Master Teacher Swissbody® Pilates, Founder member BCP UK in SA
JENNIFER PAYNTER received her early professional dance training at the Elmhurst Ballet School in the UK. She subsequently performed in theatre and on television, and taught ballet within all levels of the RAD syllabi, firstly in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), then Johannesburg, and subsequently, over a period of 27 years, at her own studio in Cape Town. In 1965 Jennifer became an Associate of the Royal Academy of Dancing, and in due course a Life Member. In 1973, she was appointed to the RAD International Board of Examiners, and remained on the Board for 28 years. She conducted examinations worldwide, including many centres throughout Central and Southern Africa. Also during that period, she attained her RAD Advanced Teacher’s Certificate (Honours), followed by her RAD Advanced Teacher’s Diploma with Distinction (ARAD Tdip) in 1993.
From her earliest years as a teacher, Jennifer has concerned herself deeply with body conditioning to eliminate faulty patterns of movement and the prevention of injury — especially among dancers. But, as it was soon becoming obvious that the demands of dance were being ever more stringent, so the need for greater anatomical perfection was becoming crucial. So from 1969–1972 Jennifer studied Anatomy in Relation to Dance under the tutelage of Professor R P Trevor-Jones, Professor of Anatomy, Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg, and later under the technical guidance of Messrs R Goldschmit and D Pollock (both orthopaedic surgeons) in Cape Town. During 1973 she conducted Body Conditioning instruction to members of CAPAB Ballet Company, Cape Town, and from 1988 to 1991 was Lecturer in Anatomy in Relation to Classical Dance at the University of Cape Town, Ballet School.
In 1996 Jennifer turned to Pilates to augment her skills in relation to the rehabilitation and prevention of sport and dance-related injuries. In 1999, soon after qualifying for her Body Control Pilates Teacher’s Certificate (UK), she relocated to Geneva to teach at the then newly-created Swissbody® Pilates Centre. During her eight year tenure there, Jennifer became a Master Teacher of the Swissbody® method, and was closely involved in the tuition of Swissbody® Pilates teachers with special attention to the study of functional anatomy. Jennifer’s specialised ‘Foot and Knee’ classes were to become so successful that they ultimately developed into a Swissbody® International Workshop for physiotherapists and sport and dance trainers, the first of which was held during June 2007 in Geneva where it has now become an annual event.
In March 2007 Jennifer returned to Cape Town to establish a studio under the Swissbody® Pilates banner situated within the Cape Academy of Performing Arts, (CAPA) Westlake complex, where she enjoys an excellent relationship through teaching within the faculties of Dance Conditioning, Classical Ballet and Functional Anatomy. She, however, remains firmly committed to her Swissbody® roots as she continues to be involved with the Swissbody® Academy and the Pilates training of young dancers…as well as offering specially-formulated classes to people from many other walks of life.
Giorgia Giorgia Profumo was born in Genova – Italy. She started her contemporary dance training in Italy and then she moved to London (UK) to carry on her studies at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance where she completed her BA in Contemporary Dance and then at the University of Sunderland at Dance City to end her studies with a Master’s in Advanced Dance Performance.
She discovered Pilates in 2017 during her dance training and completed her basic studies to become a Pilates teacher in 2021. She then continued to teach Pilates in London before deciding to move to Geneva in August 2022.
Giorgia started her Pilates studies in London with STOTT PILATES ® and she is currently completing her Level 5 certification at Swissbody® Pilates Academy.
She would like to share all the benefits and experience she gained with her practice.
Giorgia speaks Italian, English and a little bit of French.
Chi, said like Chai tea, is full of energy and enthusiasm for life! Chi graduated with a BA Honours degree in psychology, drama, and education. While studying at Rhodes University in South Africa, she further qualified as a BASI (Body Arts and Science International) Pilates and Gyrokinesis Instructor. Her continued love to further her education has provided her experience in teaching and learning in Dubai, the USA, Italy, France, Spain, South Africa and now Switzerland. Her passion for movement is applied to all her different clientele’s needs. She has chosen to redo her BASI Comprehensive Pilates course numerous times, doing the Mentor Program with both Rael Isscowitz and Theo van der Riet, and participating in “Learn for the Leaders” in America and South Africa. An additional privilege has been learning from Joseph Pilate’s second-generation lecturers: Karen Clippinger and Brett Howard. Chi also has multiple certifications among top international Pilates lectures. She believes she will forever be a student in her element, soaking up all that there is to learn.
