purely instructors

Karen Hamer | Studio Director

Karen became passionate about Pilates when she was introduced to it as a dancer over 30 years ago when she used the method to overcome an injury. Karen trained with Stott Pilates in 2001 and now teaches mat, reformer and equipment-based classes.

Karen has a particular interest for post-rehabilitation training and has clients that have remained with her from a practitioners referral to working through to compete in a sporting event. Karen also has a client who, after being inspired by her classes, decided to change career and become a Pilates teacher herself.

Favourite film: Cinema Paradiso
Favourite Place: Home

Sarah Webster | Studio Director

Sarah’s journey with Pilates started after being in a car accident, which left her with whiplash and severe shoulder pain. She was advised to try Pilates for her rehab and soon began to realise the incredible benefits, so in 2001 commenced her training with Stott Pilates. She has since completed the whole syllabus, including injuries and special populations (such as MS, Osteoporosis, pre and post-natal).

Sarah is well respected for her patience, attention to detail and informative teaching. Her passion is rehabilitation and enjoys seeing clients leave their sessions feeling refreshed, pain free and energised.

She thrives on constantly learning with continued education not only with Stott Pilates but a well-respected Structural Integration Practitioner in Brighton and Hove, whose knowledge is second to none.

Favourite Song: Dance with My Father, Luther Vandross
Favourite Place: Koh Jum, Thailand

Gemma Wright | Studio Director

Having trained as a dancer Gemma’s love of movement led her to begin her training as a Pilates teacher with Stott Pilates in 1999. She has since completed her full mat and equipment certification with Stott to Advanced level with distinction.

Gemma regularly works with a variety of clients including post rehab, those who have special conditions such as osteoporosis, MS and arthritis as well as those training for a sport or simply wanting to get fit. She continues to attend a wide variety of courses and has studied with Jo Avison, a specialist in the new field of fascia.

Gemma is the author of Pilates on the Ball and also appeared in the Marks and Spencer Swiss Ball and Pilates books. She worked as Pilates trainer to the Brighton and Hove Albion football team for two seasons. 

Favourite Book: The Nightingale, by Kirstin Hannah
Favourite Place: Anywhere with a beach

Carla Armour

Carla is passionate about ‘precision’ in Pilates. Her approach is rooted in the Classical method, an acute awareness of one’s whole self and a persistent connection to the intention of every exercise and how it can be applied to everyday living. She is a demanding class leader whose students have spanned the ages of 8 to 98, within every level of fitness. They learn to rebalance and restore their bodies from chronic and acute conditions and injuries to optimum wellbeing.

Carla has been teaching Aerobics and fitness classes since the early 80’s and completed her comprehensive Pilates certification in 2004.

Carla has 3 children and lives in Hove with her husband. She was born in Dominica where she visits annually to hold Pilates boot camps. Carla loves to run, be creative and visit museums and galleries. Oh yes, and eat and talk a lot!

Favourite place: Dominica, my motherland
Favourite book: Too many!

Elisa Bertorelli

Elisa trained as a physical education teacher and has over twenty years teaching experience specialising in swimming and dance. Elisa qualified as a Pilates Instructor under the guidance of Helga Fisher and Stephanie Beeson at the New Pilates School in Brighton in 2004. Since qualifying, she has been teaching small group classes and individuals. Elisa went on to train as a Stott Reformer Instructor at the Stott Pilates Centre in Oxford and attends classes herself on a weekly basis.

Favourite book: The Shadow of the Winds, by Carlos Zafron
Favourite place: Italy

Helen Bower

Helen fell in love with Pilates after suffering from back pain after the birth of her twins Seb and Hettie. She has had first-hand experience at the remarkable effects of Pilates for chronic pain, improvements in posture and developing core strength. Inspired by the happiness Pilates brought to her life, Helen left her full-time career in finance to become a Stott Pilates certified instructor and teaches regular classes and one on ones in and around Brighton and Hove. Helen enjoys working with all ages and fitness levels and is passionate about helping people reach their health and fitness goals.

Favourite place: Home
Favourite song: Anyone who knows what love is, by Irma Thomas

Nicola Georgiou

Nicola began her career as a sports massage therapist, but it was working as a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Assistant where she started to teach exercise to people as part of their rehabilitation journey. This, combined with a personal rehab experience of using Pilates for a shoulder injury, led her to train as a Physiotherapy (APPI) PILATES Instructor.

