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 The GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Methods, certified in the specialized equipment and many specialized application courses in the GYROTONIC® Method and holds a GYROTONIC® Pre-Trainer license. As a teacher trainer, she deeply enjoys mentoring new teachers in both modalities. Originally certified by Power Pilates, she later completed Benjamin Degenhardt’s 360® Pilates which was a course Benjamin hosted prior to launching his online launch of 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 is working towards her MFA at Saint Mary’s College researching Somatic movement, 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 currently teaches as an adjunct lecturer for Santa Clara University. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors, time with her husband and family, and being a mother to her child.

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.”

Dana Burdick
Dana Burdick, NCPT® fell in love with the GYROTONIC Expansion System® with her very first arch & curl in 2014. After feeling burned out with the standard exercise regime that left her with chronic soreness and repeated injury, GYROTONIC® was a welcome paradigm shift to movement, breath and well-being! Exclusively trained under Master Trainer, Debra Rose, Dana is certified in GYROTONIC® Level 1, the Jumping Stretching Board and GYROTONIC® Level 2. Dana enjoys using imagery and everyday life experiences to bring GYROTONIC® principles to light. In addition to the GYROTONIC® method, Dana is a comprehensively certified Classical Pilates teacher. As part of her continuing education, she has also taken a pain management course from the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA). Dana was originally introduced to Pilates after a standard screening for scoliosis in grade school. Pilates movement has been an interwoven thread throughout her movement practice over the years. Dana is passionate about the power of Pilates and its function in rebalancing, strengthening and moving in a pain-free manner. Dana has worked with clients with chronic pain,hamstring strains,hip and sciatica pain, and shoulder impingement, as well as those interested in gaining new awareness, strength, fluidity and joy in their movement. Besides providing an excellent way of gaining strength and mobility, Dana believes that both Pilates and The GYROTONIC® method’s unique approach to movement provides a bridge for people to experience a sense of joy and deeper connection to themselves and the world around them. Dana’s goal for her clients is to build an enjoyable and powerful movement practice that they adopt not only in the studio, but in everyday life. Previously, Dana owned and operated IMInSync, a business that provided services to children and adults with disabilities. As a certified Interactive Metronome therapist, Dana worked with clients to improve timing, coordination, working memory, multitasking, motor planning and executive functioning. Dana is pleased to bring her expertise in the application of timing, coordination and motor planning to her clients in a Pilates and GYROTONIC® exercise setting.
Dana has a degree in mathematics and worked as a software engineer for a decade before becoming a stay-at-home mom and homeschooling mother to her two beautiful children, now grown. Dana lives in Sunnyvale with her kids, her loving husband, a cat, a dog and fifty thousand bees, give or take.
 
Nichole Edraos
Nichole found Classical Pilates in 2012 after years searching for a safe way to get a great work out after a back injury. With injuries quickly in the rear-view mirror, Nichole dedicates herself to partnering with clients of all ages, sizes and skill levels to realize even their most ambitious goals.
Nichole emphasizes the importance of Pilates on our daily life, movement efficiency, and posture. She is keenly focused on understanding the specific unique needs of each of her clients, deeply understanding what’s important to her client, and what will most effectively meet each person’s goals.

Nichole has completed her Power Pilates 600-hour teacher training. She is a member of the Pilates Method Alliance. She completes her GYROTONIC® Level 1 training in 2021.

Nichole moved to Silicon Valley in 1998 to open one of the country’s first “cybercafes," and is an Operations Manager for startups. She holds a B.A. from Vassar college. A life-long public servant dedicated to making San Jose an even greater City, Nichole presently serves as the Vice Chair of the San Jose Neighborhoods Commission. When she is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband Jim and their calico Maine Coon cat.

Andrea McGinnis
Originally from Seattle, Washington, Andrea McGinnis began her dance training at an early age at the Evergreen City Ballet School, studying under the tutelage of Artistic Director, Wade Walthall.  At 15, she was invited to attend the San Francisco Ballet School, and the following year joined the San Fransico Ballet, where she danced in the corps de ballet. After her ballet career, she has continued to perform as a freelance artist, also delving into modern/contemporary styles. It was during her time with SF Ballet, that Andrea first discovered The GYROTONIC Method® (after numerous years of cross-training with Pilates), and began her journey in the movement system.

