Body First is run by a husband and wife team located in the heart of Hereford, Maryland. Recent transplants from Chicago, Sioned and Alex are artists to the core. Sioned, a professional tap dancer, and Alex, an actor and voice-over artist, met while pursuing their individual careers. Rehearsing and performing as intensely as they did takes a toll on the body. Like many artists, they suffered injuries that affected their ability to perform.
Sioned and Alex turned to multiple bodywork practitioners to help extend their careers. Each practitioner had their own unique perspective, but often lacked a through-line from one modality to the next. One person's advice contradicted another's. To eliminate confusion and help speed their progress, they often wished they could bring all of their practitioners under one roof.
Body First was created with the intention of forming a healing team. Sioned and Alex collaborate to tackle injuries from multiple perspectives. Their program utilizes both Pilates and Massage to help others recover from injuries or ailments.
Our Areas of Expertise
At Body First, we combine our knowledge of fascia from multiple perspectives to bring you a three-dimensional model of healing. We work with the body through focused strength training, passive stretching, and deep muscular relaxation to break up fascial holds and begin creating new, healthy patterns. With this integrative approach, the body has a fighting chance at finally recovering. We achieve this three-dimensional approach through our areas of expertise: Pilates and Massage.
At Body First, we provide several ways in which you can increase your knowledge. We offer Pilates Mat classes, Pilates Reformer courses, as well as classes utilizing various equipment - including, but not limited to Pilates Towers and Pilates Chairs. Our classes are limited to small class sizes to ensure that each participant gets individualized attention.
We believe self-care should be accessible, informative, and above all, affordable. Whether you choose to participate in group mat classes, private pilates sessions, therapeutic massages, or any of our other services, each will be approached with the same level of expertise. We strive to provide multiple ways in which to place your healing in your own hands. Our programs are designed to work in tandem. As such, we encourage you to try and sample all that Body First has to offer.
To begin your journey, explore our options below.
STOTT Pilates Instructor
Licensed Massage Therapist
As a professional tap dancer, Sioned is no stranger to injuries. She struggled for years while dancing with multiple companies in Chicago to keep her body working at the level she needed. Searching for a solution, Sioned turned to Pilates. The meticulous way Pilates instructors viewed the body was unlike anything she had ever experienced outside of the dance world. Inspired to help others, Sioned quickly gained her Full Certification through STOTT Pilates.
While Pilates is an amazing tool for injury recovery and strength training, Sioned found that some of her clients needed more. Looking for additional pathways, she enrolled in New School for Massage in Chicago, IL. It was there that she found the missing link in her training. Sioned designed a way to uniquely combine Pilates and Massage into a cohesive focus. She discovered that pain and injuries can be tackled from the perspectives of both strength and release. It was this discovery that inspired her to create Body First with her husband, Alex.
Registered Massage Practitioner
As an actor, Alex understands the importance of keeping your body -- your “instrument”-- in top shape. He received his BFA in Theater from Wright State University, which gave him a deep understanding of how bodies move through space. Long rehearsals and performances often left him in pain. Turning to massage allowed him to practice his craft longer than he anticipated.
Inspired to provide others with the same level of relief, he decided to become a massage therapist. He studied at the New School for Massage in Chicago, IL. While in school, Alex became passionate about not just bringing others relief, but also helping them maintain and improve their bodies.
Sophia attended Baltimore School for the Arts with a focus in dance. Throughout her career, she has had the honor of working with many choreographers, including Darrell Grand Moultrie, Maghan McHale, and Karen Elis-Wentz. She perfected her craft at prestigious schools including Ballet Chicago, Joffrey Chicago, and the Rock School. She has trained extensively in ballet and modern, but has a passion for trying new styles. She recently attended Actor’s Gymnasium where she expanded her performance repertoire to include high flying stunts and circus work. Her training includes aerial silks, spanish web, stilt walking, juggling, and unicycling.
Sophia began taking Pilates daily to gain not only strength, but also a deeper understanding of the body. She fell in love with the intricacies of the movement and immediately began studying it in depth. Sophia is currently STOTT Pilates trained and is working towards her full certification.
I first met Sioned Papparotto in the fall of 2017. I had never tried pilates and was looking to strengthen my core. I was immediately put at ease by Sioned despite having zero familiarity with a reformer or the pilates studio. She asked me detailed health history questions and wanted to know where any of my trouble spots were. She is incredibly insightful and could spot when I was doing just the slightest movements incorrectly. She is a perfectionist in her art and takes her work seriously but she makes workouts fun and is incredibly supportive. She took me from having zero core strength to challenging me to do things on the chair and reformer that I would have never thought possible. I gained confidence with Sioned as I became stronger. She is an amazing teacher and human being who has a great sense of humor, incorporates fun music into her workouts and most importantly challenges you in a safe and supportive environment. Anyone who has the chance to work with Sioned would be lucky!