My name is Lee Vallely, and I have dedicated my life to movement and wellness. I am the owner and founder of the Lee Pilates Method, built on the foundation of contemporary, science-based Pilates principles, neuromuscular re-education, and proper breath control. All my classes and programs offer this definitive methodology that emphasizes breath awareness, precise movement, and proper body alignment.
The heart of my method is founded on the basis that the body can’t move a muscle that the brain can’t connect with. This means that if you aren’t focused on correct breathing and moving with precision and intention, your brain cannot fire from the right muscles or move with correct alignment. And you will never get the results you want. My unique methodology has distinguished my career in the Pilates training and education field. It is what works for hundreds of my clients to preserve the longevity of their movement abilities, transform their bodies, and deliver real results.
I offer a variety of services to fit the needs of my clients:
- My weekly live online classes are limited to 10 people and can be done in the comfort of your own home. My classes are fun, safe and well structured to give you a great work out on the mat. Practiced together, my Pilates and dance based toning mat classes will not only strengthen your body but change it. Giving you a long, lean sculpted shape that with continued practice, you will have for a very long time.
- My on-demand online classes offer a wide variety of programs that you can choose from. These include Pilates mat, Dance-Based Toning mat, cardio dance and HIIT programs. All my programs offer 3 levels of intensity to choose from based on your current fitness abilities. So you will always work at a pace that is challenging and safe. I incorporate neuromuscular re-education in all of my curriculum. Be sure to visit the educational library when you want more detail in learning specific brain training (neuro) drills and the breakdown of several exercises.
- My private studio in Austin, Texas has extensive Pilates equipment to give you a detailed, robust training experience in all the Pilates repertoire. Train on the reformer, the tower, the wunda chair and the Pilates arc. The variety of this equipment challenges the brain and the body to constantly adjust to new stimulation in muscle activation and balance. I offer one-on-one sessions and private duet sessions.
- My virtual one-on-one and private duet sessions are a great option for those living in Austin or in other cities and want that personal and needed focus. Several virtual clients have reformers in their home to train on. This is a great option for those wanting safe and varied workouts on equipment. My virtual classes can also be booked for any private groups that wish to work together.
- NCPT-PCT – Pilates Method Alliance Certified Teacher
- Body of Arts and Sciences International Certified Pilates Teacher
- Z-Health Brain Based Movement Educator
- Primal 7 Suspension Band Athletic Trainer
- Accredited fitness specialist with the national YMCA
- Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alabama in Birmingham with a specialization in Dance.
Background in Ballet
Like many young girls, I loved dance and started lessons at the age of four. I began training more seriously when I was nine and performed my first Nutcracker when I was 12. My weekly dance classes were a source of enthusiasm and it was there I discovered my passion for performance. I knew then that dance was the life and career I wanted. I danced my way through high school and after graduation I entered a rigorous ballet program and curriculum at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. In addition to my other academic courses, hours of daily training in the studio prepared me for the university’s many annual performances, leaving me well-prepared for a professional dance career.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts, specializing in Dance, I spent eight years as a professional ballet and modern dancer in San Francisco and New York City. These were intense years of auditioning for employment in dance companies, competing for roles once I was employed, and working hard to perfect my craft as a performer. After a brief time with the corp de ballet with the San Francisco Ballet, I left to become a soloist with the San Francisco Moving Company, which was a prominent modern dance company in the city at that time. This experience afforded me the opportunity as a guest performer in dance, theater and workshops with many prominent companies including Henry, Harris, Green, and Lar Lubovitch.
The hours were long and the pay was low but if you’re called to dance, nothing else matters. These years of dance molded my life and character. They instilled in me a determination to overcome hardships and obstacles and a grit in my soul to never give up. I also learned that I could. I could set goals and dreams. And by the nature of striving and believing in myself, I would achieve many that seemed impossible when I first dreamed them.
