Our Story

Since founding Konnect Pilates in 2002 in Mission Viejo located Orange County, Viktor and Kelly Uygan have been committed to their passion for creating unique programs that allow clients to reach their potential by conditioning their bodies and achieving a mind-body balance. With more than 29 years of experience as professional Ballet Dancers and personal trainers, Viktor and Kelly have had great success in their disciplines and found their backgrounds easily transfer to Mind Body Conditioning. They are Certified PMA instructors, faculty and teacher trainers with the world-renowned Balanced Body, Inc., and hold certificates in Pilates, BodyCode, Ki-Hara, CoreAlign, Anatomy, BODHI, MOTR, Balanced Body Barre along with The Konnector and Pink Ribbon programs. Viktor and Kelly value their highly trained team and together they apply their skills with a caring and encouraging emphasis to help each person achieve their fitness goals and balance within their mind and body.


                  Our Studio

Konnect Pilates Orange County is a fully equipped facility where you will find a comfortable, relaxed and non-competitive atmosphere. You will experience wonderful energy while working in its warm and welcoming studio. Our highly skilled fully comprehensively certified professionals are not only fully trained with Pilates but a wide variety of modalities and are ready to get you on your way to a new you! At Konnect Pilates our instructors are some of the most caring people you will ever meet. They will guide and encourage you through fresh new concepts of fitness at any level or need designing an exercise program that brings you great results. It is our goal to help improve the outer you while at the same time pampering the inner you for a greater mind-body balance!


 Konnect Pilates, “Where Mindful Movement Matters.”


Large Background Hover

Viktor Uygan
Owner – Trainer – Master Teacher

About Viktor

About 23 years ago, Viktor began studying with Master Pino Carbone, creator of the BodyCode System and owner of the Gyrotonic center in Florence, Italy. Viktor’s long history in dance and fitness led him to Pilates after moving to the United States in 1993.Viktor continued to study and practice Pilates and was officially PMA [Pilates Method Alliance] certified in 2001 by DK Body Balancing through the University of Nevada. He is now owner and an instructor at Konnect Pilates as well as the inventor of the Konnector, a break-through accessory for equipment used in this form of exercise.

Currently, Viktor is part of the world leading Balanced Body Education as a faculty member instructing teacher training courses with all 8 Pilates Modules, Anatomy in 3D, BODHI, MOTR and The CoreAlign. He also holds certifications with Pilates for Golf specializing in the training of golfers, the Ki-hara technique for resistance flexibility and strength training as well as the American Ballet Theater’s National Training Curriculum for young dancers.Viktor has a variety of workshops that he presents in Pilates conferences worldwide and you can see him in many instructional Videos and PodCasts with Balanced Body Inc.

He is the first Advanced Teacher Trainer and Master Instructor for the entire Body Code system and the first to introduce the entire line of BodyCode equipment in the United States along with being the US and Canadian distributor for the line of products with his own company Body Mind E. Viktor travels the US and abroad to many locations instructing and certifying teachers with the Body Code work as well as holding workshops and training professionals such as the Boston Ballet.

Mr. Uygan has an extensive background in dance. His studies began with Ankara State Company in Ankara, Turkey. He continued training at the Hamlyn School of Ballet in Florence, Italy under the direction of Franco DeVita and Raymond Lukens. He received elementary-advanced diplomas with honors in the Cecchetti technique. Viktor continued dancing and has 15 years of professional experience dancing with companies such as Ankara State and Hartford Ballet as well as a guest performing in the United States and Europe. He has worked with such greats as David Allan, Kirk Peterson, Richard Glasstone, AnnMarie DeAngelo and Alla Osipenko along with many ballets by Balanchine, Tudor, Grahm, Choo San Goh and with Wayne Sleep for a tribute to Princess Diana. Viktor is certified with the American Ballet Theater national training curriculum for young dancers. He has been coaching dancers for technique, professional careers and national competitions winning numerous 1st places with his students nationally and internationally. His work has presented at Gala performances in Germany and New York and also won the YAGP Best Choreographer award for 2007 and 2008.

Large Background Hover

Kelly Uygan
Owner – Trainer – Master Teacher

About Kelly

Kelly, a former ballet professional ballet dancer and Co-Owner of Konnect Pilates Studio, has been a certified PMA [Pilates method Alliance] certified instructor for 29 years. She trained originally with renowned Pilates instructor Diane Diefenderfer.

Kelly is also an active faculty member with the Balanced Body Education, instructing teacher trainers in all 8 Pilates Modules plus Anatomy and Balanced Body Barre. She is also on Faculty with American Ballet Theatre’s West Coast William J Gillespie School at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts training Levels 2 and 4. She holds certifications with: The Pilates Method Alliance, American Ballet Theater’s National Training Curriculum for young dancers; Resistance Flexibility and Strength training with the Ki-Hara technique used by Olympic swimmer Dara; The Pink Ribbon Program, a Post-Operative workout enhancing recovery for breast cancer survivors; CoreAlign, BBBarre, BODHI and the entire BodyCode system in which she is a Master Teacher of training under Mr. Carbone Master Gyrotonics teacher and inventor of the BodyCode system for 10years.

