MEET THE TEAM
Our team of teachers have been hand selected by Studio Director, Claire Sparrow. They are all Polestar Pilates certified, and have extensive training and certification with other schools and complimentary subjects, such as advanced functional anatomy. Each teacher goes through a rigorous apprenticeship process where they observe, assist, cover-teach and are observed teaching by Claire Sparrow. We have three tiers of teachers based on certification, training and experience.
Claire is a straight-talking and inspiring Scottswomen with an inclusive yet exacting and rigorous approach. She has an absolute passion for all things Pilates but her manner is enabling and supporting and she maintains a sense of humour and humility throughout all her client interactions.
Claire's strongly empathetic nature allows her to decode complex issues and create bespoke opportunities for change in a private or large-group setting. She is mindful of her audience, ensuring that no matter how timid, confident, injured or intact a person is, she will go the extra mile to help.
Claire is the living embodiment of “you are the architect of your own happiness.” After discovering Pilates in 1998 as a young dance student when it resolved her debilitating knee injury she has been evangelical about the benefits ever since. Teaching since 2002, Claire has a wealth of qualifications and never stops learning - training & certifying with Pilates Institute, Fit To Deliver, APPI, STOTT, Natural Bodies and of course Polestar, and most recently, becoming a Second Generation Teacher graduating from the Lolita San Miguel Master Mentorship Program 2019.
Claire opened her first home studio in 2005 then took the leap and opened a large fully equipped studio in partnership with another passionate local teacher for 8 successful years from 2010. In 2016, after having her third child, it was time for another shift and following her belief in serving her local community and a mission to walk to work she opened Chapel Allerton Pilates. Claire is a Polestar Educator and host for Polestar in the North of England and runs an apprenticeship program bridging the gap between training and teaching. In 2018 Claire expanded on an existing venture and founded Hosted By Movement Education as part of her mission to build awareness and participation locally and globally.
I am passionate about movement and helping people achieve their movement potential.
I have been involved in fitness for over 25 years coming from a background in Martial Arts and Personal Training. I first discovered Pilates around 25 years ago when I sustained a back injury. Pilates was not only a huge factor in my recovery but I was also stronger more balanced and could move so much easier than before.
Gaining my first Pilates Certification in 2003 my educational journey has continued since then. Gaining various qualifications in all the Studio Equipment; Reformer, Chair, Barrel and Cadillac. Plus keeping up to date with all the new developments in Anatomy and Movement and I have no intention of stopping that journey anytime soon. I believe Pilates is for everyone and we can all achieve a more balanced, fluid and functional body through Pilates and Movement.
I am an absolute believer in the life changing, mind-body benefits of Pilates. My classes
are very much focused on helping to restore natural, fluid movement to the body and encouraging a sense of wellbeing into our fast-paced, modern lifestyles.
I believe that everyone should feel great in their own bodies no matter what their age or fitness level. My aim as a teacher is to encourage more awareness of how we move and to ultimately create a freedom of movement that is not only effortless but also intuitive, making for a happier body inside and out. A real foodie, out of my Pilates life I enjoy cooking and love staying active through outdoor pursuits along with other movement techniques such as contemporary dance, the Ido Portal method and Feldenkrais.
Whitney truly believes in healing through movement and that Pilates should be a positive movement experience that makes you feel better than you did before.
Whitney has been practicing Pilates for over 10 years and a fitness and yoga aficionado for as long as she can remember. Life changed when she suffered back and neck injuries from a car accident that ultimately led to a spinal fusion surgery. Pilates became a new way of life and a key ingredient for her own pain management.
Whitney is American and moved from Miami to Harrogate with her Harrogate-native husband her boy-girl toddler twins in 2018. To prepare for the demands of twins, Whitney retrained as a comprehensive rehabilitative Pilates specialist with Polestar Pilates Education. She learned that she loves helping others heal and find a better quality of life. She trained on all apparatus including the reformer, trapeze table, chair, barrel, spine corrector and Oov.
I began my journey into health and wellness 25 years ago when I started training as a nurse, this led to me working in women’s health and my passion for women’s wellbeing. I now have 15 years experience as a Nurse Practitioner caring for women. It was around this time after my third pregnancy that I began to attend Pilates to aid postnatal recovery. I was immediately hooked and after experiencing the benefits firsthand I then went on to train to teach Matwork Pilates and have now been teaching for 12 years. I am also qualified to teach pre and postnatal Pilates. I have since trained to be a yoga teacher too.
I am a true movement addict and Pilates enables me to move well. I feel privileged to share not only the benefits to the physical body that Pilates offers but also the much needed opportunity for “me time” and time out from our busy lives.
Due to this interest I have recently trained as a Clinical Hypnotherapist, my practice focused solely on treating women and issues related to women’s health and wellbeing specialising in hypnobirthing and fertility.
I first fell in love with Pilates when I was pregnant, when the prenatal class I attended became the highlight of my week! Over the following years I enjoyed regular classes and just loved how Pilates helped me to grow stronger and more aligned in my body, and left me feeling calm yet energised.
I completed my comprehensive Pilates training in 2019 which includes all of the apparatus including Reformer, Trapeze Table, Chair, Barrel, Spine Corrector and Mat. I work with group classes as well as 1:1.
My aim is to help my clients to also leave feelIng realigned, calm yet energised! My Pilates work perfectly compliments my other role as a Respiratory Physiotherapist, where I work with people with long term oxygen needs. When I’m not working I love to spend as much time outdoors as possible gardening, running, cycling or camping with my family.
I started Pilates over three and a half years ago as part of my recommended rehab following neurosurgery on my spine. At this point I would have described myself as ‘exercise-phobic’ and spent every day in some level of pain from the mild nagging toothache to the debilitating can’t get out of bed sort of pain. I approached the initial session with a certain level of scepticism and fear that the exercise would increase my pain levels. At session one I was intrigued by the approach to teach you to move well within your own limitations and did my homework religiously. By session three I was hooked. Pilates has given me the power to understand my own body and take control over what I am capable of doing. I’m still learning but already this is far more than I would have ever of dreamed.
I have been practising Pilates for 17 years. I developed chronic shoulder tension and pain in my early 20’s when training as a nurse. Looking for some relief I began to try out different therapies and treatment options which led me to the door of an osteopath. She told me within 10 minutes of meeting me ‘You are hypermobile, you need to go and do Pilates for the rest of your life!’. Little did I know what a life-giving sentence that was. I had never heard of Pilates before (or hypermobility for that matter) so I went home, did a google search, found a studio, and booked myself in. Initially I was very sceptical, I didn’t really feel any different and only continued going because I had bought a block of 10 sessions. Then after five or six session something clicked. As I walked home, I felt taller, more at ease, almost like I was floating on air… and that was the beginning of my love affair with Pilates.
Over the years Pilates has helped me keep my chronic pain under control, it has supported me through two pregnancies and births, house moves, career changes, running a marathon and all of life’s ups and downs. No matter what my body needs Pilates has something to offer.
Training as a teacher has deepened my understanding of and my love for Pilates. It continues to provide better pain relief than anything else I have tried but it has also given me friendships a greater sense of self and tools that I use daily to calm both my body and my mind. I suspect that osteopath was right- I will be doing Pilates for the rest of my life!
As a teacher I cannot do the work for you, yet I can be there every step of the way to guide and support you; no matter what your body needs. I love helping people find the joy in movement and always aim to make my sessions calm, fun and respectful. I can’t wait to see you in the studio (or on zoom) very soon.