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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.

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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Kelly Dormady
Floating
Maui, Hawaii, USA

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

Additional credentials and designations
BA in Dance, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, AAS Massage Therapy

Bio

Kelly's background in dance and her passion for movement led her to commit herself to a career in health and wellness. Drawn to the philosophy of the STOTT PILATES® method, Kelly began her training in 2001. She became a Certified Instructor in 2004 and an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew, specializing in STOTT PILATES in 2004, CORE, Athletic Conditioning Performance Training in 2013 and Total Barre® in 2015. She was the Professional Training Director at the SweatShop Health Club (LTC) in St. Paul, Minnesota for 15 years, and is now with Fluid Motion Maui with intentions to help Merrithew grow in Hawaii.

Kelly Rodriguez
Floating
San Diego, California, USA

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Mat & Reformer

Additional credentials and designations
Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology & ACSM Certified Personal Trainer

Bio

Kelly Rodriguez grew up practicing competitive gymnastics and dance, and developed a passion for understanding the human body. Her passion led her to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a minor in dance from the College of Charleston in South Carolina. She earned her ACSM Personal Trainer certification in 2012, but wanted to continue to advance her career. She received her Full Level 1 STOTT PILATES® Certification at the Marshall Eklund Fitness and Pilates Studio in San Diego in 2016. She is now a Merrithew Instructor Trainer specializing in STOTT PILATES.

Kelly Sconza
C2 Pilates Training Center
Avon, Connecticut, United States

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer; Total Barre®; Halo® Training; CORE™

Additional credentials and designations
BA, Dance and Theatre

Bio

Kelly Sconza has been teaching the STOTT PILATES® method since 2006, and became an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES in 2010 and Total Barre® in 2013. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance and Theatre from Manhattanville College, 2006. She has a deep kinesthetic understanding of the body and the ways it can move because of her many years of modern dance training. Kelly is a challenging and energetic instructor who prides herself in helping clients to reach their individual potential, while understanding their personal needs and goals.

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Khingporn Promruang
Vitruvian Pilates Studio
Pondok Indah, Jakarta, Indonesia

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

Bio

Originally from Thailand, Khingporn worked in the hospitality industry in Bangkok for many years before deciding upon a career in fitness. She took her STOTT PILATES® courses at Vitruvian Pilates Studio, where she became a Certified Instructor in 2006. Two years later, she became an Instructor Trainer for STOTT PILATES® specializing in STOTT PILATES and can still be found at Vitruvian teaching students.

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Kim Dunleavy
Equilibrium Mind-Body Fitness
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, USA

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Rehabilitation, ISP

Additional credentials and designations
PT, Ph.D, MOMT, OCS

Bio

Kim first received her certification as an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES® Rehab in 2007 and is now a Lead Instructor Trainer specializing in Injuries & Special Populations and Rehabilitation. An American Physical Therapy Association Orthopedic Certified Specialist, Kim has Masters Degrees in Manual/Orthopedic Physical Therapy and Sports Physical Therapy, as well as a PhD in Instructional Technology. Kim is also an Associate Professor at Wayne State University's Department of Physical Therapy, an international presenter and has been published on Physical Therapy topics. With extensive experience in applying the STOTT PILATES principles to clients with injuries and impairments, Kim uses the method with clients at Equilibrium as well as providing evaluation and consultation for acute performing arts and sports injuries.