A world-class team

Christine Toha
GYRONTONIC®
Christine fell in love with the GYROTONIC Expansion System® after being introduced to it while studying as a dance major at Florida State University’s School of Dance. From practicing Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis methods as a supplement to dance training, she noticed improved strength and increased fluidity in movement from the many three dimensional movements and breathing patterns. It quickly became a fundamental tool for injury prevention and rehabilitation that supported her dance training. Her experience in dance includes performances in classical, contemporary ballet, and modern repertoire with The Tallahassee Ballet, World Ballet Inc., Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet School, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet Summer Intensive.

After receiving an MSc in Dance Science, Christine continues to concentrate her expertise on teaching movement using the Gyrotonic method and dance science research. She has presented research at the International Association of Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS) Conference and continues to investigate ways to understand and enhance methods for dance injury prevention and performance enhancement. While teaching the Gyrotonic method she customizes programs to best fit clients’ needs and includes assessments to track progress. She specializes with artist athletes on strength and conditioning methods as well as rehabilitation. At the heart of her teaching, Christine focuses on using different techniques to help clients discover their greatest movement potential and become empowered by it.
Vicky Bauer
PILATES
Vicky Bauer joined the Urban Body team in 2017 after enjoying the studio as an active client. She began Pilates in 2011 under BASI trained instructor and dance teacher colleague Tamara Gililand. Mrs. Bauer is passionate about Pilates, and after teaching ballet for more than 35 years, she started her own certification process to help others the way she had been helped by the same breath-based movement.

Mrs. Bauer is a Registered Nurse and specializes in cardiac step down. She practices at Watsonville Community Hospital in the Telemetry Unit where she has been since 2015. Her prior appointment from 2008 – 2014 was at San Antonio Regional Hospital in Upland, California.

With extensive choreography and performance background, Mrs. Bauer has studied ballet and modern dance with influential teachers nationally and globally including Los Angeles, New York City, Utah and South Africa. She taught ballet, jazz and tap dance at studios and academies throughout Southern California and developed a pre-school dance program which was contracted to schools in the Inland Empire region of California.

Mrs. Bauer was born and raised in Fullerton. Married for over 30 years, she and her husband raised four children in Orange County until moving to Santa Clara Valley’s south county region in 2014. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from California State University, Fullerton in Theatre Arts and Dance.
Shannon Bynum Adams
founder & co-owner
Shannon Bynum Adams, NCPT® is a nationally acclaimed trainer and wellness consultant. After learning the healing and corrective benefits of the work post orthopedic surgeries – including two hip replacements, she founded Urban Body San Jose in 2016 as the only boutique studio featuring both Classical Pilates and The GYROTONIC® Method in Northern California’s largest city.  Mrs. Adams is a fully comprehensive Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher, licensed in both GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Methods, certified in the specialized equipment and many specialized application courses in the Method and holds a  Pre-Trainer license under the mentorship of Authorized Master Trainer Kathy Van Patten. As a teacher trainer, she deeply enjoys mentoring new teachers in both modalities. Originally certified by Power Pilates under the mentorship of Master Teacher Allison Gonzalez, she later completed Benjamin Degenhardt’s 360® Pilates which was a course Benjamin hosted prior to launching his online educational site, 360pilates.com. Prior to the wellness industry, she enjoyed a decade-long professional ballet career with the former Ballet San Jose.  Mrs. Adams is known for advocacy of investing in one’s body. She has been featured in media as a wellness industry thought leader and her work has been covered widely in regional and national news stories including NBC news, ABC news, Content Magazine, Gentry Magazine, The Mercury News and Pilates Style Magazine where she was a featured cover in 2014 and again in 2018 in the March issue as the body for Benjamin Degenhardt’s feature on touch cues in the mat work. In 2019, the Silicon Valley Business Journal named Mrs. Adams among the top 100 most influential women in the region. In 2020, Urban Body San Jose was named a top wellness destination by Silicon Valley Magazine, and named a top Pilates studio by Metro Newspaper. A certified teacher in the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum in all levels, she also works with dancers throughout the Bay Area in Classical Pilates and The  Gyrotonic Method for cross-training, conditioning and rehabilitation from dance-related injury. She is also a certified trainer in Progressing Ballet Technique®. Mrs. Adams holds a Bachelor of Arts from California State University Fresno and has an MFA in Creative Practice with a certificate in Somatics from Saint Mary’s College where she researched Somatic movement therapy, nervous system regulation, and breathwork for healing emotional and physical trauma. Shannon is also a certified mindfulness and meditation coach and enjoys teaching her students and clients how to use breath and meditation for overall health and wellness in all that we do. With an additional passion for teaching in an academic setting, Shannon has taught at Ohlone College and as an adjunct professor for Santa Clara University. Most recently, Shannon, alongside co-owner Maria Yu and colleague Svea McMath, launched Joe's Gym at Urban Body San Jose: an educational course for clients in two parts. Urban Body San Jose proudly offers this course, the first of its kind in the industry and focuses on client learning with on-demand and Independent  Workout components, in addition to the curriculum manual created for clients seeking a deeper understanding of the Pilates method. In her free time, she enjoys gardening and tending to her many indoor plants both at the studio and home, time with her husband and family, and being a mother to her children.  
Maria Yu
co-owner
Maria Yu, NCPT®, and co-owner of Urban Body San Jose, was a Principal Dancer with the former Ballet San Jose. Maria (Jacobs) Yu’s seventeen year-long professional dance career is highlighted with lead roles in classics, many of which were uniquely created for her. At the peak of her career, Mrs. Yu worked with world-renowned dancer, Stephane Dalle on floor barre technique. The experience made her realize the importance of cross-training, and eventually led her to dive deeper into the Pilates Method. She credits Classical Pilates, Floor Barre, and GYROTONIC® used as cross training to stay fit, healthy, and active during the regular season and summer months off. Inspired by the strength and stamina these modalities provided her body, she decided to pursue a fully comprehensive Pilates training program with the guidance from Urban Body San Jose founding owner Shannon Bynum Adams, so that she could mentor other dancers to find the strength, joy, freedom, and confidence in their dancing that it provided her own career. Striving to inspire dancers and non-dancers alike to invest in their bodies, Maria believes that self-care is not indulgent, but rather necessary. To that end, Mrs. Yu, an NCPT® certified instructor, earned her full comprehensive Power Pilates certification under the guidance of Power Pilates master trainer Allison Gonzalez. Additionally, she completed Benjamin Degenhardt's 360 Pilates certification, ABT curriculum training program and holds a certification in Progressing Ballet Technique®. Mrs. Yu is a visual representation of the power of what Classical Pilates can do for the body and is honored to share this work with the San Jose community. A mother of three, she currently co-owns the studio, teaches and mentors in the Classical Pilates Method, and shares the effectiveness of the Pilates and GYROTONIC® methods at Urban Body San Jose. Mrs. Yu is a strong advocate of using the modalities taught at Urban Body San Jose to maintain a strong physical body, and to connect the mind, body and spirit, to achieve a complete sense of well being. This, in her opinion, is the work’s strongest impact. In the words of Joseph Pilates, “The mind, when housed within a healthful body, possesses a glorious sense of power.”

