Kelly Otis, PT
Kelly is a licensed Physical Therapist, a Barral Institute Visceral Manipulation practitioner and a certified Polestar Pilates instructor.
Kelly has been practicing physical therapy since 1990. As a young competitor in swimming, crew and cycling, Kelly was introduced into the world of physical therapy as a patient after several knee surgeries of her own. In 1990, she received her Physical Therapy degree from the Northwestern University Physical Therapy program.
From 1992 until 1999, she founded and directed an outpatient clinic, Solutions Physical Therapy, in Fremont California. There, she worked closely with professional and college athletes, as well as respected doctors of orthopedics, neurology, internal medicine, osteopathy and chiropractic.
In 1998 she relocated to Santa Cruz County and worked with Sherri Betz at Therapilates for 13 years in the field of Pilates as a Polestar certified practitioner specializing in rehabilitation and movement reeducation.
In 2014 Kelly founded Core Connections Physical Therapy in her hometown Scotts Valley. Her focus is to work privately sometimes for more than an hour with patients in a supportive one-on-one environment alongside other professional practitioners as a team. The goal is to fully address the many chronic conditions her patients have been struggling to overcome in other Physical Therapy and medical settings.
Teaching Movement, postural exercises and independent joint, soft tissue and neural mobilization with a comprehensive core and joint stabilization program, Kelly is dedicated to enable her clients to understand and work with injuries using the many therapies she has sewn together over her 32+ years of practice.
Kelly’s educational background in physical therapy includes courses in Maitland and McKenzie Spinal dysfunctions and derangements, Sacroiliac Dysfunctions, Craniosacral treatments and Institute of Physical Art courses on neural mobilization. Kelly has taken several courses on Visceral mobilization with the Barral Institute She practices precise techniques to address chronic pain and conditions through gentle and precise manipulation and mobilization of viscera, venous system, nerves and the brain itself for the optimal performance of the body as a whole. Visceral Manipulation is based a deep understanding of anatomy and a very gentle and effective way to finally resolve chronic conditions of all sorts. See link: https://www.barralinstitute.com/therapies
Helping others gain better control of movement and function of the body as a whole in a pain-free way Kelly focuses on a holistic and self-empowered approach to rehabilitation and fitness.
Ruthie Steinfeld, PT, FAAOMPT
Ruthie has over 15 years of experience in orthopedic physical therapy and has also trained in craniosacral therapy and Feldenkrais work. She received her physical therapy degree from the Ohio State University and completed a post-graduate manual therapy fellowship program through the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Physical Therapy Fellowship in Advanced Orthopedic Manual Therapy. This program gave her the opportunity to be mentored one-on-one by some of the most experienced fellowship faculty in the United States. Ruthie works with you to address the root of the problem, whether long standing or acute. Her goal is to help you receive the best rehab possible using holistic and precise methods of treatment.
Denise Quinn, DPT
Denise is a licensed Physical Therapist who has trained in Pilates through Body Arts and Science International (BASI). Denise attended Cal State Long Beach, graduating in 2009 with her BS in Kinesiology, Exercise Science and with a minor in Business entrepreneurship. She then attended grad school at Long Island University, Brooklyn and received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2012. She started working in orthopedic outpatient clinics during her first two years as a Physical Therapist. In those settings she developed experience working with a wide range of patient populations of all ages including pediatric and geriatrics, patients with acute injuries, chronic pain, workers comp, pre/post surgeries, neck and spinal pain/dysfunction, movement disorders, and athletes/return to sport. She enjoyed taking continuing education courses that helped improve manual skills and other modalities to facilitate optimal function and efficiency of movement for patients.
Denise was introduced to the Pilates Method while in Physical Therapy school. She saw the endless benefits of the Pilates approach to fitness and how it could be beautifully blended with Physical Therapy to fully enhance a patient/client’s overall function and quality of life. She appreciates the holistic approach of Pilates, which focuses on connecting the mind and body and encompasses the whole person, mentally, physically and emotionally. As she practices Pilates, she notices positive changes in movement and increased body awareness within herself unmatched by any other exercise program. Starting June 2014, Denise took an amazing opportunity to complete an internationally renowned post-graduate residency program to fulfill her desire for consistent improvement and growth as a Physical Therapist. She completed the certification in PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) at Kaiser Foundation Rehab Center in Vallejo during 2015. There, her specialization was working with patients in the adult neurological rehab setting, including those recovering from stroke, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other neurological disorders like MS, GBS, ALS, among many others. She recently relocated to the beautiful Santa Cruz area and is excited to put her focus back into the outpatient setting at Core Connections, utilizing the equipment and principles of Pilates to guide patients toward optimal function and fitness.
