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 (16), Liam (11) and Holly (10), 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.   

Juliet Shelley

Juliet graduated from London University Goldsmiths College with a BA in Dance Theatre and worked for many years as a contemporary dance choreographer, performer, producer and teacher in NZ and overseas.  She qualified as an Alexander Technique Teacher with the UK Society of Teachers of Alexander Technique in 1994. Juliet has been teaching Pilates mat work since 2003 and certified with Pilates International (Au). She has been teaching Pilates studio classes since 2007. She certified with Performance Pilates & The Pilates Studio in 2012 and is currently studying for her Polestar transition studio certification. Juliet brings an in-depth awareness of precision and alignment to her classes, a love of movement and a wealth of interdisciplinary experience. 

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.  

Kirsty Dickson

Kirsty started 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 not only for the body but also the mind.  Her classes are well planned and taught in a precise and thoughtful manner, giving each client the time to be challenged and nurtured.

"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.