She has represented South Africa twice for Ironman 70.3 World Championship and has since turned her passion to the trails where she has podiumed in The Africa Otter Trail Challenge, Expedition Africa 120 Drakensberg Adventure Race, War Trail and more recently Burra500. Her mental grit and physical talents have allowed her to endure multi-sports throughout Southern Africa for up to 4 days of non-stop racing, 26 consecutive hours of cycling, cross-country riding from Johannesburg to Cape Town and the 9 Peaks Challenge which includes 155km of trekking. Chi’s passion for cycling and adventure has provided her with the opportunity to become a leading brand ambassador for LIV bicycles, which promotes and supports cycling for women at all levels. As an enthusiastic and competitive athlete, she further educated herself through Ironman University to do Online Sports Coaching.
Chi’s interests go beyond the physical aspects of how the body moves. In 2020 and 2021 she advanced her studies by becoming a Life Coach through the UK International Career Institute. She completed the widely acclaimed diploma in Counseling and Psychology. Chi runs her own business called EnerchiFitness where she offers in-studio and online Pilates, Sports Coaching and Life Coaching. In her free time, when she is not studying, teaching, or racing you can find her blog writing.
Chi’s appreciation of the inter-relationship between the body and mind allows her to incorporate the ideal exercises to enhance your physical capabilities.
Chi speaks fluent English
Born in Gruyère in 1966, Véronique first practiced artistic gymnastics at a high level before turning to dance. Feeling the need to express herself through movement and music she later she began to teach dance for couples for more than 10 years.
In 2006, she met Susan Pepper Arena and discovered the strength and benefits of the Pilates method. Immediately conquered by this method and by the approach of the Swissbody Academy, she began the full teacher training course at the Swissbody Pilates Academy. Once certified, she worked for Swissbody in Geneva and Lausanne for 4 years. In 2016, she was certified as a “2nd generation Pilates teacher” by Lolita San Miguel on completion of the PMMP training (Pilates Master Mentor Program). The same year, she opened her own studio in Lausanne. For several years, she has regularly trained the dancers and actors of the Cie Philippe Saire in Lausanne.
In February 2022, Véronique is happy to join Swissbody Geneva again in order to continue to teach and motivate people with attention to their needs. Intuitive, persevering, and joyful, she lives her life trough movement and wishes to transmit her energy through her teaching.
Véronique speaks French and English.
Sabine, who has three children, was born in Germany and has been living in Switzerland since 1997. She holds a degree in economy and tourism from the university of Heilbronn, Germany and has worked several years in a variety of marketing jobs. Her passion for physical activity motivated her to become a sports instructor and, since 2006, she is a certified trainer for “Gymnastique Seniors Geneve”. She has also completed a certification from “l’Office Fédéral du Sport Suisse” and has worked several years for the “Fédération Suisse de Gymnastique”. Certified at the Swissbody® Pilates Academy, she has been teaching Pilates at the Swissbody® centres since 2014. To complete and extend her knowledge and skills, she regularly participates in further education and workshops at the Swissbody® Pilates Academy, Geneva and at Polestar Pilates, Basel. For Sabine, Pilates is the best step to a healthy long life (Joseph Pilates exercised well into his 80s) as it can be easily adapted to a wide variety of individual needs, ages and personal health and fitness. Sabine speaks fluent French, German, English and Spanish.
Yukari Kami was born in 1975 in Hiroshima Japan. Yukari started her classical dance training in Japan then she studied at the “Ecole Atelier Rudra Béjart”, Lausanne from 1994 to 1996. After dancing in “Jeune Ballet de France” in Paris for a year, Yukari joined “Le Ballet du Grand Thèâtre de Genève” in 1997.
She finished her career as a professional dancer at the “Grand Théâtre de Genève” in 2010.
She discovered Pilates in 1999 at Swissbody® after a dance injury and after completing her full certification at the Swissbody® Pilates Academy; she began to teach at the Swissbody® centres.She would like to share all the benefits that she has received from the Swissbody® Pilates method.
Yukari speaks Japanese, French and English.
Director Swissbody Group Sàrl
Markus was born in 1960 in Switzerland. He completed his studies as a primary school teacher and obtained his diploma in 1980. He studied dance in Bern and then at the Martha Graham School in New York. He worked with Annemarie Parekh in Bern, at the Staatstheater Oldenburg in Germany and with the Ballet du Grand-Théâtre in Geneva from 1985 until 1992, under the direction of Oscar Araiz and then Gradimir Pankov. From 1992, he worked and danced regularly in productions by the Vertical Danse-Compagnie Noemi Lapzeson. He also taught modern dance.
