“People who worked out more than 100 days throughout the year had a 30 percent reduction in sick days.”

Training, Feb 2008



Welcome to VauLt Houston!

VauLt/GYROTONIC® Houston is located at 1824 Spring Street #124  Houston, TX 77007. Sporting nearly 4000 square feet, this studio houses a Pilates® area, a GYROTONIC® area, a Thai yoga/massage room, and a mat class/aerial arts training area.

VauLt/GYROTONIC® Houston is not only a facility providing private and group exercise instruction but is also a GYROTONIC® and Vault™ teacher training facility. Amy Ell, Program Director, continues to import master teachers and guest teachers in various movement disciplines to increase the flow of information coming into her studio and into the Houston area.


… a little information about our fabulous teachers:



Owner, VauLt Houston

AMY ELL holds a B.S. in Exercise Science from Texas Woman’s University where she specialized is cardiac rehabilitation and corporate fitness. Amy is considered a Pilates® Master Teacher having been studying and teaching the work for the last 20 years. Initially, she acquired her training via mentorship (the way it was done in the ‘old’ days) and then proceeded to participate in formal teacher trainings with both the Physical Mind Institute and Elizabeth Jones-Boswell. Since those early days, Amy has gone on to study the finer details of the the Pilates work with Master Teachers including Kathy Corey, Ron Fletcher, Colleen Glenn, Alan Herdman, Barbara Huttner, Rael Isacowitz, Michael King, and Karen Klippenger.

As for the wonderful world of Gyrotonic….Amy is a certified GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Master Trainer, GYROTONIC® Leg Extension Master Trainer, and GYROTONIC® Archway Master Trainer.  Amy has completed training and is a certified teacher on the GYROTONIC® Jump Stretch Board, the GYROTONIC® Ladder, and the GYROTONER®. She has participated in Level 2 work in both GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® in addition to completion of specialized courses in cervical spine/shoulder rehabilitation, lumbar spine/pelvic rehabilitation, scoliosis, and GYROTONIC® for golfers.

In 2002, striving for greater knowledge, Amy started studying the ancient art of Thai Yoga or Thai Massage, a type of ‘dancing yoga’ where the practitioner manipulates the client into easy poses to help stimulate circulation and the flow of chi or life force energy. Amy started this search in the continental United States working with both James Peckham and Dr. Anthony James. In 2004 she organized a trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand to study with Thai Massage Master Pichet Boonthumme.

Another stepping stone in Amy’s fitness/dance career is her love of flying…the complete strength, flexibility, and agility training acquired through an aerial arts practice. Though she has dabbled in the aerial world since 1989 (see ‘Aerial Arts’ for information on earlier influences), it wasn’t until early 2007 that Amy fervently focused on aerial arts. To date she has traveled throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe collecting and digesting information. What she brings to GYROTONIC® Houston is aerial arts peppered with the influences of her dance training and the Pilates, Yoga, and Gyrotonic methodologies.  Currently, Amy teaches fabric/silks, trapeze, and pole work.  She is one of few who has a comprehensive teacher training program on fabric.

In September of 2009 Amy debuted her dance company, VauLt, at Miller Outdoor Theater to rave reviews.


RAE FAIRFIELD started her career at the age of 14 as a modern dancer and teacher. For years she studied and worked with such greats as Paul Sanasardo and Alvin Ailey. Rae taught and performed until age of 30 when she started working in the real estate field where she enjoyed a successful career as a developer of homes, apartment complexes, office buildings, senior housing, and around Houston.
Rae would tell you that once a dancer always a dancer or in the least there is always that need to move. While training in Pilates one day she saw the GYROTONIC® Exercise System being performed and immediately fell in love. Rae saw it as a system that embodies the beauty and athleticism of dance and a form of exercise that could be performed at nay age. Today, she is a certified GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Instructor. Rae also dabbles in the aerial arts as an AIR-TONE™ instructor and plays on the fabrics at VauLt aerail studio. To keep her performance juices flowing and for the shear fun of it, Rae is currently working with Matt Kelling as a ballroom dancer.


