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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.

Marcela Bragagnolo
New York, New York, USA

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

Additional credentials and designations
ACE Personal Trainer, Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis Teacher Trainer

Bio

A professional dancer, Marcela was first introduced to Pilates as a means of conditioning. She became a STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor in 2001 and in 2007 she progressed to the level of Merrithew Lead Instructor Trainer specializing in STOTT PILATES. Marcela’s long history with body movement began with training in classical dance in her native Argentina and moved on to contemporary dance in New York City. She has danced with Ballet Proarte in Argentina, the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, and Ballet de l’Opera de Paris, and holds a French National Diploma in Ballet Teaching and a National Certification from the American Ballet Theatre. Able to teach in English, French and Spanish, Marcela’s passion is an integrated education with a focus on strong technique, a healthy body and a free spirit.

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Marelize Badenhorst
The Movement Lab
Durbanville, South Africa

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork and Reformer

Additional credentials and designations
Total Barre® Qualified Instructor

Bio

Marelize Badenhorst has been a lover of dance, art and movement all her life. While studying design and classical ballet, she discovered Pilates to treat an injury. She gained so much from Pilates as a way of rehabilitating and realigning her body that it inspired her to change career paths. She enrolled in one of the first STOTT PILATES® Matwork courses offered by Merrithew in Cape Town, South Africa in 2000 and opened Pilates studios in Durbanville and Stellenbosch later that year.

Since then, Marelize has lived abroad and traveled all over the world to study. She has taught and presented in Oxford and at the YMCA in London. Marelize founded Precision Pilates, the first Merrithew Licensed Training Center in the Netherlands and hosted courses and workshops at various studios and facilities throughout the Netherlands. She re-located to South Africa with her family in 2014. She is currently working as an instructor and mentor at Core Concepts Pilates and Rehabilitation, a niche rehab-studio in her hometown of Durbanville, and is a part of the education team at The Movement Lab, a Merrithew Licensed Training Center in Cape Town.

Marelize is comfortable teaching a wide range of individuals, from seniors to young athletes in need of sport-specific training. Her greatest pleasure comes from assisting clients in a post-rehab program using Pilates to realign and strengthen their bodies to be the best that they can be, and sharing her knowledge and passion for Pilates with her students.

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Maria Adelaide De Marinis-Foote
YMCA One KX
London, United Kingdom

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork and Reformer

Additional credentials and designations
Himalayan Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga and Tapasya hot Yoga certified teacher

Bio

Maria Adelaide is a highly-respected fitness professional; an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew, specializing in STOTT PILATES® Mat and Reformer programming, and Yoga teacher. Having moved to London from Italy to continue her professional dance career, she first discovered Pilates whilst at the London Studio Centre, the performing art college where she graduated.

Maria Adelaide tailors each class to the needs of the students, safely and creatively using the experience acquired over many years. Her approach focuses on alignment and breath. She always feels encouraged and inspired to hear that her students feel stronger, dynamic, more flexible with improved physical awareness.

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Maria Angeles Trabas Toro
Madrid, Spain

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork and Reformer, Total Barre®, CORE™

Additional credentials and designations
REDCORD ACTIVE

Bio

Experiencia profesional de màs de 15 años en el sector de la Danza, fitness y la salud.

Comenzó sus estudios de Danza y música a muy temprana edad. Ha estudiado en diferentes escuelas de gran reconocimiento como Broadway Dance Center (NY), Steps on Broadway (NY), PeriDance (NY), Madrid Dance Center (Madrid). Ha realizado toda su formación de STOTT PILATES® con Akrostudio España, más tarde completó su formación como Instructor Trainer en STOTT PILATES en Canadá, Total Barre® en Canadá, CORE en Canadá, Redcord Active en New York y Princeton, New Jersey (NJ), con Akrostudio.

Formación continuada, ZEN•GA® (Canadá) Instructora Fascial Fitness (Canadá Merrithew), Halo® Trainer con Akrostudio.

Apasionada por la Danza, Anatomía y el Ejercicio Terapéutico, se caracteriza por impartir clases muy dinámicas, transmitiendo conocimientos a través de diferentes estrategias, formando instructores altamente cualificados en diferentes paises.

Imparte cursos a nivel Internacional en los paises de habla hispana como México, España y Latinoamérica.

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Maria Joao Marques
PiTZ | Pilates Training Zone
Aveiro, Portugal

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork and Reformer

Additional credentials and designations
M.Sc; Physical therapist; Redcord® Active and Neurac Instructor Trainer

Bio

Maria is the co-founder of PiTZ | Pilates Training Zone in Aveiro, Portugal.

