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Instructor Trainers

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.

Joana Meneses
Floating
New York, New York, United States

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

Additional credentials and designations
TRX™, Kettlebell Concepts

Bio

Joana received her STOTT PILATES® Instructor Certification at the Toronto Corporate Training Center in 2001 and became an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES in 2002. Joana is a certified yoga teacher and the founder of BodyRoots Fitness Studio in New York City. Previously the head of the Pilates program at an elite fitness club in NYC and with over 13 years of experience, Joana now offers personally tailored, one-on-one training in her private downtown Manhattan loft space. A proud former Lululemon Althetica brand ambassador, Joana has been featured in several STOTT PILATES professional fitness DVDs, Pilates Style magazine, Shape magazine, The New York Times and has trained high profile clients in NYC including Jimmy Fallon and Edie Falco.

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Jolanda Hoefnagel
K'dans, studio' in beweging'
Hague, Netherlands

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

Additional credentials and designations
Physical Education Teacher, Massage Therapist , Movement Rehab Specialist for children

Bio

Jolanda has a passion for movement and for the last 12 years, specifically in the Pilates method. After years of study, she became a physical education teacher at a high school, specializing in a number of different sports and especially in dance. During that time, she developed remedial after-school teaching programs as well as studying massage therapy. She has a great interest in anatomy and is fascinated by fascia and how it can be integrated in a Pilates program. As an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES® and Total Barre®, Jolanda has a passion for sharing her knowledge with students and teachers. She is the owner of K'dans, currently the only Licensed Training Center in The Netherlands where she teaches a variety of fitness modalities, with STOTT PILATES as the base for all movement.

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Josefin Ekström
Stockholm Pilates Center | Movement Studio Malmo
Malmö, Sweden

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Mat, Reformer

Bio

Josefin has been working full time with Pilates and movement for nearly ten years. She was born in Sweden where she actively trained in gymnastics until her mid-teens. While living in London in her early 20's she began suffering from back pain. It was then that she discovered Pilates and its amazing power to heal and strengthen the body. In 2005 she moved to the US and became a certified STOTT PILATES® Instructor. Two years later, she became an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES. In 2009 she opened her own studio in Malmö, Sweden: Movement Studio Malmö. Her studio is flourishing, and she enjoys training clients at all levels as well as running STOTT PILATES Instructor Trainer courses.

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Joseph McCarthy
Floating
Dublin, Ireland

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork, Reformer, Rehabilitation

Bio

Joe comes from a sports and fitness background, having worked in the fitness industry since the 1990s. He is qualified in Neuromuscular Physical Therapy, Personal Training, Human Dietetics and Nutrition. Joe started his STOTT PILATES® training in 2005 and has been an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES since 2009. At his studio in Dublin, Ireland, Joe places a focus on incorporating his Pilates Rehabilitation training with physical therapy protocols in order to help his clients return to full health.

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Judy Amira
Floating
Harare, Zimbabwe

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

Bio

Judy began her active lifestyle as a competitive ballroom dancer in Zimbabwe, and also as a member of the Zimbabwe National Aerobics team. She became a STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor in 2001 and an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES in 2008. Judy draws on her degree in applied nutrition, as well as her experience with personal training, therapeutic massage and injury rehabilitation when working with her Pilates clients. She particularly enjoys working with students as they prepare for their examinations, and considers Postural Analysis and correction to be her passion.

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Julie (Juhyun) Lee
Breathe Pilates & Fitness
Seoul, South Korea

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

Bio

Julie was introduced to the STOTT PILATES® method in 2007 during rehab for an ACL injury. She became a Certified Instructor in 2008 and in 2013, became an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES. Julie is passionate for dance and education and is dedicated to help people by spreading the STOTT PILATES method throughout Korea. Since suffering from an injury while training as a dancer, she has become aware that many dance students are not exposed to proper rehab or training for movement. It is her intent therefore, to bring the STOTT PILATES method to local students and clients.

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Julie Midgley
Floating
Mougins, France

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer

Bio

Julie's love of body movement began at the age of four with classical ballet. Ballet has always given Julie the discipline, focus, and passion to explore many different avenues in the physical fitness industry which finally lead her to Pilates. Julie began her career as a Fully Certified STOTT PILATES® Pilates instructor in June 2010. Immediately following her certification, she was employed at the Merrithew Corporate Training Center and Head Office in Toronto, Canada. Continuously being inspired by her peers, her clients, and her passion for Pilates have all driven Julie to take her education to the next level; becoming an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES Matwork and Reformer. Julie currently teaches in both French and English in the French Riviera.

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Julie Staub
Floating
Veneta, Oregon, USA

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Rehabilitation

Additional credentials and designations
P.T, CSCS, MS

Bio

Julie became an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES® Rehab in 2009. Coming from an athletic background, Julie learned first-hand how injuries can affect one’s quality of life, and now works as a physical therapist, athletic trainer and STOTT PILATES Instructor in a variety of settings. She has combined these diverse fields into a unique way of re-educating the body and neuromuscular system. Julie has worked with a wide variety of clients, including college and high school athletes, hospital acute care patients and orthopedic outpatients. She has recently developed a lecture / lab series that will help enhance equestrians performance by integrating STOTT PILATES into a daily exercise regime.

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Kanako Funabashi
Sky Pilates Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan

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

Additional credentials and designations
Gyrotonic

Bio

Kanako has been involved in physical training for most of her life and was trained in ballet, jazz dance, and modern dance since early childhood. She turned to Pilates after a lower back injury as a means of conditioning and improving her strength. She immediately fell in love with it and since then, her passion hasn't changed. She trained in the STOTT PILATES® method in Canada, Tokyo and Hong Kong and in 2006 she received her Certification as an Instructor. She went on to become a Lead Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES. In 2013, Kanako assisted with the World Tour stop in Japan and has taught Instructors in Singapore and Malaysia. A Certified Gyrotonic® Trainer, she enjoys working with Instructors and clients helping them achieve their goals.

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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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