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Instructor Trainer bios

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.

Melissa McNamara

Melissa McNamara

John Garey Fitness & Pilates
Long Beach, California, USA

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

Additional credentials and designations
Masters, Contemporary Performance, ACE certification


Melissa is the owner of PILATES PERFORMANCE, rated the Chicago Reader’s “Best Of” Pilates Studio 2014, 2016 and 2017. Having received her training at the Merrithew 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® Matwork & Reformer, Cadillac, Chairs & Barrels and ISP, but in Merrithew's other branded programs, Total Barre® 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:

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