WHO WE ARE
We pride ourselves on having the most collaborative group of instructors. It's our team approach that yields such positive results for our clients. Each instructor brings an outstanding level of knowledge, skill and talent to our team. We are goal oriented for our clients and also our own professional development. The photo depicts us in front of our poster presentation at a 2018 American Physical Therapy Conference. Click below for the Abstract.
Marni Larkin, Physical Therapist, Orthopedic Clinical
Specialist (OCS) + Studio Owner
Marni Larkin is a board-certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist. Over the years she has worked with a varied clientele, from Nursing Home populations to Dancers, Athletes, and people suffering with Chronic Pain. She completed the Feldenkrais Method training in 1998 and studied various forms of yoga, in particular Iyengar and Jivanmukti. Her background includes competitive gymnastics, running, and karate, and she is an avid snowboarder. Her most recent focus is understanding pain science principles and relationships to graded exposure and graded loading protocols. GYROTONIC® methodology is a great fit for that and Marni continues to see remarkable results for her clients/patients using this focus.
"I made a conscious decision to go this route after spending 15 years+ in various fields of Physical Thearapy practice, figuring out what really worked in the long-term for people. I am committed ultimately to giving the client tools to develop preventative health practices in as straightforward a manner as possible.”
Please see PDF file icon for her explanation of the method using current concepts in science.
Rita Renha PT - Specialized Master Trainer
Rita Renha, has been a certified instructor of the GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Methods, and all the Gyrotonic specialized equipment in the United States since 1991. In this capacity she taught at the original White Cloud Studios NYC under the supervision of its founder and creator, Mr. Juliu Horvath, who appointed her one of his first generation of Master Trainers. Rita since then has been participating in the development of Gyrotonic exercise and it’s application to physical therapy (prevention and rehabilitation), fitness, health and wellness. She has been having the pleasure to teach/treat people from all walks of life and the privilege to educate the new generations of teachers and Master Trainers worldwide.
She taught Gyrokinesis classes at the Alvin Ailey American Dance School, Steps on Broadway and introduced the method to the Actor’s Studio Masters Program at New School in the 90’s, in New York City. During that time Rita was also a staff member of the National Dance Institute (NDI), an arts and education program founded by Mr. Jacques D’Amboise. She ran NDI’s program for deaf children as a teacher and choreographer, and had the opportunity to introduce Gyrokinesis classes at its summer scholarship program. Inspired by her personal recovery from knee injuries, from all her teaching experiences and as part of the effort to expand worldwide awareness, in the year 2000, Rita moved back to Brazil, her home country, to promote and represent the Gyrotonic method and it's educational program in South America. She opened in Rio de Janeiro, the Rita Renha Wellness Center.
After creating this new career opportunity in the country and training new professionals, together with her highly qualified staff, she started developing groundbreaking work for singers, actors and dancers to improve their performance skills and prevent injuries, as well as the Physical Therapy applications of Gyrotonic’s methodology. She has also founded the GYROTONIC® Institute Brazil, an International Educational Center for Teacher Trainings and Certification Courses. In 2006, Ms. Renha was elected one of few Master Trainers authorized to conduct the Gyrotonic Level 1 final Certification Course. Graduated from the Dance School of The Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro, Rita has been a dance teacher, movement educator and professional dancer/singer for over 25 years, having worked in the USA, Europe, Japan and Brazil. Her Musical Theater credits include: “A Chorus Line”, “West Side Story”, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”, “Cabaret” and “Company”.
Ms. Renha considers herself a functional therapist with a Physical therapy degree from the University Methodist Bennett, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rita has proudly introduced Gyrokinesis and Gyrotonic methods to the scientific community at the First International Congress of Posture 2007 in Rio de Janeiro, and was invited back to its third edition in Vitoria, 2013 as a member of the Scientific Commission, to evaluate the scientific works presented and teach a Gyrotonic workshop. In 2010, Rita had the honor to write a whole chapter about the Gyrotonic method to be officially published in a book; “ In Full Body”, Somatic Education, Movement and Health - 2nd Edition. She is a member of the Brazilian Institute of Technology and Health – IBTS.
Based on Ms. Renha’s last fifteen years of teacher trainings, and on her clinical observations, she has develop a Specialized Course; “GYROTONIC® Principles Applied to Dynamic Trunk Stabilization”, that has become part of the Gyrotonic Continuing Educational Program.
