Our Pilates Instructors

Meet the Instructors that will carry you through your fitness journey.

Join one of our Pilates classes and you’ll enjoy working with a passionate instructor who knows how to get the best results for all fitness levels and abilities. We are proud to offer highly trained Pilates Instructors with varied backgrounds in physiotherapy, exercise physiology, rehabilitation, injury prevention, special populations, group exercise, yoga or dance.


Fanny Peters

Senior Pilates Instructor
(Matwork, Barre,
Suspension and Reformer)
Rehabilitation coach


2010 - Master in Biotechnology, France

2016 - Breathe Education - Certificate IV in Pilates, Melbourne, Australia

2017 - Pregnancy Pilates, Perth, Australia

2018 - Rehabilitation course, Melbourne, Australia

2022 - The Barre method Instructor course, The Method, Auckland

2022 - Suspension Instructor course, The Method, Auckland

Her story: Born in France, Fanny spent 7 years in Western Australia as a Research Scientist in Infectious Diseases before relocating to Tauranga in 2018 where she enjoys family time with her husband and 2 children.

Passion: Pottery, Pilates, French food


Claire Waretini-Thomas

Co - Manager
Pilates Instructor


2009 – Bachelor of Nursing, Auckland University.

2022 – Dynamic Reformer Instructors course, Reform, Mount Maunganui.

2022 - The Barre Method Instructors course, The Method, Auckland.

2022 - Mentoring at Encore Pilates.

Her story: Claire returned to her hometown of Mount Maunganui after qualifying as a Registered Nurse and time spent living abroad in Japan. She has danced from a young age and found a love for Pilates after returning to exercise post having her three young children. 

Passion: Dance, Pilates, family adventures


Laura Macdonald

Senior Pilates Instructor
(Reformer and Matwork)


2007 Graduated Otago University as Physiotherapist

2013 Clinical Pilates DMA Level 1 and 2, Sydney

2014 APPI Equipment Level 1, 2, 3, 4 , Sydney

2015 Clinical Pilates Practitioner Exam Qualification, Sydney

Her story: Laura worked in Wellington, before deciding to travel the world. Not quite ready to head back to NZ Laura worked for several years in Sydney. Since arriving in the beautiful Mount Maunganui Laura has returned to Australia several times for professional development.

Passion: Running, and playing with my cute little 1 year old Frankie!


Shelley McGregor

Senior Pilates Instructor
(Reformer, Barre and Matwork)
Yoga 500 Hour teacher (Hatha)
Rehabilitation coach


2008  Certificate Yoga Teacher Training 200hrs - Ashram Yoga

2008  Certificate Natal Yoga Teacher Training - Ashram Yoga

2009  Certificated Infant Massage Instructor - International Association of Infant Massage

2010  Pilates Mat Instructor - STOTT Pilates

2010  Pregnancy/Post Natal Pilates Instructor - STOTT Pilates

2014  Total Barre Instructor - STOTT Pilates

2014  Certificate, Dealing with Injuries and Special Populations – STOTT Pilates

Her story: Shelley moved to beautiful Mt Maunganui in 2018 – and hasn't looked back!  Previously, she had her own Pilates and Yoga studio in Auckland and has run various businesses with her husband.  In her spare time, her two teenage children keep her on her toes!

Passion: Spending time with family and friends, exploring the beautiful BOP and hanging out on the beach!


Ian Culpan

Senior Pilates Instructor
(Reformer, Suspension and Matwork)
Rehabilitation Coach


2012 - Studio Pilates trained: Core Foundation and Optimal mobility

2014 - TRX Suspension training Certified

2019 - Myofascial Release Therapy: Fundamentals, Advance Upper Body

2020 - Myofascial Release Therapy: Advance Lower Body

His story: Ian was born in Zimbabwe. Brought up in South Africa, he moved to New Zealand in September 2017.

Passion: Enjoy surfing, swimming, general fitness.


Rona Philpot

Pilates Instructor


2022 - Intense STOTT Reformer course
2022 - Mentoring at Encore Pilates

Her story: All around kiwi kid, excelling in both team and individual sports, maintaining a keen interest in sport and fitness throughout the years. Pilates was a natural progression to maintain a level of strength, flexibility and wellbeing for a body which has had a hammering over the years.

Passion: Seeing & experiencing new places at home and abroad
Great food and wine

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Jen Freeman

Pilates Instructor
(Reformer, Matwork)

Her story: Jen is a certified Pilates instructor and Personal Trainer that has instructed and collaborated with Dancers, Physiotherapists, Osteopaths, Massage Therapists and Chiropractors in Canada, Australia, the US and New Zealand. She has been a movement educator for almost 30 years and is passionate about inspiring others to gain a better understanding of their body's  abilities. She prioritises safe, simple, effective exercises and an environment that encourages participants to challenge their perceived limitations, to get the most out of their time in the studio and to have fun.


Cassie Whale

Pilates Instructor


2023 – Dynamic Reformer pilates instructor course

2018 – Bachelor Degree in Paramedicine (Health Science)

Her story: Born and raised in New Zealand, have volunteered and been an employee as an Ambulance Officer (with several other internal roles teaching, auditing, mentoring, healthline consults) for St John Tauranga for 15 years graduating as a Paramedic in 2018.

Passion: Pilates, helping people, fishing, skateboarding, paddleboarding, music and spending time with partner and family.


Arnel Gaviola

Senior Pilates Instructor
Reformer, Matwork, Clinical


2003 SCW fitness Education
Matwork Pilates Certification, Philippines
2004 SCW fitness Education
Pilates Small Apparatus Certification, Philippines
2008 PhysicalMind Institute
Reformer, Mat, standing pilates, special population apprenticeship, Singapore
2009 Franklyn Method
Pelvic floor, Singapore
2014 Stott Certification
Matwork, Reformer, special population, New Zealand

His story: Born and raised in Cebu, Philippines. Bachelors degree of advertising arts. 

Passions: Van life, Swimming, Pilates & double chocolate chip muffin. 


Nickee Stephenson

Pilates Instructor
(Reformer, Matwork)
Yoga Instructor


2015 - Yoga - 500YTT
2023 - Reform - Reformer training

Her story:Born in the Manawatū, Nickee moved to Mauoa in 2020. She is passionate about combining movement with breath, and helping individuals tune into the intelligence of their own bodies. 

Passion: Enjoys the outdoors - surfing, movement and she is currently hiking her way through all of New Zealand's 11 Great Walks! 

Gemma Thornton

Gemma Thornton

Pilates Instructor
Massage Therapist


2023 - Dynamic Reformer Instructors course, Reform, Mount Maunganui

2022 - Wellness and Relaxation Massage Diploma

2020 - Sport Science and Human Performance Degree

Her story: Born and raised in Cambridge, Gemma bit the bullet and moved over to Mount Maunganui just over 2 months ago. Gemma’s not only working at Encore Pilates but she’s also a Strength and Conditioning coach for gymnastics teams, works in the AWA and Falls programme at Body in Motion - she’s pretty interested in helping others! 

Passion: Pilates, dance, walks, spending time with family and friends and of course, helping others!