With an extensive dance background, Miss Uygan danced since age six. Her training includes Scholarships with Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Ballet West. She has danced professionally as well as been a guest artist in ballets, competitions, musicals and operas in the United States and abroad.

In addition, she was a recipient of a third place medal for the National Foundation of the Arts competition in Miami, Florida and danced for a tribute to Tchaikovsky at the Hollywood Bowl. Most notably Kelly was a principal dancer with the Hartford Ballet in Connecticut. She performed and toured Principal roles in Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Giselle, Coppelia, Le Corsaire staged by Alla Osipenko and may ballets by George Balanchine, Anthony Tudor, Choo San Goh, Nijinsky and Martha Grahm along with having several roles created for her by choreographers such as Jean Grand Maitre, Kirk Peterson, Colin Conner, Robert Sund and Grahm Lustig from the United States and Europe.

Kelly has also worked as a Ballet Mistress and director staging such ballets as Swan Lake and the Nutcracker along with being a private coach for ballet dancers and figure skaters for over 15 years.


Large Background Hover

Alexandra Zaldivar

Trainer

About Alexandra

Alexandra Zaldivar: Having danced since she was 3, Alexandra has always been physically active and enjoyed learning how to push the body’s limits and boundaries. She has trained with the Vaganova method and completed 2 years as a Dance major at CSULB while dancing with Leverage Dance. Then was accepted into SUNY Purchase College in NY as a Dance Major. Alexandra experienced a subluxation of the patella and found that Pilates was effective in the healing and rehabilitation process realizing her passion was in healing people. In 2012 she completed her fully comprehensive BASI Pilates Certification.
Alexandra also received Certifications for “Pilates for Injuries and Pathologies”, “Pilates for Dancers” and “Pilates for Chronic Pain Syndromes”. In addition to these accomplishments, she has been a studio director. Alexandra strives to share her love and enjoyment of the Pilates with her clients helping them to understand that Pilates isn’t just a workout, it’s a way of life.

Large Background Hover

Alexis Contreas

Manager & Trainer

About Alexis

Alexis has always been active, whether it be through sports or music. Growing up near Chicago, she had plenty of options to pursue both. Playing Field Hockey and Soccer became a large part of her life, but with a severe knee injury, her ambitions to play Field Hockey at a collegiate level were put on hold. Going through reconstructive surgery and intensive rehabilitation to replace her ACL, she realized that she no longer wanted to put herself through the strain and stress that these sports demanded from the body.
Struggling to find an outlet for stress and exercise for the next few years, she began taking a Latin-based dance class at a local fitness club. After a few months, she began teaching the class in 2004 and developed it over the next 9 years.
Pilates came into her life in 2009. She developed tendonitis and was introduced to the reformer by her boss at the time. She was encouraged to begin her Pilates certification and started teaching Pilates Reformer shortly after. She has her initial certification with Peak Pilates but found that her natural tendencies in teaching strayed in a different direction. She began working with a Balanced body faculty member/teacher trainer and has been mentored by her for the last 3 1/2 years.
Alexis also has her 200 hr Yoga certification through the initial LifePowerYoga certification. She was fortunate to be taught by John Salisbury and Jen Chiarelli, as visiting instructors, from the former At One yoga studio in Arizona.
Alexis is looking to further her education through Balanced Body, but also to continue learning from all methods so that she can incorporate that knowledge into her teaching. She believes in the power the mind has within the body and its ability to not only heal oneself emotionally but also physically. She is fascinated with the detail involved in teaching Pilates and enjoys the challenges each body presents.

Large Background Hover

Lynea Kerr

Trainer

About Lynea

Lynea’s passion for Pilates developed quickly after feeling the benefits in her own body. She has reached her own personal goals of strength and flexibility through Pilates. She hopes to impact in each of her clients a personal balance and understanding of his or her own potential, through correct exercise and movement. Lynea holds her comprehensive Pilates certification through Body Arts and Science International, founded by Rael Isacowitz. She continues her education, studying the Body Code System under Viktor Uygan and Pino Carbone.

Large Background Hover

Kari Menter

Trainer

About Kari

Kari began dancing ballet at a young age.She studied primarily under Lila Zali and performed with Ballet Pacifica for over 10 years. Kari attended summer programs on scholarship including Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Yorkshire Ballet Seminar in Ilkley, England. Kari studied at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX on a dance scholarship and has a liberal arts degree from Cal State Fullerton. Throughout her dance instruction and career, Kari became interested in Pilates. Kari did her certification through DK Body Balancing accredited by the University of Nevada Las Vegas and approved by the Nevada and Arizona State Boards of Physical Therapists. After college, Kari worked in a corporate environment for several years most recently at New Century Mortgage as a Business Analyst. Kari loves to work with people and shifted focus from her corporate career to Pilates Kari’s hard work in her former business environment and her dedication and love of ballet make Pilates instruction a perfect match for her.