She was introduced to STOTT PILATES® in 2008, after completing a degree in physical education and sports. With a background in dance, sports and fitness, she immediately fell in love with STOTT PILATES and decided to pursue further education in the method.

While completing her STOTT PILATES certification, Maria went back to university to study physical therapy, specializing in rehabilitation of movement disorders.

By combining her knowledge of these complementary practices, Maria and her partner founded PiTZ | Pilates Training Zone and has since become a Merrithew Instructor Trainer.

Maria now splits her time between teaching classes, running physical therapy sessions and mentoring physical therapy interns. She is also a guest instructor in the physical therapy master’s program at the local university, and a Redcord® Active and Neurac Instructor Trainer.

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Maria Monks
The Movement Lab
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer

Additional credentials and designations
BA Psychology

Bio

Maria Monks received her STOTT PILATES® full certification as an instructor in 2010. In 2013 she traveled to Milan, Italy to become an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES. Maria has been involved with movement of the human body from an early age, participating in gymnastics as well as Ballroom and Latin American dancing. While completing her bachelor's degree in Psychology, she discovered STOTT PILATES and became quite passionate about the method of exercise. Her past injuries created an awareness of how beneficial this method of exercise can be. Maria guides clients of all ages and different levels of fitness, focusing with sensitivity to their varying needs, to achieve their personal goals through strength and mobility.

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Marie Michalski
Calgary Pilates
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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

Additional credentials and designations
B.Ed.

Bio

Marie holds a B.Ed. from the University of Alberta and started her career in the fitness industry in 1997 as a Fitness Program Director at the YMCA. She became a STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor in 2001 after discovering Pilates and enjoying how well it integrated with her fitness background in dance and purposeful movement. Marie became an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES® in 2007 and believes her teaching is greatly enhanced by her extensive movement training background. She enjoys the challenge that comes with carefully tailoring programs to each individual based on their unique background, goals, and lifestyle.

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Marina Buntovskikh
Brussels Pilates (Satellite Location for Pilates Italia)
Brussels, Belgium

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

Additional credentials and designations
Aerobic Instructor

Bio

Born in Russia, Marina studied German at the University for Foreign Languages in Almaty, Kazakhstan. After moving to Europe in 1997, her passion for fitness and wellness led her to become a certified Aerobic Instructor and a STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor. She holds a certification as an Aerobic Instructor from BSA Akademie in Germany (1999-2000) and FISAF (Federation of International Sports of Aerobics and Fitness) in Paris 2001. Shortly after, she completed her first STOTT PILATES training in Toronto, Canada at our Merrithew Corporate Training Center. She received her first certification in STOTT PILATES Matwork level 1 in 2004. She then became an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES in 2010 and a proud owner of BRUSSELS PILATES a Merrithew Licensed Training Center Satellite. Marina speaks Russian, English, French, and German.

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Marina Goddu
Floating
Singapore, Singapore

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Mat and Reformer

Bio

As a student, Marina competed in track and field events and earned Coaching (Track and Field) and Rehabilitation degrees. In 1995, Marina opened her first professional studio in Russia. In 2008, Marina earned her first STOTT PILATES® certification in Toronto. She moved to Singapore in 2011, where she opened Smart Fit Studio. Marina completed her training, becoming an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew in September 2016, specializing in STOTT PILATES Mat and Reformer. Like many devoted athletes, Marina's past injuries led to her focus on injury prevention and rehabilitation, and her personal experience fuels her expertise and empathy. Marina works closely with doctors, physical therapists and other medical professionals and top professional athletes to sustain high levels of performance.

Marissa McRay
Floating
Sacramento, California, USA

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer; Halo® Training

Additional credentials and designations
M.A. in CCC-SLP; STOTT PILATES® ISP, Athletic Conditioning Specialist; Group Equipment Specialist; Halo® Training Qualified Instructor, Level 1; NASM CPT; NPCP (formerly PMA)

Bio

Like many, Marissa was fortunate to discover Pilates during her recovery from a back injury. A rock climber and all-around active person, she noted significant benefits to her climbing skills and other activities, including skiing, tennis, cycling, running, hiking and dance. A medical speech-language pathologist and clinical researcher, Marissa was pursuing a Ph.D. in Neuroscience when she realized that her love of Pilates, teaching and neuromotor sciences could all be synthesized in her work as a Pilates instructor. She devoted herself to the STOTT PILATES® method in 2013 and excelled at it, becoming an Instructor Trainer in 2017. She dedicates her time to advancing her knowledge of biomechanics and uses her knowledge of neuromuscular control and motor learning to create a solid understanding of anatomy, strength and movement for students. Her therapeutic background provides her with a unique ability to identify individual learning styles and translate the work accordingly in a fun way that builds confidence and independence.