Yelena Foley

About Yelena Foley, Studio Owner & Instructor:


Yelena, has an MA in Dance Education from Altay State Academy of Culture, Russia, and has been dancing professionally and teaching dance and movement since 1992. Yelena studied GYROTONIC® with talented and amazing GYROTONIC® Master teachers known all over the country and world and became a Certified GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® instructor in 2006.

She is trained in all specialized equipment, as well as GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® level 2, and is an authorized pre-trainer for the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM®.

Outside of Motionlab pdx, Yelena had taught ballet and GYROKINESIS® classes at Russian Ballet Academy, and is one of the founding members of the Portland based Polaris Dance Theater.

Teaching Style and Approach:

Yelena is a passionate teacher who is fully present for her clients each and every day. She focuses 100% on each person as an individual, analyzing their movement and challenging their eforts. She values being clear, consistent, and logical when explaining movements and giving cues because it is important to her to see that clients understand why they are doing certain movements and how to do them correctly.

Yelena is lovingly known to be a demanding teacher. She is intense, disciplined, strong-minded and challenging. Yet her clients also find her humorous, deeply caring, and never boring! She is always thinking about what else she can do for her clients and is completely dedicated to their success.

Yelena continuously works to create an environment for her clients that is motivating, inspiring, and allows clients to enjoy the experience of movement. She loves to hear her clients rave about how challenging a movement is or have eureka moments when discovering new way of moving that they’ve never known before. And at the end of every session, she wants to see her clients’ faces and body relaxed, their mind calm, and for them to feel excited to come back and move again!

“These are some of the words that come to mind when expressing Yelena’s teaching style: humorous, intense, disciplined, motivational, fearless, strong, and challenging. She has played a big part in getting and keeping me on a journey of inner body awareness, flexibility and strength. “ Pamela Palmer-student since 2006