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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.

Holly Shaw
Pacific Northwest Pilates
Portland, Oregon, USA

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

Additional credentials and designations
Certified in Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED, Bachelor of Fine Arts

Bio

In 2014, Holly combined her career as a professional dancer with teaching Pilates when she became a Merrithew Instructor Trainer in STOTT PILATES®. In addition to teaching private and group classes at Pacific NW Pilates, she currently performs with the contemporary ballet company ‘push/FOLD’ in Portland, Oregon. She’s also the company’s managing director! To this day she continues to use Pilates as a form of cross training for her dance career. Holly also specializes in training athletes and dancers, and enjoys guiding older adults and clients with special needs to use effective and efficient movement in all areas of life.

Prior to her certification, Holly danced professionally with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, BodyVox, Éowyn Emerald and Dancers, and skinner|kirk DANCE ENSEMBLE—performing internationally in Japan, South Korea, Germany and India. Along with her pre-physical therapy studies, Holly graduated in 2010 from the University of Utah with a BFA in Ballet, with an emphasis in performance and teaching.

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Hsiao-Ching Karyn Kuo
Floating
Shanghai, China

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork and Reformer

Additional credentials and designations
Total Barre® Qualified Instructor, STOTT PILATES® Specialist, Post-rehabilitation Conditioning, Certified Fascia Fitness Trainer of Concept-Rossmann, TRX, RYT 200, Paul Grilley Yin Yoga 200 hour.

Bio

Karyn stumbled upon STOTT PILATES® after suffering a serious knee injury that caused her a lot of pain. Being amazed by the therapeutic benefits the STOTT PILATES method offered, she decided to learn more and subsequently became a STOTT PILATES Certified Instructor in 2015 and is now a Merrithew Instructor Trainer.

After making the decision to leave her corporate career to further pursue a career in Pilates, she focused her attention towards post-rehabilitation. In 2017 she earned her specialist designation in STOTT PILATES Post-Rehabilitation Conditioning and a year later she became a Fully Certified STOTT PILATES Instructor. Karyn has also studied Release Technique and CranioSacral Therapy from which she hopes to help clients find their inner balance to facilitate better movement and enjoy a pain free life.

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Ineke Rush
Mindful Movement Collective
Newark, California, USA

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

Additional credentials and designations
ACE, CMT, Adjunct Faculty at Ohlone College

Bio

Merrithew Lead Instructor Trainer Ineke Rush Madsen began her training in Pilates at the age of 12 in New York City with Carola Trier, a colleague and student of Joseph Pilates, with whom she trained extensively. She simultaneously trained at the Dance Theatre of Harlem School where the syllabus was influenced by Kathy Grant.

After a 10-year career as a professional ballet and modern dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Cleveland San Jose Ballet, Ballethnic Dance Company and Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theatre, Ineke pursued STOTT PILATES® Certification with Merrithew. She is fully certified to work with all levels, as well as those with post-rehab injuries and other special conditions. She has been an Instructor Trainer since 2004, and was designated Lead Instructor Trainer in 2016. She has taught STOTT PILATES Certification courses and workshops throughout the Bay Area, Northern California, and in Reno, Nevada.

Ineke is a Certified Personal Trainer with the American Council on Exercise and is licensed by the State Medical Board of Ohio in Massage Therapy. She is a Total Barre® and Halo® Training Instructor Trainer for Merrithew. She is also a certified yoga instructor (200 RYT).

In 2006 Ineke opened Mindful Movement Collective in Newark, California, a movement and wellness center which became a Merrithew Licensed Training Center in 2008. She opened a second location in Pleasant Hill, California, in 2017. She teaches at both locations and is also on faculty at Ohlone College in Fremont and Newark, California, in both the Athletics and Theatre and Dance Departments.

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Irina Uemura
BODYMODE
Tokyo, Japan

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer

Bio

Originally from Russia, Irina started her ballet training in early childhood. She discovered Pilates while rehabilitating after a knee injury and since then has used Pilates as a part of her training regime. Pilates helped her prolong her dancing career and avoid injury.

Retiring from dance in 2012, Irina obtained her STOTT PILATES® Certification, and in 2016 she became an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES. Currently Irina teaches in Tokyo, Japan.

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Irma Leissring
Floating
West Palm Beach, Florida, USA

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer, Chair, Cadillac, Barrels, ISP

Additional credentials and designations
MFA, TRX, GYROTONIC®

Bio

Irma earned her Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of California, Irvine in 2001. While studying for her MFA in 1998, she took her first Pilates certification. In 2002 she earned full certification in STOTT PILATES®. Irma is now an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES. Her passion for correcting form and healing the body motivated her to add her certifications in Active Isolated Stretching in 2010 and in 2011 she became certified in TRX® Suspension Training. Irma is also a certified instructor for GYROKINESIS® and GYROTONIC®.

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