Moving to PNWP | Gyrotonic® & Alexander Technique

This month you’ll see a new face at Pacific Northwest Pilates. We’re excited to announce Alex Ballard of Ballard Movement Arts will move to Pacific Northwest Pilates and bring Gyrotonic® instruction and Alexander Technique to our studio.

Who Is Alex?

Alex brings 40+ years of experience to his teaching. He became a professional ballet dancer at the age of 17 after beginning his ballet training in New Zealand.  In addition to performing principal roles with Cleveland San Jose Ballet, Richmond Ballet and Oregon Ballet Theater, he served as Ballet Master for Canada’s Alberta Ballet for three years.

Alex Ballard was introduced to GYROTONIC® exercise in New York City during the late 1980s and reintroduced to the method while living and working in Canada. He completed his pre-training with Erin Munoz and then went on to complete the  Foundation Course with master trainer Emma Kingston.  He is also certified in the Jump and Stretch Board with master trainer Karen Mullen, Gyrotonic Level 2, program 1 with Kathy Van Patton, Mike Luque’s Wingmaster course and Gyrotonic applications for Shoulder Girdle with Luca Biasini. He trained in the FM Alexander Technique at the Oregon Center for the Alexander Technique, graduating in 2003 and has maintained a teaching practice since.

Alex has a lifelong interest in the martial arts with a Nidan in Aikikai Aikido, and a Purple Belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.   in addition he has studied intensively Daniel Inosanto’s Jeet Kun Do, Muy Thai and Okinawan Karate.   In his spare time he plays classical and finger style guitar and is an amateur dance photographer and an avid cook. He’s the best friend and husband of PNWP’s co-owner, Leslie Braverman.

What is GYROTONIC® exercise?

Gyrotonic is a unique system of exercise that incorporates movement principles from yoga, dance, gymnastics, swimming and t’ai chi. Central to this is the Gyrotonic Expansion System, or GXS, a rather complex-looking device specially designed with rotational discs and weighted pulleys. Usually made as part of a wooden frame, this set up allows the exerciser to strengthen their muscles via a specific exercise incorporating circular and spiraling movement patterns. It is these that are said to increase joint mobility, particularly in the spine. It’s also known to help a multitude of lower back or cervical spine pain such as sciatica, repetitive strain injury, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

It works by simultaneously stretching and strengthening the body, increasing range of motion, correcting posture and developing coordination. Used as part of a regular exercise regime, it’s known to give users a stronger spine, improved posture, and bone density, strengthen joints, increase mobility, and balance neuro-muscular coordination.

You can learn more about Gyrotonic exercise and view a video in the Washington Post’s article:

Gyro-what? This rapidly growing workout seeks to lengthen, strengthen and heal.


What is Alexander Technique?

Taught in it’s original, classical form, Alexander Technique, named after its developer Frederick Matthias Alexander, is a simple and practical way to relieve pain and stress, develop awareness and discover new alternatives in your responses to life. It is a method that can help you move through your day with freedom of movement, balance, support, flexibility and coordination. Although developed by an actor, this technique is a valued tool for anyone who uses their body—therefore everyone. Practice of the technique refines and heightens kinesthetic sensitivity, offering anyone a control that is fluid and lively rather than rigid.

How Do I Begin?

You can connect with Alex at PNWP starting in this month or email: or call 971-271-2831. You can learn more at: