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Instructor Trainer bios

The Merrithew Faculty, or members of our esteemed team of Instructor Trainers, is made up of highly qualified and internationally sought-after educators who are known for their dedication, professionalism and attention to detail. All of our faculty members hold full certification in the STOTT PILATES® method and have achieved additional designations to complement their training. A diverse group, they come from various backgrounds including physical therapy, exercise science, athletic therapy, dance and group and personal fitness training to name a few. Every member of the team strives to uphold the highest standards of training that have been developed worldwide.

Deborah Degano
Berliner Pilates
Berlin, Germany

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer

Additional credentials and designations
B.A. in Ballet & Modern Dance from the Dance Academy in Milan, Italy; Musical Fitness Instructor for F.I.F. (Fitness Italian Federation); Professional Theatre Acting Diploma

Bio

Deborah discovered Pilates while obtaining a professional degree in Ballet and Modern Dance from the Dance Academy in Milan, Italy.

She started her STOTT PILATES® training with Merrithew Lead Instructor Trainer Claudia Fink at Pilates Italia® and in 2009 moved to Germany where she continued to focus on her Pilates education. In 2011, she became a STOTT PILATES Certified Instructor and immediately founded the Berliner Pilates Studio, where she enjoys training clients of all levels in the vibrant multicultural environment of Berlin.

She became a Merrithew Instructor Trainer in 2019, specializing in STOTT PILATES Matwork & Reformer. In addition to teaching Pilates and running her studio, Deborah is still passionate and active in many dance performance projects that are regularly presented at the independent art venues of Berlin.

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Debra Hunt
SweatShop Fitness Health Club
Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, & Barrels, ISP; ZEN•GA® Mat & Equipment; Merrithew™ Fascial Movement

Additional credentials and designations
BA Dance, Mills College

Bio

Debra began her journey with STOTT PILATES® after experiencing 18 years of chronic pain from injuries sustained in a car accident. She immediately took a liking to the STOTT PILATES method, realizing it was the only modality that actually worked to heal her body. Becoming a Full Certified Instructor in 2005 and an Instructor Trainer in 2006, her STOTT PILATES training is complemented by a background in dance and gymnastics. She is now a Merrithew Lead IT.

She works with people in all states of health, wellness, recovery and restoration, including high level athletes. Debra was chosen to work with touring Cirque de Soleil performers in 2013, and in 2014 she began to travel annually to Korea to provide STOTT PILATES professional training for enthusiastic Korean students.

Debra revels in learning about new, innovative mind-body modalities and anatomy. This is exemplified by her enthusiasm and leadership in ZEN•GA®, Merrithew Fascial Movement, and other mindful movement modalities. She has been immersed in the study of fascia for over ten years and is consistently successful with client concerns, addressing complex dysfunction through a fascial lens.

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Denise Carter
Floating
Nassau, Bahamas

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, & Barrels; Total Barre®

Bio

Denise has always had a love for fitness and after many years as a personal trainer in the exclusive Lyford Cay Club in Nassau Bahamas, decided to explore Pilates. After extensive training in Toronto, Canada, she returned to the Bahamas and opened a Licensed Training Center for Merrithew in 2005. Denise is a fully certified Instructor Trainer for Merrithew and has travelled from Australia to Italy to train future instructors in the STOTT PILATES® method. Denise currently teaches Pilates, Total Barre®, Pre and Post Natal exercise, Post Rehab movement and Active Isolated Stretching from her studio in Nassau, Bahamas.

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Diane Kornell-Gillis
Floating
Maui, Hawaii, USA

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork and Reformer

Additional credentials and designations
B.A., B.S.W (Bachelor of Social Work), Fitness Leadership and Personal Training Certification

Bio

Diane started her STOTT PILATES® training in 2005, building on her group instructor and personal training practice. Diane’s passion for STOTT PILATES continued to grow as she took more Merrithew courses. Eventually, her practice was dedicated exclusively to STOTT PILATES.

Diane continued to diversify her fitness education, adding the ZEN•GA® Instructor Foundation Course (2013), Total Barre® Instructor Foundation Course (2014), Merrithew Fascial Movement Foundation Course (2017), and CORE Athletic Conditioning & Performance Training Foundation Course (2018). In 2019, she certified as a Merrithew Instructor Trainer for STOTT PILATES Matwork and Reformer.

Originally from Canada, Diane has had the good fortune to be able to live in Maui, HI for the last decade. Diane is responsible for co-creating annual retreats in Maui called “Pilates in Paradise.” These retreats host STOTT PILATES instructors who want to gain further education and motivation in Pilates and movement.

In addition to traveling and teaching, Diane continues to teach at her own studio, Pilates Kihei (privates and duets) and also offers group classes at Fluid Motion Maui.

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Dot Kavanaugh
Floating
Windsor, Ontario, Canada

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer

Additional credentials and designations
BA

Bio

Dot became certified as a STOTT PILATES® Instructor in 2003, and in 2009 she became an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Windsor in 2004, and is currently working on her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. In 2001 Dot received her certification as a Yoga Teacher by the Sivanada Yoga Group, and has acted as both the instructor and owner of The Yoga Centre in Windsor since that time. She brings over 10 years of experience in teaching movement, and keeps her programming interesting and up to date by taking a variety of continuing education workshops.

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