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Instructor Spotlight: Julie Lee

Julie Lee

Julie Lee
Merrithew Instructor Trainer

IT qualifications:
STOTT PILATES® Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, Barrels, Total Barre
Additional training:
STOTT PILATES Injuries and Special Populations, Active for Life Specialist, Group Matwork Specialist, Total Barre, ZEN•GA® Matwork


Julie Lee was studying dance in New York when she first discovered STOTT PILATES. But it wasn’t until she underwent knee surgery that she discovered the value of the method. Now, she’s a Merrithew Instructor Trainer in Seoul, South Korea, focusing on helping others rehabilitate injuries with Pilates.

Here is her story.

When Julie Lee first tried Pilates, she was a dance student in New York. There was a Pilates conference in the city, and she attended a Pilates workshop there. The hours she poured into her passion for movement meant that her initial experience with Pilates left her with the impression that it wasn’t as physical a practice. “I was dancing so much that it felt less like my muscles were being worked,” she says.

But in 2007, dancing led to a knee injury, an ACL cut, which required surgery, and post-surgery rehab. It was then that Julie’s interest in Pilates and the powerful effects it can have during the post-rehabilitative process was piqued. “I felt a huge interest in Pilates, and wanted to become an Instructor,” she says.

Julie Lee on the Pilates Reformer

Her injury meant an end to her dancing career, but Pilates provided another path for her life and career. “I was sad that I couldn’t continue as a dancer,” she says. “But while I was in rehab, I realized I could help other people who were injured, and help them prevent injuries from happening through Pilates.”

Julie Certified in STOTT PILATES in 2008, and she began teaching in fitness centers and yoga studios around Seoul. At the time, Pilates was not yet popular in South Korea, and there weren’t many places for her to teach. But Pilates slowly grew in popularity, and now Julie has a steady list of clients at Breathe Pilates and Fitness, a Merrithew Host Training Center. Many of her clients are active aging and dancers, and come with diverse problems, she says. “They come in with pain in specific areas, so we try to focus on clients’ conditions in as much detail as possible.”

Julie Lee leg exercises on the Pilates Reformer

Her education with Merrithew underscored the importance of the five basic principles and has had a huge influence on her teaching, says Julie. “It’s great to help clients realize how to use their body and how it works,” she says. “How the method can change the body is amazing. Also, being in the community and getting to know a diverse range of people within the studio and help them to lead healthier lives every day makes me happy.”

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