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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.

Lisa Palmer

The Movement Lab
Cape Town, South Africa

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

Bio

Originally from a photography background, Lisa decided to pursue her passion of movement and the human body by becoming STOTT PILATES® certified in 2005 and then an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew™ specializing in STOTT PILATES the following year. In 2016, Lisa received special recognition as a Lead Instructor Trainer for STOTT PILATES. Lisa and her studio, The Movement Lab, pride themselves on providing a nurturing atmosphere and close personal attention to every client and student.

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Marcela Bragagnolo

New York, New York, USA

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

Additional credentials and designations
ACE Personal Trainer, Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis Teacher Trainer

Bio
A professional dancer, Marcela was first introduced to Pilates as a means of conditioning. She became a STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor in 2001 and in 2007 she progressed to the level of Lead Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing in STOTT PILATES. Marcela’s long history with body movement began with training in classical dance in her native Argentina and moved on to contemporary dance in New York City. She has danced with Ballet Proarte in Argentina, the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, and Ballet de l’Opera de Paris, and holds a French National Diploma in Ballet Teaching and a National Certification from the American Ballet Theatre. Able to teach in English, French and Spanish, Marcela’s passion is an integrated education with a focus on strong technique, a healthy body and a free spirit.

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Marshall Eklund

Marshall Eklund

Marshall Eklund Fitness & Pilates
San Diego, California, USA

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

Additional credentials and designations
MA

Bio
Known for his clinical knowledge, endless humor, and abundant energy, Marshall earned his first fitness certification and began training clients in 1986.  He holds a Masters degree with a special emphasis in Biomechanics and Athletic Training and has been an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew™ specializing in STOTT PILATES®

and a Licensed Training Center owner since 2002.  Marshall presents on behalf of Merrithew and is the proud owner of Marshall Eklund Fitness & Pilates.  The studio opened in 1998 and has been featured in San Diego Magazine’s “Best of San Diego”.  Marshall divides his time between client assessment, staff development, instructor training, and writing.

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Marta Yuste Vaquerizo

Akrostudio
Toledo, Spain

IT qualifications
Matwork & Reformer; Rehab; Halo® Training

Bio

Marta began her training with STOTT PILATES® in 2005, and became a certified Instructor Trainer for Merrithew in 2007. She currently works teaches education at Akrostudio, a Licensed Training Center for Merrithew. She was granted Merrithew Lead Instructor Trainer in 2018. 

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Mary Jo Ketterhagen

Mary Jo Ketterhagen-Ida

John Garey Fitness & Pilates
Los Angeles, California, USA

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

Additional credentials and designations
ACE, PMA, Gyrotonic Certified, Gyrokinesis Certified, Bachelors of Science / Microbiology

Bio

Mary Jo has had a long history in the fitness industry, beginning in 1993 as an Aerobics Instructor. She fist received her certification as a STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor in 2002, and quickly moved on to become an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew specializing ZEN•GA® in 2013, Total Barre® in 2013 and is a Lead IT for STOTT PILATES. Since becoming certified, Mary Jo has taught courses throughout the Unites States, and internationally as well. In addition to her STOTT PILATES Certification, Mary Jo is also a certified White Lotus Yoga Instructor and a Mad Dogg® Spinning Instructor. She specializes in creating workouts for all fitness levels and helping each of her clients to reach their fitness goals.

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Melissa Condron

Floating
Oceanside, California, USA

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

Additional credentials and designations
PT

Bio

Melissa has always had a passion for movement and physical health, obtaining her Physical Therapy degree from Marquette University in 1989.  She became certified as a STOTT PILATES® Instructor in 2001 after working in a variety of clinical settings with a specialized focus on Geriatric Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.  Melissa became an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew™ in in 2002 and is a Lead IT for STOTT PILATES. She continues to add variety to her repertoire by taking new workshops and integrating that material into her programming.

Melissa Harrington

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

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

Additional credentials and designations
ACE, NSCA

Bio

Melissa Harrington is an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew™, specializing as a Lead IT in STOTT PILATES®, who has been working in the fitness industry since 1995.  In addition to teaching Pilates, she is a certified Yoga instructor and faculty member of YOGAspirit, a certified Holistic Health Counselor, NSCA certified Personal Trainer and an ACE Group Exercise Instructor. Melissa lives on the north shore of Boston with her husband and two stepchildren. She is known to bring a healthy dose of humor and warmth to her teaching.