Fitness professional in Austin
As with all dancers, the time comes when you must leverage your talents and abilities into more long-term sustainable employment, especially as a single parent. In 1985 – with a three-month old baby in tow – I moved to Austin to be close to my family. This became the first of several times in my life that I reinvented myself,transitioning from a highly skilled dancer to an educated fitness professional.
I was hired by the YMCA of Austin as their fitness director and spent five years gaining certifications in the fitness industry as well as developing an extensive adult fitness program for this organization.
During these years I learned so much about what drives adults to get and maintain a healthy body and what it takes to earn their loyalty and trust. I was also becoming a budding entrepreneur. I began to see unfulfilled needs in the adult wellness and the fitness industry and decided to do something about it. It began with the Corporate Cup, a weekend of athletic competition with 15 to 20 athletic events, between multiple corporations in Austin that I built through the YMCA and ran for four years.
This attracted the attention of World Gym Fitness Centers, which was one of the first fitness chains in Austin. They hired me to grow my corporate wellness program for their clubs. We were so successful that I was asked to become a partner three years later. For many years we experienced tremendous growth building clubs and corporate wellness programs in over 350 companies in Austin.
Due to the success we had Gold’s Gym Intl bought World Gym in 2002 and offered me a position as National Corporate Wellness Director. For two years, I implemented my corporate wellness model for Gold’s Gym into companies all over the country. I learned a great deal about best practices from all these companies and brought these valuable skills with me to my next endeavor.
Creation of RedBird Pilates and Fitness
Although I taught fitness classes throughout these years of business development I missed my origins. I was a skilled dancer with years of education and observation in how poorly many people moved. I wanted to return to my roots and teach people how to move well. I also now had years of business experience.
In 2007 I combined all this expertise and founded RedBird Pilates and Fitness. I felt there was a need in the community for a center that offered a higher level of education and commitment to the precision of movement.
I reinvented myself and direction again and for 12 years grew and molded a successful business that helped hundreds of clients, using my methodology, learn to move well and create the outcomes they desired. My business expanded four times to larger studios and eventually I added a second studio. I offered Pilates mat and toning classes, Pilates equipment classes, cardio dance classes and high intensity cardio classes. By this time in my career I was certified in Pilates as well as many athletic modalities and loved teaching people to move well in all of them.
In 2010 I created the RedBird Teacher Training School to replicate my teaching methods. This year-long rigorous 450 hour Pilates training program educated others to teach with my methodology and prepared them to sit for the demanding Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) national certification.
I only hired graduates from my school to maintain the high standards of teaching and education my clients had come to expect. These graduates and former RedBird teachers now teach all around Austin and in several parts of the country. During these years I also established a long-standing partnership with Texas State’s Physical Therapy doctoral department to co-develop a longitudinal study to measure and track client outcomes for continuous Pilates practice. The exciting outcomes of these studies clearly proved the efficacy of Pilates as a successful physical training program.
Creation of the Lee Pilates Method
And now I have founded the Lee Pilates Method. I am so thrilled to combine all my years of knowledge, success, hardship, discipline and joy of movement into a method that truly represents who I am now and transforms others’ lives. But this was not an easy transition. It took two years to divest myself of the large, demanding, successful business I had built and the emotional challenges that came with it. I had built a dream and had the privilege of living that dream for many years.
My ego was attached to what I had accomplished but my heart and mind were wanting, once more, a reinvention. It was time to simplify and use these next years to fully focus on sharing my knowledge as the movement specialist I have become. My methodology, developed through all the RedBird years, is now more crystalized and refined because I not only practice what I teach, but teach it several hours a day as well as write about my work and continue my research on the science of movement.
As I’ve often said “it’s not what you do but how you do it.” I’ve mostly applied this to movement, but as I look at the trajectory of my life I see that I have lived these words. I have lived my passion for movement and entrepreneurial endeavors and continue to do so.
I have taken risks for what I believe and enjoyed those successes. I have also maintained the belief in myself that I could rise up after failures and reinvent my dreams and directions. Through it all I have trained my body and mind in precise movement, habit and thought and I teach this to all my clients. This is the Lee Pilates Method.