Denise provides a unique and effective approach to rehab with her knowledge and experience as a Physical Therapist and Pilates instructor, her advanced training in both orthopedic and neurological settings, expertise in movement analysis, manual skills, verbal instruction and exercise prescription.
Jeannette Normington ia a Senior Certified Pilates Instructor & CoreAlign Instructor. She enjoyed an 18 year career as a professional dancer, touring the world performing in production shows. Pilates was instrumental in helping Jeannette prolong her dance career. Her certifications include, mat work at UNLV in 2001, Comprehensive Pilates training through Body Arts & Science International in 2003, Pre/Post-Natal at The Center for Women’s Fitness in 2006 and Core Align 1, 2 in 2008. Jeannette interned at the Keith Kleven Institute of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation for Sports and Dance. To deepen her work, Jeannette is currently a part of a one-year mentorship program, “Passing the Torch” offered by Balanced Body, with master teacher, Tom McCook. Jeannette is passionate about sharing the benefits of Pilates for post-rehabilitation, athletic performance and quality of life - for clients and professionals alike.
A native to Santa Cruz, Jeannette is excited to share Pilates and contribute to creating wellness within her home community. In 2008, Jeannette offers quality instruction and diversity into her workouts combining BASI, Stott and Polestar methods. Jeannette is an avid sportswoman, also trained in tap, jazz, ballet, and yoga, lately enjoying Tai Chi and Qi Gong. She is dedicated to helping people of all ages achieve their maximum fitness potential and making people feel well cared for. Core Connections is the perfect environment for Jeannette to apply her skills and extensive teaching experience towards rehabilitation and ongoing pain free fitness for our clients!
Kristine is a Certified Balanced Body Pilates Instructor.
Physical fitness has been a primary element of her lifestyle throughout her adult life. Any chance she gets, she loves being outdoors. hiking, gardening or a peaceful walk on the beach. For many years, boxing, kick boxing, Tae Kwon Do and yoga were some of her chosen practices. But over time, her hips and lower-back would feel the stress. A good friend suggested she try Pilates and after her first class, she was hooked. She loved the deepened mind-body connection and over time, her hips and lower back felt stronger.
Kristine is dedicated to helping her clients find the same relief from muscular and structural imbalances that she did and her goal is to bring a mind-body focus to her client’s Pilates practice and life style. Her clients range from highly-focused athletes, to clients simply looking for more strength and flexibility. She enjoys working with people just starting, or perhaps returning to an exercise routine to improve their overall health. Kristine enjoys bringing functional movement into goal-oriented exercise programs that are fun and challenging at any level.
Kristine is a life learner of the human body and is currently studying Myofascial Meridians for Movement Therapist.
Like so many others, my Pilates journey began as a way to get myself out of chronic pain and discomfort. In 2020, I visited Core Connections as a patient due to an injury that was not responding to other therapies. The owner, Kelly Otis, recommended I start Pilates in order to strengthen my core and better align my body. Within a few weeks I began to feel a real improvement and within a few months I was out of pain and had found a new joy in my life. As a result of my own gains and my love for the discipline, I began my Pilates instructor training with Balanced Body shortly thereafter. During my training, I had the opportunity to work with some amazing and inspiring Balanced Body Master Instructors including Lisa Graham, Naomi Leiserson and Tom McCook and have had the continuous mentorship of the amazing Kris Messimer.
I have now gone full circle and have returned to teach here at Core Connections. I am incredibly passionate about teaching and sharing the benefits of Pilates, not only as a way of getting out of discomfort but improving the overall movement and alignment of the individual.
Prior to my Pilates career, I was a registered nurse and have always had a desire to improve health and well being. I have a first class honors degree in Nursing, MSc (Med Sci) and was undertaking a PhD at the University of Edinburgh prior to crossing the pond.
I live locally in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains with my husband and my very high energy Vizsla dog.