Roberta Lanard
Born in Los Gatos, California, Roberta has spent her life geographically coming home to the Bay Area the same way she has mentally, emotionally, and intellectually come home to movement as a primary mode of being, learning, and engaging the world. She began her formal movement training as a ballroom dancer at the age of 11. At age 18 she began teaching ballroom, and shortly after she began dancing with her first professional partner, Jonathan Roberts, with whom she won the Professional Title in Rising Star American Smooth. While dancing with Jonathan she began cross-training in Pilates, and The GYROKINESIS® and GYROTONIC® Method. Her professional dance career continued the next nine years with three different professional Standard partners before she retired in 2006. During this time, Roberta channeled her physical energy into other movement modalities (running, ballet, and kickboxing) and her intellectual energy into earning a BS in Kinesiology from SJSU.

From the first day she began teaching in 1994 until now, through her professional career and her academic career, she’s never taken a break from teaching. Roberta has led teams at Stanford, San Jose State University, and Cal Berkeley and finds great joy and meaning in educating others in movement. Remembering how Pilates and GYROTONIC® immediately brought her new levels of mobility, stability, and fluidity all those years ago and knowing that her most competitive students needed to establish a cross-training protocol she reached out to Shannon in April 2017. Little did she know her intention to support her students in their dance journey would thrust her back into the world of Pilates and GYROTONIC®. Alongside her students she began taking regular sessions at Urban Body San Jose and in 2020 she began her formal teacher training journey into The GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® with Shannon Bynum Adams as her pre-trainer and in 2023 completed her Gyrotonic Foundation Course with Kathy Van Patten.  

Through the practice of many movement disciplines, Roberta believes that movement can heal. As an educator she is committed to helping people rekindle their love for novel movement and the freedom it brings to their lives. Roberta is thrilled to be teaching a method she deeply believes in while building the community she so deeply loves.  

Svea McMath
Prior to becoming a classically certified Pilates instructor, Svea McMath, NCPT® trained professionally in ballet for over a decade, beginning at the former Ballet San Jose School before eventually moving to North Carolina where she continued her training. Ms. McMath experienced her first formal Pilates class from Shannon Bynum Adams when she was just ten years old, immediately felt the benefits and was inspired at that moment to one day become a certified Pilates instructor herself. Being on the East Coast provided her the opportunity to travel to New York City to become certified by Power Pilates in Core Mat I & II. Ms. McMath was offered a traineeship with Pittsburgh Ballet as well as a personal invitation from Christopher Hird to train further at Sarasota Ballet. Her dream was to have a professional career as a dancer so she put further Pilates training on hold to pursue this goal. Her ballet career was abruptly cut short that summer with a stress fracture to her spine and it was soul-searching time. Uncertain of what step to take next in life, there was one constant in her heart: the joy and passion she had discovered for Pilates and the intelligent, mind-body approach to movement. Years after the original class which inspired her down this path, Ms. McMath completed The Power Pilates 600-Hour Comprehensive Apparatus Program under the tutelage of Patty Geiger and Stacie Dombrowski.  In addition to being a National Certified Pilates Teacher through the Pilates Method Alliance®, Ms. McMath is also an instructor in The GYROTONIC® Method, certified on the Jumping-Stretch Board and The GYROTONER® as well as successfully completing other certification courses in the GYROTONIC® Expansion System. She also received her Progressive Ballet Technique® (PBT) certification in May 2020, drawing from her continued passion for the art of dance and movement, and her own past experiences in order to cross-train dancers of all ages towards their own individual pursuits and goals. She has explored new forms of dance as well, competing successfully in ballroom, standard and Latin.  Ms. McMath is very excited to be back in the Bay Area and eager to share her passion for wellness through fluid, graceful, intelligent movement at Urban Body San Jose. True healing blooms from the inside outward for mind, body and spirit.

Naomi Sailors
A native of Fremont, California, Naomi Sailors trained for many years at Ballet San Jose School (later Silicon Valley Ballet School) and was an inaugural member of The New Ballet’s Studio Company under the direction of Dalia Rawson. While training with the Studio Company, she was introduced to the GYROKINESIS® and GYROTONIC® methods by Shannon Bynum Adams, and fell in love with the work.

Naomi joined Menlowe Ballet in 2017, and was promoted to Company Artist the following year, always using the GYROTONIC® Method as a form of cross-training for better performance. There, she has enjoyed dancing featured roles in ballets such as Michael Lowe’s It’s a Wonderful Nutcracker and Upstream. In addition to dancing with Menlowe Ballet, she is the Ballet Master for The New Ballet Company and School, choreographing original works for their dancers and serving as ballet and contemporary dance faculty. Naomi co-founded and continues to choreograph for em(body) Dance Project, a ballet-based contemporary dance company performing in the South Bay. Additionally, she is a certified ABT National Training Curriculum instructor in Primary - Level 3.

