Susan Authement Dunnam is an co-owner of Destin Pilates and Aerial and Destin Girls Retreats. Susan opened in the summer of 2009 in a friend's home with only one reformer and one client. Susan quickly expanded as her client base grew and now has many regular or 2nd home clients she trains in the studios or trains them via Zoom online in the comfort of their homes.
Susan has been a pioneer in the area being the first studio owner to bring in many new fitness trends including Bungee Jump and Aerial Fitness and she is also a connective tissue specialist bringing the incredibly effective Rossiter Stretching System to the Gulf Coast. She truly has the heart of an entrepreneur.
Susan, originally from Louisiana, moved to Memphis in the 1970's and grew up a part a very active "tennis family" and has always loved physical fitness. She fell in love with Pilates in 1995 after injuring her back in a snowboarding accident while living in Aspen, Colorado. After doing Yoga for years with minimal back relief, she found after just one private session on the Reformer that her back pain had ceased and she was hooked.
Susan continually updates and advances her education through Pilates workshops and conferences and is always looking to bring the newest cutting edge fitness to the area. Susan is fully committed to spreading the message of "The Pilates Method" as a lifestyle. If you are able to move you are able to do Pilates! Always a dedicated professional, Susan is passionate about inspiring and motivating and mentoring people to achieve and exceed their fitness goals. Though her unique style of coaching and dynamic positive energy, Susan delivers a workout that produces dramatic results and major transformation in her clients bodies.
Susan currently holds Pilates certifications with The PhysicalMind Institute, Balanced Body University, Power Pilates and The Ellie Herman Studios (700 hour comprehensive). Ellie Herman has studios in both New York and California, wrote Pilates For Dummies and created the Springboard which is marketed exclusively with Balanced Body. Susan has also completed an intensive teacher training with Aircat Aerial at The Boulder Circus Arts Institute in 2010 and Aerial Silks and Aerial Hammock Level 1 Training with Lesley Vaughn of Cirque Du Soleil in 2011. She is currently on the Prophetic Healing and Deliverance team under Apostles Sharon and Bob Parkes at Christian International and the Gatekeepers Ministry Team with Apostles Kimberly and Martin Watts. She is also attending Perry Stones International School of the Word and is an active member of New Life Church and has a heart to spread the Gospel and help set the captives free.
Christine is a co-owner of Destin Pilates and Aerial. She have always loved fitness and has been active since she was a little girl. "My whole life, I have enjoyed the outdoors and nature in all forms and seasons, which required me to be physically and mentally strong. My love for dance introduced me to Joseph Pilates and his methods. I believe in the mind/body connection you acquire through Pilates. Your mind has to engage with your body. The whole body gets trained by concentrating on proper alignment and the smoothness of the movements.' One day at a golf tournament in Miami, Christine came across a booth for Balanced Body/ Polestar Education and her career began. She immediately signed up for certification training and began her Pilates journey in 1998 receiving certifications for Reformer and Combo Chair/personal Pilates with equipment in Miami 2000. Family matters moved her to Seattle where she introduced Pilates to a private fitness club; Pine Lake Fitness and began teaching in 2001. Wanting to continue her education she obtained a Mat certification in Vancouver in 2001 and continued instructing at the fitness club in Seattle. Soon after completing her trainings and certifications she suffered a severe cervical spinal injury which required multiple surgeries and a relocation to Miami. She relied extensively on her Pilates training and experience to help her body and mind heal during this time. Her neuro surgeon was in disbelief as to the speed and strength she was able to recover from these surgeries he had performed. He was so impressed that he wanted to be educated on all the nuances of Pilates so as to explore how it might help other patients. As a result of her introducing him to the benefits of Pilates, her neuro surgeon currently incorporates it into his physical therapy programs for all his patients. She opened up a private studio to accommodate the needs of his patients and referrals and this is where she remained until moving to Destin in July 2017 and then partnering with Susan in Destin Pilates and Aerial in Sept 2018.
Originally from the Carolinas, Mary grew up on a barrier island, vacationed in the mountains and
has a love for the beauty of nature. In 1999 her husband’s military career brought them to Destin and they fell in love with the crystal clear water and white sand beaches.
Mary is passionate about MindBody exercise and the ability to bring awareness to what the body is experiencing at the present moment. She has practiced Yoga for over 20 years and Pilates since 2000 and feels that the two disciplines create a healthy body and mind.
In 2014 she began taking private Pilates on the Reformer to help recover from surgery. She loved the challenge, attention to detail, and focus on anatomy. Her experience was so transformative that in 2015 she began Balanced Body Comprehensive Pilates Teacher Training.
In 2016 Mary expanded her training to include Aerial Hammock and Yoga teacher. Aerial
Hammock provides a supportive platform for Pilates or Yoga and is versatile enough for
restorative or conditioning fitness...and it's fun!
She has had many inspirational moments sharing the Pilates Method with clients and enjoys being a part of their personal transformation. Mary hopes to help others become more in tune with their bodies, to heal, strengthen and/or increase flexibility for a better quality of life. Rather than striving for perfection, she encourages everyone to leave their ego at the door and keep an open mind. When not in the studio Mary enjoys spending her time hiking, camping, kayaking, scuba diving and beach combing .
