Our Team

 

Carol Chen
Founder
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Pilates Instructor
Certified Mechanical Diagnosis & Therapy

KinetiCore Pilates Therapy was founded by Dr. Carol Chen, a licensed physical therapist and Stott certified pilates instructor.  She graduated with distinction from University of Michigan with a bachelor of science in Kinesiology, the study of human movement.  Carol earned her Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) and Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degrees from Northwestern University.  She is certified in the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy, and level 1 certified in Neurokinetic Therapy.  Carol has extensive training in movement science, with over 20 years of experience in the health and wellness industry. She continually seeks ongoing education in the pilates, movement, and rehabilitation fields.

Carol holds a blackbelt in Taekwondo and competed at the national level.  She has run four marathons, five half marathons, and numerous trail races. Personally, pilates has allowed Carol to optimize her athletic performance and remain injury-free.  It also helped her stay conditioned & recover quickly from the births of her twin boys and daughter.  In her rehabilitation practice, pilates has been an invaluable tool for achieving excellent results for her patients.

Clarissa Grafton (aka Cissa)
Certified Pilates Instructor
Physical Therapist
Massage Therapist

Coming from an athletic and very active family, Cissa was introduced to the world of physical fitness and sports at an early age. Curiosity about human performance led her to practice gymnastics, dance, and swimming for many years, and she received several athletic awards.

In 2000, Cissa earned her bachelor degree in physical therapy.  Being able to help rehabilitate people gave her great satisfaction, but she continued to search for an approach that would prevent injuries & create maintenance of a healthy body.  She gained knowledge of techniques including Neuromuscular and Ayurvedic Massage, Neural mobilizations, Mulligan Method, Global Posture Reeducation, Musculoskeletal Osteopathic techniques, and of course, the Pilates Method.

Being raised in Rio, Brazil, Cissa has an active spirit with an urge for adrenaline.  Cissa loves exploring the outdoors, anything from stand-up paddle boarding, to surfing, rock climbing, and trekking. Her clients always benefit from her knowledge of the human body, her love of physical fitness, and her vibrant & energetic personality.

Melody Bissada
Certified Pilates Instructor
Studio Manager

Melody Bissada has a deep, personal understanding of the transformative power of Pilates. After two car accidents led to more than a decade of back pain, it was Therapeutic Pilates that finally helped her move forward again.

Melody was first introduced to the Pilates Method at UC Irvine, where she received her BA in dance before enjoying a successful career as a modern dancer with the Lewitzky Dance Company. After retiring from dance, she returned to Pilates, seeking the pedigreed certification offered by Diane Diefenderfer (who was a student of Ron Fletcher, who learned from Joseph Pilates himself). With an advanced certification in Pilates, she spent years working as a Pilates instructor (and certified massage therapist) until the car accidents forced her onto disability and into trying every therapy under the sun to escape the pain.

Melody ultimately found relief by immersing herself in an intensive internship in a therapeutic form of Pilates. Working one-on-one with a Doctor of Physical Therapy to retrain her mentality as well as her physicality, Melody found that Therapeutic Pilates allowed her to strengthen her body without exacerbating her injuries. She is now free of chronic pain and is a living testament to the power of patience, perseverance, and Pilates. 

Having been on both sides of the spectrum – the strong, capable body pushing itself to its very limits as a professional modern dancer, and the chronically-injured body working within the confines of minimal movement and nearly constant pain – Melody is able to both empower, and empathize with, a wide range of clients and is especially adept at tailoring individual Pilates programs to help her clients maintain – or reclaim! – their own strong bodies.

Caitlyn Morgan
Certified Pilates Instructor

Caitlyn graduated Magna Cum Laude from UC Irvine with a BFA in Dance Performance and BA in Education Sciences. It was here that she was introduced to the Pilates Method as a means of supplemental training to her dancing. Never having sustained a dance related injury, Caitlyn credits Pilates for giving her the flexibility and strength needed to stay injury free.

Upon graduation, Caitlyn completed a 450-hour comprehensive teacher training program with Diane Diefenderfer, a student of Ron Fletcher and Joseph Pilates himself, at Studio Du Corps. Caitlyn also dances with the Reach Sisters Contemporary Dance Company and performs at various dance festivals, including Santa Barbara’s Collective Collaborative and So-Cal Dance Invitational.

Caitlyn appreciates the diverse abilities of Pilates and enjoys the rewarding experience being a part of a client’s fitness journey. Whether that journey includes rehabilitation, lessening chronic pain, or building up strength and flexibility, she strongly believes that Pilates improves one’s quality of life and overall health.