Before becoming a GYROTONIC® trainer at Urban Body San Jose, Naomi was a dedicated client for many years. She has experienced firsthand the benefits of the system as a student and client in improving coordination, flexibility, strength, and muscle awareness in both dance and everyday life. Her goal is to help clients and dancers of all ages learn how to effectively and safely utilize their physical facility to achieve their goals.

Betty Sun
Betty Sun has been on a path for self-healing through body movement. That path eventually led her to Classical Pilates, and then to the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM®. She is a certified trainer in GYROKINESIS® Level 1, and a certified Classical Pilates instructor through Real Pilates® 600 Hour Comprehensive Teacher Training Program. Through mindful movement, Betty deepens her practice in both systems and gathers insights to balance the body and the mind. She shares her joy from practicing both systems with the world through teaching her learning and findings. She believes that with mindful and consistent practice of body movement, we can reside in the peaceful state of present moment and experience oneself as we truly are without external or internal judgements.Betty has an MBA from Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley. She is from Taiwan and is fluent in English and Chinese Mandarin. She continues to study Pilates under Cecile Elias, and the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® under Svea McMath.

Jennifer Wada
Jennifer Wada took her first Pilates reformer session in 2004 and immediately fell in love. Though a dancer and athlete for many years, this was the first time learning how to properly engage the core muscles that can be so elusive. With Pilates as a new staple in her life, it became clear that instructor training would be the next step. In 2007, Ms. Wada studied with Turning Point Studios and Balanced Body University to teach Pilates mat, reformer and all apparatus. A  comprehensive trainer in the Pilates method, Ms. Wada has been instructing since 2008 with a focus on private, duet and small group sessions for all levels. With an interest in stretching as well as strengthening, she helps clients develop a strong, well balanced body. Ms. Wada enjoys drawing from her experience in dance, athletics, and yoga to create a fun Pilates workout. Ms. Wada is a strong believer in cross-training and became Zumba certified in 2012. Pilates has been the key ingredient to living a healthier, more active life. She joined the Urban Body San Jose team in 2017 and teaches evenings and weekends upon request. Ms. Wada is a passionate animal lover and devoted mother and calls San Jose her home.  

Nicole Yip
Nicole Yip, NCPT® grew up in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado and was first introduced to the principles of Pilates when she was a young dancer as a part of her physical therapy for scoliosis. Struggling with an imbalancement of mobility and muscular recruitment, Nicole saw the benefits of Pilates when working to improve symmetry in her spinal strength.  

Ms. Yip initially moved to California in 2005 as a professional dancer to join the former Ballet San Jose and over the past decade, has been asked to teach all levels of ballet with multiple dance studios in the greater Bay Area.  
After her career as a dancer, Nicole graduated from San Jose State University with a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and enjoyed working on corporate sponsored projects and internships but ultimately returned to her passion of dance and fitness education.

In addition to teaching Pilates at Urban Body San Jose, Ms. Yip is devoted to introducing the performing arts to young children. She is the owner of First Position Dance which offers on-site dance classes to preschools, kindergartens, and elementary schools primarily in the South Bay. Over the past decade, her program has provided the first dance class experience for many young children through an enrichment program in schools.

In 2018, Ms. Yip joined the Urban Body San Jose team and is a fully certified comprehensive Pilates Instructor, successfully completing the 450 hour training through the beginner, intermediate and advanced system on the mat all the apparatus.

Alex Kramer
Born in Grand Junction, Colorado, at the age of 7 Alex began his training at The Institute of Dancing Arts. He has also trained with Jean-Philippe Malaty, Executive Director of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and participated in the Denver Ballet Guild Young Dancer's Competition from 2004 through 2009. In 2009, he was awarded the Florence Ruston Award for Overall Excellence. He also began training at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre in New York City and in 2010, he became the first recipient of their David Hallberg Scholarship. Alex was a member of American Ballet Theatre's Studio Company for the 2011/2012 season and performed with ABT II on its 2011 European tour where he danced Jerome Robbins's “Interplay,” George Balanchine's “Allegro Brillante,” and Antony Tudor's “Continuo.”

His professional ballet career started at the former Ballet San Jose in 2012. He  was promoted to soloist in 2015 and danced many leading roles, notably Sir Frederick Ashton’s “Les Renezdevous,” George Balanchine’s “Theme and Variations,” and Jorma Elo’s “Glow-Stop.” Alex joined the Washington Ballet in Washington DC in 2017 and was a part of the company for four seasons. There he danced the role of Paris in John Cranko’s “Romeo and Juliet,” the Hoofer in George Balanchine’s “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue,” the lead in George Balanchine’s “Allegro Brillante,” and George Balanchine’s “Tarantella” Pas de Duex, among others.

Alex has practiced Pilates throughout his ballet career, initially as way to cross train and improve his performance as a dancer. Pilates improved his practice as a dancer but as he dove deeper into the work, he also learned the benefits of Pilates for everyday function and wellbeing. Alex has worked closely with Maria Jacobs-Yu (co-owner of Urban Body San Jose) and has been inspired by her passion as a teacher. With her as a mentor, he has started his path to becoming a certified Pilates instructor. Alex is a part of the Pure Body Teacher Training program, hosted by Urban Body San Jose, and looks forward to sharing his knowledge of Pilates and passing it on through teaching.

Rebecca Nugent
Born In Ethiopia and adopted at the age of ten, when she got to America, Rebecca immediately jumped at the chance to sign up for different styles of dance. She ultimately fell in love with ballet and at the age of 16 decided to pursue it in a serious matter. During her ballet training, her love for movement grew into an interest in human anatomy, which led her to minor in Kinesiology at Humboldt State University where she gained a strong
educational foundation around body mechanics and discovered the many benefits of functional movement.

