top of page

It’s all about feeling stronger and standing taller

April Tillman, the owner of Summit Studio, teaches classical Pilates true to the original method that Joseph Pilates developed. She has spent more than half her life teaching Pilates, certifying new instructors, and learning something from every student along the way. Over the years she has introduced countless clients to the power of healing of classical Pilates. She now enjoys traveling around the world to provide instructor training and ensure the legacy of the original teachings.

April started teaching in 1997 after becoming certified through the program of Romana Kryzanowska, direct protégé of Joseph Pilates. The program included hands-on instruction by Romana, as well as instruction from other highly-regarded “torchbearers” in the direct Joseph Pilates lineage: Sari Mejia Santo, daughter of Romana, dubbed a “Pilates baby” by Joseph Pilates; Dorothee VandeWalle, a protégé of Romana’s, internationally-renowned Pilates teacher of the classical Pilates method, and founder of the M.A.T. Pilates Teacher Certification; Lori Coleman-Brown, a protégé of Romana’s and co-founder of Pilates Seattle International; Lauren Stephen who studied under Romana and Sari, and co-founded Pilates Seattle International.  

After certification, April worked in Los Angles, with Mari Winsor for 3 years before moving to Sun Valley, Idaho, where she opened a studio and training center affiliated with Dorothee VandeWalle and the M.A.T. Pilates Teacher Certification program. In 2009 she and her family moved to Portland, Oregon where she opened Urban Pilates.  Here, she continued to teach classical Pilates and maintained the M.A.T. certification training center, while April also served as a Teacher Trainer, helping guide and certify new instructors.   

April is now back in her hometown of Hood River, Oregon, providing a studio where the focus is, learning, empowering each individual, and redefining what it means to be successful in her clients and students’ day-to-day movements. Here, she teaches with the same holistic “Balanced Body” intent professed by Joseph Pilates.

My mission is to bring a positive approach to movement and help guide all body types to their fitness Pilates goals with the influence of the original method of Joseph Pilates.



“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.” Joseph Pilates

Urban Pilates Photos134.jpg

Teacher Training Program

There are of course prerequisites to applying for the M.A.T certification program. The highest-priority is that you have Pilates in your body and understand that there’s a basic, intermediate and advanced level that all participants are required to teach and perform. The best way to get your body in shape for the program is to do Pilates consistently for a period of time. With a healthy no-injury body, this normally takes 6 months practicing 3 times a week.

Urban Pilates Photos181.jpg

How does the program work?

After your prerequisite work, you will audition with April then apply to the M.A.T Pilates certification program in Seattle for the independent study program in Hood River. If accepted you will begin your apprentice program with hours in the studio, workouts, teaching, workshops and seminars. You and April will come up with a schedule that will allow 20 hours a week of schooling and dates for testing. Visit for more information.

Screenshot 2024-02-13 at 2.07.46 PM.png


You will have the opportunity to work with Dorothee VandeWalle, who is recognized as one of the leading teacher trainers and Pilates practitioners of the world. Together, we will insure that you get the best possible Pilates education.

bottom of page