Having trained in GYROTONIC® for over 12 years, she became certified in both GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS®, primarily studying with master trainer Domini Anne. Andrea is also certified on GYROTONIC® special equipment Archway Level 1 and Jump-Stretch Board.  

After leaving SF Ballet, Andrea became involved with the modality of Continuum Movement, and studied extensively for 2 years with its founder, the late Emilie Conrad. For the past 8 years, and continuing, she has also worked closely with the innovative somatic teacher, Cass Phelps. Inspired by these influences, Andrea also offers classes of her own in this field.

Andrea is a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2012, and has enjoyed a thriving practice, based first in Hawaii, and then in Los Angeles, from where she recently relocated to join the team at Urban Body San Jose.

“I immediately fell in love with GYROTONIC®. It gave me an entirely new vocabulary and context for developing and experiencing my physicality. My kinesthetic capacity to feel and understand the mechanics of movement began to refine and advance in ways I had never before imagined. I discovered, from the inside out, new connections and anatomical pathways within my body and breath, which gave my dancing a new depth of fluidity, efficiency, strength, power and freedom.”

“Having personally worked through the healing and rehabilitation of numerous injuries in both myself and others, my experience and expertise as a practitioner, athlete, and artist comes first-hand. My movement philosophy is that the awareness and expression of the body is one of the most precious opportunities of being alive. It is a continual process of growth, to which there is no end of intricacy and advancement. I love working with all my clients to help them develop a greater sense of natural ease and embodiment that positively permeates into all aspects of their lives.”

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.

Christine Toha
Christine Toha 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. As a result 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. Ms. Toha’s 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, Ms. Toha 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, Ms. Toha focuses on using different techniques to help clients discover their greatest movement potential and become empowered by it.

A resident of San Jose, Ms. Toha joined the Urban Body San Jose team in 2017 and is certified in GYROTONIC® Levels 1 & 2 as well as GYROTONER®. She is a member of the International Association of Dance Medicine & Science and the National Strength & Conditioning Association.

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
apprentice teacher
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
apprentice teacher
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
apprentice teacher
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
apprentice teacher
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.

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 The GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Methods, certified in the specialized equipment and many specialized application courses in the GYROTONIC® Method and holds a GYROTONIC® Pre-Trainer license. As a teacher trainer, she deeply enjoys mentoring new teachers in both modalities. Originally certified by Power Pilates, she later completed Benjamin Degenhardt’s 360® Pilates which was a course Benjamin hosted prior to launching his online launch of 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 is working towards her MFA at Saint Mary’s College researching Somatic movement, 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 currently teaches as an adjunct lecturer for Santa Clara University. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors, time with her husband and family, and being a mother to her child.

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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.”


Dana Burdick

Dana Burdick, NCPT® fell in love with the GYROTONIC Expansion System® with her very first arch & curl in 2014. After feeling burned out with the standard exercise regime that left her with chronic soreness and repeated injury, GYROTONIC® was a welcome paradigm shift to movement, breath and well-being! Exclusively trained under Master Trainer, Debra Rose, Dana is certified in GYROTONIC® Level 1, the Jumping Stretching Board and GYROTONIC® Level 2. Dana enjoys using imagery and everyday life experiences to bring GYROTONIC® principles to light. In addition to the GYROTONIC® method, Dana is a comprehensively certified Classical Pilates teacher. As part of her continuing education, she has also taken a pain management course from the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA). Dana was originally introduced to Pilates after a standard screening for scoliosis in grade school. Pilates movement has been an interwoven thread throughout her movement practice over the years. Dana is passionate about the power of Pilates and its function in rebalancing, strengthening and moving in a pain-free manner. Dana has worked with clients with chronic pain, hamstring strains, hip and sciatica pain, and shoulder impingement, as well as those interested in gaining new awareness, strength, fluidity and joy in their movement. Besides providing an excellent way of gaining strength and mobility, Dana believes that both Pilates and The GYROTONIC® method’s unique approach to movement provides a bridge for people to experience a sense of joy and deeper connection to themselves and the world around them. Dana’s goal for her clients is to build an enjoyable and powerful movement practice that they adopt not only in the studio, but in everyday life. Previously, Dana owned and operated IMInSync, a business that provided services to children and adults with disabilities. As a certified Interactive Metronome therapist, Dana worked with clients to improve timing, coordination, working memory, multitasking, motor planning and executive functioning. Dana is pleased to bring her expertise in the application of timing, coordination and motor planning to her clients in a Pilates and GYROTONIC® exercise setting.
Dana has a degree in mathematics and worked as a software engineer for a decade before becoming a stay-at-home mom and homeschooling mother to her two beautiful children, now grown. Dana lives in Sunnyvale with her kids, her loving husband, a cat, a dog and fifty thousand bees, give or take.  