Originally from Seneca, MO, I moved to the Gulf Coast at a young age. Soon after meeting the guy I would eventually grow up, marry, and start a family with. I now have 2 children ages 9 and 4. I have worked along side my husband for several years and after my second child, I decided it was time to focus on myself. That's where my love for fitness and a healthy well being came to be. I love running and have participate in several 5k-10ks. I completed my first Triathlon in 2014. Along with running, I focus on Yoga, Pilates, and on occasion Barre.
This love has brought me to my newest passion, Aerial Silks. I only hope to continue to perfect my skill and be the best that I feel that I can me. Helping others fine the passion in this unique/hard/ yet rewarding challenge, along the way.
Growing up most of my life here in this small town of Destin, FL I have always loved the new season each year brings us with new faces and people to connect with. I had always played soccer from age 6 through high school so being on the go and physically active was already a part of me. I came across Aerial in January 2015, which led me to a new adventure. After taking class for a year, I came aboard and received my aerial teaching certification. I have been involved with the studio since then and can't get enough of hanging upside down and flying through the air on a silky fabric.
I enjoy every minute of teaching, training, and socializing in the studio!
Outside of the studio, my husband and I are busy raising our brand new baby girl who was born in March 2017, and chasing after our Golden Retriever puppy. I love having Aerial as a way to rest my mind while making my body stronger. Finding aerial as a new part to my journey was what I needed, and especially here at Destin Pilates & Aerial.
Originally from Mobile, AL, I moved to Destin in 2006 after graduating from the University of Alabama. I have over 17 years of dance experience, am an avid runner, and have always enjoyed physical fitness. When I found Pilates in 2009, I fell in love. It has given me great results, and I credit Pilates with helping me to get back to my pre-baby body. I am currently undergoing the Balanced Body University Pilates teacher training, and hope to share my knowledge with you! When I am not in the studio, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our two children. I am grateful to have found such a wonderful home at Destin Pilates and Aerial.
Having grown up in Mobile Alabama I have always had a passion for coastal living. Prior to living in Destin I was a pharmaceutical sales representative in both Mobile and Fort Lauderdale. In 2007 my husband and I relocated to Destin, FL to find a “slower paced” way of life and instantly fell in love with this area.
I have over 15 years of experience in gymnastics and ballet both training and instructing. Throughout my life I have had such enthusiasm for unique and innovative exercise methods, which is what ultimately led me to Aerial Silks. I have received my Aerial Teacher Teaching through Destin Pilates and Aerial Center and have trained under Lesley Vaughn of Cirque du Soleil. I have been teaching Aerial Silks 3 years and am currently going through Balanced body University Pilates Teacher Training. I am combining my love of both Aerial and Pilates having truly discovered my passion and found a home at Destin Pilates and Aerial.
Lauren loves challenges, traveling and new experiences and that is what brought her to aerial silks. She relocated to the area from San Francisco three years ago and has been living the Gulf Coast ever since. She recently received two masters’ degrees in Education and has been teaching kindergarten for the past three years.
Lauren has also trained with renowned aerialist Lesley Vaughn of Cirque du Soleil. An avid lover of yoga, painting, surfing, skateboarding and hula-hooping, she is a jack of all trades and you will feel like your reading a suspenseful book in her class. Come join Lauren and learn to write your own story. She is currently training Balanced Body Barre and Yoga after 15 years of devoted practice.
Nurse Mary Horwitzs' approach to teaching Pilates and Yoga comes from a place of wellness promotion. After practicing as an oncology nurse for 20 years at St. Jude, Mary took her own passion for fitness and health to a new level. She first certified in Pilates from Ellie Herman Studios in San Francisco and further certified in yoga from Om Yoga in New York City. Mary’s approach to teaching is one of combining mind, body and spirit……and Fun! Mary’s clients are both athletes and those with health care needs. Getting strong and fit while having a good time doing it is her desire for all. Email [email protected] or 901-484-4366.
Lesley Vaughn was born in Mammoth Lakes, California and grew up in South America. Her family started a Christian ministry, called 'For His Children,' that cares for abandoned children in Quito, Ecuador. After attending the University of California Santa Barbara, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a dancer. After a few years of working as a dancer, she discovered aerial and fell in love immediately. She has since done live performances for Kanye West, Jennifer Lopez, Beats Antique, Korean Band JYJ, Paris By Night and danced for the MLS soccer team Chivas USA.
She has worked on commercials for Justin Bieber, Hiedi Klum, Vitamin Water, and Shisheido. Lesley also has performed in music videos and done TV appearances such as HBO's Big Love and Hip Hop Abs. She has taught dance and aerial for many years and is always interested in how to further deepen and enrich her knowledge of her art and loves to inspire others to do the same. She is a part of the with Cirque Du Soleil family having appeared in Zumanity for a year and is currently in their very popular water show O in Las Vegas.