Our Team
Level 3, Level 2 & Level 1

Level 4: Studio Owner & Certified Senior Instructor (CSI)  |  Visit Schedule


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

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

Holly Furgason is the founder and CEO of Blue Sparrow Pilates with locations in San Francisco (2007), CA. Renowned for excellence in the Bay Area, Blue Sparrow Pilates attracts students from around the world as the only STOTT PILATES® Licensed Training Center in San Francisco. Holly is the creator of The Hatchery, a mentorship blog for Pilates instructors, and Prenatal Pilates, a mobile Pilates app designed to train prenatal and postpartum women at home. Holly has intensively studied Pilates since 1999 and teaching in San Francisco since 2004. Holly completed her STOTT PILATES training in 2001, and then went on to become a STOTT PILATES Instructor Trainer in Mat and Reformer (2011) and Cadillac, Chair, and Barrels (2015), a CORE Athletic Conditioning Instructor Trainer (2013), a Total Barre Instructor Trainer (2015), and a Fascial Movement Training Instructor Trainer (2016). Holly’s challenging classes and playful personality have established her as a powerful name in Pilates. In a recent article Holly was called a “favorite Bay Area fitness gurus.” Holly writing has been featured in PilatesIntel, Profitable Pilates, Pilates Pro, and Pilates Style Magazine blog. She has also been published in Pilates Style Magazine. In 2013, Holly was voted as one of the top ten instructors for the Next Pilates Anytime Contest and joined the faculty at Mills College to train dancers to teach Pilates. With thousands of hours of teaching experience, Holly has worked with a wide range of clientele from severely injured to high level athletes. Holly has extensive experience working with a diverse range of injuries including chronic pain, scoliosis, herniated/slipped/bulging discs, back pain, shoulder & rotator cuff tears, knee and hip issues, tendonitis, labral tears, ACL tears, hip and knee replacements, post-polio, breast cancer recovery, and pre/post-natal recovery. Holly is also a cancer surviver. Training:
  • University of Michigan, BDA
  • Mills College, MFA
  • Fully Certified STOTT PILATES® on all Equipment and all levels
  • Lead Instructor Trainer in STOTT PILATES® Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Chairs, and Barrels
  • Lead Instructor Trainer CORE™ Athletic Condition + Performance Training
  • Lead Instructor Trainer TotalBarre™
  • Lead Instructor Trainer Fascial Movement Training™
  • Certified GYROTONIC® (level 1 & 2), GYROKINESIS®, Archway®, Gyrotoner®
  • Certified TRX Suspension Trainer™
  • Specialist in Post-Rehabilitation Conditioning, Breast Cancer Exercise, Pregnancy Fitness & Postpartum Rehabilitation, Active for Life, Group Matwork, Group Equipment, and Dance
  • PMA® -CPT

Level 3: Certified Senior Instructors (CSI)  |  Visit Schedule


Melissa Kennedy
CSI & STOTT PILATES® Instructor Trainer

Melissa Kennedy CSI & STOTT PILATES® Instructor Trainer

Melissa is classically trained in ballet and modern dance, and performed professionally in Minneapolis, MN and the Bay Area. She certified in STOTT PILATES®in St. Paul, MN (2007), studying with Kelly Dormady, Jill Winnegar, and Deborah Hunt. She completed her STOTT PILATES® full certification in 2012, and then joined the elite ranks of STOTT PILATES® Instructor Trainers in 2014. Melissa offers her lifelong study of movement with Pilates, TRX, barre, and athletic conditioning. She works with a vast array of clients seeking general conditioning, athletic training, injury prevention and rehabilitation. Melissa has training and experience using the Pilates method for back rehabilitation and/or management, breast cancer recovery, osteoporosis, and scoliosis. Additionally she instructs rehabilitation session for injuries ranging from joint replacements; knee meniscus tears and ACL repairs; ankle sprains and fractures; shoulder and rotator cuff strains and tears; pregnancy related trauma. Melissa has been teaching at Blue Sparrow Pilates since 2008. Training:
  • BA in Dance and a BA in Psychology, University of Minnesota
  • Fully Certified STOTT PILATES® on all Equipment & all levels
  • Instructor Trainer in STOTT PILATES® Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Chairs, and Barrels
  • Instructor Trainer TotalBarre™
  • Certified TRX Suspension Trainer™
  • Certified CORE™ Athletic Conditioning and Performance Training
  • GYROTONIC® Apprentice Trainer

Karen Banting
Certified Senior Instructor

Karen Banting

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.

Karen has extensive experience working with pre and post-natal clients, as well as post-rehabilitation clients of all types including bulging/herniated/slipped discs, joint replacement, frozen shoulder and rotator cuff injury, labral tears. Her attention to detail and emphasis on proper form are essential in ensuring safety and optimal performance.

  • Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada, BA
  • Fully Certified STOTT PILATES® on all Equipment and all levels
  • Instructor Trainer in STOTT PILATES® Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Chairs, and Barrels

Level 2: Certified Instructors (CI)  |  Visit Schedule


Mae Chesney
Certified Instructor

Mae Chesney
Certified Instructor

A classically-trained professional ballet dancer and teacher, Mae received her BFA from the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. She began teaching dance and fitness in 2011 to clients who range from young ballet dancers, to adults new to dance or group fitness.

Mae is certified in STOTT PILATES Mat and Reformer, and continues her course work towards advanced certification on all apparatus. In 2002, Mae was introduced to Pilates as a method to improve her ballet dancing. She immediately fell in love with Pilates as a way to improve performance, strength, and most importantly prevent injury. Through the years, her love for the method has continued to grow.

In every Pilates sessions, Mae shares her passion for Pilates and her excitement to be a part of her students’ journey to strength and fitness. While pushing her clients to the next level, she aims to always be supportive and positive force.

Mae works with a broad range of clients. She specializes in training professional athletes and dancers, as well as those who may not dance but would like to look like a dancer.

  • Certified STOTT PILATES® Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Stability Chair, and Barrels
  • University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, BFA

Kristin Bond
Trained Instructor

Kristin Bond Trained Instructor

Kristin first began practicing Pilates when she was experiencing low back and knee pain stemming from many years of playing soccer, running long distance track and half marathons. She truly fell in love with Pilates post pregnancy when she began taking classes to rebuild core strength that was affected by pregnancy. She saw first hand the benefits Pilates had on her life and wanted to share it with others. Kristin’s goal is to bring this energy and positivity to her clients, increasing physical and emotional well-being through building strength, challenging the core and endurance, all while having fun! Training:
  • Trained in STOTT PILATES Mat & Reformer
  • Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Health and Fitness Teaching certificate, Washington State University
  • Trained barre instructor

Ashlee Johnson
Certified Instructor

Ashlee Johnson
Certified Instructor

Ashlee found and fell in love with Pilates in college. Having grown up a self-proclaimed “book nerd” she hadn’t given much thought to sports or movement before college when she found herself needing to move her stressed body to help shake off the pressures of college life and newfound responsibilities as a young adult. Once she realized the beauty and value of movement there was no turning back, and she quickly realized how much Pilates improved several aspects of her life, she had an easier time managing stress, had better posture, and felt an overall sense of strength and well being.

Ashlee continued to practice Pilates after college and after a particularly inspiring class decided to begin her career in Pilates. Ashlee is currently working towards a full certification in the STOTT PILATES® method. Ashlee’s goal is to help clients feel empowered invigorated through movement because it has been an invaluable gift in her life that she would love to share with all that attend her classes.

  • BA in global and international studies from University of California at Santa Barbara
  • Certified STOTT PILATES® Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, and Barrels
Tanja London Blue Sparrow Pilates

Tanja London
Certified Instructor

Tanja London Certified Instructor

Tanja is fascinated by various somatic practices, fascial work and anatomy in general. She loves to dance, choreograph, improvise, make dance films, and linger in the outdoors. Tanja discovered STOTT PILATES® when she moved from Germany to the U.S. in 2006. She fell in love with the detailed anatomical knowledge inherent in the way of teaching this method. She found that it revealed the invisible workings of the body. In 2007 she started her training at PJ O’Clair’s Northeast Pilates Certification Center clubXcel (MA) and completed her certification in 2009. Since 2007 she has been teaching in various capacities in different studios and ran a Pilates Program affiliated with the Exeter Hospital, NH. A lifelong learner, she's currently working towards her advanced certification on all apparatus. She has experience working with people who are dealing with the consequences of injuries and chronic pain, including lower back, knee, ankle, foot, and shoulder injuries. She supports clients in getting or staying fit while helping them to increase their own body knowledge. She is invested in teaching ways of moving that are organically connected and result in a resilient and joyful agility. Training:
  • Certified in STOTT PILATES® Mat & Reformer

Level 1: Trained Instructors (TI)  |  Visit Schedule


Starr Emana
Certified Senior Instructor

Starr Emana

A teacher at heart, Starr began her teaching as a high school math teacher for with 19 years. Additionally, she coached girls’ water polo, track, softball, soccer, tennis and swimming. Starr, an athlete herself, played water polo for UC Davis. She has always been drawn to wellness and movement practices, an a career change to Pilates seemed a natural fit.  She likes working with all levels of clients on everything from functional movement for everyday life, to high level athletic performance training.   Training:
  • Trained in STOTT PILATES Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair & Barrels
  • Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Health and Fitness Teaching certificate, Washington State University
  • Certified Yoga instructor with a 200-hr RYT
  • Working towards NASM personal training certificate


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