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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.

Julie (Juhyun) Lee

Breathe Pilates & Fitness
Seoul, South Korea

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

Bio

Julie was introduced to the STOTT PILATES® method in 2007 during rehab for an ACL injury. She became a Certified Instructor in 2008 and in 2013, became an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES. Julie is passionate for dance and education and is dedicated to help people by spreading the STOTT PILATES method throughout Korea. Since suffering from an injury while training as a dancer, she has become aware that many dance students are not exposed to proper rehab or training for movement. It is her intent therefore, to bring the STOTT PILATES method to local students and clients.

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Julie Midgley

Julie Midgley

Floating
Mougins, France

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer

Bio

Julie's love of body movement began at the age of four with classical ballet. Ballet has always given Julie the discipline, focus, and passion to explore many different avenues in the physical fitness industry which finally lead her to Pilates. Julie began her career as a Fully Certified STOTT PILATES® Pilates instructor in June 2010. Immediately following her certification, she was employed at the Merrithew Corporate Training Center and Head Office in Toronto, Canada. Continuously being inspired by her peers, her clients, and her passion for Pilates have all driven Julie to take her education to the next level; becoming an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES Matwork and Reformer. Julie currently teaches in both French and English in the French Riviera.

Julie Staub

Floating
Veneta, Oregon, USA

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Rehabilitation

Additional credentials and designations
P.T, CSCS, MS

Bio

Julie became an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES® Rehab in 2009. Coming from an athletic background, Julie learned first-hand how injuries can affect one’s quality of life, and now works as a physical therapist, athletic trainer and STOTT PILATES Instructor in a variety of settings. She has combined these diverse fields into a unique way of re-educating the body and neuromuscular system. Julie has worked with a wide variety of clients, including college and high school athletes, hospital acute care patients and orthopedic outpatients. She has recently developed a lecture / lab series that will help enhance equestrians performance by integrating STOTT PILATES into a daily exercise regime.

Kanako Funabashi

Kanako Funabashi

Sky Pilates Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer, Cadillac, Chair & Barrels, ISP; ZEN•GA®; Total Barre®; Merrithew™ Fascial Movement

Additional credentials and designations
Gyrotonic

Bio

Kanako has been involved in physical training for most of her life and was trained in ballet, jazz dance, and modern dance since early childhood. She turned to Pilates after a lower back injury as a means of conditioning and improving her strength. She immediately fell in love with it and since then, her passion hasn't changed. She trained in the STOTT PILATES® method in Canada, Tokyo and Hong Kong and in 2006 she received her Certification as an Instructor. She went on to become a Lead Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES. In 2013, Kanako assisted with the World Tour stop in Japan and has taught Instructors in Singapore and Malaysia. A Certified Gyrotonic® Trainer, she enjoys working with Instructors and clients helping them achieve their goals.

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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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