Nichole Edraos

Nichole found Classical Pilates in 2012 after years searching for a safe way to get a great work out after a back injury. With injuries quickly in the rear-view mirror, Nichole dedicates herself to partnering with clients of all ages, sizes and skill levels to realize even their most ambitious goals.
Nichole emphasizes the importance of Pilates on our daily life, movement efficiency, and posture. She is keenly focused on understanding the specific unique needs of each of her clients, deeply understanding what’s important to her client, and what will most effectively meet each person’s goals.

Nichole has completed her Power Pilates 600-hour teacher training. She is a member of the Pilates Method Alliance. She completes her GYROTONIC® Level 1 training in 2021.

Nichole moved to Silicon Valley in 1998 to open one of the country’s first “cybercafes," and is an Operations Manager for startups. She holds a B.A. from Vassar college. A life-long public servant dedicated to making San Jose an even greater City, Nichole presently serves as the Vice Chair of the San Jose Neighborhoods Commission. When she is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband Jim and their calico Maine Coon cat.

Andrea McGinnis

Originally from Seattle, Washington, Andrea McGinnis began her dance training at an early age at the Evergreen City Ballet School, studying under the tutelage of Artistic Director, Wade Walthall.  At 15, she was invited to attend the San Francisco Ballet School, and the following year joined the San Fransico Ballet, where she danced in the corps de ballet. After her ballet career, she has continued to perform as a freelance artist, also delving into modern/contemporary styles. It was during her time with SF Ballet, that Andrea first discovered The GYROTONIC Method® (after numerous years of cross-training with Pilates), and began her journey in the movement system.

Having trained in GYROTONIC® for over 12 years, she became certified in both GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS®, primarily studying with master trainer Domini Anne. Andrea is also certified on GYROTONIC® special equipment Archway Level 1 and Jump-Stretch Board.  

After leaving SF Ballet, Andrea became involved with the modality of Continuum Movement, and studied extensively for 2 years with its founder, the late Emilie Conrad. For the past 8 years, and continuing, she has also worked closely with the innovative somatic teacher, Cass Phelps. Inspired by these influences, Andrea also offers classes of her own in this field.

Andrea is a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2012, and has enjoyed a thriving practice, based first in Hawaii, and then in Los Angeles, from where she recently relocated to join the team at Urban Body San Jose.

“I immediately fell in love with GYROTONIC®. It gave me an entirely new vocabulary and context for developing and experiencing my physicality. My kinesthetic capacity to feel and understand the mechanics of movement began to refine and advance in ways I had never before imagined. I discovered, from the inside out, new connections and anatomical pathways within my body and breath, which gave my dancing a new depth of fluidity, efficiency, strength, power and freedom.”

“Having personally worked through the healing and rehabilitation of numerous injuries in both myself and others, my experience and expertise as a practitioner, athlete, and artist comes first-hand. My movement philosophy is that the awareness and expression of the body is one of the most precious opportunities of being alive. It is a continual process of growth, to which there is no end of intricacy and advancement. I love working with all my clients to help them develop a greater sense of natural ease and embodiment that positively permeates into all aspects of their lives.”

Svea McMacth

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.

Christine Toha

Christine Toha 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. As a result 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. Ms. Toha’s 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, Ms. Toha 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, Ms. Toha focuses on using different techniques to help clients discover their greatest movement potential and become empowered by it.

A resident of San Jose, Ms. Toha joined the Urban Body San Jose team in 2017 and is certified in GYROTONIC® Levels 1 & 2 as well as GYROTONER®. She is a member of the International Association of Dance Medicine & Science and the National Strength & Conditioning Association.

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
apprentice trainer

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
apprentice trainer

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
apprentice trainer

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
apprentice trainer

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.