:: Meet the GMC Staff
Karen Mullen, GYROTONIC® & GYROKINESIS® Authorized Master Trainer, B.F.A. & M.S., is certified as a Master Trainer in the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® by its creator Juliu Horvath. She began working with GYROTONIC® over 15 years ago as a dancer in NYC. From the first class she fell in love with this system and has since shared her enthusiasm and expertise with people of all experience levels.
Karen holds both bachelors and masters degrees in movement related fields and has published and presented work on dance pedagogy with its focus on effective teaching techniques both nationally and internationally. By combining her unique experiences as a former professional dancer, Pilates practitioner, university teacher and movement educator Karen is able to teach the GYROTONIC® methodology to people with diverse movement backgrounds while preparing them to be effective and confident teachers.
With training in both the scientific and the artistic studies of movement, she creates a supportive & fun environment to explore and understand the human body. By incorporating a sound understanding of both the learning and teaching process, Karen provides meaningful feedback to help students and clients understand GYROTONIC® and its methodology and helping them reach their body’s potential with ease and efficiency.
Mark Hagen has a BA in Sociology, minor in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota. After working in banking and real estate, Mark moved out to the Northwest for the mountains and sea, skiing and sailing. After sailing the Canadian, US and Mexican coasts on his own boat “Sparrow”, he decided to take a break from sailing. Somehow he ended up in a ballet class and fell in love with it. Feeling like he needed to get in better shape to dance, he turned to Pilates.
Mark was introduced to the GYROTONIC® method by a ballet teacher. Within minutes on the tower he knew this was where he wanted to be. Though he came to the GYROTONIC® method through dance, it reminded him of his training in kung-fu and chi-kung in his teens and twenties. Mark realized he enjoyed teaching when he worked as a facilitator at a high ropes/challenge course and later as a canoe and kayak guide. He experienced the excitement in watching people stretch past themselves and reach beyond what they thought was attainable. Today, Mark is a certified training in the GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® methods as well as all the specialized GYROTONIC® equipment. He continues to train under Master Trainer Karen Mullen.
Teaching at the GYROTONIC® Movement Center has given him the opportunity to combine his love of movement with the joy of helping people reach their goals. When Mark is not at the studio, he is playing with his two kids and his wife, or rock climbing in the hills.
Lilianna came to Seattle from Santa Fe, New Mexico to attend Cornish College of the Arts from where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance. She has performed locally as well as created and danced in her own work. It is through a ballet intensive in San Francisco that she was introduced to GYROTONIC® and later on, upon discovering the GYROTONIC® Movement Center, she delved deeper into the system first as a student, then as a trainer.
Lilianna attributes much of her current strength, well-being and ease in her body to the Gyrotonic system. As a teacher, she loves to work with people of all walks of life, whether her client is simply seeking fun and challenging movement, or working through pain or injuries and seeking a happier, healthier body.
Since becoming a Level 1 Certified Trainer, Lilianna has enriched her knowledge by becoming certified to teach on the Jump Stretch Board and the Leg Extension Unit as well as completing the Level 2 Program 2 training.
Fumi Murakami received a BA in Mathematics and Theater/Dance from Oberlin College. She continued to dance over the years while pursuing a career in Information Technology. She was fortunate to discover Pilates, studying for 15 years with master teacher Cary Regan, which assisted in her ability to continue to perform with many local choreographers including Wade Madsen, Michele, Miller, Pablo Cornejo, Mark Haim, Jason Ohlberg, and Deborah Wolf. Fumi co-founded a dance production company, Evoke Productions, seven years ago and it is still going strong today.
It was while rehearsing for the very first of these productions that Fumi tried the GYROTONIC® method to assist with loss of flexibility in the upper spine. She was so happy to have discovered the GYROTONIC® method and the wonderful benefits that she decided to become a trainer. She enjoys the one on one interaction with clients and is thrilled to be helping clients feel better and work to achieve their maximum potential. She is certified on all the specialized equipment.
Fumi spends her free time volunteering in the library at her daughter's middle school, working on knitting projects, cooking and baking, and spending time with her family.
Natascha Greenwalt Murphy is a Walla Walla native. She left the rolling hills to pursue a dance degree, and in 2005 she graduated magna cum laude from Cornish College of the Arts as a Kreielsheimer Scholarship recipient. Natascha spent her summers with the Joffery Ballet, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, and the American Ballet Theatre in New York, as well as the Northwest Professional Dance Project in Portland, OR. It was while training with the LINES Ballet that Natascha first experienced the GYROTONIC® System and fell instantly in love. Upon returning to Seattle she was awarded a scholarship through Mirella Dancewear to continue her studies at Seattle GYROTONIC®, where she trained under Magali Messac for 3 years. In 2008 a back injury brought her to the GYROTONIC ® Movement Center where Karen Mullen and the staff got her back to dancing and reignited her desire to start the teacher training. In January 2010 she was certified as a Level 1 trainer, in 2010 certified on the Jumping Stretching Board, and in 2012 she certified on the Gyrotoner.
Natascha is still very involved in the Seattle dance community. She has had the pleasure of performing with many local companies including Ballet Bellevue, DASSdance, and Spectrum Dance Theater before embarking on the adventure of creating Coriolis Dance Collective with Christin Call about to start it's 6th season. It’s been her honor to perform works by Donald Byrd, Zoe Scofield, Jason Ohlberg, Michael Rioux, Sarah Slipper, Twyla Tharp, and others.
As a choreographer Natascha has been commissioned by Ballet Bellevue, Whitman College, Western Washington University, and as a guest for the Cornish College of the Arts BFA performances. Tethered Apparitions, which she created on Coriolis Dance Collective, received an Artist Trust GAP Award and was presented at Chop Shop: Bodies of Work, Spotlight on Seattle where according to the Seattle Times it was a “highlight” of the festival as well as Coriolis’s own Wing of Egress production. She is currently working on a new creation with Christin Call that began during their Open Flight residency in the summer of 2012. She teaches ballet at Westlake Dance Center, Velocity Dance Center, and has served as a guest instructor for Whitman College SDL and the Montana Dance Arts Association.