Laura Bannister


Laura Bannister is a modern dancer who applies her love for movement and unique understanding of the human body to her practice as a PT. Since graduating from the University of Washington with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2005, Laura has been dedicated to post graduate education earning advanced credentials as a board certified Orthopedic Specialist (American Physical Therapy Association) and as an Orthopedic Manual Therapist (Ola Grimsby Institute). She has also participated in a rehab based teaching certification with Pacific NW Pilates.

Laura opened Avant Physical Therapy in 2013 and has grown the clinic to become an integral part of the Belltown neighborhood. She enjoys working with a broad spectrum of clients including orthopedic injuries, hip hypermobility, acute and chronic low back pain, postural dysfunction, and people with pain following car accidents.

Laura enjoys spending her free time with her husband, chasing their two lovely daughters through the city, beaches and mountains. She finds personal fulfillment in exercise, gardening and entertaining.

Board Certification

Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (APTA)

Physical Therapy


Orthopedic Manual Therapist; Ola Grimbsy Institute (2008)

Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Washington (2005)

Bachelor of Arts, Dance from the University of Iowa (1999)

Professional Affiliations

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

Physical Therapy Association of Washington (PTWA)

Private Practice Section member (APTA)

Clinical Instructor for Physical Therapy Education

Invited Speaker

Current Concepts in Core Stabilization for Pilates

Healing From Injury: How Pilates can facilitate tissue change in collagen, cartilage and bone

University of Washington – The Benefits of Pilates for Injury Prevention and Treatment. (2006)


Proprioceptive Based Exercise and Lateral Ankle Sprains

Happy Patients

I completed pre and post surgery physical therapy treatment for a torn ACL with Brenna at Avant - amounting to nearly six months of treatment, often several days a week. Brenna prepared me for surgery, both physically, and mentally - answering my questions and putting me at ease. She creatively found ways to motivate me to do my exercises, creating custom, personalized programs to match my goals and preferences. I was especially impressed with the amount of research she did between our sessions, she always made me feel like she was on top of the current ACL recovery trends. I came to look forward to our sessions, because I could feel I was making progress, but also because Brenna is pretty fun, too.

Brittany S

I worked with Brenna intermittently over almost 9 months, recovering from a complicated knee injury (tibial plateau fracture that required surgery). Through it all, she was very knowledgeable, inquisitive, and creative, pushing me just the right amount during our sessions and compiling a home exercise program that was easily ramped up or down depending on where I was at that week. I'd seen another PT at a different clinic before finding Avant and was impressed by Brenna's professionalism and responsiveness. She understood that I wanted to get back to running, climbing, biking, backpacking, and all my other favorite activities as soon as possible, and worked with me to get there. I also appreciated that she understood the patient's perspective--sometimes she'd recommend decreasing the frequency of my in-clinic appointments and focusing on the home program and email check-ins, or picking up the frequency when I was experiencing issues or making big progress. Though I worked mostly with Brenna, the rest of the staff are equally upbeat and easy to work with, and I'd recommend Avant in a heartbeat.

Claire M

I started my PT a few months ago at Avant. Kate helped me with two separate issues related to knee pain, and neck & shoulder pain. Kate analyzed my history related to these issues, listening to what I had to say, answering my questions, creating tailored exercise programs, and tuning them based on my progress & feedback. Besides being skilled at PT, she is a wonderful person. She genuinely took an interest in my well-being, making me feel comfortable and confident - I feel much better now, thanks to Kate! And Casey made it easy to schedule the sessions with my busy work schedule. I would highly recommend Avant PT, and especially Kate, for physical therapy needs.

P. Sangal

Last summer I had plantar fasciitis and I started doing stretches at home with minor improvement. After almost two months of suffering on my own I decided to go to get some help. I would highly recommend Avant. The treatment I received was very personalized and attentive. Kate Amsden very quickly understood my body's weaknesses and created an evolving plan to strengthen each one. After a few sessions with Kate I was seeing and feeling improvement. Now that I have finished my treatment, not only am I recovered but I am stronger in all daily activities.

Angie T.

Brenna Murray is amazing! I had been having lateral knee pain whenever I ran and needed to get better for an upcoming half-marathon. Brenna took the time to listen and understand my experience, pain, and needs. She was thorough, patient, and insightful during each stage of my evaluation and treatment. Her sunny personality and good humor set me at ease while her determination and resolve challenged me to try new exercises and get stronger. My knee is better and I’m an improved runner because of her expertise, diligence, and encouragement. If you are looking for a physical therapist, I strongly recommend Brenna.

Jenna H.

Laura with Avant PT is the best physical therapist I know! My back was in bad shape after my first daughter was born and I had tried everything and everyone. When I met Laura she gave me a plan, was a great problem-solver (my situation was a bit of a puzzle) and I saw immediate, positive results after working with her for only a short time.

Abby L.

Hands down, the best PT I've ever been to. Laura is a wonderful, upbeat person and and amazing therapist, and unlike many PT's she spends the entire hour with you. She's also very good with difficult cases. I've had an ongoing back issue for several years and have tried everything. I'd pretty much given up on ever really getting better. In one month Laura helped me more than anyone else had been able to.

Tanya J.

Katie was fantastic throughout the entire process. I had a grade 3 sprain in which I snapped a ligament and now am trail running again. They were always prepared and professional. Really know what they are doing and wonderful people!

Erica Y.

It was clear from the get-go that each exam and treatment is thorough, which I appreciated. Katie's demeanor and encouragement also made recovery much less burdensome than I anticipated, as back pain can be no fun. I also really appreciated her attention to detail (beyond just vague don't-slouch-advice) and easy explanations, as it really helped me to better understand some pitfalls for my back in everyday movement (and couch-potato-non-movement) and ways I can proactively strengthen muscles for my back. I just hope I can retain it all going into the future.

Roger H.