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suzette smith

Suzette Smith, founder and owner since 2004, born in Chingola, Zambia, established Shelter Island Pilates in 2004. Suzette is a former professional dancer trained in New York City. She danced throughout Europe and later founded her own ballroom dance company, Sophisticated Steps, in New York City. She spent a decade working for the Board of Education in NYC teaching dance and choreography, and collaborated with City Center to develop dance programs in schools citywide. She was recognized as an award-winning choreographer for her work at the Professional Performing Arts School.

A survivor of breast cancer since 1995, she embarked on a journey of healing, becoming a Reiki and Transformational Breath practitioner, as well as studying the healing art of Thai Yoga Massage in Thailand.  She is deeply grateful to have found Pilates as the perfect venue to synthesize her vast knowledge of the body, her innovative teaching expertise and her profound healing practices. Suzette specializes in body alignment, postural assessment & correction, and proper mechanics. She is inspired to create a nurturing and restorative fitness environment, and her studio and staff are expressions of the values she and her business embody: expert knowledge, commitment to excellence and customized care.

Suzette received her Pilates training at the prestigious Kane School of Core Integration in New York City and her national certification through the Pilates Method Alliance. Suzette is a Barre instructor, as well as a Zumba and Nia instructor. She has her Master's Degree of Education with a focus on dance from Cambridge College in Cambridge, MA. Suzette works at her Shelter Island studios year round and hosts Pilates & Wellness retreats internationally.

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Ilissa Shapiro received her Pilates certification from Pilates Institute of America and has been an instructor for 10 years. Ilissa started her professional career in Marketing with a Bachelor’s degree from FAU, but moved out of the corporate world to pursue her passion in fitness. After taking Pilates classes she decided to get her certification to become an instructor. Ilissa brings a smile and positive energy to every session. She encourages her clients to allow their bodies to move and flow without restriction and is known for balancing her cheerful encouragement with dynamic workouts. 


Regan Nuchereno received her full apparatus and mat certification at Body One Studios (500 Hours) and received her BFA in dance from Southern Methodist University. A classically trained ballerina, Regan danced for Configuration Dance Theatre, The San Diego Ballet and had the amazing pleasure to perform with Cirque du Soleil. After herniating two discs in her back, she received physical therapy in the form of Pilates. Amazed by her quick recovery and transformation into a stronger and better functioning body, Pilates became an essential practice in maintaining balance and strength in her own body as a dancer and a teacher. 

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Elizabeth Gordon is a Kane School Pilates certified instructor and ACSM certified personal trainer. A lifelong competitive runner, she found Pilates when a diagnosis of Psoriatic Arthritis forced her to explore new ways to move and stay fit.  Elizabeth currently teaches at Equinox and Kinespirit in New York City. She has a Masters in Social Work from NYU and is the author of three best-selling cookbooks for allergy-free foods.


Saron Smith-Hardin is the lead Barre instructor and business manager of Shelter Island Pilates & Barre. She was inspired to become an instructor after her regular practice of Pilates and Barre transformed and aligned her body. This is Saron's 6th year as a member of the team, and has considered Shelter Island her home away from home since age 3. She holds her Master's in Applied Linguistics, and works as a Spanish & English language educator in New York City in the off-season.