The intention, she says; “Is to lead you to your deepest experience of the Method’s unique and masterful approach to “rethink” the body. Not a bi-dimensional body, but rather a tridimensional one, a body that functions organically, that moves from within!”
Felice has studied and performed a variety of classical and social dance forms over the years, among them classical ballet, the Graham technique and lindy hop. A graduate of LaGuardia High School of Music and the Arts as a ballet major, Felice went on to pursue a B.S. in Physical Education and Sports Studies from Rutgers University, and became a NYS licensed massage therapist and certified foot reflexologist. Completing her Gyrotonic instructor certification in 2009, she is also certified on the Jumping-Stretching Board and the Gyrotoner. Continually inspired by the intelligence and richness of this amazing modality, Felice very much enjoys guiding each client to a new awareness of their body, and watches as she or he starts to recognize and deepen the connections necessary to carry out healthy movement in a wide range of activities.
Jeanine Ferrone PT, MS
Jeanine Ferrone has a masters degree in orthopedic and sports physical therapy from Boston University in Boston, MA and has worked as a Physical Therapist in various settings throughout the country including New York, NY, Boston, MA, Birmingham, MI, and Raleigh, NC. In North Carolina, she was the director of the Rex Hospital Sports Medicine Clinic where she worked closely with physicians and athletes of all ages. Jeanine was a collegiate long distance runner and enjoys many forms of exercise including running, tennis, golf, biking, and skiing. Injuring her knees running a half marathon in Nashville, TN she began practicing Gyrotonic exercise to strengthen her legs and core further and successfully avoided knee surgery as a result. She brings her experience as a Physical Therapist and avid athlete for a unique approach to understanding injuries and anatomy. What impresses her about Gyrotonic is that it enhances ones awareness of the body to stretch and strengthen in a challenging and invigorating way that can be enjoyed by novices as well as highly conditioned athletes.
Debbie loves practicing and teaching Gyrokinesis and Gyrotonic exercise. She comes from a background of long distance running, paddling and yoga. Debbie paddled competitively, internationally for 6 years and represented the U.S. at the World Championships in Nottingham, England in 2000.
She graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Environmental Design. She then worked on corporate design projects for over a decade, specializing in projects with heavy technical requirements. During this time, she developed new standards for trading desks and workstations.
Debbie has dabbled in many activities including kick boxing, spinning and dance but nothing has resonated with her as much as the Gyrotonic movement system. Debbie is continually made aware of the complexity and completeness of this movement system and as a certified Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis Instructor she enjoys sharing this with her clients.
Jennifer Dalva DPT, CSCS
Dr. Dalva graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor of arts in French language and culture and holds a doctorate in physical therapy from New York University. She has studied orthopedic manual therapy through the North American Institute of Manual Therapy and is a Certified Gyrotonic Trainer. Dr. Dalva studied and performed with Pennsylvania Ballet as a student and in the semiprofessional program at the Conservatoire de danse d’Avignon. She has worked backstage at Wicked, Les Misérables, Bright Star, and Paul Taylor Dance Company with Harkness Center for Dance Injuries.
Dr Dalva has incorporated the principles of the Gyrotonic Method into her practice as a physical therapist. She encourages clients to move beyond what they believe are their limitations, and to do so in a safe and biomechanically efficient way.
Christy is grateful to share her passion for the Gyrotonic system. She completed her B.S. in Human Biology at the University of Southern California. While competing in track and cross country at USC, she sustained injuries that sparked her interest in the body's innate ability to heal itself. Her recovery from injuries has guided her to pursue holistic healing methods to practice herself and ultimately share with others.
Working as a trainer in physical rehabilitation facilities gave Christy the opportunity to work with a variety of clientele, including people with spinal cord injuries, strokes, and brain injuries. She is interested in combining multiple modalities to support the healing process, including movement, nutrition, nature, aromatherapy, and meditation. Christy was recently hired as an ICU nurse at NYU. Congratulations Christy!
She is truly grateful to be part of the talented and lovely group of teachers at Gyrotonic Manhasset Physical Therapy and we are grateful to have her as part of our team!
Brett Alan Garfinkel
Brett Alan Garfinkel is a native of Long Island, born and raised in Jericho, NY. He graduated magna cum laude from Adelphi University with a BFA in Dance. After having a successful performance career in and around NYC dancing for Lucinda Childs, BODYART Dance Company and Vissi Dance Theatre, to name a few, he decided to go back to go back to school. Brett graduated with an MFA in Dance Performance and Teaching from Purchase College, SUNY. After graduation he accepted a teaching position at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana.
