Paula Merritt

Pilates and Gyrotonic Instructor

Paula was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She was raised in an environment rich in Brazilian festivities and grew up dancing, sparking a passion that initiated her first steps in the world of dance, which developed into her professional career. In 1999, Paula began her studies in Contemporary Dance at the Angel Vianna School in Rio. In 2002, she began her coursework in Motor Recuperation through Movement and Dance Therapy. That same year, she was promoted to assistant coordinator in Contemporary Dance and began to study Pilates at Espaco Pilates. In 2003, she began teaching the method as a certified instructor.

In 2004, Paula decided to deepen her knowledge in the human body and began her professional certification coursework in Godelieve Denys-Struyf, a French technique commonly known as GDS at Ivaldo Bertazzo School in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In 2007, she moved to Chicago and soon after, obtained her certifications in Pre and Post Natal and Spinal Conditions. In 2008, Paula completed training in Assessing a Body on the Reformer. In 2009, she was certified as a GYROTONIC®® method instructor. Since then, she has expanded her knowledge in specialized training including pelvic and shoulder girdle, psoas principles and fascial body. Paula also incorporates specialized equipment into her practice such as leg extension units, archway and jumping-stretching board. In 2015, she completed Level 1, Level 2 and educator training for the Arcus through McEntire School International.