Jakki Tobin – Director, Physiotherapist, Pilates Instructor + Breathing Educator
I grew up in England but I was actually born in Sydney. I have always been a very keen sportsperson, playing tennis, netball, and hockey as a kid. Now as an Australian adult I still play tennis but have a love for the surf and running. I love hanging out with my family and friends, playing board games, relaxing with our animals (dog, cat, guinea, rabbit, and snake!).
I qualified as a Physio in England and worked in London before coming out to Sydney in 2002. As a young physio, I always loved neurology and the Bobath method which emphasised the importance of understanding normal movement patterns. I was fascinated with how effective and skilled this method was in working with people with neurological impairments.
On moving to Sydney there were few Bobath practitioners to learn from so I turned myself towards musculoskeletal physiotherapy and developed an interest in Pilates. I found Pilates to be very similar to the normal movement treatments I had loved. I started to focus on courses and learning in my own body different movement methods such as Pilates, Franklin, Gyrotonic, Yoga, and Martial arts. I have had many incredible teachers that have put up with me and my questions, always trying to understand how all movements break down into the basic foundations.
The more pilates and normal movement I taught, the more I noticed the differences in the way people breathed and how those who improved the most had an ease to their breathing that was very hard for others to achieve. Hence my special interest in breathing developed and I absolutely love seeing the results now as I teach normal breathing.
Recently I have started studying Connect Therapy by LJ Lee a Canadian Physiotherapist, a truly incredible Physiotherapist who I believe is starting to change our profession. I can’t wait to keep learning more.
I love meeting and listening to people, trying to understand their stories and how we can help them. Everyone is unique and has the ability to tap into their body’s potential. I learn from every client I teach.
Something from my bucket list…New York Marathon…hopefully, 2022!
Nicky Gattorna – Pilates Instructor
I am originally from the UK and have been living in Australia for nine years with my family. I have two beautiful children, who keep me super busy. I love to watch my kids follow their passions and the hard work and commitment they put in.
I had a passion for dance at a very young age and successfully secured a place at The Royal Ballet School. I left home aged ten to join The Royal Ballet boarding school in Richmond Park, London. Although it was challenging at times to be away from my family, it helped me to fulfil my dreams to become a professional ballet dancer and taught me to be independent and tenacious. After eight years of training with The Royal Ballet School, I secured a contract with the Royal Ballet Company and went on to perform thousands of shows as a soloist at The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and all around the world for over ten years.
During my professional career as a ballet dancer I suffered some minor injuries and some major ones. I soon started to realise the importance of understanding your own body and how important that was to help prevent injuries. These experiences helped me to build mental strength, as well as physical, and the tenacity to never give up.
It was a combination of these experiences that encouraged me to complete a degree in Dance and Sports Psychology whilst still dancing. I loved gaining knowledge and understanding of the power of the mind. Then when I retired from The Royal Ballet Company I completed a teaching diploma in Ballet through The Royal Academy of Dance and when I moved to Australia, I trained as a pilates instructor with the APMA.
I love to help others and now I do this through my ballet and pilates teaching at McDonald College, here at The Pilates Centre Mosman and currently with my daughter’s WPL U17 soccer team. I love to give others the knowledge to help themselves and understand how their bodies should move. The younger the better!
Through my Franklin training, I became especially passionate about the shoulder biomechanics and the pelvis. I have seen such huge benefits in my students and clients, where movement feels comfortable and muscles are not over recruited to make movement.
I love teaching because you help others to understands their bodies, as well as teaching them how their bodies should be moving, but I also love to give them support and compassion when their bodies are injured or in pain. Having experienced pain at a high level, I understand the fear that comes with pain, as well as the mental strength that is often needed to navigate through recovery.
Andreina Innocenti – Pilates Instructor
I was born and grew up in Venezuela. I danced all my life and also got a dentistry degree. I came to Sydney in 2012 for a 6-12 month holiday with my partner and after a year living here, we did not visualise ourselves anywhere else.
As a dancer, movement was always a very important part of my life and Pilates was part of my training. I did my Pilates training in Australia and not long after that I met Jakki. I completely felt a connection with her and the vibe of the studio.
Mixing all the things I love the most, science, movement, teaching and a whole holistic approach where I see each client as wonderfully unique. Definitely working with people is what inspires me to be better every day. Seeing changes in my clients and being surrounded by lovely people who love what they do.
Nazarena Anush Arabean – Pilates Instructor
I’m from Argentina. In 2014 I moved to Australia with my husband. I love Sydney and the multiculturalism that lives within it, I enjoy every stage of this city.
I graduated with a BA in Political Science, after a professional career in Dance in the National Dance School and afterwards a degree in Contemporary Dance.
My journey continued through Asia, the Middle East and Europe where I took studies in many forms of Dance, Pilates and other body techniques.
I founded my own Pilates Studio in Buenos Aires in 2007, Pilates Health Studio, and it is still open!
My certifications include Pilates Reformer for dancers, Pilates on the ball, Rehab for back injuries, pregnancy, post-pregnancy and Biomechanics. I’m an Ashtanga Yoga Instructor, and also teach Ballet preparing kids for their exams for the Royal Academy of Dance.
