYC with Gelsey Kirkland, and Nashville with Nashville Ballet. During her third season in Nashville, she suffered a foot injury that led her to Pilates. Shortly after falling in the love with the movement, she became a fully certified Pilates instructor though Balanced Body, under faculty members David Gensheimer and Jennifer McNamara.

Lindsey has always had a love for the arts and the power it has to change someone’s life. She believes that Pilates can do the same. Through her own rehabilitation, she has seen first hand the wonderful benefits of how Pilates can prevent injury, strengthen weaknesses and balance ones body. When not in the studio, you will find her out enjoying Nashville with her two French Bulldogs, Toby and Hank.


Tamara Tweedy, CPI

Tamara Tweedy grew up here in Nashville, exploring all kinds of movement from basketball to ballet. She attended drama school at Boston University (BFA) and Alabama Shakespeare Festival (MFA) with particular interest in all aspects of physical expression (circus skills, Commedia del’Arte, combat, period movement). Tamara trained for Pilates with the Center for Movement (classical) and with Daniel Giel at the Movement Salon in New York City. She continues her education in bodywork with various workshops (most notably with Irene Dowd). Tamara has taught in New York City (Mind Your Body, Movement Salon, Back in the Game Physical Therapy, Center for Movement, private house calls) as well as in Scarsdale, NY, Sag Harbor, NY, and Paris, France (Element). Her Manhattan studio, Power In Motion, LLC was established in the mid-2000’s and later sold.

Tamara left the bright lights of New York City and returned to the homeland in June of 2014. Happily, she found a “home” at Marathon.


Sirkka Wood, CPI

Sirkka is a graduate of The Pliates Center in Boulder, Colorado where she grew up and also received a BA in Kinesiology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. As a young dancer, Sirkka sustained a hip injury that required surgery at the age of 18. Discovering Pilates and her new found passion for anatomy and the bodies amazing abilities to heal lead to a full recovery and a continued pursuit of her dance career. She was certified as a Pilates instructor in 1995.

In 1996, she moved to NYC to teach Pilates at Hila Pauldi’s UBC Studio and scholarship to study dance with the Erick Hawkins Dance Company. The she also continued to study movement with legendary teachers such as Irene Dowd, Kelly Kane of the Kane School of Core Integration and Robin Janis and Kevin Gardener of the Iyengar Institute. She taught anatomy and repertoire for the Kane School training program in years 2000-2002.
Sirkka and her husband moved to upstate NY in 2001. There she joined The Moving Body in Woodstock, NY where she had a practice for 12 years as well as being the primary repertoire teacher for The Moving Body Teacher Training.

Sirkka brings over 20 years teaching experience for persons of all ages and abilities. She has a passion for exploring new ways to mobilize and strengthen the body and uses a creative approach to teaching as well as a deep knowledge of the traditional Pilates method.


Lindsey Rae, BBI

Lindsey Rae’s personal experience training and teaching dance, aerial arts, flexibility, and calisthenics has shaped how she connects with pilates and structures her classes.

what to expect: flowy and centering warm-ups, creative and challenging class content that builds strength and stability, flexy cool-downs, and thoughtfully composed playlists that move along with you.

leave feeling: revitalized, mobile, accomplished, empowered, body awareness, strong, grounded, toned, energized

Lindsey Rae is a Balanced Body-trained instructor. She also teaches/has taught Fly Gym aerial fitness, flexibility, and pole classes at The Chrome Bar.