With over 25 years in the Pilates industry presenting, instructor training and writing, Helen’s true passion is teaching. She is most fulfilled when she is face to face with her clients.
Benjamin Palumbo – Senior Pilates Instructor & Personal Trainer
Ben’s background as a competitive gymnast and professional acrobat gives him a very focused approach to his 8 years experience in Pilates tuition. His progression into fitness and Pilates coincided with rehabilitating a chronic back injury as well as other various injuries, caused by the demands of his acrobatic career. Consequently, now he has a very thorough understanding of addressing specific conditions of his clients. His calm and polite nature is always focused on the clients needs and prides himself on providing a warm and welcoming environment in which his clients can achieve their goals.
From 2008–2011 Ben lived and worked in Lausanne Switzerland where he learnt to speak French, teaching in both French and English in Lausanne and Geneva.
Ben teaches Private, Semi-Private, Group Reformer and Mat classes and Circuit classes at Emergy Pilates, and is one of our Senior Instructors.
Alex Aun – Pilates Instructor
Member of Brazilian Anatomy Society
Postgraduate in Sports Injury 2008-2010
Sports lover and Jiu Jitsu competitor
- 2008 Certified Pilates Instructor – Metacorpus Pilates (São Paulo)
- 2009 Certified Functional Trainer – Core 360° (São Paulo)
- 2010 Pilates Small apparatus
- 2011 Participant of the last International Conference of Physiotherapy, WCPT – (Amsterdam)
- 2012 Mastery Certification in Manual Therapy (USA)
- 2013 Senior First aid (Sydney)
- 2013 Certificate 3 in Fitness (Sydney)
- 2014 Pilates Moves Circuit Certification (Sydney)
Lucy Beaumont – Pilates Instructor
Lucy started practicing Pilates over eight years ago and became a quick convert. She loved the way the classes were dynamic and fun and helped to correct real life problems – like bad posture from sitting at a desk for too long! Through this love Lucy went on to train in mat and reformer Pilates through the Elixr School of Pilates. Lucy endeavours to make her classes informative, challenging and fun!
Lucy is also a qualified nutritionist having studied Bachelor of Health Science in Nutritional Medicine and loves the balance of teaching pilates and seeing nutritional clients.
Kajal Dave – Pilates Instructor
Born and raised in Japan, Kajal took up sports from an early age – tennis, golf, swimming, and volleyball – and she continued on to play varsity volleyball in school. Moving to Sydney in 1998, she was introduced to pilates and the Pilates Moves studio by her sister in 2001.
Kajal quickly discovered how regular practice of pilates improved her mobility and strength for sports and helped manage the mild scoliosis of her spine.
Kajal currently works full-time as an associate financial adviser for a financial planning firm and runs a jewellery & fashion business brand with her mother and sister. She is equally passionate about teaching Pilates and helping clients connect with their bodies and improve their quality of life.
- Bachelor of Commerce, University of NSW, 2000
- Diploma of Financial Planning, Deakin University, 2004
- Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning, Financial Services Institute of Australasia, 2007
- Certificate III in Fitness, Fitness Institute Australia, 2010
- Anatomy & Physiology Units 1A/1B/1C, Nature Care College, 2011-12
- Senior First Aid Certificate 2013
- Certificate IV in Pilates Matwork, Polestar Pilates Australia, 2013
- Diploma of Contemporary Pilates and Teaching, 2015
Shirley Jackson – Pilates Instructor
Shirley has always been passionate about dance and the performing arts. She trained in classical ballet and Greek dancing (Isadora Duncan style) and had the distinction of being the only student to win a four year Checchitti Ballet Scholarship. Later she was awarded a scholarship to The Arts Educational School in Hyde Park, London.
Her passion for dance and movement extended over the years into Jane Fonda aerobics, low and high impact and step. Shirley ran her own studio for a while and taught at other local gyms. She also taught at the local amateur dramatic society — often choreographing, directing and participating in musicals, cabarets and theatrical events.
On moving to Australia, Shirley found Pilates and in this wonderful discipline, she discovered a natural extension from her classical ballet and Greek dance education. She loves the technical foundation of Pilates, the ability to condition, train and move the body, using props or the Reformer. Shirley gained her Pilates accreditation in Mat and Reformer in 2011 teaching at Elixr’s Bondi Junction and City Clubs.