I became the Artistic Director of Tamzara Armenian Folk Dance Group and in my free time you will find me taking classes with Sydney Dance Company, gardening, cooking or enjoying the beach with the family, living and sharing a culture of a healthy lifestyle.
I’m a huge fan of Pilates. It is just the perfect place where I summarise all that I have learnt. My passion is helping people to feel better and prevent injuries through this technique.
Shani Morton – Director, Office Manager
I grew up in Johannesburg but lived in Cape Town for 10 years before we moved to Sydney at the beginning of 2019. I love spending time with my family and dogs, preferably outdoors but binge-watching a series or playing board games is also great. I exercise every day by either walking, hiking, doing Pilates or cycling.
I have a lifetime of experience with admin, numbers, people and organising anything that moves! I qualified as a teacher many moons ago and did a BCom Information Systems part-time while teaching. I am at my happiest serving others and making things happen. I did community work for 10 years in Cape Town and loved the fact that I could make a difference in my neighbours’ lives.
I have also always enjoyed Pilates and know the benefits are life-enhancing and in some instances, life-changing. This is why I feel blessed to be able to be involved in offering Pilates to our clients.
Mindy Byrne – Pilates Therapist
Sydney-raised in a big outdoorsy family, I was left to my own devices from around age 3!!
School was fun but careers advice inadequate. So I studied Architecture with little commitment to becoming an Architect.
From there my true passion blossomed into a real career, feeding people. At the Palisade Hotel we “invented modern Australian Cuisine.” In Adelaide I cooked up a storm at Petaluma Bridgewater Mill. Cloudy’ s Restaurant Glen Helen Gorge 150kms West of Alice Springs was my next home for 5 wonderful years.
But how does this relate to Pilates Therapy?? By now family life with a partner and daughter was less suited to mopping floors at midnight. Let’s put Architecture’s structural training together with nurturing the body and voila! A new career that has built-in fitness and is family-friendly!
A career in cooking is rough on your body, and self-care of lower back injury was learned through Pilates. My teacher (a gymnast and Physio) encouraged me to train at UTS as a Pilates Instructor. The rest is history. She also gave me my first job!
18 years into this, I still love my work and add new skills and perspectives regularly. Working with Jakki now for 12 years, we have a great dialogue and exchange of ideas to enrich the care we offer clients.
I am very grateful for my job, love my clients, and get rich rewards on a regular basis.
Felicity McGee – Pilates Instructor
I grew up in Sydney dancing, playing sport, and surrounded by musical instruments. After qualifying being accepted into Birmingham Royal Ballet School, I spent five years in Europe training and performing professionally. Now, I love spending time with my family and friends either outside, or inside binging on a Netflix show.
Throughout my ballet training, I was plagued with ongoing chronic ankle injuries resulting in eight surgeries. Whilst I was injured I followed an intense Pilates program to focus on my physique, and technique, which ultimately helped me land a job as an apprentice ballerina for a company in Italy.
I wanted to understand more about the body and how it functioned, so I completed my full Diploma in Contemporary Pilates Teaching Methodology.
Working closely with Jakki, I was able to learn how to breathe properly and how to delve deep into the postural principles that govern how our bodies CAN and SHOULD move.
Now, as I apply these principles back into my dancing, I am seeing myself improve and able to perform movements easily that either used to cause me a large amount of pain or effort.
I find that each day I push myself harder as an instructor, it improves my dancing, and each day I push myself as a dancer, it feeds back into my instructing. I love seeing that expression people get when they finally “get it”. It’s so exciting. I love that they get to feel what I feel.
Nicole Trapl – Pilates Instructor
The Pilates Method was first introduced to me during my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Contemporary Dance at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. I recognised the value of the Method and how it was complimenting my Dance training. My technical abilities improved as I learnt to apply Pilates to how I executed movement in class, enhancing my dance capabilities overall by becoming more stable, flexible and stronger in my body.
A turning point for me, that provided enormous professional growth came to me when I was offered a mentoring opportunity, working within a Physio Pilates studio in Perth. This experience expanded my skills in rehabilitation and accelerated my understanding of human movement biomechanics and anatomical knowledge. It also sparked my interest in problem solving techniques and diagnostic applications to movement function.
Today, I see myself as being a unique instructor who draws from all the movement modalities that I have studied. I am a qualified teacher of Contemporary Dance, the Pilates Method and the Gyrotonic Expansion System, qualifications that were gained both here and in Europe. My approach to teaching relies on the science of the myofascial Anatomy Trains and Structural Integration work of Tom Myers while honouring my own creative and intuitive flair.
“The Pilates Centre Mosman has been an important addition to my life. Having undergone spinal surgery, a shattered and repaired right ankle and a left knee replacement, I was rather unstable and wonky on all fronts! The professional staff, who have backgrounds in physiotherapy and dance, have guided me to build up stability and strength, with increased flexibility and balance. I move and navigate through a busy life with more confidence and awareness of my body alignment and breath. The smallest adjustments make for surprisingly large results and the small class size means that individual attention is always present. To begin with, the journey back from three major operations in two years, along with many years in which exercise was a very low priority, was daunting. I feel safe and well cared for and look forward to more strength and flexibility in the future as I approach my seventh decade in a few years’ time.” ~ Dawn