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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.

Heather Lawson
John Garey Fitness & Pilates
Long Beach, California, USA

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

Additional credentials and designations
ACE, BFA

Bio

Heather Lawson is an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in Total Barre® and is a Lead IT for STOTT PILATES®. A valuable member of the company's prestigious programming team, she has been teaching Pilates for over 10 years and is also an ACE Certified Instructor. Heather graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2000 where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet Performance. Heather was involved in the most recent DVD production for Merrithew as a featured performer and instructor

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Holly Furgason
Blue Sparrow Pilates
San Francisco, California, USA

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, & Barrels, CORE™, Total Barre®, Merrithew™ Fascial Movement

Additional credentials and designations
BFA, MFA, PMA

Bio

Holly was introduced to Pilates through her passion for dance, and she has always been intrigued by how the body moves. Now, she has over 16 years of experience teaching Pilates and is the founder and CEO of the only Merrithew Licensed Training Center in San Francisco, Blue Sparrow Pilates.

Offering a wealth of experience in working with diverse clientele from professional athletes to those in rehabilitation, Holly is dedicated to helping others live healthier lives and support other students in mastering skills required to become successful fitness professionals.

Holly is driven to share her knowledge and enthusiasm with other teachers. In addition to regularly publishing on her own blog, her written work has appeared in publications such as Pilates Style Magazine and she has contributed two books. She is also a regular contributor to important industry online platforms such as PilatesIntel, Pilates-Pro, PilatesPal, and Profitable Pilates. Holly designed a Pilates Prenatal App that accumulated over 85,000 downloads in the first year—she is currently working on creating its sequel.

Because of her love for continuous learning, Holly has a host of certifications and trainings under her belt. She became a Merrithew Lead Instructor Trainer in 2016 after receiving her STOTT PILATES® certification in 2001 and becoming an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew, specializing in STOTT PILATES in 2011. Additionally, she is a Lead Instructor Trainer for Merrithew Fascial Movement (2017), CORE (2013) and Total Barre® (2015). Holly holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from the University of Michigan, and a Masters of Fine Arts in Choreography and Performance from Mills College in Oakland, California.

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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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Ishbel Cavaleri
Pacific Northwest Pilates Education
Portland, Oregon, USA

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer

Bio

Ishbel started practicing yoga with her mom when she was five years old and has practiced and studied yoga ever since. After a serious back injury, Ishbel began studying Pilates as a means of stabilizing her spine. She fell in love with the way Pilates transformed her body and has been teaching yoga and Pilates for the past 10 years. Ishbel is the owner of Nomad Yoga & Pilates, LLC, a business that brings yoga and Pilates classes to people in their homes and offices. She is an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES® and has also earned a variety of Yoga certifications. Ishbel works extensively with individuals who are recovering from injuries, and loves watching the progression from instability and pain to stability and ease-of-movement and easily relates to the relief that Pilates brings to people’s lives!

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Jaada Peterson
Intermountain Pilates Training Center
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

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

Bio

Jaada has been professionally committed to fitness for over 20 years. Her passion for health allows her to encourage people to attain a better quality of life. Excited to be part of IPTC, she is a Fully Certified STOTT PILATES® Instructor and an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES Matwork & Reformer, Cadillac, Chair & Barrels and CORE. Discovering Pilates has been fulfilling and she loves sharing this amazing fitness approach with others. Jaada loves the Utah summers, enjoys hiking, boating and sitting by the pool, while actively pursuing many other avenues of fitness. Whether it is traditional step aerobics or kickboxing, core training to Zumba, Spinning® or yoga, she continually strives to educates herself and teach others.

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Jacqueline (Jackie) Gallant
Floating
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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

Additional credentials and designations
B.Sc. P.T.

Bio

Jackie has always been involved in sports, fitness and physical health, which led her to a Physical Therapy degree from Université de Montréal in 1993 and she continues to add post-graduate courses to help improve her practice. In 2005, she tried a STOTT PILATES® Mat course and saw the potential of incorporating it for her patients to help restore function and ability. She started using her anatomy background along with her new skills in Pilates and saw great results with everyone - from rehabilitation patients to group and private clients. An active teacher in Pilates for over nine years, she earned her Full STOTT PILATES Instructor Certification in 2012, and became a Lead Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES. Jackie specializes in acute and chronic general orthopedic conditions, sports medicine, post-surgery rehabilitation, breast cancer and postural dysfunction in kids and teenagers. Jackie is fluent in both French and English.

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