About Alexis Miller
Originally from Nantucket, Massachusetts, Alexis became interested in Pilates at Connecticut College, where she began taking mat classes twice a week before ballet class, and saw how dramatically it improved her dancing. As a dance major, she also studied Anatomy and Kinesiology. After earning a BA in Dance and French in 2004, she continued her practice at the Pilates Center of San Francisco. There she took mat and apparatus classes, and fell in love with the Pilates reformer. She noticed how continued Pilates practice helped improve her strength and flexibility and prevent and heal injuries. With a history of low back issues and sacrum and pelvis instability, Alexis found Pilates to be the key to surviving as a dancer. Even for her occasional neck and shoulder tweaks, she learned that having a strong core and center was helping her heal faster from injuries and preventing them from happening as often.
PCSF owner and later Alexis's mentor, Martt Lawrence, suggested that she go through the Metropolitan Pilates training program in Seattle, WA with Master teacher Dorothee Vandewalle. Alexis was certified in January 2010 by Vandewalle, who studied with Romana Kryzanowska, who trained directly with Joe Pilates. Vandewalle has an extensive training program comprised of 700+ hours of teaching, observing, and practicing the basic, intermediate, and advanced exercises on all apparatus and the mat. It also includes learning modifications for injuries and other ailments, so that in group as well as private classes you will be taught to work safely and effectively for your body. Alexis attends continuing education workshops every year and has studied with Master teachers such as Vandewalle, Jay Grimes, Kathi Ross-Nash, Alycea Ungaro, Mari Winsor, Chris Robinson, Sandy Shimoda, Blossom Leilani-Crawford, and MeJo Wiggin.
Before moving to Asheville in 2010, she taught Pilates in San Francisco and in Geneva, Switzerland. She teaches classical Pilates to athletes, pregnant women, children and teenagers, musicians, dancers, as well as those with injuries and arthritis, scoliosis, cancer survivors, muscle/joint disorders, etc. She specializes in low back pain and foot problems (collapsed arches, bunions), and loves helping people with shoulder, knee and neck issues as well. In Asheville she is a regular student of yoga and recommends it to many of her clients because she believes it compliments Pilates beautifully. In addition to yoga, she also draws from personal experiences with dance, physical therapy, cranial sacral therapy, massage, integrative manual therapy, Alexander Technique, and Feldenkrais technique to have a better understanding of how the body works and moves.
Why the name Cisco? Alexis began calling her practice Cisco Pilates when she was teaching in San Francisco. She decided to keep the name when she moved to Asheville in 2010 and started her own business. She chose the name Cisco because of the two places where she most recently lived before moving to Asheville: San Francisco, and Nantucket, Massachusetts (in the area of Cisco). As it turns out, there is also a Cisco Mountain in Asheville! So, it was meant to be.
Alexis danced with RAWdance in San Francisco, and with Asheville Contemporary Dance Theater and Lindsey Kelley Dance in Asheville. She loves to move, so when not doing Pilates, she's checking out a yoga class, bike ride, walking, hiking, or other local dance classes. You might see her around town volunteering with the Western North Carolina AIDS Project, or performing in some obscure venue with some crazy dance friends. Alexis lives with her husband, Tom, and their three cats in North Asheville.
What is Pilates?
Pilates is a form of exercise for everybody and every body-type. Using equipment with spring resistance, Pilates tones your body safely and effectively, focusing on mobilizing tight areas and stabilizing and strengthening weak areas. Mat work and mat classes are also a part of the practice. There are six Principles of Pilates: control, concentration, centering, breathing, precision, and rhythm/flow. The goal of Pilates is to have a completely balanced body of strength, flexibility, and control.
No gender, age or physical restrictions apply. Some people start at age 70, some at age 10 or younger. Try a private lesson to get the most out of your workout with one-on-one attention and complete privacy. Try a mat class for the fun and flow of it!
Who invented Pilates?
Joe Pilates was the genius behind the creation of what he called “Contrology” and is now called “Pilates.” Born in 1883 in Germany, Pilates was a boxer, gymnast, diver, and yogi, who trained injured soldiers as well as the German police force. He emigrated to the United States in 1926 and opened a Contrology studio in New York City with his wife Clara. After Pilates died in 1967, his work was carried on by his wife, as well as several of his students; the most well-known of whom was Romana Kryzanowska. Alexis is a third-generation teacher, certified by Master Teacher Dorothee VandeWalle, who trained with Romana.
Thanks to our collaborators
Many thanks to our photographers: Catherine Vibert Photography, Alison Fader-Brock, and Melissa Barnes Photography for these wonderful pictures all over our site. Also many thanks to our amazing web designer, LightPress, and to Push Leads for doing all of the behind the scenes work on our site.