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Instructor Trainer bios

The members of our esteemed team of Pilates Instructor Trainers are accomplished and internationally sought-after educators known for their comprehensive knowledge, dedication and professionalism. Each hold full certification in the STOTT PILATES® method and have achieved additional designations to complement their training.

A diverse group, they come from varied 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.

Karen Banting
Blue Sparrow Pilates
San Francisco, California, United States

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

Additional credentials and designations
B.A., CPCC

Bio

Karen began her Pilates journey as a client at the Merrithew Corporate Training Center in Toronto; where she immediately fell in love with the practice the moment she got on the Reformer. A former gymnast, dancer and all-round athlete, she loved the mind-body challenge and immediately recognized the benefits of rehabilitating old injuries and building strength without compromising flexibility. In 2010 she earned her Certified Instructor designation, and then became a Merrithew Instructor Trainer in 2014, specializing in Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair and Barrels. For two years, Karen taught at the Corporate Training Center before moving to San Francisco in 2016.

Now a member of the Blue Sparrow Pilates team in San Francisco, Karen teaches clients of all ages and fitness levels, with a special focus on injury prevention and post-rehabilitation reconditioning. A CPCC certified coach, she loves to motivate her clients and to ensure their practice is part of improving their health and wellness overall. She also enjoys challenging her students to formulate their own solutions and answer their own questions, helping them deepen their understanding of their practice and develop the confidence to share their knowledge with others.

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Karen Louise Christensen
Floating
Århus, Denmark

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

Additional credentials and designations
Classical Ballet dancer/teacher, Psychomotor Therapist

Bio

Karen Christensen started dancing at the age of 7 after a bout of polio. She went on to be a professional ballet dancer working in companies in the US and Europe. Karen later became educated as a Psychomotor therapist and became the leader of a physical therapy unit at a nursing home. Being pulled back into the world of dance again, Karen continued to work with modern dance companies in Denmark as a ballet mistress, rehearsal assistant and guest teacher and opened her own dance school in Copenhagen, later moving to Aarhus to work with a dance company there. After studying the original Pilates method including training with Romana Kryszanowska, Karen chose the STOTT PILATES® contemporary approach for her certification in 2002 and has worked with it ever since. She is an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, and Barrels. She continues to train professional dancers in classical ballet as well as Pilates.

Katharina Kuhnen
Floating
Waidhofen, Austria

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer

Bio

Katharina Kuehnen was born and raised in Austria. As a former professional ballerina, she danced with the Vienna State Opera Ballet before joining the State Opera Ballet of Bavaria in Munich.

Katharina had her first experience with Pilates in 1999 and found it a perfect tool to counterbalance the stress and strain on her dancer’s body. She started Pilates out of a sheer need and developed a passion for it over time. When she discovered STOTT PILATES® for herself, it led her to take it up as a second career after ending her dance career in 2008.

As a fully certified STOTT PILATES Instructor, she was working at Pilatesbody in Munich as well as at various dance studios and in a physical therapy and osteopathic center. In 2011, she leveled up her Pilates career and got certified as a STOTT PILATES Instructor Trainer.

In 2014, she moved with her family to Dubai where she worked initially as an Instructor Trainer for Real Pilates and later as a freelancer and floating Instructor Trainer.

In recent years, she’s also developed a great interest in nutrition and personal development, and got certified as a health coach for integrative nutrition from the New York Institute of integrative nutrition in 2019.

Katharina thereby developed a more holistic approach to physical and mental fitness by combining her experience and interest in nutrition, personal development, ballet and Pilates to coach students.

In 2019 she moved back to Austria with her family where she continues to work as a freelance STOTT PILATES Instructor Trainer and health coach.

Katherine Brown
Floating
Portland, Oregon, USA

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer, Cadillac, Chair & Barrels; ZEN•GA®

Bio

Katherine came to the Pilates industry from a dance background, having danced professionally in New York, Oregon and Idaho. While at University in New York, she came to love Pilates and relied on it to keep her fit and injury free. She achieved Full Certification with STOTT PILATES® in 2010 after training first at Pacific Northwest Pilates with Master IT Melanie Byford-Young and later in England with YMCAfit. In 2011, she joined the team at the UK Licensed Training Centre, YMCA Pilates Academy as an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES, and is qualified in ZEN•GA® Matwork and Equipment. She greatly enjoys helping people understand their own bodies and seeing the positive impact this method can have on functional fitness. She was granted Merrithew Lead Instructor Trainer in 2018.

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Kelley Berting
The Core Connection Pilates Studio
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer, Cadillac, Chair & Barrels, ISP; ZEN•GA®

Additional credentials and designations
B.Sc., ACE

Bio

With a background in fitness and dance, Kelley has always had a keen interest in wellness, and was initially drawn to Pilates as a means of recovering from injuries. She received her STOTT PILATES® Certification in 2006, and in 2009 she became an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES. Kelley is also an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Saskatchewan. In addition to teaching Pilates, she works full-time as a Police Officer. Kelley is an energetic instructor who enjoys passing her enthusiasm for the STOTT PILATES method to her clients.

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