Instructor Trainers

Leslie Braverman

Owner, Pacific NW Pilates | Lead Instructor Trainer, STOTT PILATES®

Leslie Small

Leslie was a professional dancer for 15 years. She performed with the Cleveland San Jose Ballet, The Richmond Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre and Portland’s BODYVOX. Her early passion for dance began at North Carolina School of the Arts where she was awarded the 1988 Peabody Scholarship Award for Excellence. Leslie was a Level One ARTS recipient (sponsored by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts) in 1989 and was a semi-finalist—and one of five sponsored Americans—to compete in the 1988 Prix de Lausanne International Dance Competition in Switzerland.

She was introduced to Pilates while studying at The School of American Ballet in New York. Years later an injury and a gifted surgeon led her to STOTT PILATES—a contemporary approach to the original method. She credits STOTT PILATES with restoring her movement and prolonging her career.

Leslie became a STOTT PILATES instructor in 1997 and an instructor trainer in 2000. She was designated as a STOTT PILATES Lead Instructor Trainer due to exceptional commitment and leadership in 2012, qualifying her to teach curriculum to other instructor trainers internationally. Leslie’s Pilates teaching is enlightened by a life-long passion of dance. Her performing career and education blend the art and athleticism of movement with the science of exercise.

Leslie has presented courses and workshops for STOTT PILATES in the U.S., Canada, Spain, Japan and Turkey. Back home in Portland, Leslie loves to train dancers, athletes, fitness clients and aspiring instructors each week. She is collaborator and founder of Pacific NW Pilates with Melanie Byford-Young since its launch in 2001 and leads in managing and marketing the studio.

Melanie Byford-Young, BHSc. PT.,

Owner, Pacific NW Pilates | Master Instructor Trainer of Rehabilitation, STOTT PILATES®

Melanie small

Melanie Byford-Young has been pioneering the use of STOTT PILATES to assist with physical rehabilitation and therapeutic conditioning for more than eight years. In 2007, she was instrumental in the redevelopment of the rehab program for STOTT PILATES—including the development of a new instructor curriculum, training materials and DVDs, which she appears in.

Melanie was originally a licensed physical therapist, graduating from McMaster University in Ontario with a Bachelor of Health Science in Physiotherapy in 1991. She also earned the Canadian Physiotherapy Association’s Certificate in manual and manipulative physiotherapy and has taken specialized orthopedic courses on the shoulder, cervical spine, foot mechanics and running mechanics.

In 2001, Melanie started teaching STOTT PILATES courses and workshops.  Melanie has committed her career to teaching therapeutic applications of Pilates, and helping clients with injuries and rehabilitation issues. While she is not currently practicing nor licensed as as a physical therapist, she brings together her years in the field to help clinicians with integrating Pilates into their practices and teach Pilates instructors how to work with injured clients.

Melanie’s ground-breaking approach has put her in high demand with medical professionals, and with pilates and other fitness instructors. She has taught courses and workshops throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe for STOTT PILATES and has made guest appearances at conferences such as IDEA World Fitness and Body Mind Spirit.

 Jean Leavenworth

Instructor, Pacific NW Pilates  | Instructor Trainer, STOTT PILATES®

Jean Small

One of the original founders of Pacific NW Pilates, Jean now teaches clients at the studio and works as an

Instructor Trainer for STOTT PILATES certification courses and workshops. Jean also helps to supervise the Train to Teach program at Pacific NW Pilates Education which she helped to develop.

Formerly a modern dancer who trained with artists such as Hanya Holm, Erick Hawkins and Tandy Beal, Jean helped create the degree program in dance at Pomona College as an undergraduate. She received an M.S. in Dance and Kinesiology from Indiana University in 1988, and went on to pursue a PhD in Dance Education from New York

University. Jean has also studied extensively with Australian physiotherapist, Greta Von Gavel, and has received training in Laban Movement Analysis, Alexander Technique and Body-Mind Centering Technique.

Jean was first introduced to pilates in 1992, while in New York,  and fell in love with the way it made her body feel. Jean became a STOTT PILATES certified instructor in 1998, and an Instructor Trainer in 2000. Jean has taught in physical therapy clinics, health clubs and private studios throughout Portland and has taught overseas for STOTT PILATES in South Korea, Cyprus, Ireland, Iceland, Taiwan, Japan, India and Kuwait.

