Boditree Instructors and Staff
Risa Mathews, MA
Owner & Director
Risa Mathews has owned and operated Boditree Pilates & Healing in Vancouver since 1999. Prior to this time Risa was residing in Sydney, Australia, where she was attending grad school and also operating her first Boditree Pilates studio in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs. Risa sold her Sydney studio in late 1999, and opened Boditree in Vancouver soon after returning home. Risa has successfully integrated a number of healing modalities into the Pilates environment, which has shown to assist participants in managing pain and better prepare them for physical exercise. Risa has created, published, and trademarked a number of protocols that are now being shared via online course offerings . Risa has researched and created these protocols to help manage the following, but not limited to : chronic pain, injury, rehabilitation from surgery, plus a multitude of conditions such as but not limited to scoliosis, Parkinsons, MS, learning disabilities, joint replacement, emotional trauma, post-surgical rehabilitation, and pre and post-natal conditioning. These online courses are meant to give fellow instructors and movement therapists an opportunity to study with Risa, without having to travel to Vancouver. Risa holds a BA from Simon Fraser University (1990) and an MA from Macquarie University (1995), and has a background in dance, aquatics, teaching, publishing, and public speaking. Since creating our online workshops, Risa has presented workshops in Honolulu, New York, Toronto, and Vancouver. Boditree Releasework is now approved for PMA CEC points for all students who download these online workshops ! Risa was also featured in Darien Gold’s radio program, “All Things Pilates”.
Christine Halicki, BA
Christine started dance in Stratford Ontario, at the age of 3, studying ballet, tap, and jazz, and progressing to competitive dance in the Russian style of Ballet, touring internationally and competing in all 3 dance forms. Christine completed her competitive dance career at the age of 17, and went on to study at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, completing a BA in Fine Arts, majoring in Visual Arts. Upon settling in Vancouver Christine attended Boditree’s Instructor Training & Apprenticeship Program, completing her studies with honors, in 2007. Christine has been teaching at Boditree full time since completing her Apprenticeship, and is now Studio Manager responsible for client relations.
When Nicola was 15 years old she was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and over the years has dealt with it’s accompanying symptoms. After learning about Pilates while she lived and traveled in Europe from 1998-2000 she thought it may be a good fit for her lifestyle. She was looking for a fitness regime that could be both therapeutic yet strengthening. Nicola trained under Risa Mathews in the first instructor training and apprenticeship program Boditree offered in Canada, in 2000/01. Around the same time Nicola found Pilates she also found swing dancing. For ten years she danced, performed and taught all the traditional partnered swing dances. Between the two, swing dancing and Pilates, she finds herself in almost complete remission from her Fibromyalgia. Lucky for her, as she now spends most of her time very busy with two young children when she isn’t teaching Pilates. Over the years Pilates has also supported her body through rehabilitation from three surgeries. Though she knows and has experienced the fitness side of Pilates, she has always been amazed and inspired by it’s therapeutic, rehabilitative and healing potential. After having giving birth to two children and returning to Boditree’s teaching team in 2012, Nicola was inspired to complete some recent training and specialize in Pre- and Post- Natal Fitness. Nicola is a Boditree manager, responsible for online administration and ongoing education, and contributes to the development of all studio programs and in-house training modules.
Caitlin Brown, BFA
Caitlin is an independent contemporary dancer. She trained professionally at Arts Umbrella in Vancouver, and completed her BFA Honours in Dance at Toronto’s York University in 2008. Caitlin has taught locally for Arts Umbrella and Blue Egg Studios, teaching both ballet and contemporary dance. After a knee injury Caitlin discovered pilates through Boditree, and was able to experience first-hand how the practice can transform the body and aid in injury recovery. Caitlin happily chose to participate in their in-house Instructor Training program, and is thrilled to be teaching at Boditree. Catilin is now a Boditree manager, responsible for customer relations.
Linda comes to us from Scotland, where she completed her BA prior to moving to Canada. Linda is a Callanetics Instructor, running successful and busy classes throughout Vancouver. When not teaching Callanetics, you will find Linda teaching Pilates with us at Boditree. Linda attended the Boditree teacher training program, in 2016, and completed her 1000 hours of apprenticeship teaching in mid 2017. Linda brings a skilled and confident eye to the work, ensuring all our clients are working out diligently and with precision.
Beth has been working out at Boditree for almost 10 years, as a committed Pilates advocate. In 2017 Beth decided to attend our inhouse instructor training program, and completed her studies in mid 2018. Beth’s background is in Law, and her change to being a movement educator has been an exciting and life changing experience. Beth now dedicates her time to teaching at Boditree 5 days a week !
Konner’s bio is coming soon!
Connie’s bio is coming soon!
Elsa van der Merwe
Elsa’s journey with Pilates started due to a shoulder injury. Soon she discovered that Pilates can do so much more than just rehabilitation! She finds her Pilates practice an effective way to strengthen and condition the whole body, and enjoys the therapeutic benefits of the method as well.
Elsa did a Mat Work Pilates Course in South Africa, her home country. She then completed her equipment training in Melbourne. Since then she moved to Vancouver and continued her education with an Apprenticeship program through Boditree.
Elsa’s background is in Design and 3D printing. She found the career change to being a movement practitioner more fulfilling and more suitable for her body and lifestyle. Her discovery of Pilates was life changing and she enjoys sharing the benefits of the Pilates method with others.
Mary’s bio is coming soon!