Nicola loves to combine her experience as a Physiotherapy Assistant and Pilates Instructor so she can offer a true one-stop-shop to get better, stay better and ultimately become fitter! It is working with so many amazing bodies and their individuality, adaptability and versatility that really inspires her.

Favourite Song: 123 I love you, Tarus Riley
Favourite Place: Anywhere the sun shines

Jane King

Jane is a highly qualified massage practitioner and Pilates instructor with over 18 years’ experience. Her keen interest in anatomy and a desire to provide a balanced approach to her clients’ wellbeing led her to train with Body Control Pilates with further qualifications in Pilates for pregnancy, HIP (high impact) Pilates and studio equipment.

She is a friendly, professional and experienced teacher, and regularly updates her knowledge. Jane’s infectious enthusiasm for Pilates means that her classes and sessions are always rewarding.

Favourite book: To Kill a Mocking Bird, by Harper Lee
Favourite place: Nepal

Keri Lummis

From personal experience Keri has seen the strength that comes from practicing Pilates regularly. In fact, it’s why she loves teaching Pilates so much. Previously Keri suffered from what she describes as the “I seriously can’t get out of bed” bad lower back pain. …thankfully her doctors, who had put the pain down to just the wear and tear of working life, suggested to give Pilates a try.

Having seen how Pilates can change your body so effectively, Keri decided to retrain as a Pilates teacher with Body Control Pilates, and more recently with Paul Mclinden at Body Control Pilates Studio in Hove to teach the studio equipment. Keri also has BHTA fitness exercise instructor and personal trainer qualifications and is a member of REPS exercise professionals.

Favourite song: Pearl Jam, Alive
Favourite place: Saunton Sands, Devon

Elda Martello

Pilates, for Elda, is a celebration of movement that is used to achieve well-being in body, mind and spirit. What started as a hobby, became her passion, and then took over as her career. Not content with simply certifying as a Comprehensive Pilates Instructor, she is continually drawn to an ever-deeper study of anatomy and exercises. Elda enjoys working with clients of all ages, abilities and experience. Seeing their transformation reaffirms her belief in the benefits of Pilates. “This development creates a positive energy we can both use to face change and to achieve our goals”.

Favourite book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Favourite place: Bukittinggi, Indonesia

Victoria Stankunaite

Victoria moved to Brighton in 2010 and it’s become her favourite place to live. In 2012 she qualified as gym Instructor at City College in Brighton and went on to complete her Stott Pilates training in London in 2014. She is currently focusing on continuing her education in all aspects of Pilates. She has worked at Purely Pilates studio since 2015 and she also works at BSUH physiotherapy department.

Victoria’s main aim is to help her clients achieve their fitness targets, by understanding their particular needs and presenting them with safe, beneficial and achievable workout routines for wellbeing.

Favourite book: Eat Pray Love, by Elisabeth Gilbert
Favourite place: Brighton

Fiona Stewart

After a career in events management and having her children, Fiona trained as a Pilates teacher with Stott. She now has 15 years of teaching experience both in mat and reformer Pilates and Forever Active classes in the community. Fiona has a holistic but very thorough and passionate approach, making clients of all ages feel welcome, especially those with injuries or illnesses, Parkinson’s, ME, fibromyalgia.

When she’s not teaching she’s either swimming or running her catering business in Brighton and Hove, and doing her regular pop up kitchen.

Favourite place: Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Favourite song: The Look of Love, Dusty Springfield

Suzy Titford

Suzy originally trained as a dancer, graduating with a Diploma in Teaching. After instructing ballet, for many years, Suzy moved to Dubai where she was introduced to Pilates. Upon returning to the UK in 2016, inspired by her Pilates practice and all its benefits, she decided to further her career by training to become a Stott Mat-work instructor. Suzy has a very intensive hands-on approach to teaching with a desire to make a positive impact on all her clients. To continually increase and enhance her knowledge, she regularly attends courses and workshops.

Favourite song: Unfinished Sympathy, by Massive Attack
Favourite place: New York

Barbara Walman

Barbara is fully trained in Stott mat work and has been at Purely Pilates Studio since it opened in 2008. She is particularly focused on helping clients regain fitness after illness or injury and is trained in rehabilitation pilates (especially hip replacement care) and special conditions. Barbara is equally committed to ensuring clients enjoy pilates! She uses a wide range of props in her sessions, to add variety and enable modification to an individual’s need.

Favourite book: A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
Favourite place: Costa Rica