Rebecca moved to San Jose two years ago to join The NewBallet as a company dancer. She recently received her teacher training certification in the American Ballet Theater National Training Curriculum and attended GYROTONIC® sessions from Urban Body San Jose. GYROTONIC® quickly became more than just cross training for her asRebecca saw it as a form of art and began to find ways to incorporate its principles into her daily life. A labor of love, she recently completed her GYROTONIC® Method Foundation Course with Authorized Master TrainerKathy Van Patten and is honored to be joining the Urban Body San Jose team as an apprentice teacher.

Alysa Reinhardt
Born and raised in Anaheim, California, Alysa began her ballet training at the age of 4. She continued her training at Southland Ballet Academy under the direction of Hanna Przyludzka-Karacic. She was also a trainee with Festival Ballet Theatre where she had the opportunity to dance in George Balenchine’s Serenade and Concerto Barocco. After graduation, Alysa joined Milwaukee Ballet 2, where she enjoyed roles in Michael Pink’s The Nutcracker and La Sylphide.

Since moving to San Jose, she has joined The New Ballet’s Studio Company and was promoted to company member in 2020. Alysa has danced several principles roles there including Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Rose Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella in Cinderella. At The New Ballet, she was given the opportunity to teach ballet and is now certified in American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum in levels Pre-Primary through 5. Alysa is passionate about dancer health, injury prevention, and creating a positive learning environment. She was introduced to the GYROKINESIS® and GYROTONIC® methods by Shannon Bynum-Adams in 2017 and recently completed her Pre-Training and Foundation courses at Urban Body San Jose.

In December of 2019, Alysa was diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She went through 5 months of intense chemotherapy and 5 weeks of radiation therapy. The treatments left her weak, struggling with neuropathy, and inflexible. Once her immune system was strong enough, Alysa started GYROTONIC® private lessons with Allie Christensen in Huntington Beach and immediately saw results in her physical and mental well-being. She was able to regain flexibility, strength, and confidence in her body and because of this, GYROTONIC® is now an integral part of her cross training and life. Alysa is excited to continue her GYROTONIC® journey and cannot wait to share her newfound knowledge with her students and community.

Sarah Stevens
Sarah was born and raised in Orange County, California. She began dancing ballet at the age of three and never really stopped. Sarah currently performs with the New Ballet as a Company Artist. Her pursuit of a professional dance career has often been challenged by injury, but out of those difficulties grew the space to explore teaching, as well as a passion for helping others overcome their own physical challenges. She went on to receive formal training as a dance teacher through the ABT National Training Curriculum and has loved sharing this methodology with her students.

Sarah was first introduced to the GYROTONIC® method at Urban Body San Jose as a form of cross training. After her first session, she fell completely in love with the movement and all the forms of strength and healing it can provide. Sarah knew it would be something she would love to teach one day too. Most recently, Sarah completed her GYROTONIC® Method Foundation course with incredible Master Trainer Kathy Van Patten, who instills so much excitement, love, and respect for the movement practice in all her students.

Sarah is thrilled to be joining the amazing Urban Body San Jose team as an apprentice teacher. She hopes to guide her clients towards greater self-knowledge and care, feeling more and more at home with their body and its movement, and everything it can help them to achieve.

Nicole Levine
Nicole Levine is an instructor in the GYROTONIC® Method. She first discovered the healing benefits of the movement system while recovering from illness due to an autoimmune disease. She immediately gravitated to the therapeutic effects on the physical body and nervous system. A former college athlete, Nicole spent over 15 years working in collegiate, professional, and international sport. Most notable is her time spent working at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, 2014 Sochi Winter Games, Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and FIFA World Cup Brazil. Nicole holds a master’s degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Sport Psychology. She specializes in mental skills training, stress management, and biofeedback training. She is also a certified yoga teacher with a background in Iyengar, restorative, and yin yoga. She is currently a lecturer in the Kinesiology department at San Jose State University and teaches stress management and yoga to the San Jose Fire Department, CalFire, and military veterans. Nicole’s passion is exploring the relationship between the mind and body and helping individuals find ease and comfort through the physical, psychological, and emotional benefits of somatic movement.

Nicole Khoo
Nicole Khoo moved to the Bay area in April 2022. She has enjoyed performing in productions with Western Ballet, San Jose Dance Theatre, Oceanica Ballet and New Ballet. In Singapore, she started in Chinese Dance, then completed vocational levels with the RAD and CSTD under Mr. Donato C. Ferrer and Mr. Antony Tay. It was in Singapore that she completed her Pilates teacher training courses under the Merrithew STOTT Pilates method. After 4 years at Singapore Ballet’s pre-professional program under Mr. Janek Schergen, she danced soloist and lead roles with Tampa Ballet Theatre for 2 seasons. Subsequently, she performed with The Georgia Ballet (Daet Rodriguez and Margit Peguero) for 4 seasons. In her dance journey, she has enjoyed performing a variety of classical and contemporary works, including Paquita, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Carmen, Giselle, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Coppelia, Les Sylphides, Una Danza Para Ti, Pentimento, and Haydn, always using Pilates as a form of cross-training to keep her strong and agile. Nicole is thrilled to be teaching Pilates at Urban Body San Jose and looks forward to sharing her love of movement, cross-training and overall wellness with the UBSJ community of movers and dancers.
Young Hyun Kim
Young Hyun Kim, has been a classically trained Pilates instructor for over 10 years. Young initially earned her full comprehensive Power Pilates certification under the guidance of Power Pilates master trainer Allison Gonzales, a Protégé of Romana Kryzanowska. She completed another Pilates certification through 360° Pilates by Benjamin Degenhardt. Furthermore, Young had the opportunity to work with many master teachers such as Bob Liekens, Jay Grimes, Sandy Shimoda, Moses Urbano, and her mentor, Carrie Shanafelt. She has not only continued learning from the master teachers, workshops, and trainings but also has completed human anatomy certifications at Stanford School of Medicine for a deeper knowledge of Pilates and body movement.

