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Counterbalance Studio Pilates is a collective of experienced, independent teachers who organize their own schedules and clients. We all work together as a team and are committed to a high standard of instruction and ongoing professional development.

Elaine Biagi Turner, BFA, MA, founded Counterbalance Studio Pilates in 1998. She has Pilates certifications from Dianne Miller Pilates Centre of Vancouver and Stott Studio, Toronto. Elaine is a 3-D Workout™, levels I & II, teacher. She certified in ELDOA2 with Petra Beathmann of Sphinx Pilates, Toronto, ON. Elaine’s training also includes Resist-A-Ball C.O.R.E Instructor Training, FitBall’s Basic Certification and Body Therapy Small Ball Release Program, and Yamuna™ Body Rolling, levels I & II. Elaine started the East End Pilates Association (EEPA), welcoming independent Pilates and movement teachers to a once a month peer led professional development session. We learn a lot and have a great time!


Carrie Lynn Nieves first started taking Pilates as a way to stay fit and relieve stress while working in a corporate office setting. She was fascinated by its positive effects on her mind and body. She certified to teach Pilates in 2002 under Elaine Biagi Turner of Counterbalance Studio Pilates. In 2007-2008 she trained with Dianne L. Woodruff, PhD to certify in her 3-D Workout™ system, Levels I and II. She completed the MELT Method™ Hand and Foot Instructor certification in 2013. Her most recent certification is ELDOA Level 1 with Petra Baethmann of Sphinx Pilates. For professional development she has attended workshops given by Dianne Miller, Karen Carlson, Irene Dowd, Thomas Myers and Dianne Woodruff. Carrie Lynn regularly combines this spectrum of knowledge to help clients of varying fitness abilities and athletic skills achieve a body that moves well in response to life’s wide-ranging demands.


Fiona Macdonald has been teaching Pilates since 1997. Her original training and certification was with the Dianne Miller Pilates Centre of Vancouver, B.C. She achieved her internationally recognized Pilates Method Alliance™ certification in 2008. Fiona is also certified in 3-D Workout™, levels I & II, and the MELT Method™ Hand and Foot Self Treatment Technique. Most recently Fiona became a Level 1 Franklin Method™ Educator. She continues to study and develop as a teacher and enjoys working with a variety of clientele including pre and post pregnancy, scoliosis, rehabilitation as well as general fitness. Fiona also teaches from her home-based studio.

Contact: (416) 686-4171 or

Mary Ganzon Mary Ganzon, movement teacher and body worker, certified in Pilates at Dianne Miller Pilates Centre of Vancouver. She has taught Pilates in Canada, the U.S.A. and Singapore. Mary’s movement certifications also include Level I in 3-D Workout™ developed by Dianne Woodruff and ELDOA Level 1 developed by Guy Voyer. She is certified in the MELT Method™ Hand and Foot Self Treatment Technique.

Mary is also a Registered Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist and is a teaching assistant for the Body Intelligence Training Foundation. Mary enjoys working with a diverse population spanning the spectrum from fitness to rehabilitation. She informs her teaching and bodywork with her practice of Qi Gong, Body-Mind Centering, Alexander Technique, Trager Therapy, Yamuna™Body Rolling and FitBall.


Sacha Karlewicz, BFA, ARAD, Sacha Karlewicz was drawn to Pilates while studying Theatre Dance at Ryerson University. After earning her degree in Fine Arts she enrolled in the Stott Pilates Teacher Training program in 1998. The following year she continued her training at the Dianne Miller Pilates Centre of Vancouver. Most recently, in 2015, she became a certified Level 1 Franklin Method™ Educator.

In addition to her 16 years as a Pilates instructor, Sacha has been teaching Classical Ballet for the Royal Academy of Dance for 18 years. Sacha is an avid rock climber and has been a rock climbing coach for the past 3 years and loving every minute!

Sacha Karlewicz:

Please Welcome Our Associate Teachers

Harjit Naghra. Harjit Naghra is a certified Pilates teacher and Essentrics® Apprentice. Her mindful movement journey started 5 years ago as a way to recover from chronic illness. Harjit firmly believes that injuries have silver linings. They provide opportunities to deeply appreciate what your body can do while addressing imbalances at their root cause. She also believes the human body is meant to move and that it's never too late to take your first steps towards fitness! When she's not teaching, she enjoys making mobile apps and playing on the static trapeze.


Sheri Kimura. After 15+ years teaching dance and coaching rock climbing alongside a 9-to-5 desk job, Sheri decided to re-focus her career towards her passions: movement and helping people to find freedom in a healthy, strong body. Sheri completed her classical Pilates training at Inhabit Pilates & Movement and continues her teacher training at Counterbalance Studio. Sheri is also an ELDOA Level 2 certified teacher. She is thrilled to be part of the team of incredible teachers at Counterbalance Studio Pilates and hopes to offer a joyful, liberating movement experience in each class.

Contact Sheri

Pam Ferguson. A soccer injury in 1999 and subsequent knee surgery brought Pam to Pilates and she has been a devotee ever since. Pam completed her STOTT PILATES® Level II certification in 2013. Having a special interest in athletic injuries and rehabilitation, Pam completed the STOTT PILATES® Injuries and Special Populations course. Pam’s interest in the connection between body, mind and voice has led her to professional development courses in Therapeutic Pilates at Pilates Process™, the Bodhi Suspension System® with Balance Body® and to mentors Margot McKinnon, Nancy Martin, Monica Plewes and Dr. Craig Liebenson.

Originally from Saskatchewan, Pam is an actor and writer holding an MFA from the Theater School at DePaul University on Chicago. Her movement background includes the Feldenkrais Method®, clown and mask work as well as various forms of dance, yoga and physical theatre. Pam is a trained Coach U, Inc. life coach and coaches writers, artists and entrepreneurs through the creative process via Soar Personal Coaching.

Pam Ferguson:

Suzi Lebec. Suzy’s holistic approach to Pilates is gleamed from her fourteen years teaching throughout Toronto.  She enjoys seeing her clients grow stronger, often helping their post-injury recovery and aiding to improve balance and agility.

Originally from a background in theatre, and a penchant for long-distance travel cycling, Suzy projects a playful, supportive energy that encourages growth, both personally and physically.  

Her love of psychology led her to complete a three-year leadership program at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto.  This training has enriched both her teaching and appreciation of how the body stores its experiences.  Suzy creates a safe and supportive environment for those who are up for a physical challenge and a full belly laugh.

Suzi Lebec:

Justine Sipprell. Justine has 20 years experience in Yoga & Shiatsu massage. She trained in Pilates 8 years ago graduating from Michael King's Pilates Institute in London, England. Justine moved to Toronto in 2013, completed her Pilates training on the Reformer and Apparatus with Balanced Body and continues to teach all levels, from the athlete to the elderly. Justine's passion is working with pre-natal and post-natal women. She is a Doula and personal trainer and focuses her Shiatsu practice on pregnancy and labour. Two years ago, following her interest in the pelvic floor, Justine trained in the Hypopressive Method and has taught workshops in the UK and Canada. She is also an ELDOA 1 certified teacher. In her classes, Justine is passionate about sharing her knowledge in a clear and understanding way. She focuses on breathing, posture and building strength and flexibility in the body.