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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.

Cherie Boschma
Inspire Health
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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

Additional credentials and designations
BFA

Bio

Cherie obtained her BFA in Dance from University of North Carolina School for the Arts and began teaching Pilates in Toronto at the Merrithew Corporate Training Center in 1993 after training under Moira Merrithew. She became an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES® in 1998, and has instructed at the following LTCs: Equilibrium - Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; Bodycenter - Seattle, Washington; Full Circle Studio - Vancouver, BC and currently Inspire Health - Atlanta, GA.

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Cheryl Cote Alden
Northeast Pilates Education Center
Bedford, New Hampshire, USA

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

Additional credentials and designations
Physical Therapist

Bio

Cheryl is a physical therapist and fitness enthusiast with over 20 years of teaching experience. She graduated from the University of Vermont in 1996 and was first introduced to Pilates while working as a PT. Quickly realizing the benefits to the rehab population, she pursued her STOTT PILATES® certification in 2000 and is now a Lead Instructor Trainer for Merrithew, teaching STOTT PILATES and STOTT PILATES Rehab. She is the owner of Symmetry Pilates Center in New Hampshire where she teaches classes as well as works one on one with clients. Cheryl is an avid runner and triathlete and is a two-time IRONMAN finisher completing Ironman Lake Placid (2011) and Ironman Coeur D’Alene (2013). A lifelong athlete, Cheryl enjoys educating and motivating others to reach their personal fitness goals – knowledge is power.

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Cholthicha Srivisal
Breathe Pilates
Singapore, Singapore

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

Additional credentials and designations
MBA; ARAD; Certificate of Higher Education in Dance Education; Instructor Trainer for Antigravity® Aerial Yoga & Suspension Fitness; certified 200-hour Yoga Alliance teacher; Gyrotonic. Gyrokinesis, and Gyrotoner trainer; FRC; Kinstretch® Instructor

Bio

After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a master’s degree, Thicha spent 15 years working in the banking industry before leaving the corporate world to follow her long-time dream of becoming a Pilates Instructor. After suffering back and ankle injuries in 2002, she experienced the therapeutic benefits of Pilates first-hand and decided she wanted to teach others. She obtained her full STOTT PILATES® certification in 2007 and became a Merrithew Instructor Trainer specializing in STOTT PILATES the following year. Thicha was awarded the prestigious title of Lead Instructor Trainer, and focuses on the education and training of the STOTT PILATES method. Her passion for movement originates from her many years as a professional ballet dancer and a dance educator. She holds a Certificate of Higher Education (Dance) from the University of Surrey, UK, an advanced-level certification from the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), and is a registered RAD teacher. She is also a certified 200-hour Yoga Alliance teacher, GYROTONIC, GYROKINESIS and GYROTONER trainer.

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Chrissy Connelly
Floating
Southampton, United Kingdom

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

Additional credentials and designations
GYROTONIC®

Bio

Formerly a member of the British Olympic Windsurfing Team, Chrissy enjoys working with a range of clients from international athletes to rehabilitation clients. Chrissy became a STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor in 2004 and furthered her training to become an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew, specializing in STOTT PILATES in 2007, and ZEN•GA® in 2013. Currently she works alongside physiotherapists and sports masseurs in a studio well equipped with STOTT PILATES equipment, where she teaches as a Merrithew Lead Instructor Trainer in group classes as well as one-on-one personal sessions.

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Christine Heckel
Balance: Pilates Training Center
Richmond, Virginia, United States

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

Additional credentials and designations
ACE Certified Personal Trainer

Bio

Fifteen years of classical ballet training brought Christine to Merrithew and inspired her to become a Merrithew Instructor Trainer, specializing in STOTT PILATES® and ZEN•GA®. Christine owns and operates Breathe Pilates Place (2015) in La Plata, Maryland, and trains her clients in STOTT PILATES and ZEN•GA principles.

In addition to her studio, Christine also provides STOTT PILATES training at Balance Pilates Training Center, a Merrithew Licensed Training Center in Richmond, VA. Plus, she teaches Pilates and ballet clients throughout the Northern Virginia, Southern Maryland and Washington D.C. metro areas – including at Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA, and College of Southern Maryland in La Plata, MD.