Young was initially introduced to Pilates as a solution for her chronic lower back pain. After taking several sessions of Pilates, she noticed the benefits of Pilates in her body and decided to become a Pilates instructor. Young is committed to sharing the valuable benefits of Pilates with her clients by teaching to fit their physical needs and helping them safely progress to their desired fitness level. She hopes her clients feel strong and rejuvenated at the end of their session.  

Young has taught private, semi, and group lessons at several locations in the Bay Area,  including Evolve Classical Pilates, Crane Pilates, Moffett Tower Club, and Urban Body San Jose. In Boise, Idaho, Young also taught Pilates classes at Forte Pilates and in the Kinesiology department at Boise State University as an adjunct professor. During Young’s session, your workout will be structured to fit your physical needs in a supportive, yet challenging format.

Young is a native Korean and available to teach her sessions in both Korean and English. She studied BA and MA in Political Science in Korea and earned her Master’s degree in Education from Stanford University in 2009. Young was previously a member of UBSJ, before her family moved to Idaho. Now, she is back to teach at UBSJ and feels fortunate to work with such an excellent team of UBSJ instructors.

Shannon Bynum Adams
founder & co-owner

Shannon Bynum Adams, NCPT® is a nationally acclaimed trainer and wellness consultant. After learning the healing and corrective benefits of the work post orthopedic surgeries – including two hip replacements, she founded Urban Body San Jose in 2016 as the only boutique studio featuring both Classical Pilates and The GYROTONIC® Method in Northern California’s largest city.  Mrs. Adams is a fully comprehensive Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher, licensed in both GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Methods, certified in the specialized equipment and many specialized application courses in the Method and holds a  Pre-Trainer license under the mentorship of Authorized Master Trainer Kathy Van Patten. As a teacher trainer, she deeply enjoys mentoring new teachers in both modalities. Originally certified by Power Pilates under the mentorship of Master Teacher Allison Gonzalez, she later completed Benjamin Degenhardt’s 360® Pilates which was a course Benjamin hosted prior to launching his online educational site, 360pilates.com. Prior to the wellness industry, she enjoyed a decade-long professional ballet career with the former Ballet San Jose.  Mrs. Adams is known for advocacy of investing in one’s body. She has been featured in media as a wellness industry thought leader and her work has been covered widely in regional and national news stories including NBC news, ABC news, Content Magazine, Gentry Magazine, The Mercury News and Pilates Style Magazine where she was a featured cover in 2014 and again in 2018 in the March issue as the body for Benjamin Degenhardt’s feature on touch cues in the mat work. In 2019, the Silicon Valley Business Journal named Mrs. Adams among the top 100 most influential women in the region. In 2020, Urban Body San Jose was named a top wellness destination by Silicon Valley Magazine, and named a top Pilates studio by Metro Newspaper. A certified teacher in the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum in all levels, she also works with dancers throughout the Bay Area in Classical Pilates and The  Gyrotonic Method for cross-training, conditioning and rehabilitation from dance-related injury. She is also a certified trainer in Progressing Ballet Technique®. Mrs. Adams holds a Bachelor of Arts from California State University Fresno and has an MFA in Creative Practice with a certificate in Somatics from Saint Mary’s College where she researched Somatic movement therapy, nervous system regulation, and breathwork for healing emotional and physical trauma. Shannon is also a certified mindfulness and meditation coach and enjoys teaching her students and clients how to use breath and meditation for overall health and wellness in all that we do. With an additional passion for teaching in an academic setting, Shannon has taught at Ohlone College and as an adjunct professor for Santa Clara University. Most recently, Shannon, alongside co-owner Maria Yu and colleague Svea McMath, launched Joe's Gym at Urban Body San Jose: an educational course for clients in two parts. Urban Body San Jose proudly offers this course, the first of its kind in the industry and focuses on client learning with on-demand and Independent  Workout components, in addition to the curriculum manual created for clients seeking a deeper understanding of the Pilates method. In her free time, she enjoys gardening and tending to her many indoor plants both at the studio and home, time with her husband and family, and being a mother to her children.

Maria Yu
co-owner

Maria Yu, NCPT®, and co-owner of Urban Body San Jose, was a Principal Dancer with the former Ballet San Jose. Maria (Jacobs) Yu’s seventeen year-long professional dance career is highlighted with lead roles in classics, many of which were uniquely created for her. At the peak of her career, Mrs. Yu worked with world-renowned dancer, Stephane Dalle on floor barre technique. The experience made her realize the importance of cross-training, and eventually led her to dive deeper into the Pilates Method. She credits Classical Pilates, Floor Barre, and GYROTONIC® Method used as cross training to stay fit, healthy, and active during the regular season and summer months off. Inspired by the strength and stamina these modalities provided her body, she decided to pursue a fully comprehensive Pilates training program with the guidance from Urban Body San Jose founding owner Shannon Bynum Adams, so that she could mentor other dancers to find the strength, joy, freedom, and confidence in their dancing that it provided her own career. Striving to inspire dancers and non-dancers alike to invest in their bodies, Maria believes that self-care is not indulgent, but rather necessary. To that end, Mrs. Yu, an NCPT® certified instructor, earned her full comprehensive Power Pilates certification under the guidance of Power Pilates master trainer Allison Gonzalez. Additionally, she completed Benjamin Degenhardt's 360 Pilates certification, ABT curriculum training program and holds a certification in Progressing Ballet Technique®. Mrs. Yu is a visual representation of the power of what Classical Pilates can do for the body and is honored to share this work with the San Jose community. A mother of three, she currently co-owns the studio, teaches and mentors in the Classical Pilates Method, and shares the effectiveness of the Pilates and Gyrotonic methods at Urban Body San Jose. Mrs. Yu is a strong advocate of using the modalities taught at Urban Body San Jose to maintain a strong physical body, and to connect the mind, body and spirit, to achieve a complete sense of well being. This, in her opinion, is the work’s strongest impact. In the words of Joseph Pilates, “The mind, when housed within a healthful body, possesses a glorious sense of power.”