MIKA STEPANKIW is an aerial dance on silks teacher. She believes the aerial on silks program at VauLt Houston cultivates agility, poise, and strength, all of which are necessary to dance gracefully and fluidly through the air. She is currently working on her Masters in Professional Writing and Technical Communication at the University of Houston-Downtown.


AKI OHINATA is an aerial dance teacher on lyra (a.k.a hoop). She has been hooked on aerial arts for the love of flying and enjoys being on variety of apparatus including fabric, lyra, and trapeze. Having gymnastics and yoga background, she has an appreciation for how much aerial arts can help to tone and strengthen your body as well as improving flexibility. Her aspiration is for every aerial enthusiast to enjoy the process of learning new movements as they witness their own body and mind transform.


DEMARCO HOWARD grew up in Missouri City, Texas where he eventually received his high school diploma from Elkins High School. He then went on to Abilene Christian University where he received his Bachelors of Fine Arts with a concentration in 3D art. Dancing since the age of 9, he has developed a true passion for all the arts. He has worked at Dance Discovery Studios, co-founded and led the very first Hip Hop dance team for 2 years and lead the SHADES Step Squad for 3 years at Abilene Christian University, and choreographed two musicals for McMurry University and Abilene Community Theatre. He has been instructed by Teri Wilkerson of Dance Discovery Studios and Christine Van Loo of the “Cirque de la Symphonie”. DeMarco has also appeared in such musucals as “Hairspray”, “And the World Goes Round”, “The Drowsy Chaperone”, and “The Producers” in which he held the position of dance captain. Along with VauLt Houston, teaching youth classes and Fabric, DeMarco currently works at the Fort Bend Academy of Arts and Dance teaching Hip hop and tap. He hold the titel of After School and Creative Director. When DeMarco is not dancing or teaching youth, you might find him drawing, shooting dance videos, baking professional cakes, spinning the turn tables as a DJ, being creative as a Graphic Designer, along with taking long naps when ever he can find free time.


Lyon studied and performed Ballet, tap, modern, and jazz at Melva Smith School of dance in Dallas, TX for 15 years.  He began aerial dance training at VauLt in 2012.  Since then, Lyon has performed in several student showcases as well as the professionally produced Valentine’s Day show. Additionally, he has taught several intensive classes in stretching and basic yoga.


Cicily “Cici” Smith discovered her love of flying in 2012, when she took her first aerial Silks class at VauLt. Now she enjoys inspiring that same passion in others as a Trapeze and Lyra teacher. Witnessing her students develop self-confidence in the air and experience the joy of aerial play is a most rewarding experience. Cici also enjoys performing and has been given the opportunity to showcase her aerial choreography both locally and internationally.


With 15 years of professional dance behind her, Toni Leago Valle’s latest endeavor is aerial dance.  As the Artistic Director of 6’, Valle has received numerous grants to produce six evening length concerts: It’s All Relative (2002),  CRACKED (2006), tetris (2009), Baptism (2010), Regifting Lions with Catalina Alexandra and Lynn Lane (2012), and an encore version of CRACKED (2016).  Her choreography has been seen at DiverseWorks, JCC, University of Houston, San Jacinto College, HSPVA/Houston, Freneticore Theatre’s Fringe Festival and various art openings and outdoor events.  Valle is a current member and Company Manager of Karen Stokes Dance and Becky Valls & Company for Young Audiences.  Valle received a B.A. in Dance from University of Houston in 2000.  Since 2000, Valle has performed with Karen Stokes Dance, Dancepatheatre, Psophonia Dance Company, Divergence Vocal Theatre, Chapman Dance, Becky Valls’ Memoirs of the Sistahood Series, and Suchu Dance. Valle has been featured in numerous concerts, including Natural Acts in Artificial Water and Open Book, Open House by internationally known choreographer Stephan Koplowitz, A Weekend of Texas Contemporary Dance, and the University of Houston’s Choreography in Action series on PBS.  Valle is an adjunct faculty at University of Houston School of Theatre & Dance. 6degreesdance.org