Founder member of the Mafé-Siegenthaler-Keane group in 1993 and the Compagnie L’AM in 1999, he continued to work with various artists in Switzerland and abroad until 2002. He completed the Pilates instructor training course at the Swissbody Centre in Geneva in 2003 and has been teaching this method in the Swissbody Centres in Geneva and Lausanne since January 2004. He obtained his Master Pilates Instructor qualification from the Swissbody Pilates Academy in September 2008 and began teaching for the Academy.
He regularly takes part in workshops and advanced training courses with Susan Pepper, Jennifer Paynter, Rebecca Leone, Pat Guyton, Brent Anderson, Bertrand Raison and Eric Franklin. In 2014 he obtained his diploma as a level 3 educator of the Franklin Method, which combines visualization and the anatomy of movement.
Markus speaks French, German and English.
Member of the Pilates Method alliance
Founder and CEO Swissbody® Group Sàrl and Director of the Swissbody Pilates Academy
Susan Pepper Arena was born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and educated in South Africa. She studied Dance and Movement at the University of Cape Town and after graduating, became a professional ballet dancer, rising to soloist status. While dancing professionally, she continued her studies, majoring in psychology at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and later at the University of Geneva. Her early fascination with applying correct body alignment and strengthening as a means to reducing dance (and also sport) related injuries led her to study, in-depth, a range of related body conditioning methods. She soon discovered Pilates, which led to her training in the United Kingdom (Body Control Pilates®), New York and with First Generation Pilates Master, Lolita San Miguel in Germany.
Over the years Susan has trained with many other devotees including instructors and physiotherapists from Australia, Hong Kong, England, Canada, South Africa and the U.S.A. She has evolved her own highly personalized correctional techniques based on her rich family heritage (she is the fourth generation to dance and work with movement as a perfect tool for rehabilitation) and in collaboration with medical doctors, physiotherapists and osteopaths. She has owned and successfully run the Swissbody® Pilates Centres since 1998 and is a member of the Pilates Method Alliance® (PMA®). Susan believes strongly in the importance of continual training and in recent years has followed courses with other well known teachers such as Rebecca Leone, Pat Guyton, Brent Anderson and Eric Franklin. She has also completed a two year Master Mentor Certification course with Lolita San Miguel, one of the only two teachers certified by Joseph Pilates. Master Instructor, Susan Pepper Arena oversees the training and continuing education programme of the Swissbody® Pilates Academy and ensures its high standards and quality is rigorously maintained. Considered as a Pilates and movement specialist, Susan has often been interviewed for the Swiss newspapers Le Matin, La Tribune de Genève and Le Temps. She has also been interviewed by World Radio Switzerland and Radio Lac and has featured or appeared in Elle, Eidelweiss, L’Illustré, Chic and Exclusif Magazine. Susan was also the subject of a television programme featuring Pilates on Swiss television, “TSR”.
In November 2009, Susan presented the importance of the Pilates method for strengthening the lumber pelvic region at the 16th Symposium Romand in Lausanne for continued training and Physiotherapy. In October 2010, she was invited to present her studies of the pelvic floor and Pilates at an international conference for physical re-education, at the “Parc Floral” in Paris for “ORREK” and in December 2010 she started Pilates teacher training for the Swissbody Pilates Academy in South Africa. In May 2011 Susan presented two conferences:“The Pelvic Floor” and “Scoliosis” and gave a specialised Pilates class: “ The Pelvic floor, what to do and what not to do” at the International Pilates Day Memorial Conference in Munchenblad, Germany (Joseph Pilate’s town of birth). In the same year, Susan started giving courses to certified mid-wives for the continuing education section of the “Fédération Suisse des Sages-Femmes, FSSF”.
In 2012 Susan was highly honoured by Lolita San Miguel as she is one of a small group of Lolita San Miguel’s Pilates Master students who demonstrated the exercises photographed for her Pilates matwork and equipment teacher training manuels.
Susan continues to regularly present her work at international conferences. In early 2014 she taught her “Standing Workout” and presented “The Serratus Anterior and the External Obliques: The synergy” at the “FORUMPILATES CONVENTION 2014, Fiera di Bologna”. Later that year, Susan and her husband, Cav. Giuseppe Arena, began working for the Russian Olympic Committee preparing artistic ice-skaters for the next Winter Olympics. Susan regularly trains Russian World and Olympic artistic ice-skating Medallists as well as members of the junior artistic ice-skating team. Susan speaks fluent French and English.