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Updates at RTR Pilates: Meet Susan D! // By Leeor Kelly

You may have noticed several new names on the schedule lately. That’s because our training team has been diligently working to train new instructors, and onboard them to our team so we can continue providing our signature Pilates classes that you’ve come to love!

This “Meet Our Team” series will roll out monthly to introduce you to our team!


Meet Susan D! Susan is a recent grad of our in-house training program and she’s a wonderful addition to our team! She started taking Pilates classes with us when our Great Falls studio opened and she’s been hooked ever since! She provides a thoughtful and thorough Pilates class Keep on reading to learn all about her!

Why do you LOVE Pilates Susan?

Simply…the full body energy and power I feel. Knowing every strength move has a stretch move. 

The power between those two is amazing and has really transformed my conditioning.  Plus.. when doing Pilates, you don’t even realize how strong and flexible you are getting. The cues from the instructors take you “from the every day” and give you a wonderful, peaceful, strong, challenging, engaged 50 minutes of your own.    

How did you start instructing at RTR Pilates?

Though I am/have been a friend of the owner for years, my first class and when I joined was when the Great Falls VA studio opened. It’s that crossing the river thing, I guess. LOL. 

I felt a difference immediately after a year or so of joining, I retired from corporate life and got more hooked.  I erased years of bad, sedentary habits of corporate life and felt so good!  So with extra time on my hands and a love of Pilates, I decided to give teaching a try.

When you’re not teaching, where can we find you?

Three places you can typically find me — playing on the golf course, cheering for a VT sports team (in the stadium for football, hopefully), and/or loving and caring for any one of my 5 animals which usually means vet visits, feeding, poop, and play!  Did I mention hanging with friends, dining out, wine tasting, plus, plus!   

Top 3 artists/songs for your Pilates music playlist:

It changes a lot, but right now, I am into artists like Jack Johnson, Eric Church and Alec Benjamin.  As for songs, “Anyway” by Entrain – super easy, super fun!

Favorite Pilates exercise/movement & why?

My heart jumps for joy when I hear short spine/long spine!  Favorite strength and stretch move.  Using only the abs to get into your inversion challenges me and then the release through so many parts – spine, hips, hamstrings – creating space feels awesome.  That, and of course, leg circles!

What is your must-have item when teaching Pilates?

Lesson plan!! I know the classes I love and want to do the best for the clients that take time to 1) choose RTR Pilates over other choices, and now that RTR Pilates is the choice 2) chose to take time out for whatever is going on in their life to make a commitment to a class.  So long answer to short – just want to do the best I can for the clients!  

What’s the one thing you want your clients to feel when/after taking your class?

That it was a good 50 minutes spent on THEM! On their conditioning.. on their strength… on their flexibility.  (Just like any Pilates instructor, “one” turns into 3 more minimum! )

You can find Susan teaching in Mclean and Great Falls! Come try her out when you can!

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Updates at RTR: Meet Erin O! // By Leeor Kelly

You may have noticed several new names on the schedule lately. That’s because our training team has been diligently working to train new instructors, and onboard them to our team so we can continue providing our signature Pilates classes that you’ve come to love!

This “Meet Our Team” series will roll out monthly to introduce you to our team!


Meet Erin O! Erin is a recent grad of our in-house training program and she’s a natural born leader! She will hype you up and encourage you all throughout class while playing funk music and cracking jokes to make you smile! Keep on reading to learn all about her!

Why do you LOVE Pilates Erin?

For me, Pilates is the best way to align, strengthen, and mobilize my body so that I can keep doing all of the other activities in my life. I always walk out of a class feeling taller, stronger, and more symmetrical and I hope my students do as well. 

How did you start instructing at RTR Pilates?

I’ve been a client since they were located in the top room of the Potomac Tennis Club! I received my mat certification a few years ago and I am working toward a certification in functional movement. When the call for new RTR instructors came during the pandemic, I jumped at the chance to go through their training program and join the team. 

When you’re not teaching, where can we find you?

This made me laugh because my friends and family would unanimously chime in, “On the tennis or paddle tennis court!“

Top 3 artists/songs for your Pilates music playlist:

ABBA, Kool & the Gang/KC & the Sunshine Band, and a wide array of 70s hits!

Favorite Pilates exercise/movement & why?

Oooh, that’s a tough one. I feel like I’m constantly seeing and learning so many awesome moves. I do appreciate a good lunge series that incorporates a balance challenge and I dig solo arm work with the strap. Gotta keep those shoulders and upper back strong and stabilized! 

What is your must-have item when teaching Pilates?

Water bottle and mints to keep my voice going. 

What’s the one thing you want your clients to feel when/after taking your class?

I want them to feel glad that they came and, simultaneously, feel excited for their next Pilates class! 

You can find Erin in Chevy Chase Monday evenings, Thursdays and Saturdays mid-morning! She also teaches in Palisades on Wednesday mid-mornings and subs in Potomac when she can!