Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings South Jersey

Teaming Up for Success at Pilates Core Center

Feb 24, 2011 05:34PM ● By Linda Sechrist

Great teamwork is the heart and soul of the partnership between Sylvia Byrd-Leitner, MFA, and Diane Grossman, the co-founders of Pilates Core Center. Even the briefest of conversations reveals that the dynamics of this team work well because each woman does what makes her heart sing.

Since childhood, movement and the body have fascinated Byrd-Leitner, a Master Pilates instructor and the center’s creative director. A dancer in college, she also performed professionally with a modern dance company. “I choreographed and danced at Lincoln Center and have done lyrical dancing with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and several music festivals,” says Byrd-Leitner, whose effervescent love for the feeling of joyful and fluid movement bubbles up and envelops her students. “I enjoy watching someone evolve and become more comfortable in their body. When they begin to feel and understand the connection with their body, they learn to rejoice in gliding gracefully, whether they are young or old and whether they weigh 100 or 300 pounds.”

Pilates Core Center, with its welcoming sense of sanctuary, is a co-op studio, totally focused on connecting individuals to their bodies for overall wellness. From Pilates, a prescribed method of exercises done via mat work or with apparatus designed for resistance body conditioning, to Dragonfly Yoga, for creating balance through strength and flexibility, the center is devoted to building an injury-free and healthy body. Massage therapy, reflexology, Reiki and other body treatments are also available; and holistic health coaching, offered by Grossman, the center’s business manager and health coach, helps to educate and motivate individuals along their path to total mind-body wellness.

Grossman’s expertise and background in business development, operations and management, as well as her leadership role in a Fortune 100 global corporation, is integral to the success of the center. Accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, Grossman received her training and certification as a holistic health coach at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, in New York City. She has also been an avid Pilates practitioner for more than 10 years.

“When I retired, I wanted to learn how to relax and connect with myself, and when I met Sylvia, who was my Pilates instructor, we found that our many common interests were a great foundation for friendship, as well as for business,” says Grossman, who jokes about their shared grandmother status. “Sylvia has four grandchildren and I have three, so it’s pretty obvious that we believe it isn’t over until it’s over. Neither of us knew we wanted to run a Pilates studio when we grew up,” she says with the kind of hearty laugh that flows from a natural wellspring of joy felt by a woman confident and comfortable in her own body.

Byrd-Leitner and Grossman both delight in the fact that the majority of the center’s clients range in age from their 20s to 50 and older. “A lot of our clients are no longer into the gym scene, and they are interested in more quality programming,” advises Byrd-Leitner, who notes that individuals desiring to further their Pilates experience and education can enroll in the center’s teacher training.

“Whether you are practicing or teaching, our in-studio Pilates sessions go with you out the door to work, in the garden, when doing housekeeping chores or even participating in any kind of sport,” notes Byrd-Leitner, who adds that re-educating the body allows one to lean from the hip, lengthen through the core and spine and rotate the body properly, thus avoiding injury and fatigue. “It’s a gift we give every student, one they can use for the rest of their life.”

Pilates Core Center, 1919 Greentree Rd., Cherry Hill 08003 or 176 Route 70 at Jones Road, second floor, Medford 08055. Call 856-985-0900 or visit

Upcoming Events Near You
COVID-19 Guidelines From the CDC
Read The Current Digital Issue!
Global Brief Video
Health Brief Video