Ishbel Miller 

Instructor, Pacific NW Pilates  | Instructor Trainer, STOTT PILATES®

Ishbel Small

Ishbel Miller started practicing yoga with her mom when she was five and has practiced and studied yoga ever since. She was taught yoga in high school. After a serious back injury, Miller began studying Pilates as a means of stabilizing her spine. Finding abundance of information to process with a single Pilates exercise, Miller fell in love with the way Pilates transformed her body. She has now been teaching yoga and Pilates for 10 years. Miller is the owner of Nomad Yoga & Pilates, LLC, a business that brings yoga and Pilates classes to people in their homes and offices. She is also a co-founder of pil-oga-robic, which combines Pilates, yoga and cardio in to a dynamic workout. Miller trained with Powerhouse Pilates, STOTT PILATES, Yogafit, the White Lotus Foundation, and Amrita. She has also studied different forms of yoga, including Yin, restorative, Vinyasa, Kundalini, Iyengar, and Anusara. Miller has worked extensively with individuals recovering from injuries, and she loves watching the progression from instability and pain to stability and ease-of-movement.

Katherine Brown

Instructor, Pacific NW Pilates  | Instructor Trainer, STOTT PILATES® and ZEN•GA™

Katherine Small

Katherine has more than 10 years experience teaching group classes and private clients of all backgrounds and abilities.Brown pursued her Pilates education at Pacific Northwest Pilates, Central YMCA Pilates Academy in London, England, and STOTT PILATES headquarters in Toronto, Canada. She holds certifications in Total Barre™ and ZEN•GA (Mat and Equipment), and a “Specialist” certification in Pilates for Athletic Conditioning.Brown believes Pilates is more than just exercise. It’s a way to improve how our bodies function in a lasting way, which can free us from pain and injury. She emphasizes correct biomechanics and heightened body awareness to help her clients create healthy patterns of moving and living.

Erica Loder, PT, ATC, CSCS

Instructor, Pacific NW Pilates  | Instructor Trainer of Rehabilitation, STOTT PILATES®

Erica Small

Erica Loder moved to Portland in 2004 where she began her career as an out-patient orthopedic and sports physical therapist. As a physical therapist, Loder works with patients of all ages, from adolescents to seniors, and athletes ranging from recreational to professional/elite levels.

Loder turned to STOTT PILATES following a spinal surgery and has since made it an integral component of her physical therapy practice. Working with clients as a physical therapist/rehab STOTT PILATES instructor, Erica is able to teach the therapeutic application of Pilates, building on what a physical therapy program can provide by focusing on creating an ease of movement and returning clients to function with more effective and efficient movement.

In 2014, she completed her training as a Rehab Instructor Trainer for Merrithew Health & Fitness for mat and reformer, specializing in Rehab STOTT PILATES, and shares teaching responsibilities for Rehab Mat and Reformer at PNWP with Melanie Byford-Young through Pacific NW Pilates.

Loder earned a BS in Exercise Physiology from Montana State University in 2002. While at MSU, she was a member of the women’s golf team, a student athletic trainer for the MSU football team, an AFAA certified aerobics and personal fitness instructor, and was trained in Olympic weightlifting. She became a Certified Athletic Trainer in 2002 and earned her Master’s in Physical Therapy from the Mayo School of Health Sciences in 2004. Loder continued to acquire Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in 2006 and a fully certified STOTT PILATES rehab instructor in 2012.

Loder is a distance runner, competing in 5k to marathon distances, a triathlete competing in sprint to ironman distances, and is currently a competitive cyclist competing in both road and cyclocross races.

 Holly Shaw

Instructor, Pacific NW Pilates  | Instructor Trainer, STOTT PILATES® and Total Barre™

Holly SmallHolly Shaw completed her full certification with STOTT PILATES in 2014 and went on to become an Instructor Trainer specializing in STOTT PILATES Mat and Reformer and Total Barre. She teaches private sessions and group classes at Pacific NW Pilates and dances professionally with Éowyn Emerald & Dancers and skinner/kirk DANCE ENSEMBLE in Portland, Oregon. Holly has performed internationally in Japan, South Korea, Germany, and India and consistently uses Pilates as a form of cross training for her dance career. Along with her pre-physical therapy studies, Holly graduated from the University of Utah with a BFA in Ballet with emphases in performance and teaching. Holly specializes in training athletes and dancers, and also enjoys guiding older adults and special needs clients to using effective and efficient movement in all areas of life.