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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 in the STOTT PILATES® method. 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.

Chrissy Connelly

Southampton, England

IT qualifications
Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, Barrels, ZEN•GA™

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 group classes as well as one-on-one personal sessions.  

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Claudia Fink

Claudia Fink

The Studio
Milan, Italy

IT qualifications
Matwork; Reformer; Cadillac, Chair, Barrels, ISP; SPX; Total Barre™; ZEN•GA® Mat & Equipment; CORE™; Rehabilitation; 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 Ribbon® Instructor Trainer

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 specializing in STOTT PILATES. She is also a STOTT PILATES Rehab and CORE Athletic Conditioning & Performance Training Instructor Trainer. She is currently studying osteopathy. Claudia is fluent in four languages and is a cancer, multiple sclerosis, neurologic and isometric rehab Specialist, as well as a Pink Ribbon® Instructor Trainer. She strives to continue her athletic life, and loves teaching students and clients alike.

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Connie Ierullo

Connie Ierullo

The Pilates Body
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

IT qualifications
Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, Barrel, ISP, Total Barre™

Additional credentials and designations
BA Hons

Bio

Connie Ierullo earned her full STOTT PILATES® Certification in 1997 and went on the following year to become an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew™ specializing in STOTT PILATES under the guidance of Moira Merrithew.  She was first introduced to the STOTT PILATES method in her movement studies at York University and holds an Honours BA in Dance.  She is the proud Co-Owner of The Pilates Body Studio, a Merrithew Licensed Training Center in Mississauga, ON, along with her husband Bruno.  Connie’s passion for teaching movement as an avenue to improved health is demonstrated by her dedication to each individual client and certification student.

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Daniela González Ares

Complete Body Movement, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland

IT qualifications
Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, Barrels, ISP, Total Barre™, ZEN•GA™ Matwork

Bio

Daniela González Ares is a Lead Instructor Trainer for Merrithew™ specializing in STOTT PILATES®, Total Barre™ and ZENGA™ 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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David Freker

dfx Pilates
Sacramento, California, USA

IT qualifications
Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair & Barrels, ISP

Bio

David received his STOTT PILATES® certification in 2003 and became a certified Instructor Trainer for Merrithew™ in 2004. David founded his studio DFX Pilates in 2011 which is now a Merrithew Licensed Training Center. By maintaining extremely high standards, we provide DFX Pilates provides his Sacramento clients with all that STOTT PILATES® has to offer and the specialized attention they need to meet their individual goals.

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Debra Hunt

The Sweatshop Fitness Club
Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, USA

IT qualifications
Matwork; Reformer; Cadillac, Chair, Barrels; ISP; ZEN•GA® Mat & Equipment; Merrithew™ Fascial Movement

Additional credentials and designations
BA

Bio
Debra began her journey as a highly accomplished Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES® in 2006. Her Pilates training is complemented with a strong background in dance and gymnastics, whereby she obtained her BA in dance. She works with people in all states of health, wellness, recovery and restoration. Debra revels in learning about new, innovative mind-body modalities and anatomy. This is exemplified by her enthusiasm and leadership in ZEN•GA® and other mindful movement directions such as Pilates, Yoga, Alexander Technique, Postural Restoration, Anatomy Trains, Mindful-Based Stress Reduction, and Franklin Method.

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Elizebeth Ellison

Floating
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

IT qualifications
Matwork & Reformer; Cadillac, Chair, Barrels; ISP; Halo® Training

Additional credentials and designations
ACE, NSCA CPT

Bio

Elizebeth’s career in the fitness industry began as an ACE certified personal trainer and her interest in Pilates initially began as a pursuit to discover how Pilates could help improve her father’s golf game. Elizebeth became fascinated by the STOTT PILATES® approach and its accessibility for all levels.  She then expanded on her fitness education to include becoming a STOTT PILATES Certified Instructor in 2004 and then a Lead Instructor Trainer for Merrithew™ specializing in STOTT PILATES. In 2009, Elizebeth received the distinction of Merrithew IT Rookie of the Year.  Her fascination and dedication to continuing education inspires her to continuously learn more about the discipline.  

Eva Powers

Equilibrium Mind-Body Fitness
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, USA

IT qualifications
Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, Barrels, ISP

Additional credentials and designations
Gyrotonic

Bio

As the Chair of the Maggie Allesee Department of Dance in the College of Fine Arts at Wayne State University, Eva’s primary research is in education, pedagogy, teaching methodology and dance science. Her courses in Dance Kinesiology and Movement Analysis reflect her interest in the integration of body and mind conditioning for dancers. An Instructor Trainer for Merrithew™, Eva was recently named a Lead IT for STOTT PILATES®. She has also achieved Level 1 Certification in Gyrotonic® and apprentice level in Gyrokinesis. Eva is a dancer, choreographer, gifted professor and mentor to new STOTT PILATES instructors at Equilibrium.

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Gidget Anthony

Gidget Anthony

The Designed Body Pilates Studio
Plano, Texas, USA

IT qualifications
Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, Barrels, ISP, Total Barre™; Merrithew™ Fascial Movement

Bio
Gidget is a Merrithew Lead Instructor Trainer specializing in STOTT PILATES® and Total Barre. She is the owner of The Designed Body Pilates Studio in Plano, TX which, in 2012, proudly became an official Merrithew Licensed Training Center. Her studio has been voted Best Pilates Studio in the Dallas/Fort Worth area five times. She takes great pride in owning a studio that houses Merrithew education and has a client base that both values and appreciates what this studio has to offer. She actively mentors her education students both during and after the program to assist with professional development and continued growth in their Pilates careers.

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Heather Lawson

Heather Lawson

John Garey Fitness & Pilates
Long Beach, California, USA

IT qualifications
Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, Barrels, ISP, Total Barre™

Additional credentials and designations
ACE, BFA

Bio

Heather Lawson is an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew™ specializing in Total Barre™ and is a Lead IT for STOTT PILATES®. A valuable member of the company's prestigious programming team, she has been teaching Pilates for over 10 years and is also an ACE Certified Instructor. Heather graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2000 where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet Performance. Heather was involved in the most recent DVD production for Merrithew as a featured performer and instructor

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