Meet the Team
Chrissy Connelly - Co-Owner of Principle Pilates
"I was lucky enough to enjoy a fabulous career as a competitive windsurfer, winning National, European and World titles and representing Great Britain in the British Olympic Squad. During this time I developed an interest in anatomy, sports science and Pilates so when it came to deciding what to turn my hand to as a career once my competitive windsurfing drew to a close I decided to teach Pilates.
I trained as a STOTT PILATES® teacher, qualifying in 2004, and established Principle Pilates, teaching Pilates to the general public and in 2007 began training other Pilates teachers. Most recently we created Principle Group where we bring together Pilates and Physiotherapy in what I believe is unique service in the Southampton area.
I enjoy working with people from a wide variety of backgrounds - from clients in re-hab to International sportsmen and women. Each have their own unique problems and I enjoy working out how best to help them. I have a good working relationship with the healthcare community and work closely with my clients' Physiotherapists, Osteopaths and Chiropractors to come up with collaborative strategies to help solve client problems.
I am one of 5 STOTT PILATES Lead Instructor Trainers in the U.K. and I work with Merrithew™ corporation delivering courses, workshops and examining students in the Merrithew methods in Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, Barrels and ZEN•GA® modalities.
In my spare time I enjoy mountain and road biking, snowboarding, horse riding and walking my dog as well as supporting my son, Freddy, who is a competitive swimmer with Plymouth Leander, the current Arena League Champions."
Samantha Allen - Co-Owner of Principle Pilates
"I'm a Chartered Physiotherapist having graduated from Liverpool University in 1995 with a degree in physiotherapy.
I'm also a qualified member of the Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists, a certified STOTT PILATES® Instructor and a member of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists. I initially worked in the NHS at Aintree Hospital, Liverpool and then St Georges Hospital, London where I specialised in musculoskeletal physiotherapy working as an Extended Scope Practitioner in Accident & Emergency. I then worked as a Principal Physiotherapist managing a team of 8 other physiotherapists.
For the last seven years, I've been working in private practice.
I treat all types of musculoskeletal problems, including sports injuries, and I've worked with rugby teams, at the London Marathon, at the World Netball Championships and more recently, with golfers, triathletes, sailors and cyclists.
I integrate Pilates (mat, reformer, Cadillac and stability chair) into my practice, which is an extremely useful tool and adjunct in the rehabilitation of clients.
When I'm not working I enjoy sailing, skiing, paddle boarding, cycling and running. I've also two young, energetic sons that keep me busy."
Dawn Cleland - Co-Owner of Principle Pilates
"I am a fully certified STOTT PILATES® Instructor in matwork, reformer, barrels, stability chair, cadillac & ZEN•GA.
I started my teaching career over 12 years ago, teaching group exercise classes in various clubs in Southampton. In the last 7 years I have focused solely on pilates, gaining my full certification qualification.
In my spare time I like to run and have completed several marathons."
“I qualified as a physiotherapist in 2000 from Brunel University and started my career working in several of the large teaching hospitals in London.
I moved to Warsash several years ago and have been working at both Principle Group and in a busy Sports Physiotherapy clinic since. I have worked with the Hampshire cricket team and at the RYA Performance Unit in Weymouth.
I am a qualified STOTT PILATES® instructor and use my Reformer knowledge in my Physiotherapy treatments.”
ACPAT., Cat A, MSc Vet Phys. Royal Vet College, MCSP. HPC
“I qualified as a chartered physiotherapist in 1986, working initially in the NHS and then in private practice.
I have a love of animals and studied to gain an MSc Vet Physio from the Royal Veterinary College and so I am also a qualified Veterinary Physiotherapist. I was lucky to be selected as the Rider and Equine Physiotherapist for the GB Olympic Equestrian Team, travelling with the team to Atlanta in 1996. I’ve also developed a practical training programme for veterinary physiotherapists working with horses and riders.
I discovered Pilates when treating Chrissy’s dog for a spinal condition. At the time my teenage son was unable to play Basketball after an injury. Discovering that both Chrissy and I have a mutual interest in and understanding of movement, this led to a course of Pilates for my son. Chrissy got him back on court and this experience transformed my whole approach to rehabilitation and exercise.
I took a full time training programme in STOTT PILATES® becoming certified in Matwork in 2015 followed by further training in Reformer, ZEN•GA and Equipilates.
Since selling my veterinary physiotherapy practice I’m now a member of the Principal Pilates team and I’m available for classes and 1-2-1 or 2-2-1 sessions. I can also treat your beloved pets by appointment.”
“I have been captivated by the movement of the body and fascinated by the relationship between this and the mind since I began practising the Pilates method. My mother, both a Pilates Instructor and Trainer, introduced me to the exercises from the age of 12 and it didn’t take me long to become a true believer.
I saw how the practice transformed my posture, strength and body awareness as well as my mind and spirit. I started teaching mat based classes as soon as I completed my training in 2005 alongside studying for my AS levels and Level 2 qualification in Exercise to Music. I maintained my dedication to the practice and continued teaching throughout University. I’ve since developed my own teaching of the mat based Pilates method at a variety of gyms, leisure centres and dance studios in addition to running private or small group sessions. I also teach many other fitness classes such as body conditioning, group cycling, circuits, kettlebells, boxing and step aerobics.
I have found that my strength; flexibility and awareness developed through years of practicing Pilates has helped me to continue to teach right up until just a few days before having my daughter in 2017. I was thrilled at how my body responded in both pre-natal and post-natal recovery.
I have now started my STOTT Reformer training, a goal I’ve had for many years, and I’m really excited to start teaching these exercise movements to a variety of people both new and experienced with the Pilates method.
I enjoy all aspects of keeping fit, from using gym equipment, attending classes with friends to walks or bike rides with family.”