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, 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.
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.
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 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.