Large Background Hover

Michel Gervais

Trainer

About Michel

A native of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, started dancing at the age of 11 with the Ida Sauvé Dance Studios. He has performed with such companies as; Feld Ballet/NY, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Theatre Ballet of Canada, National Dance Theatre of Bermuda, California Riverside Ballet and Ballet Pacifica, during his 17 years as a professional dancer. While Dancing at Ballet Pacifica, Mr. Gervais was introduced to Diane Diefenderfer, a wonderful ballet teacher as well as a most respected Pilates teacher and studio owner. Michel had the privilege of working with Ms. Diefenderfer for two years in the Pilates technique, as her student. After retiring from dance, Mr. Gervais was invited by Viktor and Kelly Uygan to join their staff at the ArtForm Studio and train in the Body Code System. Michel is now a certified Body Code System instructor and also uses the Pilates technique in training his clients. He is also a sought-after ballet teacher and choreographer who has worked with; Hong Kong Ballet, London Rambert Dance Co, American Ballet Theatre (Summer Intensives), Canadian Dance Teachers Association, Ballet Pacifica, Idyllwild Arts Academy, Orange County High School of the Arts, Universities of California, Irvine and Riverside, National Dance Theatre of Bermuda and the South County Classical Ballet where he was Artistic Director for the 2006-2007 season.

Large Background Hover

Meghan Brightwell

Trainer

About Meghan

Content coming soon!

Large Background Hover

Morgan Adams

Trainer

About Morgan

Morgan was first introduced to Pilates as a dancer. What started as her favorite choice of exercise and cross training, eventually turned into a passion to teach! In addition to Pilates aiding in her strength and ability as a young dancer, Pilates has greatly improved Morgan’s own postural issues as an adult. She is passionate about helping her clients achieve similar life-changing goals!
Originally from the Bay Area, Morgan received her Comprehensive Pilates instructor training through Balanced Body Education at EHS Pilates Institute in San Francisco California. Upon completion, she moved to New York City where she worked at Pilates Reforming New York. After continuing her teaching in North Carolina Morgan is thrilled to land back home in California! Morgan is continuing her education through Viktor and Kelly Uygan and Balanced Body and excited to join the Konnect team!

Large Background Hover

Gina Cerato

Trainer

About Gina

Ms. Cerato began her Pilates training at Studio Du Corps with Second generation Pilates instructor Diane Diefenderfer in Costa Mesa Ca. She was rehabilitating an injury from performing and fell in love with the Pilates work.
Gina was a professional ballet dancer and started her dance training at the age of 6. During her dance training received the highest level of training in the classical Vagonova and Cechetti methods. She has also trained in all styles of dance. She started performing with Ballet Pacifica right away and was dancing with the company in all productions by age 13. Within Gina’s training, she attended Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Joffrey summer intensives. With her ballet training, she studied and worked with well known teachers including David Allan, Alaine Haubert, Janek Schurgen, Lynn Cox, Charles Maple and Robert Sund. Also with many well-known choreographers.
With a request from others for Gina to start teaching, she has carefully honed her teaching skills through study, observation, and her own dancing experience and continued education. At Studio Du Corps, she studied under Diane Deifenderfer and had the pleasure of working with Pilates master Ron Fletcher.
Gina has recently taken the ABT® National Teachers Training Curriculum at ABT-NY and is now a certified instructor for levels Pre-Primary to level 3. Her teaching career that has now spanned over 20 years, her knowledge and instruction of Pilates and classical ballet technique has proven to develop strength and fluidity of movement that is necessary for today’s dancer and she strives to instill the importance of a strong foundation of technique as a means to freedom of movement. Her experience includes the instruction of all levels and abilities including professional and adults. Gina is comprehensively certified in the Pilates Method. She also teaches therapeutic Thera-Band, Towel work, Tennis Ball, and Foam Roller.

Gina has always been excited to carry on the legacy of Pilates in a mindful and therapeutic way.


Large Background Hover

Taryn Horacek

Trainer

About Taryn

Old Perla – Content coming soon!

Large Background Hover

Jamie Elster

Trainer

About Jamie

Old Sarah – Content coming soon!

Large Background Hover

Suzie Poetsch

Trainer

About Suzie

Suzie started dancing at the age of 5 and enjoyed ten years with Ballet Pacifica where she met Kelly and Viktor.
She was introduced to Pilates through Diane Dieffenderfer which is when she noticed how it facilitated her balance, flexibility, and strength. She always loved technique so she fell in love the detail of the Method. Suzie understood how Pilates could help prevent injury, and in recovery and wanted to start to help others.
Suzie’s dance knowledge is Checchetti and R.A.D. summer scholarships from San Francisco and Milwaukee Ballet. After touring with Los Angeles Ballet and David Taylor in Denver, she became certified through the Physical Mind Institute in 2001. I have studied Golf protocols, rehabilitation workshops and most recently Anatomy Trains. Suzie has also been trained by Kelly and Viktor with the Body code system. She was Konnect Pilates first employee and left for a while moving to another state. Now that she resides back in Orange County Konnect is thrilled to have her part of the team again!