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Meet the team

Michelle - Director at The Pilates PodMichelle Smith - Director

Michelle's adventures in Pilates began in the late 90's when she was involved in a car accident that left her back chronic pain. Having tried various different treatments with little or no success she, happened upon Pilates and was hooked very soon afterwards. After a few months practicing Pilates, her back pain improved dramatically. A stay in Australia cemented her passion for Pilates, where she was able to attend a Pilates studio close and get her out of pain.

On returning to the UK, Michelle decided to leave her established career in the Media and retrain as a Pilates instructor. She worked as a freelance instructor under the guise of 'Karma Junkies' before joining Breathing Space Spa & Studio in Harpenden where she managed their studio function.

Michelle and Ed (the other director) had their baby Dylan in 2010 and after returning to work from maternity leave, the idea of The Pilates Pod was born and the rest is history!

With over 13 years experience, Michelle has trained in Contempory Pilates from Pilates Institute, Stott Pilates and recently completed exams in the first part of an even longer journey into Classical Pilates.

Clair Starkey - Instructor (photo to follow)

Clair has grown from dedicated client attending classes with us over years, to dedicated instructor after her passion turned into her dream. Since qualifiying with Stott Pilates, she has worked in house on a 6 month traineeship to develop her skills even further to bring you the very best she can. We're thrilled to have Clair on board.

Clair is trained in Matwork, Reformer, Pre and Post natal, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction.

Aminta Gagnon- Administrator (photo to follow)

Aminta (or Ami) brings a chilled US vibe to the studio. She works alongside Rufina to provide excellent customer care, and help with bookings.

in her spare time, she manages the social networks for a well know car company and loves practicing yoga, which has now seen her taking her yoga teacher training.

Rufina Hardy- Administrator (photo to follow)

Working as maternity leave cover for Bronwyn, Rufina is a great new addition to the team. Originally from Russia, she and her British husband moved back from Russia to the UK and her passion for fitness and Pilates continued to follow with her.

Rufina has practiced Pilates herself in a dedicated studio environment in Russia and has worked for many years in a fitness company. She feels she now has her "perfect job" working with us!





Ed Smith - Director, the Pilates PodEd Smith - Director

Although Ed is rarely at the Pod in person, he's all over the brand all the time. It was Ed's suggestion that Michelle 'take on a few personal training clients' after their son was born, that resulted in the formation of The Pilates Pod. Since then everything you see from the logo to the brochure, website and a lot of the digital content is generated by the quiet director. Alongside Pod duties Ed is currently the Marketing and Communications manager at Luton Town Football Club, and prior to that he headed up the Brand and Digital department at Teenage Cancer Trust.

Ed loves cheese, the odd glass of beer and playing the guitar.

Ellen - Studio Co-ordinator

Our Studio Co-ordinator, Ellen is known at the Pod as the "Pocket Rocket" for her great Pilates workouts. Matwork and Reformer certified with STOTT PILATES, Pregnancy and Nutrition as well as Pelvic Floor Dyfunction. Currently studying to be a level 4 back care specialist. Also a trained dancer who loves teaching our Barre Style Pilates class.

If you're into dance or musical theatre, Ellen's your girl, she's trained in both and can teach couples how to dance on their wedding day, help dancers improve their flexibility & stability and can teach a group how to perform the routines from your favourite musical theatre shows.

BronwynBronwyn - Studio Administrator (currently on maternity leave)

Born in the beautiful coastal city of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. She meant to travel the world, but instead fell in love with London, and then a man, got married and stayed every since 2000!

Outside of work, Bronwyn loves summer BBQ's, the beach and spending time with family and friends.