Move Your Body Better with Kinesphere

Written by Rebecca Fischer / Photos by Jami Marshall

Dancers are unique athletes who combine strength, flexibility, precision, and grace to create
captivating performances. The best of them turn physically grueling feats into floating on air.

With hours of vigorous training required every day—and the steadfast dedication necessary to do so—Katie Cornwell still noticed something interesting when she danced after taking her first few Pilates classes.


“I was dancing stronger, better than I’d ever done in my life,” she says. “I was hooked [on Pilates].”

This was the same experience of Noelle Dowma, who was rehabilitated using Pilates-based physical therapy. Dowma and Cornwell, who met in college at the University of Oklahoma dance program, were led to discover their life’s work: helping people become their strongest and healthiest. This is regardless of whether the person is a professional dancer wanting to reach her peak performance level or a weekend warrior wanting to return to golfing and hiking after living with back pain.

Cornwell became a certified Pilates instructor and joined Dowma at Kinesphere Physical Therapy Training and Pilates in Overland Park’s Corporate Woods office park. Along with physical therapists trained in orthopaedics, neurological rehabilitation, sports medicine, dance medicine, craniosacral therapy, dry needling, and hypermobility disorders, Cornwell gets to help people with their physical goals every day.

What’s particularly unique about Kinesphere is that all the physical therapists and Pilates instructors are trained through Polestar Pilates—a Pilates school that focuses on biomechanical and teaching skills. Where many Pilates schools fit the student to the exercise, Polestar fits the exercise to the student. Kinesphere serves the Pilates and therapy community by offering ongoing Pilates education courses.

“I can’t tell you how many people come to us saying they tried Pilates and it didn’t work,” says Cornwell. “Some of them have even been injured from it. But what they experienced wasn’t the right fit for their body.” 

Last summer, the team moved to a new space in order to more than double its size, accommodate a growing clientele, and increase therapy equipment. 

“It’s important we work with people one on one to be able to address their unique situations,” says Dowma. “That’s the fastest way to get lasting results.”

With their BFAs, both Cornwell and Dowma teach at local dance schools. Additionally, Cornwell has her MBA and Dowma has her doctorate degree in physical therapy. The Kinesphere physical therapy team all have doctorate degrees and pursue their passion for the profession through extensive continuing education. 

Kinesphere Physical Therapy regularly utilizes Pilates equipment for safe, effective treatment. If patients choose to do so, they can bridge into Kinesphere Pilates wellness classes with instructors educated on how to manage their issues while continuing to achieve their goals.

One of the most satisfying aspects of Kinesphere’s Pilates approach is that it’s limitless. Patients and clients range in age from nine to 90. They work with people in wheelchairs, professional dancers and athletes, and everyone in between. 

“All of them benefit from the equipment and the exercises,” says Dowma. “It’s just a matter of fitting it to the person. Everybody can benefit from these exercises, in any condition.”

Wendy Cogan came to Kinesphere on a recommendation from a Mayo Clinic PT. She was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disease that affects joints and organs. It causes joints to become loose and unable to hold bones in place. 

“Noelle helped me learn correct body posture and helped me strengthen my muscles around my joints to better hold them in place,” says Cogan. “Next, I started Pilates classes with Katie. She was extremely patient and supportive as I navigated through proprioception and balance challenges associated with EDS. I went from continuous injuries to almost none over the last two years.”

Pilates not only strengthens the body, it also creates balance and restores the body to its proper function. Faulty movement patterns can lead to wear and tear that Kinesphere therapists and teachers can address.  

“The best thing is seeing someone who has moved in a detrimental way their whole life make a correction and start living pain-free, and return to doing the things they love,” Cornwell says. “It’s something we can actually see in their body and in the way they move. They see it too—and feel it!”

Kinesphere Physical Therapy • 816.379.6899 •

Special for SIMPLYkc readers • First beginner Pilates equipment class or Pilates mat class free! New clients only. Valid until March 31, 2019.

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