Shirley is excited about sharing her passion, her knowledge and experience with others. She encourages everyone to give Pilates a go! She understands and places a great deal of importance on exercising safely, whilst extending your horizons as your strength and ability grows.
Samara Kennedy – Xtend Barre Instructor
Born in Canberra, from the moment she could walk Samara began dancing for anyone who would watch her. After moving to Sydney she began to take classes with Laura Harrison and Jenine Wright at Westside Performing Arts. Since then she has performed in many corporate events, national advertising campaigns, music videos, Television commercials, dramas and most recently The Great Gatsby. Samara is currently dancing on board the Sydney Showboats and continues to dance in Shay Stafford’s Memoirs of a Showgirl. After finding Xtend Barre and realizing it not only strengthens your body but also sculpts it, she chose to study Pilates and Xtend Barre to become a qualified teacher. Xtend brings all of her passion for dance, Pilates, music and fitness together and combines them in a very fun and addictive workout.
Elaine O’Doherty – Xtend Barre Instructor
Elaine began dancing aged 3 in her hometown of Portsmouth in the UK, studying most forms of dance including ballet, tap, modern, jazz and competitive disco and rock n roll. Having appeared in numerous stage and TV productions both in the UK and Europe, Elaine hung up her dancing shoes in 1999 to travel the world with her husband. Having settled in Sydney Elaine soon discovered and fell in love with the Xtend Barre Workout. Gaining her Pilates certification in 2012 and becoming a certified Xtend Barre instructor soon after. Elaine wants to share her passion and enthusiasm for this incredible workout and endeavours to make each and every class challenging and fun. See you at the Barre!
Tali Phillips – Pilates Instructor
Tali first began practicing Pilates as a form of exercise over 6 years ago while working full-time in the corporate world. It was through this that she discovered the joys of this type of movement, walking out of every class feeling taller and more balanced along with noticing an increase in strength around her joints and overall flexibility. A true passion for Pilates was born and she is now STOTT certified in both Matwork and Reformer and trained on the full range of studio equipment.
Her 1:1 and small group Pilates teaching is characterised by attention to detail, variety and customisation of each workout. When you attend Tali’s group Reformer classes, you’ll enjoy her lightness, her humour and her ability to make working hard so much fun.
While always a stickler for technique, Tali aims to have her clients enjoy their Pilates session while achieving their goals and getting the workout they want.
Jess Richards – AntiGravity Instructor
Working in fitness-related industries since graduating high school, Jess has worked and enjoyed many alternate avenues of exercise including rock climbing, aerial silks, trapeze and mind-body techniques – AntiGravity being one of them! She has taught in Thailand, Dominican Republic and Australia as a level 5 certified AntiGravity instructor. To further enrich her teaching, she has become a Purna Yoga instructor, Stott Pilates Mat instructor, Total Barre instructor and Acro Yoga ambassador. She also enjoys her work as an outdoor instructor. Her true passion is helping clients decompress their spines, achieving pain free posture and strength while challenging them to flip, fly and occasionally hang upside down.
Courtney Semmler – Xtend Barre Instructor
Courtney has over 20 years’ experience in dancing and performing at both a state and national level. The world of entertainment was in Courtney’s blood from 4 years old when she started ballet, then gymnastics, jazz, funk and hip hop dancing. But Calisthenics was a big part of her life and personal development and set her up for performances with The Adelaide Fringe Festival, Clipsal 500, Adelaide 36ers and SANFL cheerleading.
Injury rehabilitation introduced Courtney to Pilates and she found the benefits were endless. And it was a friend who recommend Courtney try Xtend Barre and she fell in love after her first class! ‘It’s a full body work out that strengthens and tones, and it’s FUN! I have my dancing body back!’
It has been a great way to continue with her passion for Dance and Pilates and she looks forward to sharing her passion for Xtend Barre with Sydney!
Emma Jory – Founder
Emma’s love of Pilates was ignited more than 14 years ago when she tried her first session. She realised then that she had been practising the essence of Pilates since she began dancing at age five. Emergy Pilates Lounge came to life in 2008, from her desire to create a warm and inviting space, where people could enjoy and share her passion.
Emma is STOTT PILATES Internationally Certified, a registered Fitness Instructor with FIA, NLP & Reiki Practitioner, the first instructor to teach Xtend Barre workout in Australia, and an Xtend Barre Instructor Trainer. Emergy Pilates Lounge was proud to have debuted Xtend Barre in Australia.