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Meet the team

Michelle - Director at The Pilates PodMichelle Smith - Owner and Pilates Teacher

Michelle has practiced and taught Pilates for over 15 years. She had a car accident in her college days which left her in pain and trauma in her spine and relied on physio help, TENS machine and painkillers to "fix" her every few days until she found Pilates in Australia.
With 3 sessions a week on the apparatus, all the pain disappeared. She returned home to the UK and changed her media career into a lifetime of dedication to the Pilates method and training to be able to pass on to others what amazing benefits this method gave her over the years for back pain, injury recover, during pregnancies, postnatal recovery and just general overall health and wellbeing.

She orginally qualified in contemporary Pilates Matwork, went on to do modules of apparatus with Stott Pilates but later found the work of Classical Pilates and certified in one of the highest and most dedicated training programmes around the world, a fully comprehensive Classical teacher apprenticeship and has become one of the only Classical teachers and studios in Herts, Beds and Bucks offering the authentic method of Joe Pilates. Michelle is also trained as a Freestyle yoga teacher, a Womens Health Exercise Specialist with Carolyn Anthony to help ladies with Pre and Post natal issues, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, C-section healing and Diastasis Recti recovery.

She is a mentor to other teachers of all backgrounds, and in 2018 will be hosting a Pi Studios/Pilates Pod training programme for full Pilates Classical Certification.

Michelle feels truly honoured to have a career in her passion for decades, and is committed to passing on the universal and truly amazing benefits of Pilates to all she works with from Premiership footballers, world circuit golfers, TV and stage stars, clients with Parkinsons, spastic paraplegia, strokes, spinal disc issues, those during surgical and joint rehabilation, eldery clients, young teens and those in their pregnancies and after.

Michelle loves the seaside, making her own juices and smoothies, flip flops, movie night with her two little ones, good brows, zumba and a strong coffee.

Clair Starkey - Pilates Teacher (photo to follow)

Clair has grown from dedicated client attending classes with us over years, to dedicated instructor after her passion turned into her dream. Since qualifiying in Matwork with Stott Pilates, she joined Michelle in a unique traineeship to develop her skills as a teacher and has flown ever since. Her dedication and passion for the Classical method sees Clair training every week herself, and continues to learn under Mchelle's guidamce in the full Classical method.

Clair is also trained as Freestyle Fitness yoga teacher, a Womens Health Exercise Specialist with Carolyn Anthony to help ladies with Pre and Post natal issues, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, C-section healing and Diastasis Recti recovery.

Clair loves cycling, surfing in Wales with her daughters, her green juice and triple espresso morning combo.

Rufina Hardy- Administrator and Pilates Teacher (photo to follow)

Originally only here for maternity leave cover for Bronwyn, we loved Rufina so much we kept her on as administrator and she later trained to be a Classical Matwork Pilates Teacher from Pi Studios.

Rufina has practiced Pilates herself in a dedicated studio environment in Russia and has worked for many years in a fitness company. She feels she now has her "perfect job" working with us! Now on maternity leave herself, Rufina is due back late 2018.

Rufina loves her new baby mummy cuddles, cooking, fashion and confusing the team channging Google into her native Russian language!





Ed Smith - Director, the Pilates PodEd Smith - Owner

Although Ed is rarely at the Pod in person, he's all over the brand all the time. It was Ed's suggestion that Michelle 'take on a few personal training clients' after their son was born in 2010, that resulted in the formation of The Pilates Pod. Since then everything you see from the logo to the brochure, website and a lot of the digital content is generated by the quiet director. Alongside Pod duties Ed is currently the Marketing and Communications manager at Luton Town Football Club, and prior to that he headed up the Brand and Digital department at Teenage Cancer Trust.

Ed loves cheese, cooking,, the odd glass of beer, writing his own music and playing the guitar.

Ellen - Studio Co-ordinator and Pilates Teacher

Our Studio Co-ordinator, Ellen has been with us since the beginning. From a newly qualifed Mat and Reformer Stott Pilates teacher, she joined the Pod squad and never looked back!

If you're into dance or musical theatre, Ellen's your girl, she's trained in both and can teach couples how to dance on their wedding day, help dancers improve their flexibility & stability and can teach a group how to perform the routines from your favourite musical theatre shows.

Her Pilates journey has gone from strength to strength at the Pod. She trained to be a level 4 back care specialist, Womens Health Exercise Specialist with Carolyn Anthony to help ladies with Pre and Post natal issues, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, C-section healing and Diastasis Recti recovery.

Ellen has gone on to start her Classical journey and has qualified with her Classical Matwork to advance level, whilst under Michelle's guidance, she continues her learning every week in the full Classical method.

Ellen loves the theatre, ballet, walking her dog in the country, and a slice of cake with a nice cuppa!


Kelly Cooper- Administrator

Our newest member of the team, Kelly is our maternity leave cover for Orli and Rufina on the admin team.

After putting work on hold while she raised her family, Kelly is now enjoying the feeling of a local small company where she can feel herself and put her brain into gear and keep herself busy with a great team.

Kelly loves helping Pirton with its local and charitable events, a cappuccino, the sunshine, and a glass of red on weekends.

Stacey Smith- Pilates Teacher (photo and biog to follow)

Andrea Gregory- Pilates Teacher (photo and biog to follow)

Amanda Ling - Pilates Teacher (photo and biog to follow)