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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.

Rie Sakamoto
Toronto Corporate Training Center
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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

Additional credentials and designations
B.A., Registered Homeopath, DCHomMed

Bio

After completing her bachelor’s degree in Japan, Rie moved to Toronto, Canada to pursue her avid interest in the human body and passion for health and wellness. She received her STOTT PILATES® certification in 2006, excelling further to become a Merrithew Instructor Trainer in 2008. Rie applies her expertise to deliver high quality education to students as a Lead Instructor Trainer and in her work as Education Programming Specialist at the Merrithew’s Head Office in Toronto. In addition to teaching students and supporting Instructor Trainers, she is involved in developing Merrithew Education and expanding Instructor Trainer resources and website content. She also became a Registered Homeopath in 2015, furthering her passion to help people in the pursuit of holistic health and wellness.

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Robert Andersen
Victory Pilates
Omaha, Nebraska , USA

IT qualifications
CORE™

Additional credentials and designations
NSCA CSCS, B. Exercise Science and Psychology, Doctorate, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Bio

Dr. Bob Andersen has been in the performance coaching field for nearly 20 years and brings with him a vast array of knowledge and experience. He has expertise in performance training and functional movement as well as planning and implementing performance / strength and conditioning programs for all levels from aspiring youth to elite Olympic and professional athletes. He was the Head Performance/Strength Coach at Nebraska Wesleyan University, the Director of Performance Victory Human Performance, the Director of the Sports Medicine Institute of Nebraska, and as performance consultant for numerous Universities, teams, clubs and academies.

Bob is now a Lead Instructor Trainer for Merrithew, specializing in CORE, regularly teaching courses and workshops. He has earned a reputation as a dynamic presenter, expert instructor, and engaging mentor. He graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University with Bachelor's Degrees in Exercise Science as well as Psychology then received his doctorate from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

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Robert Izatt
YMCAfit
London, UK

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

Bio

Originally from South Africa, Rob has been with the fitness industry for the past 25 years, where he started with fitness class instruction including aerobics, circuits, step and body conditioning. After moving to Boston, Rob started his training with STOTT PILATES® in 2000 and a long journey continued, which included further Certifications in yoga, Esalen Massage, Cranial Sacral Therapy and WATSU (Water based Shiatsu). He has been able to incorporate this therapy knowledge into his Pilates teaching. After operating his own Pilates and yoga studio in Winthrop, Massachusetts for 11 years, Rob moved to London in 2011 and finally became an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew, specializing in STOTT PILATES in 2013. Rob is passionate about teaching and motivating, his passion for helping others is what drives him to provide his clients with careful attention, encouragement and compassion, allowing them to become the best they can be and believe in themselves.

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Roberto Garcia Macias
Toledo, Spain

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

Bio

Roberto began his training with STOTT PILATES® in 2004 and became a Certified Instructor Trainer for Merrithew in 2011.

Rouxchelle Denton-Cooke
DC Movement Lab
Gold Coast, Australia

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, & Barrels, ISP ; Total Barre®; Halo® Training, Part 1

Additional credentials and designations
CORE™, ZEN•GA® and Merrithew™ Fascial Movement Qualified Instructor

Bio

A native South African with a dance background, Rouxchelle began her STOTT PILATES® training in 2005. She opened a home studio and commercial studio in South Africa before relocating to New Zealand in 2010. After moving to Australia in 2011, she opened a new Studio DC Movement Lab. Rouxchelle is a great ambassador for Merrithew and her passion and enthusiasm are contagious. She is fully certified in STOTT PILATES and is a Merrithew Lead Instructor Trainer specializing in STOTT PILATES Matwork & Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, & Barrels, ISP, Total Barre®, and Halo® Training. She is also a Qualified Instructor in ZEN•GA®, CORE, and Merrithew Fascial Movement . Rouxchelle creates an atmosphere of love and support for both clients and Instructors. Her client list includes all ages and all possible needs, from post-surgery rehabilitation to performance-enhancement for elite athletes such as Australian Olympic kayaker Naomi “Floody” Flood and Canadian Olympic kayaker Emily Fournel.