In 2014, Brett started the certification process in the Gyrokinesis method with a grant from Career Transitions for Dancers as well as support from NSU. He started teaching Gyrokinesis exercise back in Louisiana to students and the community in 2015 and will begin the certification process in the Gyrotonic method in 2019 with the hopes of opening his own private Gyrotonic studio in Natchitoches, Louisiana where he hopes to spread this modality to the community.
Brett is currently a Professor of Dance at Northwestern State University where he helped create and start a BFA degree in Dance. Mr. Garfinkel is lucky enough to come back to NY every summer during his time off to teach and take classes.
Kayla Harkness hails from Houston, Texas and has over 15 years’ experience dancing professionally. Working in musical theatre, tv/film, commercial modeling, NBA pro teams, choreography, and coaching collegiate teams. Her accolades include Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, productions of A Chorus Line, 42nd Street, working with major recording artists and directors. Kayla has also served on staff at the Atlanta Ballet Center for Dance Education, instructing multiple divisions for a five year tenure. She then made her way to Boston, MA where she worked with Boston Ballet, and was dance captain for the NBA Boston Celtics dance team for three years. Kayla toured internationally with the NBA during those three years traveling to Turkey, multiple time to Italy, and Mexico. She also taught at a local competitive dance studio, and choreographed for high school and college dance teams, becoming head coach of Northeastern University’s while in Boston. She recently moved to New York City to pursue more opportunities. Currently, Kayla works at NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries. She is also continuing on in her education of exercise science and dance medicine at Mercy College in Westchester, working on a doctorate of physical therapy. Most recently Kayla became a certified Gyrotonic® instructor and continues to embark on ways she can aid and make a difference in the dance community.
Alejandro Piris Nino PT, DPT, GYROTONIC® Pre-Trainer Instructor
Alejandro was born and raised in Madrid, Spain. In 1999, Alejandro moved to New York where he danced professionally for American Ballet Theater until 2008 and in Hubbard Street Dance Chicago until 2010.
In 2007, Alejandro obtained his Gyrotonic certification under the wing of Sebastian Plettenberg and had been teaching professional dancers since then. Soon after, Alejandro has became Gyrokinesis certified as well as Gyrotonic Pre-Trainer Instructor. Alejandro is certified in most of the specialized equipment and has taken numerous continuing education courses including GYROTONIC® Applications For Dancers, GYROTONIC® as a Musical Journey, GYROTONIC® Level 2, GYROKINESIS® Breathing Course Experience with Juliu Horvath, and more.
Alejandro obtained his Doctor in Physical Therapy degree at Long Island University and continues his PT education with diverse functional manual therapy techniques from the Institute of Physical Art and the North America Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy.
Alejandro enjoys most teaching Gyrotonic Pre-Training Courses and incorporating Gyrotonic Principles into his physical therapy practice.
Tanya is a certified Gyrotonic Instructor and has training in both Level II Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis methods. She is certified in the specialized equipment Gyrotoner, Leg Extension Unit and Jumping Stretching Board. Tanya has been an instructor for nearly ten years years and has practiced since 2006, She attributes that Gyrotonic has changed her life physically and energetically.
At an early age, Tanya's affinity towards nature, movement and self-discovery has led her to explore and appreciate the connection between body and mind. Pursuing this path of interest, she's studied yoga, meditation, homeopathy and outdoor activities. After a very positive experience with Gyrotonic methodology, Tanya knew she needed to delve deeper into the sophisticated movement. She is inspired by the relationship between one’s physical-emotional health and connection to self. The further we get away from who we truly are, the further removed we become from our most vibrant health.
Susie graduated form the Orange County High School of the Arts (California) and continued on to major in Dance Performance at Loyola Marymount University. As a young and innovative choreographer, Susie's stylings have been presented at the American College Dance Festival and featured in Dance Sport Magazine, In 2005 while studying abroad in Italy, Susie discovered the art of Gyrotonic exercise and decided to take the teacher training.
Susi then moved to New York she has enjoyed the various opportunities the city offers, including dancing with the Salvatore LaRussa Dance Theater, teaching ballet to children AND teaching GYROTONIC exercise.
She then moved back to her native California where she continues to teach Gyrotonic and Dance and her bubbly style and superb teaching is sorely missed at Gyrotonic Manhasset Physical Therapy.