Roberta Lanard

Born in Los Gatos, California, Roberta has spent her life geographically coming home to the Bay Area the same way she has mentally, emotionally, and intellectually come home to movement as a primary mode of being, learning, and engaging the world. She began her formal movement training as a ballroom dancer at the age of 11. At age 18 she began teaching ballroom, and shortly after she began dancing with her first professional partner, Jonathan Roberts, with whom she won the Professional Title in Rising Star American Smooth. While dancing with Jonathan she began cross-training in Pilates, and The GYROKINESIS® and GYROTONIC® Method. Her professional dance career continued the next nine years with three different professional Standard partners before she retired in 2006. During this time, Roberta channeled her physical energy into other movement modalities (running, ballet, and kickboxing) and her intellectual energy into earning a BS in Kinesiology from SJSU.

From the first day she began teaching in 1994 until now, through her professional career and her academic career, she’s never taken a break from teaching. Roberta has led teams at Stanford, San Jose State University, and Cal Berkeley and finds great joy and meaning in educating others in movement. Remembering how Pilates and GYROTONIC® immediately brought her new levels of mobility, stability, and fluidity all those years ago and knowing that her most competitive students needed to establish a cross-training protocol she reached out to Shannon in April 2017. Little did she know her intention to support her students in their dance journey would thrust her back into the world of Pilates and GYROTONIC®. Alongside her students she began taking regular sessions at Urban Body San Jose and in 2020 she began her formal teacher training journey into The GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® with Shannon Bynum Adams as her pre-trainer and in 2023 completed her Gyrotonic Foundation Course with Kathy Van Patten.  

Through the practice of many movement disciplines, Roberta believes that movement can heal. As an educator she is committed to helping people rekindle their love for novel movement and the freedom it brings to their lives. Roberta is thrilled to be teaching a method she deeply believes in while building the community she so deeply loves.  

Svea McMath

Prior to becoming a classically certified Pilates instructor, Svea McMath, NCPT® trained professionally in ballet for over a decade, beginning at the former Ballet San Jose School before eventually moving to North Carolina where she continued her training. Ms. McMath experienced her first formal Pilates class from Shannon Bynum Adams when she was just ten years old, immediately felt the benefits and was inspired at that moment to one day become a certified Pilates instructor herself. Being on the East Coast provided her the opportunity to travel to New York City to become certified by Power Pilates in Core Mat I & II. Ms. McMath was offered a traineeship with Pittsburgh Ballet as well as a personal invitation from Christopher Hird to train further at Sarasota Ballet. Her dream was to have a professional career as a dancer so she put further Pilates training on hold to pursue this goal. Her ballet career was abruptly cut short that summer with a stress fracture to her spine and it was soul-searching time. Uncertain of what step to take next in life, there was one constant in her heart: the joy and passion she had discovered for Pilates and the intelligent, mind-body approach to movement. Years after the original class which inspired her down this path, Ms. McMath completed The Power Pilates 600-Hour Comprehensive Apparatus Program under the tutelage of Patty Geiger and Stacie Dombrowski.  In addition to being a National Certified Pilates Teacher through the Pilates Method Alliance®, Ms. McMath is also an instructor in The GYROTONIC® Method, certified on the Jumping-Stretch Board and The GYROTONER® as well as successfully completing other certification courses in the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM®. She also received her Progressive Ballet Technique® (PBT) certification in May 2020, drawing from her continued passion for the art of dance and movement, and her own past experiences in order to cross-train dancers of all ages towards their own individual pursuits and goals. She has explored new forms of dance as well, competing successfully in ballroom, standard and Latin.  Ms. McMath is very excited to be back in the Bay Area and eager to share her passion for wellness through fluid, graceful, intelligent movement at Urban Body San Jose. True healing blooms from the inside outward for mind, body and spirit.

Naomi Sailors

A native of Fremont, California, Naomi Sailors trained for many years at Ballet San Jose School (later Silicon Valley Ballet School) and was an inaugural member of The New Ballet’s Studio Company under the direction of Dalia Rawson. While training with the Studio Company, she was introduced to the GYROKINESIS® and GYROTONIC® methods by Shannon Bynum Adams, and fell in love with the work.

Naomi joined Menlowe Ballet in 2017, and was promoted to Company Artist the following year, always using the Gyrotonic Method as a form of cross-training for better performance. There, she has enjoyed dancing featured roles in ballets such as Michael Lowe’s It’s a Wonderful Nutcracker and Upstream. In addition to dancing with Menlowe Ballet, she is the Ballet Master for The New Ballet Company and School, choreographing original works for their dancers and serving as ballet and contemporary dance faculty. Naomi co-founded and continues to choreograph for em(body) Dance Project, a ballet-based contemporary dance company performing in the South Bay. Additionally, she is a certified ABT National Training Curriculum instructor in Primary - Level 3.

Before becoming a Gyrotonic trainer at Urban Body San Jose, Naomi was a dedicated client for many years. She has experienced firsthand the benefits of the system as a student and client in improving coordination, flexibility, strength, and muscle awareness in both dance and everyday life. Her goal is to help clients and dancers of all ages learn how to effectively and safely utilize their physical facility to achieve their goals.

Betty Sun

Betty Sun has been on a path for self-healing through body movement. That path eventually led her to Classical Pilates, and then to the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM®. She is a certified trainer in GYROKINESIS® Level 1, and a certified Classical Pilates instructor through Real Pilates® 600 Hour Comprehensive Teacher Training Program. Through mindful movement, Betty deepens her practice in both systems and gathers insights to balance the body and the mind. She shares her joy from practicing both systems with the world through teaching her learning and findings. She believes that with mindful and consistent practice of body movement, we can reside in the peaceful state of present moment and experience oneself as we truly are without external or internal judgements.Betty has an MBA from Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley. She is from Taiwan and is fluent in English and Chinese Mandarin. She continues to study Pilates under Cecile Elias, and the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® under Svea McMath.

