Performance Pilates

The Thinking Person's Exercise



Led by Ellena Conland, the Performance Pilates team consists of highly skilled and certified pilates teachers dedicated to giving you the best pilates workout:

Ellena Conland

Ellena opened the Performance Pilates studio in May 2002 upon her return from London, at a time when pilates was really beginning to take off. 

Originally completing a Dance degree at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, as a dancer Ellena first began doing pilates with Craig Phillips, (Clinical Pilates), in Melbourne.  Having gained so much from the technique herself, she decided that she would like to teach it.  While still dancing professionally, she undertook apprenticeship style training in 1996 with Maree Seerdon (Polestar Pilates License holder for New Zealand) of the Pilates Body Studio in Auckland.

Heading to London for her O.E in 1998, Ellena was employed by Body Control Pilates U.K, now the biggest European pilates organisation. In her time with them in London she opened and managed two studios, including the first pilates studio to be based in a health club in the U.K. She was a lecturer and examiner for Body Control's Teacher Training Mat and Reformer courses, taught pilates workshops, and was a teacher at well known author Gordon Thomson's Pilates and Rehabilitation Studio.

Ellena has now been teaching pilates for 19 years, her experience spanning several different studios in various parts of the world. Her love of teaching pilates includes many areas, such as general fitness, pregnancy and post-natal, rehabilitation, dance and the teaching and mentoring of others to be pilates teachers. 

In 2003 Ellena established Performance Pilates Teacher Training, and has twice run year-long in-house teacher training courses, working with select groups of students to train them in quality teaching standards.  During 2008/9 Ellena was appointed at the New Zealand School of Dance in Wellington to teach pilates to the professional dance students, both in mat and studio work. 

Ellena is fully qualified through Polestar Pilates, having been certified in the Studio Course (2011) and also completing the Rehabilitation course in 2002.  She continues to regularly attend many conferences and courses, some of which include Neuro-Muscular Rehabilitation, Advanced Spine, Scoliosis, Women’s Health, Exercise and the Pelvic Floor and Pilates for Dancers.

Ellena has previously mentored and been an Educator for Polestar, overseeing student training and the Performance Pilates studio has twice hosted Polestar Pilates Education teacher training courses.

Continuing her passion for learning all things to do with the human body, Ellena is studying towards a masters in Sport and Exercise at Massey University.

She is Mum to Luke, (14) Liam (9) and Holly (8), and somehow manages to balance being a Mum with running a busy pilates studio!  

Loata Stewart

Starting at the studio in 2003 as a client, Loata quickly realized the benefits of pilates for her own strength and flexibility. Slowing down movement and focusing on how the body moves became essential for her busy life. Loata decided she would like to become a teacher and so she initially trained with Performance Pilates (Ellena Conland and Alison Townsend) and later with Polestar Pilates. Loata has been teaching for 8 years and is an asset to the studio. She enjoys working with clients of all ages and fitness levels, but is particularly interested in how pilates can assist in managing the natural aging process.   

Kirsty Dickson
Kirsty started her pilates in 2000, originally as a studio client, before deciding she would like to teach.  She then embarked on the challenge of the Polestar Pilates Studio Training course, completing it in 2008 to become a teacher. Originally having studied at Victoria University and graduating with a Bachelor in Science, she has come to realise the important benefits of a good pilates workout to not only the body but also the mind. Juggling her busy work schedule, Kirsty manages to find time to shape, mold and pass on her pilates experiences to our clients once a week on a Thursday night.  Her classes are well planned and taught in a precise and thoughtful manner, giving each client the time to be challenged and nurtured.

Juliet Shelly

Bea Lee-Smith

Bea came to Pilates in 2012 having suffered from her fifth prolapse disc. Before long, the changes in her body were so significant, she knew this was what she needed to do with her life. Bea qualified as a Comprehensive Pilates Instructor through Hearts and Bones in 2015. She has a passion for rehabilitating clients and pain, and helping people develop a love of movement.  

A bunhead of some 35 years, Bea developed a passion for dance and performing began as a young child. She has worked with The Scholars at New Zealand School of Dance, and students at  Chilton Ballet Academy, helping them to achieve their goals and dreams.  Bea graduated from The National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art in 2001, she spent many years working as a freelance performer, teacher and director.  She is interested in the relationship between voice and movement, and how Pilates can help voice professionals.   Bea is looking forward to sharing her knowledge with the clients at Performance Pilates.  

Brigitte Hellberg

Brigitte has been a Pilates teacher for the last fourteen years teaching both mat and equipment in Pilates studios and gyms around Wellington. Brigitte comes from a dance background, which she did for fifteen years. She loves teaching a variety of Pilates classes but especially enjoys teaching pregnancy and post natal classes. Brigitte is also working with individual clients focusing on rehabilitation programs.

Brigitte holds a Pilates Diploma from Performance Pilates in both mat and equipment. Brigitte teaches studio sessions and mat classes, but also has taught ballet classes and yoga over the years. She has worked with people from the Royal New Zealand ballet and New Zealand School of Dance. 

Brigitte graduated in 2015 with a Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching from Victoria University and has been teaching pre schoolers for the last few years, she has been teaching yoga and Pilates to young children as well as leading teachers in a Wellbeing programme. She has achieved a certificate in Human Nutrition in 2006 through the Naturopathic College of New Zealand and also has a Fine Arts Bachelors Degree from Wanganui Polytechnic (2000).

Brigitte attends courses and workshops under leading Pilates teachers and physiotherapists, including; courses by Polestar Pilates, Hearts and Bones, Bruce Hastings, David Liow and Ellena Conland. Brigitte has also done some Stott Pilates training too.

When not teaching Pilates, Brigitte is a busy mum to a lovely son Thomas who is nine years old. Brigitte enjoys travel and over the years has travelled many times to Europe with her favourite destination being Italy. A passion for Brigitte is to bring the best out of people and help them have better body awareness when they are outside the Pilates studio. Brigitte loves to help clients feel like they are having a fun but challenging workouts. It is important after their sessions they feel they have a good sense of well being and balance in their bodies.  

"To achieve the highest accomplishments within the scope of our capabilities in all walks of life we must constantly strive to acquire strong, healthy bodies and develop our minds to the limits of our ability." - Joseph H Pilates

All teachers at Performance Pilates are Polestar Pilates certified.