Christine is also an ACE Certified Personal Trainer. She continues to challenge her own body to learn new movement forms through the study of circus arts, flying trapeze and aerial yoga. In 2020, she became a Merrithew Lead IT.

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Christos Alexiou
Floating
Geneva, Switzerland

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

Additional credentials and designations
Bachelor of Physical Education and Sports Science

Bio

Christos was born in Greece and studied Sport Science and Physical Education at Democritus University of Thrace, Greece. He earned his Bachelor degree in 2004, and after coaching in different sports, he focused and specialized in Pilates. Christos studied at the Corporate Training Center in Toronto where he became fully certified in 2011 and shortly after became an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES®. He currently teaches at the I Love Exercise Pilates Studio in Geneva, Switzerland.

Claudia Fink
The Studio/Pilates Italia
Milan, Italy

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, & Barrels, ISP, SPX, Rehab Matwork & Reformer; Total Barre®; ZEN•GA® Mat & Equipment; CORE™; Halo® Training

Additional credentials and designations
Fitness and Aerobics; Iyengar Yoga; Cancer Rehabilitation Specialist; Multiple Sclerosis and Neurologic Rehab Specialist; Myofascial Release Techniques; Isometric Rehabilitation Specialist and Pink Program® Instructor Trainer; Osteopath

Bio

Claudia first got involved in aerobics and fitness in Paris, France where she was studying for a bachelor’s degree in Business and Tourism. She was drawn to Pilates for rehabilitation after several athletic injuries and soon discovered the STOTT PILATES® method. She became an Instructor Trainer and taught at the Corporate Training Center in Toronto until she opened her studio and Licensed Training Center, Pilates Italia, in Milan, Italy and a satellite location in Brussels, Belgium. Claudia is proud to be a Merrithew Lead Instructor Trainer. She is also an Osteopath. Claudia is fluent in four languages and is a cancer, multiple sclerosis, neurologic and isometric rehab Specialist, as well as a Pink Program® Instructor Trainer. She strives to continue her athletic life, and loves teaching students and clients alike.

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Connie Ierullo
The Pilates Body
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

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

Additional credentials and designations
BA Hons; Osteopathic Manual Therapist, M. OMSc

Bio

Connie discovered Pilates while earning her BA in Dance at York University in Toronto, Ont. She received her full STOTT PILATES® Certification in 1997 and later became a Merrithew Lead Instructor Trainer. Connie co-founded The Pilates Body Studio in Mississauga, Ont. which is now a Merrithew Licensed Training Center. Connie has fueled her passion for teaching movement as an avenue to improved health by continuing her studies in anatomy, biomechanics and physiology at the Canadian College of Osteopathy. As an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner, Connie is inspired daily by her patients and their journey to achieving health and ease of movement. Connie is a member of the Ontario Osteopathic Association.

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Danica Larson
SweatShop Fitness Health Club
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer

Additional credentials and designations
BA English Literature and Music

Bio

Danica became a STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor in 2003, motivated by her desire to share the mental and physical consciousness and balance she found in Pilates. In 2008 she moved on to become an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew, specializing in STOTT PILATES. She currently teaches at The SweatShop in St. Paul, Minnesota where she enjoys helping students and clients alike to improve their strength, posture and body awareness.

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Daniela Gonzalez Ares
COMPLETE BODY movement
Dublin, Ireland

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

Additional credentials and designations
Certified Gyrotonic Instructor, Certified Yoga Instructor, Massage Therapist and Pink Ribbon Instructor

Bio

Daniela González Ares is a Lead Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES®, Total Barre® and ZEN•GA® and is owner of Complete Body Movement in Ireland a Merrithew Licensed Training Center. Residing in Dublin since 1994, Daniela (called Dani by friends and family), was born to Spanish parents in the Netherlands and is a fluent speaker in various languages. She has always been interested in sport, particularly in swimming, karate, gymnastics and horse riding. Unfortunately Daniela suffered a horse-riding accident in her early twenties, which indirectly led her back to the gym, and a move to Ireland led her to STOTT PILATES. Daniela owns a personal training and Pilates Studio called AJNA in Dublin, is a certified gyrotonic instructor, certified yoga instructor, massage therapist and pink ribbon instructor. In 2012 Daniela received the award for Outstanding Personal Achievement by Merrithew.

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