Jennifer Wada

Jennifer Wada took her first Pilates reformer session in 2004 and immediately fell in love. Though a dancer and athlete for many years, this was the first time learning how to properly engage the core muscles that can be so elusive. With Pilates as a new staple in her life, it became clear that instructor training would be the next step. In 2007, Ms. Wada studied with Turning Point Studios and Balanced Body University to teach Pilates mat, reformer and all apparatus. A  comprehensive trainer in the Pilates method, Ms. Wada has been instructing since 2008 with a focus on private, duet and small group sessions for all levels. With an interest in stretching as well as strengthening, she helps clients develop a strong, well balanced body. Ms. Wada enjoys drawing from her experience in dance, athletics, and yoga to create a fun Pilates workout. Ms. Wada is a strong believer in cross-training and became Zumba certified in 2012. Pilates has been the key ingredient to living a healthier, more active life. She joined the Urban Body San Jose team in 2017 and teaches evenings and weekends upon request. Ms. Wada is a passionate animal lover and devoted mother and calls San Jose her home.  

Nicole Yip

Nicole Yip, NCPT® grew up in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado and was first introduced to the principles of Pilates when she was a young dancer as a part of her physical therapy for scoliosis. Struggling with an imbalancement of mobility and muscular recruitment, Nicole saw the benefits of Pilates when working to improve symmetry in her spinal strength.  

Ms. Yip initially moved to California in 2005 as a professional dancer to join the former Ballet San Jose and over the past decade, has been asked to teach all levels of ballet with multiple dance studios in the greater Bay Area.  
After her career as a dancer, Nicole graduated from San Jose State University with a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and enjoyed working on corporate sponsored projects and internships but ultimately returned to her passion of dance and fitness education.

In addition to teaching Pilates at Urban Body San Jose, Ms. Yip is devoted to introducing the performing arts to young children. She is the owner of First Position Dance which offers on-site dance classes to preschools, kindergartens, and elementary schools primarily in the South Bay. Over the past decade, her program has provided the first dance class experience for many young children through an enrichment program in schools.

In 2018, Ms. Yip joined the Urban Body San Jose team and is a fully certified comprehensive Pilates Instructor, successfully completing the 450 hour training through the beginner, intermediate and advanced system on the mat all the apparatus.

Alex Kramer

Born in Grand Junction, Colorado, at the age of 7 Alex began his training at The Institute of Dancing Arts. He has also trained with Jean-Philippe Malaty, Executive Director of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and participated in the Denver Ballet Guild Young Dancer's Competition from 2004 through 2009. In 2009, he was awarded the Florence Ruston Award for Overall Excellence. He also began training at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre in New York City and in 2010, he became the first recipient of their David Hallberg Scholarship. Alex was a member of American Ballet Theatre's Studio Company for the 2011/2012 season and performed with ABT II on its 2011 European tour where he danced Jerome Robbins's “Interplay,” George Balanchine's “Allegro Brillante,” and Antony Tudor's “Continuo.” 

His professional ballet career started at the former Ballet San Jose in 2012. He  was promoted to soloist in 2015 and danced many leading roles, notably Sir Frederick Ashton’s “Les Renezdevous,” George Balanchine’s “Theme and Variations,” and Jorma Elo’s “Glow-Stop.” Alex joined the Washington Ballet in Washington DC in 2017 and was a part of the company for four seasons. There he danced the role of Paris in John Cranko’s “Romeo and Juliet,” the Hoofer in George Balanchine’s “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue,” the lead in George Balanchine’s “Allegro Brillante,” and George Balanchine’s “Tarantella” Pas de Duex, among others. 

Alex has practiced Pilates throughout his ballet career, initially as way to cross train and improve his performance as a dancer. Pilates improved his practice as a dancer but as he dove deeper into the work, he also learned the benefits of Pilates for everyday function and wellbeing. Alex has worked closely with Maria Jacobs-Yu (co-owner of Urban Body San Jose) and has been inspired by her passion as a teacher. With her as a mentor, he has started his path to becoming a certified Pilates instructor. Alex is a part of the Pure Body Teacher Training program, hosted by Urban Body San Jose, and looks forward to sharing his knowledge of Pilates and passing it on through teaching.

Rebecca Nugent

Born In Ethiopia and adopted at the age of ten, when she got to America, Rebecca immediately jumped at the chance to sign up for different styles of dance. She ultimately fell in love with ballet and at the age of 16 decided to pursue it in a serious matter. During her ballet training, her love for movement grew into an interest in human anatomy, which led her to minor in Kinesiology at Humboldt State University where she gained a strong educational foundation around body mechanics and discovered the many benefits of functional movement. 

Rebecca moved to San Jose two years ago to join The NewBallet as a company dancer. She recently received her teacher training certification in the American Ballet Theater National Training Curriculum and attended GYROTONIC® sessions from Urban Body San Jose. Gyrotonic quickly became more than just cross training for her asRebecca saw it as a form of art and began to find ways to incorporate its principles into her daily life. A labor of love, she recently completed her  Gyrotonic Method Foundation Course and final certification with Authorized Master TrainerKathy Van Patten and is honored to be joining the Urban Body San Jose team as a fully licensed teacher.

Alysa Reinhardt

Born and raised in Anaheim, California, Alysa began her ballet training at the age of 4. She continued her training at Southland Ballet Academy under the direction of Hanna Przyludzka-Karacic. She was also a trainee with Festival Ballet Theatre where she had the opportunity to dance in George Balenchine’s Serenade and Concerto Barocco. After graduation, Alysa joined Milwaukee Ballet 2, where she enjoyed roles in Michael Pink’s The Nutcracker and La Sylphide. 