Melissa McNamara

Melissa McNamara

Chicago, Illinois, USA

IT qualifications
Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, Barrels, ISP;Total Barre®; CORE™;ZEN•GA® Mat

Additional credentials and designations
Masters, Contemporary Performance, ACE certification

Bio

Melissa is the owner of mind.art.core PILATES PERFORMANCE, rated the Chicago Reader’s “Best Of” Pilates Studio 2014, 2016 and 2017. Having received her training at Merrithew’s Corporate Training Center in Toronto, she began teaching as an Instructor Trainer in Toronto, and is now a Lead Instructor Trainer for Merrithew™, at her host site in Chicago. Melissa has taught throughout the US, in New Zealand and in South Korea. Melissa is proud to be an IT not only for STOTT PILATES® Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Chairs, Barrels and ISP, but in Merrithew’s other branded programs, Total Barre®. CORE™ and ZEN●GA® Mat. She has trained extensively in injuries and special populations, Pre and Post-natal, is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and the creator of m.a.c. Pilates for Kids! She has been highlighted in Wellness Magazine for her Pilates for kids program, on CTV’s Breakfast Television and is currently publishing a book. Melissa earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre at York University in Toronto, and in 2010, received her Masters Degree in Contemporary Performance from the Buddhist-inspired Naropa University, specializing in Body Mind Centering Techniques and experiential anatomy. Her creativity is witnessed through her classes, which are innovative and challenge the boundaries of Pilates and functional fitness. From the novice to advanced, post-rehab to the elite athlete, Melissa is able to weave her knowledge of biomechanics with her creativity and energy, creating fun, efficient and transforming sessions. Melissa is active as a Movement Director for various theatre companies in Chicago and has written and produced a comedic web series about a Pilates studio, called, "The Studio." You can find Seasons 1 and 2 here: www.thestudiowebseries.com

Melissa Wong

Melissa Wong

Pilatique
Malaysia &, Singapore

IT qualifications
Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, Barrels, ISP, SPX, Merrithew™ Fascial Movement

Additional credentials and designations
BA, ACE

Bio

Melissa Wong is the co-founder and Education Director of Pilatique Pilates Studio, set up in 2005 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Pilatique in Singapore in 2011. She has always been a fitness and dance enthusiast and started her career in the fitness arena in 2000 working with Nike, Les Mills, Fitness First and others giving her the opportunity to travel and present in dance and Pilates. Melissa first became an Instructor Trainer for Merrithew in 2008 and brought Pilatique Malaysia and Singapore to become a Licensed Training Centers in 2008 and 2016 respectively.

Melissa is a bilingual instructor in English and Chinese. She presented Merrithew workshops at the Asia Fitness Convention 2010 and 2011 in Thailand, assisted during the 2013 Merrithew Mindful Movement World Tour at Shanghai and presented in ChinaFit 2016 in Beijing, Tianjin and Shenzhen in the same year.

Melissa enjoys learning and sharing her knowledge and coaching her students and Pilatique’s team of physiotherapists and strives also to be a good mother and wife. Melissa is a grounded and ambitious little dot.

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Michaela Bimbi-Dresp

Pilatesbody
Munich, Germany

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

Additional credentials and designations
MBA, ACE, Fitness and Advanced Trainer for Dr. Schleipp for Fascial Fitness, Certified Message Therapist

Bio

Michaela’s fitness career has taken her all over the world. She was a dancer in her native Germany before becoming certified as an ACE Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer while spending time in the United States. Michaela completed her STOTT PILATES® Certification in New York and in the U.K. and went on to become a Merrithew Lead Instructor Trainer. Michaela also specializes in the complete Pilates Repertoire, including all mat and equipment levels, as well as Total Barre®, ZEN•GA®, and Merrithew Fascial Movement. In 2002, Michaela founded Pilatesbody, the first Merrithew Licensed Training Center in Munich, Germany. She is also the author of best selling books about Pilates.

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