Faculty

Holly Furgason
Founder & CEO | STOTT PILATES® Lead Instructor Trainer

 

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I have the most incredible job. I help my clients feel better in their bodies, and I assist my community in becoming healthier, happier, and more fit. I guide aspiring teachers on their path towards becoming skilled Pilates professionals, who then go on to help their communities and build businesses of their own. I’ve been lucky enough to learn from all my clients, accumulating hundreds of hours of teaching experience, and now I can share this with other instructors.

I have been studying Pilates, dance, and movement for over two decades and I am still learning. My field is booming with new research and avenues to explore. I am fascinated with deeply investigating the body through movement, so when new research is published, I bring it into the studio for exploration. It’s like a movement laboratory.

In 2001, I began studying STOTT PILATES® at Equilibrium Studio in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. I realized I wanted teaching to be my career. Ten years later in 2011, I became one of only a handful of STOTT PILATES® Instructor Trainers in California. I now have over a decade of experience teaching general conditioning, helping individuals recover from serious or chronic injuries, and working with the Olympic and weekend athletes. Coming from a professional dance and athletic background, I know how to push myself and I enjoy helping others do the same.

Blue Sparrow Pilates was, and is my dream. I hope to help you on your path towards yours.

Melissa Kennedy
STOTT PILATES® Instructor Trainer

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Melissa’s passion for movement in its many forms began at an early age with gymnastics, swimming, diving, and dance lessons. She has trained in classical ballet and modern dance and has performed professionally in Minneapolis, MN and the Bay area. Melissa began studying Pilates in 2000 and found it to be a powerful supplement to her dance training, helping her to rehabilitate injuries, improve her posture, and move with greater ease. She began her STOTT PILATES® training in St. Paul, MN in 2007, studying with Kelly Dormady, Jill Winnegar, and Deborah Hunt. She completed her STOTT PILATES® level 2 full certification at Blue Sparrow Pilates in 2012 and became an Instructor Trainer in 2013. Melissa is trained in Injuries and Special populations, athletic conditioning, mat work for breast cancer recovery, Pilates for osteoporosis, and scoliosis management.

Melissa loves working with people of diverse movement backgrounds and fitness levels, from dancers and high level athletes to people recovering from knee surgeries, herniated discs, or people who simply want to bring movement back into their lives. She believes that movement has the potential to heal the body and mind; her goal as a movement facilitator and teacher is to guide people toward greater freedom and joy in movement and to healthier lives.

Karen Banting
STOTT PILATES® Instructor Trainer

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Karen was first introduced to Pilates during her years at Queen’s University, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology. After moving to Toronto in 2008, she began participating in weekly Reformer classes at the world renowned STOTT PILATES studio. A former dancer and gymnast, Pilates was a natural fit to help rehabilitate old injuries and maintain strength and flexibility, and once she stepped on a Reformer she never looked back.

Karen completed all of her training at the STOTT PILATES International Training Center in Toronto, Canada. In 2013, she was invited to become an Instructor Trainer for STOTT PILATES at the International Training Center in Toronto.

After moving to San Francisco in the spring of 2016, Karen joined the Blue Sparrow team, where she divides her time between teaching clients and instructor education courses. She continues to travel internationally to teach for STOTT PILATES at various hosting sites.

Karen’s passion as an instructor comes from challenging her clients to surpass their own expectations and to constantly strive for more. With this focus on empowerment, and a deep understanding of the Pilates method, she enjoys helping her clients reach their personal goals, regardless of age or fitness level. In addition to witnessing their physical progress, one of Karen’s favorite parts of working with clients is seeing their energy and self-confidence improve. Being able to help people physically and emotionally in such a direct way gives her great satisfaction as an instructor.

 

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