Sign Up Now

Our Team


lesaface.jpgLesa McLaughlin, Owner, was certified as a teacher in The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning by The Pilates Studio in New York in 1995 under the tutelage of Romana Krowsanavska. She received a Gold Certification by the Pilates Method Alliance in 2005. She holds a BFA in Dance from George Mason University (1984) and has taught dance, movement and exercise for over 30 years.
In 1998, she opened Pilates at Excel Movement Studios (now Excel Pilates DC), a 5,000 square foot Pilates Studio in Washington, DC.  In 2002 she opened a satellite studio in Annapolis, MD. She has worked with clients for 20 years in The Pilates Method Of Body Conditioning. Ranging in age from 13-83, clients have included athletes such as dancers, swimmers, ice skaters, runners, golfers, equestrian jumpers, and body builders, all working to achieve better performance or to gain a competitive edge. Mrs. McLaughlin has also worked with clients to rehabilitate and prevent injury. Conditions and issues have included herniated discs, arthritis, Parkinson's disease, MS, knee surgery prevention, knee and hip replacement and pregnancy.  In 2001 she collaborated with Kerry DeVivo to create and establish a comprehensive Pilates Teacher Training Program at Excel Pilates DC in which she developed the curriculum, program outline, and training manual. Currently, she teaches all system levels as well as continuing education. Lesa McLaughlin's experience is that of a Master teacher.
She considers her strength in teaching to be a deep understanding of the work of Joseph Pilates and helping each client to see, feel and reach their fullest potential. Lesa considers the work of Joseph Pilates to be an inspiration. She has experienced personally the depth and power of the work. She considers her ability to practice and teach Pilates a true privilege. The most satisfying aspect of her Pilates experience is to see daily, through her teaching, the meaningful impact it has on others.




Emily Schimmel, Studio Manager, began her fitness journey at the early age of 6. Born in the breathtaking Shenandoah Valley, Emily learned humble appreciation of nature through hiking and camping with her two sisters. Her love of dance and calisthenics springs from her decade long practice of ballet, which she continued well into her undergraduate years. 

She moved to Washington, DC in 2014. Now a candidate for an M.A degree in the Smithsonian/GW-Corcoran Decorative Arts and Design History program , her passion lies in the chronicle of the American craftsman, specifically in the study of early American Southern decorative arts.

 A life-long student, Emily believes that the exercises taught in Pilates to achieve balance and composure reverberate through your everyday life! 


Anthony Scott Milligan, Studio Manager Assistant, is a devoted Appalachian who was born and raised in Richmond, Kentucky. Anthony is a professional dancer and first began dancing in late 2011 while attending Berea College in Berea, Kentucky.


He is an enthusiastic mover and passionate choreographer who has spent his short time in the field immersing himself in the art of movement. He is a newcomer to the DC metro area and is currently a company dancer for Jane Franklin Dance (Arlington, VA)  and is a former company dancer for Allegro Dance Project (Lexington, KY). Additionally, Anthony currently works as Artistic Programming Assistant for Dance Place (Washington, DC) and is Administrative Assistant for Coyaba Dance Theater (Washington, DC). Anthony has always had a strong interest in somatic practices and is looking forward to further exploring the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning.