Healing Charlotte Podcast: Alissa Getz Waller, GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Methods Master Trainer

On this episode, we meet Alissa Getz Waller, owner of Charlotte Movement Arts Studio and the only Master Trainer of GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® movement methods in Charlotte. She is a student of founder Juliu Horvath, who was a dancer and involved with yoga when he developed the method. These movements were born out of classic ballet, yoga, principles of physical therapy, swimming, and martial arts. Alissa says it’s best to watch a video to truly understand before starting the method. GYROKINESIS® are movements made up of floor work, seated, and are the building blocks of the equipment work. These movements can be practiced at home or done in group settings. GYROTONIC® is performed on equipment and helps direct and support the movement much like being in water. The movements can be expanded and one can go deeper in GYROTONIC®

Alissa describes GYROTONIC® as a movement system on equipment where weight can be added and allows the joints to move circularly and is not jarring. The weight support is smooth through the motion. It’s similar to pilates as it emphasizes the core, it’s therapeutic, and there are equipment and non-equipment approaches. It’s different than pilates as GYROTONIC® uses Eastern principles, approaches the body deeper than muscles(bones and joints), uses imagery to awaken the energy systems in the body, uses circular vs. linear movements, and works from the deepest part of the body and out. Teenagers to seniors can utilize the method.

GYROTONIC® has remained true to it’s core principles of circular versus linear movement, movement that starts on the deepest part of the body and then from there comes out. There’s a focus on join articulation which is why it’s so healing for any type of joint dysfunction or joint injury.”

Alissa started training in classical ballet at the age of 4. When she was a teenager, she started having aches and pain from her intense dance schedule. Alissa’s mom got her involved with a Pilates trainer and in college, she took Pilates training. During her time in New York, a friend of Alissa’s introduced her to GYROTONIC®. She became so excited about the method and fascinated with the way the body could move, she signed up for teacher training with Juliu Horvath. From there, she opened up a studio outside of Chicago in 2002. Eventually she sold the studio and moved to Charlotte where she opened her boutique studio in Myers Park. Outside of training at her studio, Alissa is also a faculty member of the Charlotte Ballet Academy where she enjoys working with mid-adolescent dancers as well as pre-professional dancers.

“It {physical empathy} feels to me like putting myself in their nervous system and then my nervous system can help guide them in a new way.”

Alissa loves working with clients who are open-minded about how they approach their body and relationship to exercise and movement. Her parents, who were both teachers, has influenced her work as well as a ballet instructor, Rosemary Floyd, growing up who told her that the “goal should be quality.” All of Alissa’s movement instructors gave her gifts of understanding how to relate to people and how to empathize with bodies(emotional and physical). Juliu Horvath and his brother Paul Horvath, who focused more on the therapeutic and rehabilitation side of GYROTONIC® have been influential in her work. Alissa loves Charlotte as she sees this as a place still in development where she can be a guide for people in their own healing and to show them the way to heal themselves. She attended a training in Charlotte with Phillip Beach who is from New Zealand and works with the muscles and meridians to research why we experience what we do when we move the body. Her advice for starting a practice of GYROTONIC® or GYROKINESIS® is to watch a few videos and commit to 2-3 sessions to give it a fair chance. Visit GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® website here.