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Lead Instructor Trainers

The designation of Lead Instructor Trainer is awarded to an individual who inspires others through leadership and the Merrithew Community of Excellence philosophy. These Instructor trainers have a strong sense of team and demonstrated commitment to ensuring consistency and continual growth across Merrithew branded programs. A Lead IT has recognized experience teaching both teachers-in-training as well as private and group clients, and has been empowered with educating our worldwide network of instructors in valuable repertoire and curriculum additions.

Jo-Anne Bunbury
Calgary Pilates
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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

Additional credentials and designations
BA Dance, MA Dance, DOMP candidate, MELT Method Instructor

Bio

Jo-Anne discovered Pilates while completing her MA at New York University. She went on to become a Merrithew Lead Instructor Trainer and has extended her passion for movement into completing a Diploma for Osteopathic Manual Therapy. Jo-Anne incorporates her osteopathy knowledge into her work with clients, boosting their awareness and perception of movement. She is also the mother of busy twin girls whom she says often remind her to live mindfully and fully.

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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. In 2021, she became a Merrithew Lead IT.

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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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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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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.

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.

Kristi Quinn
Bodycenter Instructor Training Studio
Seattle, Washington, USA

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

Additional credentials and designations
MA

Bio

Kristi received her MA in Dance at American University in Washington, D.C. in 1997, with core competencies in teaching, kinesiology, and choreography. She has danced professionally throughout the U.S. and across Europe before becoming an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew and a Lead IT for STOTT PILATES® in 2002. Kristi realizes her passion for training new Pilates Instructors at Bodycenter Studios, her studio and a Licensed Training Center for the STOTT PILATES method in Seattle, Washington.

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Krisztián Mélykuti
Floating
Budapest, Hungary

IT qualifications
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer, Cadillac, Chair & Barrels, ISP; CORE™; Merrithew™ Fascial Movement; Halo® Training; Total Barre®

Additional credentials and designations
Physiotherapist, Personal Trainer, GYROTONIC®, TRX, TRX- Rip Trainer

Bio

Krisztián comes from a background as a ballet dancer and became a Merrithew Instructor Trainer in 2006. Since then he graduated at Semmelweis University Faculty of Health Sciences as a physiotherapist. He also qualified as a personal trainer at the Hungarian University of Physical Education. At his studio in Budapest, Hungary, he teaches the STOTT PILATES® program as well as GYROTONIC®, TRX, TRX- Rip Training, and trains a variety of clients including dancers, athletes and agile recreational clients. As a physiotherapist, Krisztián works with patients who have neurological, rheumatological and orthopedical problems and rehabilitates trauma injuries. In 2020, he became a Merrithew Lead IT.

Laura Hicks Foutz
Inspire Health
Franklin, Tennessee, USA

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

Additional credentials and designations
PMA

Bio

Laura began her Pilates career in 2005 while dancing as a professional ballerina. In 2008, Laura became an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew, specializing in STOTT PILATES®. She began teaching courses and private clients at Inspire Health, the STOTT PILATES Licensed Training Center in Atlanta, GA. In 2011, she moved to the outskirts of Nashville and opened her own studio. There, she hosts training courses as she continues to grow her family and the STOTT PILATES community in central Tennessee. Laura is passionate about educating and mentoring students, and she loves being a part of their respective journeys. In 2020, she became a Merrithew Lead IT.

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Leslie Braverman
Pacific Northwest Pilates Education
Portland, Oregon, USA

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

Bio

Leslie was a 15 year professional dancer when she was led to the STOTT PILATES® because of an injury and credits the method for prolonging her career. Leslie became a Certified Instructor in 1997 and an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew in 2002. She was most recently awarded the designation of Merrithew Lead IT, which qualifies her to mentor other Instructor Trainers around the world. Throughout her dance career, she performed with the Cleveland San Jose Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre and BODYVOX.

As a young dancer, she was a student of The North Carolina School of the Arts and was awarded the 1988 Peabody Scholarship Award for Excellence. Leslie loves utilizing her experience to train dancers, athletes, fitness clients and aspiring instructors. She has been co-owner of Pacific NW Pilates since its launch in 2001, and takes a primary role in managing and marketing the studio.

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