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Sakiko Kanda
Sky Pilates Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer

Bio

Saki began her STOTT PILATES® journey in 2008 to support her conditioning as a ballet dancer. By practicing the exercises regularly, she gained physical and mental strength; that so-called mind-body connection. She has been practicing ballet and studying physiology to enhance her teaching and performance skills.

Saki’s based in Tokyo. She joined Sky Pilates Tokyo in 2015 and became a Merrithew Instructor Trainer in 2019.

One of her goals is to use all her knowledge in teaching and wellness to help people of all ages maintain functional health and quality movements so they live a happy, healthy life.

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Sam Hoops
Colorado Athletic Club
Englewood, Colorado , USA

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

Additional credentials and designations
TRX Suspension Trainer Level 1 & 2

Bio

Since 2002, Sam Hoops has been practicing Pilates and has been teaching STOTT PILATES® since 2011, receiving his full STOTT PILATES Certification in 2014. He has special expertise in athletic conditioning, post-rehabilitation conditioning, active aging, and group training. In 2017, he became a Merrithew Instructor Trainer specializing in STOTT PILATES, Halo® Training, and Total Barre®. Sam earned his Masters of Science in Kinesiology, with a special focus in Corrective Exercise and Orthopedic Rehabilitation, from A.T. Still University. In 2011, he received a Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science from the University of Texas at Arlington.

His clients, who range from fitness enthusiasts to athletes, young to mature benefit from finding greater awareness of movement, core strength and injury prevention. Because Sam personally had to overcome the effects of autoimmune diseases, he has empathy for those in chronic pain. He applies his STOTT PILATES training to decrease the severity of his pain and his client’s.

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Samia Pellizzari
Inspire Health
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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

Additional credentials and designations
BA

Bio

Samia received her BA in dance before moving to New York to pursue a dance career. Following a knee injury, she became a STOTT PILATES® Instructor in 2003. Samia taught Pilates in Austria and across the United States, working with a variety of clientele including athletes, pre- and post-natal women, seniors, post-rehab clients as well as with those struggling with their weight. In 2008, Samia become a Merrithew Instructor Trainer, specializing in STOTT PILATES and ZEN•GA®. Samia currently teaches at Inspire Health, a Merrithew Licensed Training Center.

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Sandra de Sousa Machado
Pilates Holistic Center Hamburg
Hamburg, Germany

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

Bio

Sandra de Sousa Machado is the owner of Pilates Holistic Center Hamburg. Always looking for a way to combine therapy and training, she discovered the STOTT PILATES® method. Sandra felt the difference in her body during the education process and long afterwards, and in November 2011 she continued her education in Toronto where she became an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES, and then became an IT for Total Barre® in 2013. Sandra was the first Portuguese certified Merrithew Instructor Trainer and now combines over 10 years of teaching experience with her knowledge of Pilates, sport therapy, personal training and massage to ensure that clients experience the best in mind-body exercise. Her clientele includes professional athletes, singers, dancers and actors.

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Sara Baker
Inspire Health
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Rehab Matwork & Reformer

Additional credentials and designations
PT, MS, OCS

Bio

Sara is a physical therapist and entrepreneur who has owned Inspire Health in Atlanta, leading integrative physical therapy and Pilates center, since 2005. Sara's love of science and sport led her to earn an Undergraduate Degree in cellular biology from the University of Georgia and a Masters of Science in physical therapy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has spent her physical therapy career in outpatient orthopedic settings, and is a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist, seeing complex patients referred by some of Atlanta's top physicians. In creating her own practice, Sara has been a leader in integrating Pilates and physical therapy into a patient-centric, outcomes-driven, consumer-pay clinical model. Since 2003, Sara has utilized the STOTT PILATES® method for neuromuscular re-education and therapeutic intervention in her practice. Sara has partnered with Merrithew since 2007 as the owner of a Licensed Training Center and became a STOTT PILATES Rehab IT to continue to promote the integration of STOTT PILATES into the practices of rehabilitation professionals.

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