Since moving to San Jose, she has joined The New Ballet’s Studio Company and was promoted to company member in 2020. Alysa has danced several principles roles there including Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Rose Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella in Cinderella. At The New Ballet, she was given the opportunity to teach ballet and is now certified in American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum in levels Pre-Primary through 5. Alysa is passionate about dancer health, injury prevention, and creating a positive learning environment. She was introduced to the GYROKINESIS® and GYROTONIC® methods by Shannon Bynum-Adams in 2017 and recently completed her Pre-Training and Foundation courses at Urban Body San Jose. 

In December of 2019, Alysa was diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She went through 5 months of intense chemotherapy and 5 weeks of radiation therapy. The treatments left her weak, struggling with neuropathy, and inflexible. Once her immune system was strong enough, Alysa started Gyrotonic private lessons with Allie Christensen in Huntington Beach and immediately saw results in her physical and mental well-being. She was able to regain flexibility, strength, and confidence in her body and because of this, Gyrotonic is now an integral part of her cross training and life. Alysa is excited to continue her Gyrotonic journey and cannot wait to share her newfound knowledge with her students and community. 

Sarah Stevens

Sarah was born and raised in Orange County, California. She began dancing ballet at the age of three and never really stopped. Sarah currently performs with the New Ballet as a Company Artist. Her pursuit of a professional dance career has often been challenged by injury, but out of those difficulties grew the space to explore teaching, as well as a passion for helping others overcome their own physical challenges. She went on to receive formal training as a dance teacher through the ABT National Training Curriculum and has loved sharing this methodology with her students. 

Sarah was first introduced to the GYROTONIC® Method at Urban Body San Jose as a form of cross training. After her first session, she fell completely in love with the movement and all the forms of strength and healing it can provide. Sarah knew it would be something she would love to teach one day too. Most recently, Sarah completed her Gyrotonic Method Foundation course and final certification with incredible Master Trainer Kathy Van Patten, who instills so much excitement, love, and respect for the movement practice in all her students. 

Sarah is thrilled to be joining the amazing Urban Body San Jose team as a licensed Gyrotonic teacher. She hopes to guide her clients towards greater self-knowledge and care, feeling more and more at home with their body and its movement, and everything it can help them to achieve.

Nicole Levine

Nicole Levine is an instructor in the GYROTONIC® Method. She first discovered the healing benefits of the movement system while recovering from illness due to an autoimmune disease. She immediately gravitated to the therapeutic effects on the physical body and nervous system. A former college athlete, Nicole spent over 15 years working in collegiate, professional, and international sport. Most notable is her time spent working at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, 2014 Sochi Winter Games, Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and FIFA World Cup Brazil. Nicole holds a master’s degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Sport Psychology. She specializes in mental skills training, stress management, and biofeedback training. She is also a certified yoga teacher with a background in Iyengar, restorative, and yin yoga. She is currently a lecturer in the Kinesiology department at San Jose State University and teaches stress management and yoga to the San Jose Fire Department, CalFire, and military veterans. Nicole’s passion is exploring the relationship between the mind and body and helping individuals find ease and comfort through the physical, psychological, and emotional benefits of somatic movement.

Nicole Khoo

Nicole Khoo moved to the Bay area in April 2022. She has enjoyed performing in productions with Western Ballet, San Jose Dance Theatre, Oceanica Ballet and New Ballet. In Singapore, she started in Chinese Dance, then completed vocational levels with the RAD and CSTD under Mr. Donato C. Ferrer and Mr. Antony Tay. It was in Singapore that she completed her Pilates teacher training courses under the Merrithew STOTT Pilates method. After 4 years at Singapore Ballet’s pre-professional program under Mr. Janek Schergen, she danced soloist and lead roles with Tampa Ballet Theatre for 2 seasons. Subsequently, she performed with The Georgia Ballet (Daet Rodriguez and Margit Peguero) for 4 seasons. In her dance journey, she has enjoyed performing a variety of classical and contemporary works, including Paquita, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Carmen, Giselle, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Coppelia, Les Sylphides, Una Danza Para Ti, Pentimento, and Haydn, always using Pilates as a form of cross-training to keep her strong and agile. Nicole is thrilled to be teaching Pilates at Urban Body San Jose and looks forward to sharing her love of movement, cross-training and overall wellness with the UBSJ community of movers and dancers.

Young Hyun Kim

Young Hyun Kim, has been a classically trained Pilates instructor for over 10 years. Young initially earned her full comprehensive Power Pilates certification under the guidance of Power Pilates master trainer Allison Gonzales, a Protégé of Romana Kryzanowska. She completed another Pilates certification through 360° Pilates by Benjamin Degenhardt. Furthermore, Young had the opportunity to work with many master teachers such as Bob Liekens, Jay Grimes, Sandy Shimoda, Moses Urbano, and her mentor, Carrie Shanafelt. She has not only continued learning from the master teachers, workshops, and trainings but also has completed human anatomy certifications at Stanford School of Medicine for a deeper knowledge of Pilates and body movement.

Young was initially introduced to Pilates as a solution for her chronic lower back pain. After taking several sessions of Pilates, she noticed the benefits of Pilates in her body and decided to become a Pilates instructor. Young is committed to sharing the valuable benefits of Pilates with her clients by teaching to fit their physical needs and helping them safely progress to their desired fitness level. She hopes her clients feel strong and rejuvenated at the end of their session.  

Young has taught private, semi, and group lessons at several locations in the Bay Area,  including Evolve Classical Pilates, Crane Pilates, Moffett Tower Club, and Urban Body San Jose. In Boise, Idaho, Young also taught Pilates classes at Forte Pilates and in the Kinesiology department at Boise State University as an adjunct professor. During Young’s session, your workout will be structured to fit your physical needs in a supportive, yet challenging format.

Young is a native Korean and available to teach her sessions in both Korean and English. She studied BA and MA in Political Science in Korea and earned her Master’s degree in Education from Stanford University in 2009. Young was previously a member of UBSJ, before her family moved to Idaho. Now, she is back to teach at UBSJ and feels fortunate to work with such an excellent team of UBSJ instructors.