“As owners, we strive to improve the health and well-being of every person that walks through our door.”

Wendy Helton

Wendy Helton shares her joy of movement with her clients. She has a passion for supporting people’s ability to develop health and vitality through Pilates. Wendy’s work is influenced by over 30 years of movement training including classical and contemporary dance, Pilates, Gentry Technique, continuing education in Pilates for Osteoporosis, Lumbo-Pelvic Girdle Dysfunction, Pre/Post Natal, and Pilates for Athletes.

She began her Pilates training in Marblehead, MA at the Marblehead School of Ballet in 1990. Wendy then went on to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where she received her B.F.A in Contemporary Dance in 1997. While at UNC School of the Arts she continued her study of Pilates and became more familiar with the intricacies of the work as well as the challenges and variety that are offered by the different pieces of Pilates equipment. After graduation, she moved to the Chicago area.

She was certified by Michele Larsson of Core Dynamics Pilates in 2002. She worked with, learned from, and was influenced by many wonderful Pilates Instructors from the center of Chicago and the Deerfield Multiplex, where she was Director of a successful Pilates program in 2003. Over the years Wendy has taught Pilates to members of the Chicago Bulls.  She has also developed and previously taught Symmetry Pilates, a 450-hour teacher training program.

Susie Pines

Susie Pines is a devoted practitioner of massage therapy. Her foundation in bodywork began in 1984 when she entered the Chicago School of Massage Therapy and remained on staff to teach meditation, Swedish massage, Body Mobilization Technique, and acupressure.

She was very influenced by the teachings of Robert K. King and Jim Hackett. At the end of her tenure at CSMT, she opened a small studio in her home and worked part-time at Multiplex in Deerfield. While working there, she developed an interest in fitness training and thereafter, in Pilates.

In 2004, Susie graduated from Symmetry Pilates founded by Wendy Helton, and together, they opened Swan Dive Center for Pilates in Northbrook. She has pursued continuing education for over 27 years in massage therapy and more recently has been influenced by the work of Anat Baniel (ABM), Eric Franklin (Franklin Method), and Douglas Nelson (Precision Neuromuscular Therapy). Throughout her career in health and fitness, she has pursued national certification and professional affiliation.

She studied at the Sorbonne University in Paris and earned a Liberal Arts degree from the University of Illinois in French Language and Civilization. In bodywork, Susie specializes in neuromuscular, craniosacral, and myofascial therapy.

She practices the Pilates method as her educational foundation for strength and flexibility teaching. She has a special interest in pain management, lifestyle counseling, and corrective movement therapy to assist the body in achieving balance, strength, and flexibility.  Through the Pilates Method, she has combined the healing art of massage with balancing it with core strengthening.  On every level of wellness and fitness, Pilates and massage therapy work really well together.

Swan Dive Center for Pilates began in 2006 and has experienced years of support from the community on the North Shore of Chicago. Wendy Helton’s and Susan Pines’ journey came about by observing the need for people to have a better, more balanced, injury-free body. They began to assist in this mission by combining Joseph Pilates’s principles of core strengthening and therapeutic stretching and the ancient art of massage therapy.

This combination created beautiful balance in the joints and muscles, facilitating an ability to thrive in the activities that we enjoy. As owners of Swan Dive, we are grateful to have the gift of an incredibly knowledgeable team and the amazing support of our clients.


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